If you’ve always travelled in the company of friends or family, then your first solo trip will be like a meditation experience.
It will give you a chance to look at the world with fresh perspective as well as to introspect and indulge like never before. While on a solo trip, you may rejoice at the unfiltered experiences, you will also have to watch out for your own safety and fight any feeling of loneliness.
Here are a few tips on how to make the most out of your solo trip without compromising on your safety, money and enjoyment.
Stay safe. Travelling alone makes you vulnerable to crooks and criminals. However, “safety in numbers” does not always hold true; you can mingle with fellow travelers or locals and avoid attracting any attention as a tourist.
Keep an open mind. When you travel alone free yourself from any kind of worries, responsibilities and problems. You don’t have to meet anyone’s expectations or play any life role. You can do whatever you want to do or go wherever you want to go. Forget everything and prepare yourself to receive experiences that engage your mind, heart and soul.
Plan and prepare in advance. Ensure that you make booking for accommodation and transport in advance. Instead of queuing up in the line at the airport, get your hotel to pick you up. You will surely feel pampered after a long flight. This way you can also avoid being taken on ride by taxi drivers.
Explore as much as possible. Don’t just stay inside your hotel room, chat on phones or do video calls back home. Get out, buy a map, walk around, take public transport and explore as many places as possible.
Rely on your gut instinct. Be your own devil’s advocate. If at any point of time, something does not feel right, it is best to avoid it. Don’t ignore your instincts and judgments.
Make new friends. Don’t hesitate to talk to strangers. Though keep your guard up but mingle with locals, other travellers or fellow hotel inmates. Avoid revealing to much about yourself but its fine to talk about the place, its history, culture and lifestyle.
Try new things and experiences. If you come across something unplanned such as jumping from a cliff, tasting a new strange dish or facing your fear, then don’t resist. Come out of your comfort zone, go with the flow and experience new things – you might not get this chance again.
Don’t judge. Nothing is superior and nothing is inferior to anything. The difference lies only in our mind. Even before we see things, we have prior notions and assumptions about them and we try to align what we see to what we assume. However, this is a wrong attitude when we travel and wish to experience new things. Break all the clichés and assumptions, observe the new culture with an open mindset and accept things as they are rather than making judgments.
Don’t be charmed by others. You would find lot of people on the road trying to sell different things to you. They will label everything as the “specialty” of the place. Don’t go by their words and pick up unnecessary souvenirs. Politely turn them down with a confident smile. Do your research about the souvenirs and buy them sensibly. Remember you’ve come to experience the place and not to buy things from there.
Be Yourself. When travelling solo, you don’t have to make compromises for anyone else and you can be comfortable in your own skin. There are no labels and no rules. You don’t have to please anyone or think about anyone else.
Wish to indulge yourself?