Are you a solo traveler?
You traveling alone could be intentional to have more excitement, freedom and flexibility or it could be unintentional but due to factors beyond your control. Regardless of why, going solo needs extra planning and pre-preparation to make a safe and memorable journey and most importantly not to feel lonely & lost. However, you must not do too much planning as well since it will kill the adventure in your journey.
Tips to travel alone without feeling lonely
Here are my best tips to travel alone without feeling lonely. These are the tips I have been using to travel alone without feeling lonely.
• Be prepared – Above everything else preparation matters a lot to go on a troublesome journey. Do a lot of research, talk to people who have been there already and know as much as possible and plan your trip. You need to book your accommodation at least for the first few days of your journey. Plan to arrive during daylight as you do not have to find your way in an unfamiliar city in dark all alone. Things you need to research are sometimes seldom considered such as food options, public transport availability, road signs, whether the locals speak English or some other language you can converse with, how soon you can buy a local mobile connection or use your connection to roam, free Wi-Fi zones and can you use online maps and content to find your way (how rich the content also matter).
• Pack light – you should be able to manage your belongings by yourself with ease. Unnecessary burden can make you feel that you are left alone. While having the minimum you should have all your basic needs with you.
• Look engaged & cheerful, NOT bored and lost – Bored,lost and fear looks may encourage unwanted attention and invite others to take advantage of you. Use your phone or book when you have to wait idle. If you happen to stay for few days long er better to register for a short course for language or cooking which will help you to meet locals and travelers just like you.
• Stay at homestays or hostels –Local families help you to settle with the location and life style way better than any chain hotels. They provide you with practical information way better than hotels. Even you might feel that you are at a home away from home. Onceyou have a local family you can never feel you are alone. Mix with others; start with a smile asking open-ended questions and followup with detail questions. Take small gifts from your country to give away for your hosts. That can help you to build a good relationship with them early as possible.
• Dress conservatively –Dress like the locals and wear a friendly smile. Wear conservative casual chic clothes and respect the culture and in return you will be respected too. A smile does open the world for you.
• Use Social media wisely –Connect with right people with the right level of security and privacy settings that enable only the people you want to know all your whereabouts. Constantly update status and photos of your journey to let your family and loved ones to know your status. Their likes and comments for your messages can make you happy and connected without feeling isolated. It also provides a security mechanismwhen to be alarmed. However, use it wisely; after all you are on a journey to explore. There are plenty of homestay reservation services and home dining reservation services that you can use to reserve and plan your stay and meals in advance. Further, some services also allow to book local experiences as well such as small tours, engage in wood crafting or working in a local farm.
• Live that moment – At last do not ruin your happiest moments in your life just because you are travelling alone. Take a selfie from your smart phone at great places you visit and let your thousands of friends know what you are experiencing. You will feel great and accomplished. Live in that moment embracing the experience by heart and soul.
Once you are done with solo travelling it adds more magnificent memories and will be happy that you were able to do things when you want and your own pace. It is an experience of a lifetime to get lost in a strange place all by yourself and get to know brand new people, cultures, locations& experiences. That is worth every second of worry planning such travel and the risk you take to see this wonderful world and learn who you are. You will definitely come back much stronger, wiser and happier.
Happy Travelling, Go for it!