How to Solo Travel

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Traveling solo is like a new beginning:

You can do whatever you want, and no one is telling you what to do or where not to go.

It can be intimidating; but, it doesn’t need to be.

A lot of people say traveling alone has made them more confident in themselves.

How’s that possible?

They were able to get out there on their own two feet without anyone else holding their hand during those first few scary steps into the unknown territory called “the world.”

On top of that, solo travelers are less likely than group members who may fight over different opinions about how things should happen.

Arguments like these only make for an unpleasant experience overall while exploring this beautiful planet we call home.

You might have decided to roam the world without a counterpart.

Now you’re probably wondering what the best steps to take toward flying or driving out on your own are.

Read through these tips to learn the benefits of traveling alone, some general solo-traveling tips, and a few destinations that are ideal for anyone traveling alone.

Learn about why you should travel alone once in your life, its benefits, and some practical tips to keep you safe while you explore earth’s landmarks.

Why Should I Try Traveling Solo?

You should try traveling solo because it will teach you a lot about yourself.

You’ll learn to be more independent, confident, and outgoing after all the solo adventures you have on your own.

Traveling alone means you’ll have to make your own decisions and be self-reliant.

That’s why solo travelers feel a greater sense of empowerment and independence, plus they’re more likely to explore new things because other people’s ideas or opinions don’t influence them.

Traveling solo can help focus your mind on what you want out of life and what you want to achieve. You’ll also be able to explore your interests more fully too.

If solo travel is something that sounds like a challenge for yourself, then why not start by traveling with friends or family but in separate vehicles?

Solo travel will give you an idea of how awesome it feels when the entire world’s yours while exploring on your own adventure.

What Are the Benefits of Solo Traveling?

Of course, these benefits revolve around what kind of person you are.

Are you an intro- or extrovert? An ambivert? Do you want more time to do stuff?

After pondering who you are, check out these benefits of solo traveling: Get you out of your comfort zone. Since you’re alone, you won’t have any buddies or family to help you out of immediate situations, so you’ll have to solve problems by yourself.

You can choose to do whatever, whenever you want. Since you won’t have anyone who wants to do something contradictory to what you want. Instead of partying when you don’t want to, you could sit on the beach with a book and mojito. Sometime’s it’s nice to self-indulge.

It could be cheaper. With two people since you’re splitting costs, but when going solo, you have complete control of your spending. Just ensure you make good decisions.

Great for self-esteem if you have a hard time finding confidence in yourself. Traveling alone could be an excellent way of conquering that. Why? Since you have to get yourself out of most problems, you sometimes need a bit of creativity, which is great for confidence.

It’s easier to make friends since you’re not spending all your time with a traveling partner. Traveling solo makes it so you can go out and about, meet people all day, learn languages, and make friends.

Less stress and more time. Since you’re relieved of responsibility for another person, nor do you have to follow them to activities you don’t want to do, you have more time to relax.

You’ll learn more about yourself since traveling alone requires you to do almost everything on your own. It can push you to your limits depending on how far you go, which is excellent. You’ll become a veteran of situations you don’t normally encounter and have plenty of stories to tell later.

Solo Travel Tips: How to Safely Travel Alone

While many people dream of traveling solo, they are afraid to do so.

They worry about their safety and the quality of their trip.

Solo travel can be a great way to truly experience your destination by yourself without any distractions.

You’ll have more time to explore, enjoy local food and culture, meet new friends, and fall in love with your destination all over again.

However, there are some things you should know before going on a solo adventure abroad.

Here are some travel tips for first-time solo travelers.

Related: 13 Travel Scams: How to Avoid Them, Keep Your Money, and Stay Safe

1. Make Copies of Your Travel Documents

The most important thing to do before you get on your flight or road trip is to make digital and physical copies of all your travel documents.

Some travel documents include your passport, visas, international and national driver’s licenses, itineraries, and transit tickets.

Regarding physical copies, keep them in a folder that can be easily accessible, and bring the folder with you when traveling.

Moreover, leave a copy with your parents or someone you trust if you ever need a backup.

With digital copies, store them as files in a zero-knowledge password manager like Bitwarden to ensure even if a hacker got into the company’s servers, no one could see your documents.

2. Choose the Best Accommodation

You don’t have to stay in hostels. You might find more security and peace of mind by investing a little more to stay in an Airbnb. Or you could stay some nights with a host family in a homestay.

3. Divide Your Sources of Money

As I mentioned in our travel tips, divide your sources of cash into various places. Some ways to divide your money involve a dummy wallet, a money belt, your shoes, or inside a hair tie.

Spreading your cash prevents you from losing everything if you lose your wallet. Furthermore, make sure to have a couple of bank accounts in case one gets broken into.

4. Enroll in STEP

Take a STEP toward registering with your embassy. The Smart Traveller Enrollment Program (STEP) gives American travelers and expats a chance to register for free with their local embassy or consulate in whatever country.

Registering makes it so the local US representative can contact you in the event of an emergency.

5. Dress To Blend In

Once you land and before you set out on your solo adventure, make sure that you dress appropriately.

Dressing to blend in with the locals will help ensure that you don’t stand out as an outsider and vulnerable tourist.

If possible:

Dress conservatively enough so that no one would suspect anything about what country or region of the world you hail from—you should also consider this whether it is winter or summertime.

Just like how other people might not know where they come from just by looking at their clothes, wearing clothes appropriate for the area can give them a false sense of safety around strangers too.

Alternatively:

If you want to fit in with the locals on a more extreme level and dress like they do—say, for instance, by wearing traditional clothing—it is vital that you be careful of your safety when traveling solo.

In general, I don’t recommend exploring an unfamiliar country or region dressed as someone from where one originates.

Doing so could be perceived as disrespectful by some and could even put oneself at risk of becoming a target for crime because others may think the traveler comes from a wealthy background (and thus is rich).

The last thing any solo traveler wants while exploring new places would be some kind of trouble.

There are enough risks involved already simply being out there alone without adding something else into the mix.

6. Learn About the Laws

Each country has different rules and regulations. It’s essential to research what they are before you go—this can save many problems down the line.

Doing your homework upfront will be less likely that anything will happen when you arrive at your destination. Because there won’t be any surprises on arrival or during your travels around town.

7. Don’t Drink Alone

Drinking alone in another city is probably the most dangerous thing you could do.

Since when you’re liquored up, you’re likely defenseless.

If you decide to go on a bender, be sure that you’re in a safe environment full of people. Preferably one with cameras or security.

Furthermore, be sure to let a friend or relative know that you’re going out.

8. Invest in Some Travel Insurance

One of the primary concerns with traveling alone is theft or robbery.

While you may not have to worry about this as much in your hometown, if you’re traveling abroad, you must invest in travel insurance before going on a plane ride.

If something were to happen while overseas and don’t offer free medical service over there (or at least coverage), what?

A few hundred dollars worth of health insurance will save you from being stuck with thousands upon return home. Moreover, don’t forget to save your receipts.

9. Learn Essential Phrases of the Country’s Language

To make the solo traveler feel at home, knowing a few words of the local tongue will help them get acquainted with people there.

Some basic phrases you should learn are:

  • Hello
  • Goodbye
  • Help
  • How much?
  • Where’s the bathroom

10. Make Friends With Locals

Do you want to know the most important tip for traveling alone?

Make friends:

Find someone who lives in your end destination and befriend them.

One person’s perspective on what neighborhoods are safe and which cannot help guide where you want to go during your stay. Moreover, they can introduce you to their town, partake in language exchange with you, and teach you something new.

Don’t limit yourself.

However:

Remain cautious to ensure these new friends aren’t faking a friendship to get something out of you.

11. Enjoy Yourself

Don’t forget to enjoy yourself, overall.

You’re likely traveling for the thrill, to relax, or learn something new.

Avoid getting stuck in your head and take in what beauty this planet has to offer.

You might even find a new country that you want to move to.

What Are Some Tips for Eating Alone in Another Country?

Some tips for eating alone in another country are the following:

  • Find places where you can order single servings.
  • Ask the waiter to recommend their favorite dish and ask for the same quantity as a solo diner.
  • Carry some snacks in your bag, just like you might do when traveling with someone else or children. That way, even if there isn’t anything on offer that suits your diet requirements, you’ll always be prepared.
  • Consider bringing along small plastic containers that can hold half portions of foods. If what’s available is not up to scratch, then it’s easy enough to make up something different using one of these containers instead.

Related: 13 Travel Scams: How to Avoid Them, Keep Your Money, and Stay Safe

Top Travel Safety Products for Solo Travelers

The top travel safety products for solo travelers are the following:

  • Yubico Security Key: protecting your passwords should act as your number one concern. While the Yubikey doesn’t work on every website, it will protect your logins and sensitive information as a hardware key.
  • Insect repellant: protect yourself from mosquitos and murder hornets. If you’re alone and no one can help you, you’re S.O.L.
  • Travel adapter: so you can use your electronics.
  • Money belt: to divide your money.
  • External hard drive: if you’re working and traveling, you need to keep your files backed up.
  • Portable charger: you should ensure you’re able to contact emergency services, so keep your phone charged.

What Are Some Good Websites for Solo Travelers?

Here’s a list of some good websites for solo travelers:

  • STEP: I mentioned this website earlier. However, I highly recommend signing up for this government program to stay up-to-date with emergencies.
  • Nomad List: this nomad-friendly website crowdsources critical information when traveling or expatriating to another country. While they give you a one-time complimentary view, they charge membership fees to utilize their website fully.
  • Reddit: excellent for finding communities within the country or city you’re in.
  • Local news sites: use these to ensure you stay updated on where you’re staying
  • Women on the Road: a website that supplements a lot of resources for women who travel alone.
  • InterPals: a language-exchange-focused website to meet friends and learn new languages.
  • Eat With: a website where you can find culinary hosts. Eat with new people and try local cuisine. If you register, you can earn around $12 when using my code (E6741EB3).

Where Can I Go on a Solo Vacation?

Solo vacations are fantastic.

They’re a great way to recharge your batteries and learn more about yourself.

But where should you go?

While anywhere in the world could be safe for you if you’re careful enough, you may want to go somewhere known for low crime rates.

I’ve compiled this list of the best countries for solo travelers so that you can start planning your next vacation right away.

Canada

If you’d like to visit a place where you can hunker down in brutally cold winters with a dish of Poutine in front of you, look no further than Canada.

Despite the frigid temperatures, the warm-hearted Canadians are likely to make you feel at home while you visit places like Niagara Falls.

Or:

Feast your eyes upon the Northern Lights.

Taiwan

Absorb breath-taking scenery from Taiwan’s various mountains while taking sips of bubble tea.

Moreover, don’t forget to visit one of the tallest buildings in the world while you’re there.

Taiwanese are some of the friendliest people out there and are especially helpful if you’re traveling alone.

Related: The Only Taiwan Travel Guide You’ll Need

Iceland

Many have labeled Iceland as the safest country for twelve years in a row.

The hot spring paradise is yet another place where you can gaze at the northern lights.

If you’re not into viewing beautiful sights:

Consider watching whales in their natural habitat or search for trolls on horseback.

Rwanda

Even though Rwanda’s had a grim past, it has transformed itself into one of Africa’s safest places to visit.

If you love nature, consider visiting one of their many national parks. On some of the tours, there’s a rare chance that you’ll spot a rhino or lion. 

Afterward:

Relax at Rwanda’s largest lake, Lake Kivu.

Despite these places having low crime rates, keep your wits about you and be wary of dangerous situations.

Should You Travel Solo?

I encourage you to try solo travel:

It’s a fantastic experience that will expand your horizons and make you a more interesting person in the process.

If traveling alone is something you are considering, consider all the tips I’ve given you throughout this guide.

No matter what type of trip you choose, it’ll be hard not to have fun when all by yourself.

Other Tips To Help Your First Time Solo Adventure:

person in taipei city, taiwan

About Tee

Tee began first experienced the wonders of traveling when visiting Vietnam. Afterward, he went crazy and ventured to at least… More about Tee