Travelling solo is not for everyone but it can be one of the most exciting and nerve-racking experiences a woman can have. Travelling solo gives you the chance to discover more about yourself and do anything and everything you want without having to worry about your companions. It’s a chance to make your very own adventure.
Travelling alone has its ups and downs. You may experience some challenges along the way such as loneliness or logistical problems. There is also the concern for safety. You might think that you won’t be able to handle these challenges but really, it’s nothing you can’t handle. Here are a few tips if you want to start your solo adventure.
1. Be well-informed
Do a lot of research on the place you are visiting. Know the culture especially how women should dress and act in public. Know a few helpful phrases in the local language such as “help”, “police” and “hospital.” Find out where you can exchange currency or better yet, exchange some before leaving. Discover secret spots where expats frequent such as local restaurants, bars and shopping destinations. If you are on a budget, don’t go to popular tourist spots as the prices there are really high. Watch out for common criminal practices such as pickpockets, robbers, “helpful local guide”, etc. Check the country’s official website as it usually contains dangers you have to be wary of. Always bring a map with you and educate yourself about the local transportation.
2. Be safe
Stay vigilant at all times. Don’t entertain shady characters. Listen to your gut feel. If you think something is wrong, get out of that situation. You can never be too careful. It does not make a difference whether you are in a first world country or in a far flung province.
Always keep your door locked in your hotel. Secure all your valuables in the hotel safe. Bring photocopies of your important documents and keep the original ones safe. Be sure to have the number of your embassy in your phone or in your wallet.
3. Meet new people
Talk to other tourists like yourself. You might discover some hidden gems in the city. Talk to the locals and ask where the best place to eat or shop. Just be careful in all your dealings. If you think there is something fishy about the person you are talking to, politely end the conversation and walk away. Always trust your instincts. They will lead you to safety. Don’t trust anyone with your money or valuables.
4. Stay healthy
Even if you are on a budget that is not an excuse to eat junk every day you are on vacation. Troll the supermarkets, convenience stores and farmers markets for good eats. You can buy a salad, sandwich and a drink for a fraction of the cost of a restaurant meal. You can also check out restaurant coupons before you go. Limit your alcohol intake and avoid partying until the wee hours of the morning. Avoid getting drunk as you might end up in dangerous situations if you don’t have a clear mind. Get ample sleep every night and avoid staying out late in the streets. Don’t forget to hydrate yourself with water especially if the place you are visiting is hot. Staying healthy will help you avoid unexpected illnesses, missed flights and dangerous situations
Now that you have these tips in mind, just stay confident, use common sense and be alert at all times. You are sure to have a great solo vacation!