If you have already read the previous article about reasons why you should NOT try solo backpacking and still decide to do it then this article is definitely for you. Check it out and start planning your trip right away!
1.Get yourself well-prepared before leaving
Get yourself ready before traveling alone is the initial things before taking off. It is even more necessary if you want to make it on your own.
Save up/know your budget
It is very important to do these things before planning any trip. Knowing how much money you have will help you decide where and how you could travel. If the destination and your travel style are not flexible then you should start with calculating how much money the trip will actually cost to make a saving plan. If you care more about the fact that you are going to travel than about where and how, then you can start planning your trip based on your budget.
Choose your destination
Maybe you already have a dream destination in mind or maybe you simply just want to get away from your daily life. In any case, once you know where you are up to, it is always good to study a little bit about the location such as get a local map, find the attractions, know where to eat out… If you are planning to travel abroad then it is important to know the local culture and currency to be well-prepared, or even learn some survival dialogs. If possible, make a list of activities you might want to do beforehand.
No matter what style of traveler you are, packing light will help you a lot when you are traveling alone. You definitely don’t want to be busy taking care of your luggages while you’ve already have to deal with so many things as a solo traveler. Therefore, pack your luggage simply with only essentials.
2. Stay safe while traveling alone
Perhaps the foremost concern while traveling alone is safety. A solo traveler seems to be more vulnerable to criminals or local scams, and health problems as well. However, one person can blend more easily than a group, and by not drawing attention to yourself as a tourist, you can stay safe and enjoy your journey. Just remember:
Stay in touch
Before leaving on a vacation, it is highly recommended to leave a copy of your itinerary with someone you trust back home, or at least, let them know where you are time after time. Stay in touch regularly via phone, message or email, or even send a postcard from your location. Nowadays, thanks to the advantages of the internet, technology, and such social networks as facebook, instagram, twitter…, it is easier to stay in touch from far distances than ever.
Protect your identity
It is a good idea to make electronic and physical copies of your personal papers such as passport, visas and tickets before departing. We never know what is lying ahead, these copies will be quick replacements when needed while you still keep your originals in a safe place. In case you have to use public wifi to do some online banking or use your credit card, it is advisable to use a VPN to keep things safe. The last but not least, be judicious when giving out personal information since being a good traveler doesn’t mean exposing yourself unnecessarily to danger.
Arrange your accommodation ahead
Wherever you are heading to, remember to make a reservation before leaving. It might be 5-star hotels, hostels, campsite or couch surfing up on your travel style, just so you know where you can lie down and take a rest after a long trip. When you are alone, especially if you are in a foreign country, the last thing you want is a full campsite or unavailable accommodation, right?
Be a wise wanderer
There is no need to draw attention to yourself as a tourist in a strange place. The more you look confident, the less of target you become to any kind of scam. If you have something valuable, keep it in the safe at the hotel, wear plain and simple clothing to blend in. The less of value you carry on is the better.
Trust everyone and no one
It sounds contrary at first but actually it is not. Meeting new people is one of the best attraction while traveling alone. However, it is okay to hang out and spend some time with new friends but always keep a cool head when it comes to money or sensitive issues such as illegal stuffs. Stay open minded but keep your guard up enough to ensure your safety. Also, trust your instinct since you are the best judge of your own safety, which means you are able to take risk if it feels right and looks safe, otherwise, just say no and move on with your trip.
3. Enjoy the trip of your own
Travel alone doesn’t mean being lonely
For sure, you are having the time of your own, to feel good, not to be isolated from the world out there. Keep smiling since a smile means you are a happy, friendly person, and can open many conversations. While exploring the local streets, bars or restaurants, don’t hesitate to make new friends with other travelers and locals as well. Being alone also means you are flexible and open for chances. Keep yourself informed about events or parties or group activities around with other travelers.
Explore the surrounding with your own pace
You are free to do what you want whenever you want. You can meet up with people if you wish or avoid them completely if you don’t want to. When you travel alone, the world is yours. Travel might be the best time to open up your horizons, so don’t be picky, don’t narrow your choices, always willing to try new things. However, if you wake up, feel like just want to read in a cafe the whole day instead of go for trekking or take a new adventure that day, it is up to you.
In conclusion, there is no “right” way to travel. Traveling alone allows you to find the “right” trip for you. Go for it.
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