Travelling Solo

Travelling alone can be the ultimate in self-indulgence: You can do what you want to do and rest when you want. Your mistakes are your own, and your triumphs are more exciting.

But without a companion to watch your back, you are more vulnerable. But, a little preparation and common sense can save you money and give you the ultimate experience.

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Solo Travel: Everything You Need to Know About Traveling Alone

smartertravel.com

  • Do your homework. Know how long it takes and how much it costs to get from the airport to your hotel.
  • Arrive during the day. Areas around bus and train stations can be scary or deserted, and small towns tend to shut down early.
  • Book a hotel with a 24-hour front desk if you'll be arriving late.
  • Check your maps and transportation schedules before leaving your hotel/rental car.
  • Register with the State Department. U.S. citizens travelling internationally can consider signing up for the free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). It could assist you in case of an emergency.

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  • Stick to open and public places, especially at night.
  • Trust yourself. If it doesn't feel right, don't do it.
  • Appear confident. Walk confidently and with direction. If you are lost, walk into a shop or restaurant and ask for directions. Don't let on that you are alone.
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary with a family member at home, and keep regular contact via phone, text, etc.
  • Trust everyone and no one. While you might want to meet new people, it makes you more vulnerable. Be open-minded, but keep your guard up enough to ensure your safety.

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  • You can avoid the single supplement by booking with a tour operator that doesn't charge single supplements.
  • Many tour operators offer roommate matching.
  • You can sometimes save money by booking at the last minute. Tour operators eager to sell out their last few places may be willing to reduce their usual single supplement.
  • You may also want to consider staying in a hostel which charges per bed.

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Many solo travellers find dining alone most unpleasant.

  • Chat with the service people.
  • Choose the right eatery. Sitting alone with a book in a cafe isn't as unusual as a table for one at a restaurant.
  • Bring reading material.
  • Eat in if you can't endure another public meal alone.
  • Eat well.

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The constant sensory input and vigilance of travelling alone can wear you down. Don't be afraid to back off a bit.

When travelling abroad, seek out an expat bar where you can hang out and speak your native tongue. A night in your hotel room can often give you enough of a reprieve to send you out ready the next morning.

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