Traveling solo is an experience that could turn your whole life around. Blogs and articles have been written and praises sung, on the solo travel experience. Besides the obvious you-can-do-everything-you-like, there are a bunch of other reasons you should consider taking the plunge and traveling alone. If you’re in need of some inspiration, we’ve already got you covered! 6 reasons to book your ticket- at your service, here.
Once you’ve made up your mind, here’s everything you need to know to ensure your trip is everything you hoped for:
Choose your destination wisely:
Not just for your sake, but for loved ones and family back home who worry about your safety. Besides, it wouldn’t be as much fun if you can’t head out in the evenings for fear of your safety. Make sure you pick a place that allows you to move about at your leisure. Consider picking a country or a city where you already know someone, even if they’re a long lost friend. Having an emergency contact will put you at ease.
Use social media to your advantage:
Keep your friends and family updated at all times, without the added hassle of individually writing to everyone. Just your usual Facebook check-ins and pictures should do the trick! Remember to keep your location settings switched on while you post, so they know which place you’re posting from.
Find a hotel closer to the city center:
This may go against all cheap travel hacks and money saving tips, but when you’re on your own, it’s best to invest in a hotel close to the city center. If you’re booking an apartment on AirBnb, check it’s location on the map- it shows you the distance from the main city center. Being closer to the popular areas of the city will also give you the freedom to wander out in the evening without worrying about the transport back home.
Try a home stay:
As long as you book from a reliable and established home stay app or website, you’re covered. It has added benefits of experiencing a new culture, along with a few people to look out for you. Remember to read the reviews first though- the more the merrier.
I don’t mean the room type. Spend some extra bucks and get yourself a better hotel. One on the main road instead of narrow lanes and deserted streets. It might cost a few dollars extra, but it’s better than a mugging experience to ruin your trip.
Buy a sim card! Most times it isn’t too expensive at the airport, and the staff speaks English, so you have a better chance of understanding the calling rates and getting the exact plan you need. You could find a shop closer to your hotel as well, so you can top up your card should you need to. Keep your hotel address and travel documents with you at all times, along with a picture or downloaded copy on your phone. Should you find yourself lost (as I often do), you should be able to find your way back to safety.
Download the apps most used by locals:
You know what they say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Use the apps most used by the locals to discover eating joints and party places, get train and flight updates and operation timings, metro apps to check schedules and route maps; but most importantly- download the app for the local police, just in case you’re in an SOS situation.
Find a friend:
The fam will always give you strict instructions, “Don’t talk to strangers” but sometimes it’s worth your while to make an exception. Download the Idargo App that allows you to connect with locals in different countries, willing to show you around the city- the authentic way! You can pay for a buddy, or use the app to connect with a fellow traveler. It will keep you from missing out on the important things to see and do, and will help you make new friends from different countries too. Win-win!