Wondering if traveling alone is worth it? Whether you’re a seasoned traveler, are ready to do something out of your comfort zone, or want to cross something off your bucket list this year, traveling solo can make for an unforgettable experience! Here’s what you should consider when planning your trip.
“Solo travel not only pushes you out of your comfort zone, it also pushes you out of the zone of others’ expectations.” – Suzy Strutner
1. Choose your Destination Wisely
Sure everyone says you just have to see the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France. However, if it’s the Tulip Season in the Netherlands that ignites your passion, by all means, go there. In other words, it’s your trip, so make sure your travels take you where you want to explore.
2. Know Your Limitations
Your trip will probably be out of your comfort zone, which is great. However, knowing your strengths (and weaknesses) will make it a lot more enjoyable. So, for example, if you’re directionally challenged, but love to hike, maybe sign up for a group tour instead of hitting the trails alone.
3. Know What You’d Like to Explore
If your idea of a vacation is not adhering to a schedule, we like the way you think. However, researching a few places you want to explore, dine in, and the like, will help you maximize your time.
4. Check the Travel Advisories
You picked the destination of your dreams. Now it’s time to do a little research before you add another stamp to your passport. You can check the world at a glance on the color-coded map or search Travel Advisories by place on the official government website, both of which are updated daily.
5. Practice Caution Abroad
For international travel, enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This free service allows you to enroll your trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. In addition to receiving safety conditions about your destination from the Embassy, you’ll also be contacted in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.
6. Safety First
Regardless of where you travel, knowing your destination’s safest places is a must! And, to that point, knowing which areas to avoid is too. Research safe neighborhoods, as well as safe ways to get around, whether it be by train, bus, taxi, car rentals, etc.
7. Have a Back Up Plan
While the thought of an emergency, whatever that may be, may feel like putting a damper on your adventure before you begin, you’ll be glad you did. As in, better safe, than sorry. Knowing where the hospital is if you get sick or the police station if you need assistance is best done before you leave.