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Going on a solo trip can seem like a frightening experience. However, some people may find it to be one of the most enjoyable experiences of their life. Travelling alone means you don’t have anyone else influencing your decisions, preferences or plans and you can truly indulge yourself in new experiences. Of course, there are safety risks associated with travelling alone so make sure you stay smart on your travels and still have fun.
While it can be tempting to dress like a tourist and carry a guide book around wherever you go, try not to come across as someone who has no idea where they are going. This can give you an air of vulnerability and make you a target for unsavoury people. Act like you blend in and are not new to the area.
Walking with confidence and purpose will make you look as though you know the area well, even if you don’t. Keep your wits about you and try to avoid making yourself a target. If you are lost, don’t be afraid to ask for directions but imply you are meeting somebody at your destination so it doesn’t become apparent that you are travelling alone.
Travelling solo often means you fall victim to the single supplement. Often applying to hotels, the supplement can mean you end up paying up to twice as much as someone who’s travelling with a partner. There are companies that offer room-mate services whereby you are paired up with someone in your room and don’t have to pay the supplement. This can save you a fortune but do your research to find out who you will be sharing a room with.
There are some people who say travelling alone will be lonely but that absolutely doesn’t have to be the case. When it comes to eating out, don’t be afraid to talk to the restaurant staff. They will give you a real insight to the local area and may introduce you to some new friends along the way.
If you feel awkward eating alone, you can always order room service or take a book along with you. There will probably be ex-pat bars in a lot of places so if you are feeling uncomfortable then head for one of these to feel a bit more relaxed.
You might find yourself feeling drained after a while into your trip. Constantly having to be vigilant to your surroundings can start to feel exhausting after a few weeks so consider taking a step back when this happens. Put your itinerary on hold for a couple of days and slow things down. You might even want to remove a few things from your travel plans and check into a spa for a day or two. It’ll let you recharge you batteries and remove some of your worries for a while.
However long you are away for, make sure you touch base with family and friends regularly. Give them a detailed version of your itinerary before you leave and try to call, email or text every other day so that they know you are safe. While it’s not likely that anything bad will happen, making regular contact will put their minds at rest and also ensure you keep in touch with the people you left back at home.
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