November 13, 2017

7 Tried-and-Tested Tips for Traveling Solo

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  • Some people dismiss the idea of traveling alone because, supposedly, it’s lonely and scary. And when you do travel solo, you’ll most definitely get questions like “are you okay?” or “are you going through something?”

    No. People don’t have to be heartbroken, depressed, or fleeing as an “excuse” for traveling alone. You don’t even owe an explanation to anyone. But if you do need to explain it to other people, solo travel is not just for lost souls. It is a journey of self-discovery, a practical learning experience, and a step closer to independence. If you think about it, it’s actually a very attractive idea.

    If you have always traveled with your family or friends but have thought of going solo, the first thing you need to know is that it is not as difficult as you might think. Whether you plan to start easy with a solo trip to a nearby city or to jumpstart with an out-of-the-country, here are the most useful tips you should keep in mind when traveling to an unfamiliar town on your own.

    1. Pack light.

    Nobody will help you carry your luggage except for yourself. If you carry an ample-sized bag and don’t have too many items in your hands, then you can be sure that you can look after your things. You can also move around the town freely while you haven’t checked in at your hotel or haven’t found one.

    Also read: Travel Smart: Pack Light and Save on Baggage Fees

    1. Note the details of your hotel.

    When traveling around an unfamiliar town, your hotel is your base camp. You have to know how to go back to your base camp. Take note of the name of your hotel, the address, and the front desk’s contact number just in case you have difficulty finding your way back.

    1. Always have cash ready.

    Especially if you’re traveling to a Philippine town, you might find some interesting restaurants or local shops that can’t take credit cards. Whether in the Philippines or in another country, it’s best to already keep a good amount of cash handy just in case you can’t easily find an ATM or a money changer nearby.

    1. Blend in with the locals.

    Dress comfortably, avoid flashy jewelry and walk confidently on the streets. Don’t ever look clueless! If you have an itinerary prepared, take note of the addresses of the places you’ll visit before leaving the hotel. In the Philippines, you might need to take other public transport modes like a tricycle or jeepney. Ask the hotel staff about the standard fares so you can avoid being cheated by bad drivers.

    1. Join a group tour.

    Joining local group tours is one way for you to feel less alone and meet more new friends. You can book a complete vacation package or join a walking tour of a specific spot, like a local park or a museum.

    Also read: Package Tours vs. DIY Travel

    1. Talk to locals.

    Being able to talk and connect with locals is a good feeling. Not only can you make new friends but you might also obtain great insider tips for traveling around the town! The places that usually have the friendliest people are museums, local art shops, and bars. Remember to choose carefully the people you talk comfortably with and don’t easily reveal that you’re a solo traveler.

    1. Have one person you regularly update.

    Just in case something happens, it is important that there is at least one person (not Instagram) who knows about your itinerary and real-time plans. It can be your family member or your best friend. Be careful about updating your feed in real time; you just never know.

    Written by Rizelle “Rei” Leaño
    Sources: Smarter Travel, Travel and Leisure, Rough Guides

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