Tips for Making the Most Out of Traveling Solo

By Todd Neikirk
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Tips for Making the Most Out of Traveling Solo

Todd Neikirk
 
Photo Credit: Oleksandr Pidvalnyi / Pexels / Free to Use
Photo Credit: Oleksandr Pidvalnyi / Pexels / Free to Use
 
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Traveling is quite possibly the best thing one can do in their free time, but what happens when you want to visit somewhere new with no one to accompany you? Taking off to a destination solo is still an incredibly rewarding experience, but there are some guidelines one should follow if they want to stay safe and make the most of their journey.

The following are some of the main tips to keep in mind.

Take advantage of the private lounges at airports

Travelers sitting in an airport terminal
Spending a little extra money for a private lounge can help you avoid uncomfortable hours in the airport terminal. (Photo Credit: Robert Alexander / Getty Images)

Traveling can often mean dealing with large gaps between flights. One way to combat these long hours spent in the airport is to spend time in a private business lounge. There’s typically a one-day fee to do so, but it’s worth it for many travelers.

Private lounges normally have food and a bar to go along with their much more comfortable furniture. If you’re by yourself, you can even take a nap and have one of the attendants wake you up, so you don’t miss your flight.

Staying at a hostel is a great way to make friends

Hostel dormitory with bunkbeds along the walls
Photo Credit: Let99 / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0

Those traveling alone usually make friends along the way, and one of the best ways to do that is to stay in a hostel. Not only are hostels much more affordable than hotel rooms, they also help you meet people. The communal experience also connects you with individuals who have traveled from other countries, opening up new worlds.

Don’t overdo it

Woman sitting on the edge of a pool with a glass of wine
When traveling solo, it’s important to relax and make sure you aren’t doing too much. (Photo Credit: Slim Aarons / Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

It can be natural for a person visiting a new and exciting city to visit as much of the area as possible. This gets difficult, however, when one is traveling alone. People in a new area, especially if they don’t know the language or are unfamiliar with the culture, shouldn’t overdo it. Know your experience will be that much better if you’re safe and relaxed.

Make sure you arrive at your destination during the day

Waiter standing outside of the Café de Flore
Photo Credit: Edward Berthelot / Getty Images

This tip is especially true if you’re a female traveling alone. By waiting until daylight, you’ll be traveling when there are plenty of people around. As well, if you’re in a heavy drinking area, locals and other tourists haven’t started hitting the bottle yet.

There are also other practical reasons for traveling early. If you’re someone who doesn’t have a complete grasp of the language, arriving somewhere early means places that can help you will be open.

Find ways to give yourself peace of mind

Two types of pepper spray still in their packaging
It might be smart for a female traveling alone to carry mace or a pocket-knife, if the country allows it. (Photo Credit: Creative Touch Imaging Ltd. / NurPhoto / Getty Images)

If you’re traveling alone – especially if you’re female – the more planning you do, the better. This includes mapping out your trip beforehand, so you don’t end up lost at any time. There’s also the practicality of carrying some sort of self-defense. This could be anything from a whistle or mace, to a simple pocket-knife.

Focus on activities that are fun to do alone

Taxis driving by a city bus
If you stray too far while getting lost in a big city, you can always catch a cab back. (Photo Credit: Robert Alexander / Getty Images)

Just because you’re by yourself doesn’t mean there aren’t endless amounts of fun things to do. This is another situation where a bit of extra planning can go a long way.

One thing to do on your own is get intentionally lost in a big city, as long as it’s considered relatively safe. Of course, you can always use GPS or take a taxi back to your starting point, but who knows what you might find along the way. Other fun individual activities including taking a walk through a museum.

Make sure you get decent rest

Woman sleeping in an airport terminal
Adjusting your sleep schedule to avoid jet lag can be an important strategy. (Photo Credit: Robert Alexander / Getty Images)

More from us: Eight Incredible Underground Attractions Travelers Need to Visit

When traveling across the country or overseas, jet lag is a very real thing, so are adjustments to different climate or altitudes. Before going on a trip where the environment may be different, you’ll want to adjust your sleep schedule. Make sure you also pack supplements or vitamins that may help you deal with outdoor factors.

 
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