Many people assume that traveling alone is a lonely and isolating experience. While traveling solo may have a few downsides, it can also be a completely liberating experience and a chance to fully indulge yourself. With the following tips, you can ensure that your independent traveling experience is a positive one.
Ensuring Your Safety
The largest concern for an independent traveler is undoubtedly his or her safety. When you travel alone, you do not have the luxury of relying on another person if things go awry.
First, it is important that you book a hotel with a 24-hour reception, so that if you arrive late or need assistance, someone will be there to help you. You should also ensure that you remain in public places, especially at night when crimes are more likely to occur. It is also important to avoid drawing unnecessary attention to yourself. For instance, do not wear touristy clothing or flaunt your guidebook. You should also make sure you are not wearing an expensive jewelry or fine clothes because these items can attract thieves.
Another way to ensure your safety is to leave a copy of your itinerary with a family member or friend and update them about where you are so that they know you are safe. If you are traveling internationally, you can also enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which allows the State of Department to better contact and assist you in the case of an emergency.
Be Cautious of Others
While traveling alone provides a great opportunity to meet new people, it is still important to be wary of others. Do not entrust someone you barely know with your money because even the most personable companions can deceive you.
Many solo travelers dread eating alone. If this applies to you, one option is to strike up a conversation with the waiters and waitresses to keep you entertained. You can also bring a book or browse the internet on your phone to help pass the time alone.
Furthermore, instead of dining alone at an upscale restaurant, you may feel more comfortable at a cafe, where eating by yourself is much more common. If your restaurant has a bar or a counter seat you can also opt to sit there. Another optimal seating option is a booth because it offers more privacy if you are feeling uncomfortable.
If you become fed up with dining alone, you can order room service or take-away from a restaurant so you can eat in the privacy of your hotel room.
Resources for Single Travelers
If you are traveling alone the following resources may be beneficial to you:
· AllSinglesTravel.com: offers tours and cruises for singles.
· SafeCheckIn.com: permits travelers to register their trips to ensure they return safely. If you fail to check in with the site at the designated time, they will attempt to contact you, and if they are unsuccessful, they will call your emergency contact.
· SinglesTravelIntl.com: guarantees to find you a roommate whenever you pay in full by the cutoff date.
· SoloTravelerBlog.com: provides tips and resources for independent travelers.
· Women-Traveling.com: this company will arrange you and other solo female travelers to partake in a tour, retreat, or other getaway together.