Traveling alone can be a daunting idea when you have to consider parameters that could scare you to actually not doing it. Would I be stranded in the middle of nowhere? Would I die out of thirst, no money or food, Would I be raped? Yes! These questions knock your head hard and you start thinking if the idea is actually a good one or not. But solo trips are not always what you think they are. Solo trips are blissful and great to go ahead with, if you know what you have to do. Try to use all that you have as a woman. There is no difference between you and the guy travelers. So, think of all the beautiful things you will get to visit and capture and the amount of peace your mind will have when you go for solo trips.
Solo Traveler Guide – Have a Look!
1Know your strengths
Are you a sociable person and what to explore what is called the culture of a particular place? Then, you can always go on solo trips to places where you might not have to speak the respective place’s language. You might go crazy if you can’t communicate, so head for where you speak the language. Or, barring that go somewhere with very few tourists. Vibrant cities are perfect for this, especially ones with good cafe cultures.
Paris is classic, but other former French colonies, such as Lebanon and Vietnam, are also great for sitting and people-watching, all for the price of a coffee. If you want to be more towards communicating, try to get the book which can translate English to the local language. Makes a lot of things easier for you this way. It will give you not only confidence, but also helps you to mingle well with the locals and explore the city with them.
2Plan a budget trip
‘Budget trip’ means having things under control, monetarily. Try and look for places that are more on the low budget cost. When you travel alone, remember that you ought to have extra money in case of emergency. You do not know the place you would be heading to next or what you want to do next, so always have some backup money with yourself. For this, you need to realize that you are spending on other things have to be limited. Stay in normal hotels, eat at average hotels and travel through local transport.
By doing this, it not only helps you save, but gives you a nice feel when you do what other people do. There is no use if you go on a solo trip and stay and eat at a five star hotel. You can sure try eating and staying at a high end hotel, but try to explore what’s around you first and then go for something high end later.
3Learn to say ‘NO’
Sometimes, especially in more hospitable and foreigner fascinated countries, people tend to offer you something to eat or to hang out with. Yes, as a traveler you re looking for a company, but make sure more than once if the company is good or bad. Also, if you do not want something they are offering you can always say ‘No’ in a very polite manner. Try to speak to them in their language and tell them that you are not interested. Also have local help numbers, such as the tourist police, programmed in your phone. You’ll probably never need them, but just knowing you have them can give you the confidence to deal with awkward situations.
4Pack a book
Books can be your best friend when you travel alone. A lot of them would prefer music, which is also a great alternative. A good book, a magazine or even just postcards to write or your travel journal to jot in, are all legitimate activities at a bar or restaurant if you get to feeling a little bored/lonely/exposed. So carry one of them with you at all times. And as a last resort, there’s always fiddling with your smartphone.
5Photograph things around you
Take pictures! This goes without seeing. Capturing random and even the little odd details, adds beauty to the entire trip you travel. Making photography a mission, gives a little structure to your day. And you will notice more odd details, because you’ll have the time and attention to look around. Your friends at home will appreciate your perspective and the story that comes with it.
6Eat enough, eat big
Eating in your solo trips may come as a great excuse to binge on whatever you want to. There is no one to tell you what to eat and what not to. You can be the boss in your trips. You may tend to live on fast food to avoid awkward restaurant situations. But, a lot of restaurants are very open to the idea of solo travelers. They are friendly and some even offer to give you the specials on the house if you are extra nice to them. This also builds a rapport between you and the stranger. Social folks might want to eat at the bar, but there’s no shame in taking a table for two.
7Find your people
This could be a great way to end your trip with, maybe. Once you are done with your travel and if you are looking for a company, always try and pull in some of your local friends and take a short trip in the local city. You can also use Facebook and Twitter and ask for places to travel from people living way away from you. Enroll into a solo trip community on social media platforms and ask if they are interested to meet you somewhere on your way. Catch up and just socialize. It is nice to know that someone is there somewhere who you can end the solo trip with.
8Revel in it
Even if you do get lonely, don’t lose sight of all the things you can do when you travel by yourself. Some of those perks are tiny. You can just get drunk, Yes! But also be sure you are in your senses. You are in a different city, different people and all the more safe you got to be, because you are a girl. Not that being a girl makes you any lesser, but you can’t afford to lay around anywhere like the guys. Try to explore more if you want to get drunk. Drink less, very less. You can always do other things. Dance, party hard, roam around in the lonely streets and do crazy stuff.
The real bonus of solo travel is much larger: pure freedom. You can take the exact trip you want, and even if you’re not quite sure yet what that might be, you’ll have a great time figuring it out.
AW- Pavithra Ravi