Solo travel is a fast-growing travel trend for men and women.What’s so great about it? For starters, you no longer have to stay home because you don’t have a travel companion. But remember, just because you start alone doesn’t mean you’ll stay alone. If you are considering going alone on your next vacation, here are a few tips for solo travel that make it easier:
Even if you want to be unstructured, book at least the first night’s accommodation in advance. It may cost more than you want to spend the rest of the trip for lodging, but this makes it easier getting your bearings and ensures you don’t start the trip fatigued trying to get it all together right when you step off the plane in a foreign country.
Avoid Power Plays and Unwanted Attention
Advances can be thwarted by silence, no eye contact and quickly moving away from the source of irritation. Always trust your instincts. If you are really being pestered, go into a store or hotel and explain that you are a tourist and there is a person annoying you, that you are afraid and don’t know how to handle it. Can they help by calling the police or telling the obnoxious person to go away?
Take clues from the way local women are dressed and dress more conservatively if they do.
Do Talk To Strangers
Some of the most meaningful travel experiences come from spontaneous invitations to join a person, family or group for a dinner or activity. Communicate with women, children and elders. Even if you don’t speak their language, a smile goes a long way.
Wine & Dine Yourself
Eating alone comfortably is a skill you will quickly develop. Choose a lively cafe or bistro with lots of people. Consider sitting at the counter and watch your food be prepared. Take along reading and writing material. Enjoy watching people and the fine art of eavesdropping. Again, use that smile to reach out and make contact with the diners around you. Your conversations with them may be the highlight of your evening.
Common Sense Safety Tips
– Trust your instincts. If you’re in a situation that just doesn’t feel right, get out of there.
– When you meet other travelers or locals, avoid telling them where you’re staying or display your hotel key. Don’t accept car rides or hitchhike.
– Remember: it’s better to be alone than to wish you were alone.