Traveling alone can be one of the most exciting and enlightening times of your life. There are things you must consider, however, when you take this brave step. Take the following into consideration when planning your trip for one.
Always Keep in Touch with a Close Friend
Even though you are traveling alone, you shouldn’t be the only one who knows about your daily plans. Check in regularly with a friend or family member at home who could set the proverbial alarm bell if you fail to call at a certain time. Always let the designated safety checker know where you are going, and with whom. If you are being accompanied by a new friend, it is even better to include a photo of the individual when you relay your whereabouts to your friend at home. This is where the infamous “group selfie” comes in handy.
Don’t Be Distracted
There are many things to look at when you are traveling. Don’t let the glamour of a new place make you forget your cautious side, though. Stay focused on where you are going and who is around you.
Don’t Become Intoxicated
When you travel solo, it is not the right time to get intoxicated. Don’t have more than one or two drinks, and don’t even consider taking any illegal substances. This has led many a solo traveler into a situation where they are taken advantage of.
Plan for Fun, But Be Prepared for Disaster
Before you go on your trip, brainstorm the possibility of everything that could go wrong. Think about what you would do if your credit card was stolen, or your passport. Have a second copy of important documents in a separate place from the originals in case the originals are lost or stolen. Have a list of emergency numbers, as well as the phone number for your country’s embassy. Take more money than you think you will need, in case of any emergencies.
Know Key Phrases in the Local Language
Even if the country you are visiting has many English speakers, it is not likely that absolutely everyone knows English. Always assume that you will need to know at least key words and phrases in the country’s main language. Learn phrases such as, “Where is the nearest telephone”, “I need help” and “Do you speak English?” Because you are traveling alone, it is especially important to be able to communicate with those around you, in order to escape potentially bad situations.
Know the Local Emergency Number
In North America we have designated 911 as the emergency services number. However, in many other countries the emergency number is vastly different than the number we have become accustomed to. Make sure to check online and find that country’s emergency calling number.
Know the Culture
Be aware of the customs and culture of the country you are visiting. Every part of the world has different rules about what is acceptable and what is not. Things that you may never question in North America may be considered offensive or even a crime in other countries. Simple things like chewing gum in public and having certain body parts uncovered can be a big mistake, depending on where you are visiting. If you don’t want to risk offending those who live in the country you are traveling in, or perhaps even be imprisoned… study the culture of the country you are traveling to and do your best to fit in and obey the rules.
Traveling solo is an adventure and a great joy to many individuals. Be prepared, and don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the excitement without knowing what do to in an emergency situation. Consider the details of your safety so that your travels can more likely be free of any major complications.