Sometimes it is great to travel with your friends and family. Travelling in a large group means that you always have company and someone to talk to. As great as that is, everybody should take a trip alone at least once. In your daily life, you are always surrounded by people. That means that you spend much of the time talking and focusing on others. If you want to get to know yourself; that is the person you are when nobody else is around, you should consider traveling alone.
One of the major benefits of going solo is that you never have to compromise on anything. You are in complete control of your journey. When you travel in a group, you often have to bend to other people’s whims. When you travel alone, you are the only person you have to listen to. When you begin your journey, there are some things you should know. Here are eight vital things you should remember when travelling alone.
- Always let someone know where you are
You might want to travel the entire globe on alone, with no distractions. Despite that, you should always check in with someone to let them know where you are. Your thirst for adventure might be telling you that there is no need to talk to anyone else. Ignore that feeling. If something goes wrong, you want people to know where to find you. Let your family know where you are at all times. If you happen to know someone in the country where you are travelling, you should also let them know where you are and what you’re doing.
- When you don’t feel safe, leave straight away
If at any point during your trip you don’t feel safe, leave. It is as simple as that. As a lone traveller, you cannot afford to put yourself in danger. If you are getting bad vibes about a certain situation, it is best to remove yourself from that situation right away. Don’t worry about whether leaving will look rude to the people you are with, just do it. Walk away. It is better to leave a situation than regret staying. If something seems a bit off, it probably is.
- Meet other travellers along the way
When you are travelling and staying in hostels, you should make a point to socialize with other travellers. If you join an excursion or a day trip, talk to people on the coach. Many people stay quiet in these situations, because they think people will think they’re strange. Remember, everybody is in the same boat (or coach). The people around you are travelling too, and they would likely enjoy some fresh company. As a traveller, you have to be fearless. That means talking to new people and breaking out of your comfort zone.
- Ask for help when you need it
Just because you are travelling alone, that doesn’t mean that you need to do everything alone. You should never have too much pride to ask for some help when you need it. If there is something that is confusing you or you’re not sure what you’re doing, talk to someone. You can ask at the tourist information point, talk to fellow travellers or ask at reception. There are many people who will be more than happy to help you. The worst thing you can do when you are travelling is be shy. If you have a question, speak up and ask someone.
- Take a book along for the ride
When you travel alone, you need to make entertainment for yourself. There will be times when you will be completely alone. Having a good book (or a few great books) in your backpack will mean that you always have something to do. Long train and coach rides can be a little dull, especially if you’re sitting alone. Take recommendations of great books before you leave and pick a few that you know you will love reading. Doing so will make travelling much more enjoyable. Between sightseeing and meeting new people, you’ll need some time away from it all. Having a book means that you can take a break and read by the sea for an hour.
- Plan your route before you leave
The worst thing that can happen when you’re travelling is that you get lost in a strange land. You might want to explore new places and see where the wind takes you, but you should also be careful. You need to have at least a vague idea of where you’re going. Having that loose plan will mean that you don’t get lost, and you can always return to your route. Use a travel app to plan out your route before you leave so that you know where you’re going.
- Join travelling groups online
There are many forums and Facebook groups online where you can meet travellers. Join a group online and talk to people who are planning to travel at around the same time as you. Doing so will mean that you know people who are travelling, and you can exchange stories. Nobody tells you that travelling can be quite lonely. Knowing other people who are doing the same thing as you will make you feel connected to the greater world. If you are travelling in the same area as somebody in the group, you could even make a plan to meet up during your trip.
- Don’t trust everybody you meet
There is a temptation to trust everybody you meet when you’re travelling. There is nothing more dangerous than blind trust. The unfortunate truth of the situation is that lone travellers are targets for crime. Not everybody you speak to has the best intentions. Remember, you don’t know these people. You don’t know their personality, and you don’t know their background. Don’t let people fool you into giving them money or your processions. Even if you think you can trust people, you need to hold on to what’s yours. In the same respect, don’t put yourself in a compromising position with anyone. Stay in places with large groups and never go home with a stranger.