Let’s discuss my 8 solo travel tips to make your first adventure safer and easier to navigate! I know the ideas of solo travel can seem scary at first. My first international trip was a bit nerve-racking at but once I FINALLY got to my destination, I knew the journey was worth the time and effort. With these tips, I hope I can save you time, energy, and give you peace of mind.
1. Do your research before you travel
I love being adventurous when I travel with my husband, a group of friends, and even myself. When I plan to travel alone, I make sure to do extra research. In my opinion, the best travel-related information can be found online from reviews, blog posts, and YouTube videos. My advice to you: feel free to reach out to an author of a blog, Instagram page, or a vlogger on YouTube if you have additional questions about a place you are looking to travel to. As a blogger and YouTuber, I am available to answer questions about a destination I’ve lived in or visited. Send me a DM or email and we can chat further!
2. Plan your travel excursions through reputable websites and sources
I like booking excursions through websites like Expedia, Tripadvisor, and Booking.com. Using reputable websites and searches for booking your excursions allows you to keep a record of where you’ve traveled to. You also have policies in place to help keep you safe.
3. Carry head phones while exploring
When I am traveling alone and I want to explore, I use headphones. I wear my headphones with little to nothing playing. This helps me stay as alert as I can while in a foreign city. I have been able to keep away unwanted interactions from strangers with this method.
4. Use a map or GPS application to help you navigate
Using Google Maps with headphones in my ears has allowed me to move around new cities with ease without looking too much like a tourist. I usually have the GPS running in the background with the navigation voice turned on low. That way, when I am told to turn “right” I can do so without looking lost. When I need to check my map for confirmation, I do so discretely so I do not draw extra attention to myself.
5. Navigate along with your driver when using a ride-sharing service
I do this as an extra precaution when I am alone. I always want to make sure I end up at my destination safely so I have Google Maps running simultaneously with the driver’s map application. It gives me peace of mind and I feel more in control of my own journey.
6. Share your travel plans
Solo travel does not mean galavanting around the globe without at least one person you trust knowing where you are. Giving someone a basic rundown of your travel plans is important. If something happens to you or someone you care about while you are away, someone should at least know where you are. Personally, I share my plans with my mom and my husband. I usually share places I intend to visit, my flight information, and even the hotel I plan to stay at. I feel like letting them know my whereabouts is another layer of security for me. If you do not have anyone to share your plans with, you can register your trip with STEP. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service. It allows U.S. citizens and nationals that are traveling and living abroad to log their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
7. Protective travel items
For some reason, I feel protected and covered wearing my wedding rings when I travel. I know this habit may seem silly. However, I am able to ward off unwanted interactions easier if I can play the “married” card. For you, a protective travel item can be anything that makes you feel comfortable. When you are traveling alone, you can carry pepper spray, keys, and other items intended to be used for protection. In most cases, You won’t use these items but it’s better to be prepared just in case!
8. Make memories
When you are traveling alone, the idea of taking photos or videos of yourself can sound intimidating. Don’t be intimidated! Prop your phone up and begin taking photos of yourself and your surroundings. If you are feeling bold, you can ask someone to take your photo for you. Just be careful and use your judgment as to who you choose to hand your camera to.
That’s it! 8 things you can do to make solo travel safer and easier. If you have any points to add, feel free to leave a comment.