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10 Indispensable Tips For The Solo Traveler
This guest blog post was curated for Bucky by Frank Hamilton.
Solo travel scares some people for many reasons, but this type of traveling actually provides you with many opportunities you didn’t think of before. Think twice whether or not you really want to be taking your capricious kids or irresponsible friends with you and consider going on vacation by yourself at least once. Here are ten indispensable tips for traveling solo.
First of all, you need to learn to enjoy independence. Get out of your comfort zone and feel with every fiber of your being how exciting your adventure is going to be and how awesome it is that you are finally traveling by yourself.
Remember: this is the time when you can do what you want and go wherever you want. So, why spend it in the hotel room? There are so many things waiting for you, and it would be a pity if you decided to forget about them. Start challenging yourself, but move at your own pace once you determine your strengths.
Become A Local
Try to blend into the crowd at least once and try to feel like you are a local. After all, you came here to experience all the cool things that the region has, and that includes food. Go out into the streets and find places selling local dishes. However, make sure that everything is fresh so that you won’t get food poisoning.
At the same time, consider making friends with locals. If you already know someone (even if it’s a friend of a friend of a friend), meet up and hang out with them. It’s always interesting to hear what locals have to say about the place where they live. It gives you an insider look at things rather than just a tourist one.
Go on Tours
Organized tours are one of the best ways to learn about things you might not have found on the Internet. Besides, they are a much easier and safer way to go sightseeing. Find the tours that have all the things you already set out to see and then consider going to places that you never heard about their names sound intriguing.
Locals are the best people to show you around, so it’s definitely worth going on tours with an expert rather than doing yourself. In addition to that, you will also have less pressure and responsibility to organize everything yourself.
Get Something to Read
You might be surprised to learn that books can actually be very handy while traveling solo. Of course, you will spend the majority of your time sightseeing, but there will be a fair share of traveling in different types of transport too.
For example, when flying by plane, you can spend hours in the air. This is the perfect time to finally finish that book you started ages ago and never came back to. You could also do this when traveling by bus from city to city, but this could also be the time to watch the countryside through the window.
Planning ahead is essential for a better experience when you are traveling. Nevertheless, don’t forget to enjoy your autonomy and don’t get upset when something goes wrong. After all, you have so many places you can still go to and nobody is holding you back!
Consider using an online translation service like The Word Point to get you all the information about the country you are going to if you don’t know the language and can’t search for it that way. After all, there might be some interesting facts not available in English.
It is extremely important to pack smartly for your trip because the things you take will determine the success of your solo traveling adventure. It doesn’t matter whether you are going for three days or three weeks because every trip requires a certain number of essential items you need to take.
If you want to make the most of your packing try using a minimalist packing guide. Here's one for men, and one for women. These packing guides will allow you to pack 14 full outfits into your carry-on.
Start with the clothes you will be wearing, but make sure to check the weather and climate. Take hygienic products and any kind of medicine you need. If you are planning to go camping rather than living in a hotel, take everything you need for that too.
Absorb the Culture
This is somewhat similar to the tip about becoming a local, but it’s more of an extension to that advice. Absorbing the culture of the region you are going to includes everything from going to local cultural events to learning the language. Of course, eating local food is also a part of absorbing the culture.
Many people come home after a trip as a completely different person thanks to getting an alternative view of the world. It can be a truly lifechanging experience for some, and you might be the next person to transform that way.
Explore the Unknown
Yes, planning is important. But what if something goes wrong? Maybe nothing goes wrong, but it’s still worth setting aside some time to explore your surroundings by yourself. This is especially fun for someone who has an adventurous soul and wants to challenge themselves even more.
If you are staying in a rural area, you could go into the forest by yourself or go hiking into the mountains. If you are staying in an urban area, go ahead and explore the city by yourself, but make sure to stay safe and don’t go into any weird alleys.
Don’t Forget Navigation
If you decided to follow the previous tip (or even if you didn’t), knowing how to navigate your region is essential. Firstly, buy your own GPS and learn how to use it. It will save you the headache of using a paper map or trying to ask locals who don’t know English.
Secondly, buy a local SIM card. This will let you spend less money on calls. Moreover, you will also be able to call a taxi or any other services. Thirdly, download useful apps that will give you a better grip on where you are and what you can do. These include travel apps, food apps, and so on.
Be Polite and Respectful
Last but not least, be polite and respectful to the people you meet while traveling solo. It’s more of a general trip that applies to any situation and not just traveling, but many people seem to forget about manners sometimes.
By the way, try to find out about the kinds of gestures that could be offensive in the culture that you are going to experience. Something you are used to doing might not be considered appropriate in a different country.
All in all, the advice in this article will help you make your solo travel more enjoyable and will ensure that you are making the most out of your vacation. Value every minute you spend in another country (or just another part of your own country) because this is an experience unlike any other.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frank Hamilton is a blogger and translator from Manchester. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing, and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.