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Traveling solo can be a liberating experience. You get to do what you want when you want, and you don’t have to compromise on your plans.
There are many reasons why traveling solo is the best thing you can do for yourself.
However, traveling alone can also be a bit daunting, especially if you’re used to vacationing with family or friends.
Here are 12 things to do to ensure you have a great time on your next solo trip.
1. Choose Your Destination Carefully
When planning a trip by yourself, it’s important to pick a safe and welcoming destination for solo travelers. Research ahead of time to find out which places are known for being solo-friendly. Popular choices include Bangkok, Berlin, Copenhagen, Reykjavik, and Singapore.
2. Make Sure You Have Your Documents in Order
Before leaving on your trip, ensure you have all the necessary documents in order. This includes your passport, visa (if needed), driver’s license, and insurance information. It’s also a good idea to make copies of these documents in case you lose them while you’re away.
3. Pack Lightly and Strategically
You’ll want to pack as lightly as possible when traveling solo so you don’t have to lug around a heavy suitcase or bag. However, you’ll also want to make sure you pack strategically and use packing cubes. In addition to the basics, like clothes and toiletries, be sure to bring along items like an extra charger, headphones, medications, and anything else that might make your trip more comfortable.
4. Use Technology To Your Advantage
There are tons of great apps and websites out there that can help make travel easier—especially for solo travelers who might not be as familiar with their destination as someone who lives there. A few useful ones include Google Maps (for finding your way around), TripAdvisor (for restaurant recommendations), and XE Currency (for converting currency).
5. Make Friends with Locals
One of the best ways to get insider information about a destination is to make friends with locals. Where are the best places to eat? What should you avoid? What’s happening in town that week? Locals will always have the inside scoop on everything from dining to nightlife to attractions, so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone who looks like they know what’s going on.
6. Get Off the Beaten Path
One of the best things about solo travel is that you can veer off the beaten path without having to consult with anyone else. If you see a sign for a museum that looks interesting but isn’t on any of the usual tourist lists, go check it out! When you’re on your own, you can follow your curiosity wherever it leads without having to justify your choices to anyone else.
7. Keep Your Valuables Safe
Whenever you’re in a new place, it’s important to take measures to keep your valuables safe. This is particularly true when traveling solo, as you won’t have anyone to help watch your things while you’re busy exploring. Keep your passport, wallet, and other valuables securely stored when you’re not using them.
8. Have a Plan B (and C)
When you’re traveling solo, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan—or two. Whether deciding where you’ll stay if your first choice of accommodation doesn’t work out or having an alternate route in mind in case you get lost, having a plan B (and even a plan C) can help you avoid stressful situations.
9. Enjoy Some Me Time
One of the best parts about solo travel is that you get to do things entirely on your own schedule. If you want to sleep in late, spend an entire day exploring a museum, or wander around aimlessly, you can do so without worrying about anyone else. So go ahead and treat yourself—you deserve it!
10. Learn Some Basic Phrases in the Local Language
Even if you only know a few basic phrases in the local language, learning some key vocabulary before your trip will go a long way in terms of making connections with locals and enjoying your experience overall. In addition to impressing people with your language skills, speaking at least some of the local language will help you navigate menus, read street signs, and generally get around without too much trouble.
11. Keep a Journal
“One of my favorite things about going on vacation by myself is that I have all the time in the world to reflect on my life and figure out what I want (and don’t want) without any distractions,” says Karenna M., a long-term female solo traveler.
“I usually like to new journal every day I’m on vacation so that I can empty my mind before heading back home.” Keeping a daily journal is a great way to document your trip for future reference and to process any thoughts or feelings that come up for you while you’re away from home.
12. Have Fun!
Having fun is perhaps the most important thing to remember when taking a solo trip! Embrace the freedom of traveling by yourself and enjoy everything your destination has to offer. After all, one of the best parts about solo travel is that you get to do things entirely on your own schedule. If you want to sleep in late, spend an entire day exploring a museum, or just wander around aimlessly, you can do so without worrying about anyone else. So go ahead and treat yourself—you deserve it!
When traveling solo, it’s important to be prepared for anything. Make sure you know your destination well and have a solid plan for how you’ll spend your time there. It’s also a good idea to have a backup plan in case something goes wrong. And finally, don’t forget to pamper yourself and have fun! With a little planning and preparation, you’re sure to have a great time on your next solo trip.