Traveling by yourself is becoming an increasingly popular practice, favored by low cost travel that has inspired more and more people to try this experience.
Whether you have been traveling alone for years, or whether this is your first travel experience without a company, there are some useful tips you should know before starting your adventure.
We know that some of these suggestions may seem obvious, and some may seem a bit excessive, but; in any case, trust us: it is good to take all of them in mind because being safe is better than being sorry.
1. Get away from your comfort zone
Traveling alone offers the possibility to do whatever you want, whenever and howerver you want it.
There is only one risk in this situation: to never leave your comfort zone, being trapped in your habits.
It is good to know your strengths and proceed at your own pace, but don’t forget to challenge your limits!
Whether it’s talking to perfect strangers or turning off the Google Maps for a day, the important thing is to do something that will make you shiver at the thought of trying!
2. Taste local food
Food is a fundamental component of any trip.
Venture to the market, watch street food and find out what (and where) the locals eat.
Although some argue that certain “specialties” are not suitable for tourists, it is usually worth the risk.
Be adventurous and taste something you don’t recognize.
3. Try couch surfing
Not everyone appreciates it, but if you want to meet locals or look for free accommodation, Couch Surfing is what you are looking for.
“Couch surfing”, literally “surfing on sofas”, allows you to be hosted for free by people you donâ€™t know.
Being a constantly growing phenomenon, it is safer than it might seem: if you are not convinced, you can try it for just one or two nights.
4. Learn a few words in the local language
It is not necessary to learn complex sentences, but “please”, “thank you”, “yes”, “no” and the name of your country of origin can always be useful.
If your accent is not perfect, don’t worry, at the very least, you will tear out an amused smile to the locals!
5. Eat alone and sit at the counter
Eating alone can be an excellent opportunity to break the ice.
If possible, sit at the counter and chat with the staff or those seated next to you.
By doing so, you may find new friends or, at the very least, receive valuable advice from those who know the area well.
6. Prepare your luggage in a smart way
It doesn’t matter if you stay in the same place for several weeks or if you move frequently: in any case, don’t go overboard with your bags.
It’s an obvious piece of advice, but it’s really important when traveling alone.
Having to drag a huge suitcase around is never pleasant, even if it is just a matter of bringing it from the car to the hotel and vice versa.
7. Take part in organized tours
Sometimes, an organized tour is the ideal solution: if you have limited time or just want to visit the local monuments with an expert, there is nothing to be ashamed of.
These tours allow you to meet other travelers, to get information that you would otherwise have missed and to take a break from your role as organizers.
8. Download useful applications
Nowadays, there are many extraordinary applications for travelling.
From translation applications to those for local emergency numbers, don’t leave before having a look on the web.
9. Duplicate your documents
Boring but important.
Photograph or scan all your documents, then email them both to yourself and to someone you can trust.
In this way, in the event of unexpected events, all is not lost.
10. Be respectful
Regardless of your destination, make sure you know local customs to avoid missteps that could compromise your trip.
While some gaffes are forgivable, others are simply unacceptable.
It will not take you long to find out what it is lawful to do and what it is not, so inquire and always behave in respect for the host country.