10 Tips to enjoy travelling alone
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10 Tips to Enjoy Solo Travel

10 Tips to Enjoy Solo Travel

desert-walkingI found myself travelling alone on many occasions, sometimes in difficult countries such as Venezuela, Guatemala, Morocco, Nepal, where you might have to face safety problems, health diseases or frequent nuisances for being a woman without a companion.

The fact is that I’m far too wild about travel to give up travelling only because I would be alone.

[pullquote]There’s nothing to be scared about travelling alone. Just be prepared…[/pullquote]

True, you should not be a person that can easily be scared, but travelling alone is absolutely possible. Also being a woman. It’s only a matter of preparation and to put in place a few tricks. I cannot guarantee to you that this will work 100%, but till now I never experienced serious problems.

1. Preparation

If you are travelling alone, it’s always good to have an approximate idea of the places you are going to visit. Culture, possible annoyances, health issues. I’m a sort of wild woman and  I love improvisation, but better tracing at least a rough itinerary. If you are travelling far, in a country you never visited before, better to make a hotel reservation for the first night. Upon arrival you are tired, possibly shaken by the jet lag, trying to understand where you are and what time it is. So there is no need to be assaulted upon arrival by people willing to bring you in a hotel or guest-house that is a big question mark.

2. Passport, Money, Airplane tickets

Always do a photocopy of your passport before starting your travel. If possible, leave your passport at the hotel and bring with you the copy. Pay as much as possible by credit card and never go around with too much money. If for any reason you need to carry a good amount of cash, divide and hide it in different locations. Never carry money in your backpack, you might be snatched or robbed without even notice it. Better have a bum-bag or a little clutch bag around your neck. Leave your airplane ticket at the hotel and when possible ask for e-tickets.

Simon-in-Venezuela 3. Luggage

Never leave it out of control. I know, it’s a hassle, but if you are travelling alone you must take into account that you and your luggage are a one and only thing. If you are going around by public transportation, always personally control that your luggage is loaded in the trunk.

4. Ask for information to local people

Locals are the better source to give you the right advice about possible dangers and annoyances. Never underestimate their recommendations.

5. Taxi

It might seem trivial, I know, but I still see a lot of people falling in the trap. So, catch only official taxis.

6. Keep the distance

Yes, distance is always one of the best tricks to keep possible annoyances a little farther. Always pay attention to people approaching you to sell something or offering to help you.

7. Proper manners, no excess

Respect the local culture, with special regards to clothing, photos and courtesy habits. In poor countries, avoid excesses as expensive clothes, jewels, flashy watch, etc. They act like a magnet for troubles.

8. Crowds

Pay double attention when in crowded contexts. A rule that applies almost everywhere and every time…

9. Food & Beverage

Always ask for bottled water and control that it is still sealed. Don’t forget to avoid ice. Eat raw vegetables only in safe places. If you see a cosy restaurant which is empty, go straight on. Food is likely not to be fresh. And if it’s empty, there should be a reason, no?

10. Take it easy

There’s nothing worse than feeling (and appearing) constantly worried for possible dangers and annoyances. It might sound like a paradox, but it’s the best way to attire troubles. People around you will realize that you are worried and play on the situation. So relax, and enjoy your trip. Tricks for safe travels are mostly a matter of good sense, and these apply whether you’re with a partner, a group or travelling alone.

Do you travel solo and want to share more tips? 

More reading: 5 Tips to hike alone safely

Travel addict and passionate about photography, Simon Falvo started Wild About Travel back in 2009. Leveraging her strong PR background, she developed an extensive knowledge of Digital Communications and Social Media Marketing. Besides travel writing SImon holds workshops and trainings, she collaborated with tourism boards for digital marketing campaigns and participated as a speaker at several events.

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15 Comments
  • Akansha Mawari
    Posted at 13:52h, 01 November Reply

    Great tips! I have been travelling solo for years. The tales I could tell travelling alone as a women could fill pages. The thing I have noticed on my travels in India that the folks are quite friendly but a little strange words women travelling alone.

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    Posted at 15:39h, 13 January Reply

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  • Abi
    Posted at 04:56h, 23 September Reply

    As for number 3 – sometimes it helps to look out for people in a similar situation. Then you can say, “Would you mind looking out for my luggage while I…” and then offer to do the same in return. It has worked out well for me and allowed me to keep a laptop plugged in, check flight details, go to the toilet etc Number 10 is also spot on!

    • admin
      Posted at 12:24h, 23 September Reply

      You’re absolutely right, Abi. There’s no reason being shy when traveling solo, and sharing help with other travelers is always a good option. Besides… Isn’t travel all about sharing? 🙂

  • Gray
    Posted at 14:10h, 12 July Reply

    Good advice, Simon! I forgot about the ice thing during a stay in Mexico and got violently ill.

  • BaliYummyBlog
    Posted at 11:36h, 12 July Reply

    Thanks so much for tip!! very very useful, although I still can’t think I can travel alone to far far away country..Still need my bf or best friend to accompany me, and share everything together. Will try from the closest countries first.
    I love your blog, and just spotted you’ve been to my Bali as well! Hope you enjoyed the trip! Cheers – Gaby

    • waitinginthedark
      Posted at 21:59h, 17 July Reply

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Traveling alone is something that one must feel. If you have that inside of you, it will come some day. And traveling with other is an awesome experience, as long as there is a good feeling and mutual respect.

  • ayngelina
    Posted at 01:38h, 24 June Reply

    Totally agree with Brian, my bag always goes in the backseat with me. Also in Central America I tell them I dont want to share a cab with anyone, which often happens, and unfortunately is how a lot of people get robbed.

  • Anny at BikeHike Adventures
    Posted at 21:54h, 03 March Reply

    Brian: Those are great tips! On my very first solo trip I was subject to the taxi driver who decided to pull over in the middle of nowhere and double the price of my cab fare. I was in the front seat and my pack was in the back so I couldn’t just leave the car. I don’t ride without my pack either in my lap or beside me anymore.

  • Jan
    Posted at 21:35h, 03 March Reply

    A woman’s appearance can also greatly influence what kind of annoyances and opportunities she runs into. The more attractive she is, the more potential she will be annoyed or interferred with on her trip. Just like it’s wise not to wear jewelry when travelling, it’s also wise not to emphasize good looks. In addition to having a plan for a new place, posture can also help keep trouble away.

  • brian from nodebtworldtravel.com
    Posted at 15:22h, 28 October Reply

    When riding in cabs I like to keep my bag with me in the seat next to me if possible. If you put it in the trunk you may be at the mercy of a cab driver who wants to suddenly wants to charge you double.

    I also don’t like rolling luggage or anything you need to hold with a handle. I recommend backpacks. You will never have your stuff lost or stolen if it is on your back. It is not uncomfortable if you get properly fitted at a good sporting goods store. Dont get a backpack over 50L in size. You’ll want to fill all that extra space with stuff you probably don’t need.

    • waitinginthedark
      Posted at 18:22h, 28 October Reply

      Good tips. I totally agree. Keeping luggage close is always the best option. And regarding backpack, what you write is absolutely true: the more space one has, the more he will fill it, most times with unnecessary things and a huge wight to carry all time long.

  • Richard Smalley
    Posted at 18:10h, 30 June Reply

    Good tips there explorer, I agree with you entirly. The hardest thing is to try and tip someone. Theres so many different situations you will be involved in its impossobble but you have explained it very well. Basically each traveller will find out themselves. keep in touch cheers Rich

    • waitinginthedark
      Posted at 18:23h, 30 June Reply

      Thanks Richard. I’ve been hearing so many times people saying to be scared from virtual everything that I thought it might be useful. Travel is a wonderful experience, and it’s a pity to give up visiting some places only because people are excessively scared and do not feel able to move in a different environment. Ciao.

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