Is one of your new year’s resolutions to take a trip on your own?
Solo travel is a rewarding and challenging experience – but initially it can seem scary. Banish the negative and embrace the possibilities. There’s nothing like the first time – so where to start?
Here are seven tips to successfully travel solo:
1. Start small
The first jaunt by yourself doesn’t have to be an around the world journey or to a faraway land. Plan an overnight trip to a nearby city to see an art exhibit, a concert from a favourite band or a restaurant you’ve read about.
2. Consider the big city
With plenty of options for arts & culture, shopping, dining, and exploring in a metropolis, the big city offers many reasons for a solo weekend getaway. There’s challenges, like figuring out the local transit and rush hour – as much as a comfort, with many resources to help explore on your own.
3. Do your research
Once a destination is chosen, begin the planning process by asking friends or families for suggestions. Search for articles on where you’re going, compiling tips, information and ideas into a daily plan. Consider travel time, ticket prices and weather, because the more you anticipate in advance, there’s less stress during the trip.
4. Rely on technology
Apps make life so much easier – download maps, walking tours, dining suggestions and travel guides to the your smart phone. Make sure the information can be accessed off-line to make it easy to rely on yourself to make plans on the fly.
5. Ask a local
Once you’ve arrived, it doesn’t hurt to ask a taxi driver, a hotel concierge or a tourism information centre about what’s going on. Their local knowledge can provide tips not as easily found in general information about the destination and sometimes discounts for popular attractions.
6. Trust your gut
If it’s an uncomfortable situation or an area that makes you feel scared, trust yourself. If a place, hotel or restaurant isn’t as friendly as what you initially saw in photos, be polite in leaving and move on. Your spidey senses are generally right – so don’t discount them.
7. Smile and say hello
If you’re feeling nervous, take a deep breath, smile and say hello. Those simple actions can make any situation better, encourage conversation and can lead to learning or even making a friend.
Do you travel alone? Please share your tips with us.