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Tips for Traveling Alone

With the interest and eagerness to explore, traveling alone requires alertness and common sense. I will suggest a few tips that will help you to have a better time on your jaunt.

The Prep
This is perhaps the most important factor in deciding the success of your journey. Prepare well, pack all the essential things. You do not want your baggage to be a burden, do you? So make sure that you do not carry extra unnecessary luggage. In addition to this, avoid carrying your expensive jewelry and other valuables that might get stolen. Along with your credit cards, carry cash in smaller denominations. If you are going outside the country, do carry all the important documents that are required by the country you are traveling to, in addition to the passport and visa. I recommend you to get a temporary contact number if you are going to travel outside the country, and give this new number to your close friends and family, so that they can reach you in case of an emergency. Research about the place that you will be visiting, decide your itinerary beforehand.

The First Day
See that you reach your destination during the day, as your chances of getting conned are more during the night. I recommend you to finalize the hotel for your stay before the outset of your journey, avoid single supplements while booking the room. Avoid getting tricked by the taxi drivers, apart from that, knowing the fare to your hotel and understanding the common words in the native language of the country you are visiting, will help. After reaching the hotel, keep all your important documents in the safety deposit box, or somewhere safe in your room. Spend your first day in settling in your hotel room, and interacting with a few people in your hotel, and check out any local cafe near your hotel.

The Exploration
This is the main purpose behind your travel, so make sure that you visit nice places. Consider the recommendations and suggestions of the natives before you zero in on the places to visit. It is always easy to take the public modes of transport. Try to blend in with the locals, so avoid fancy outfits. While asking for directions, see that you do not clearly indicate that you are alone. Letting others know that you are traveling alone, will make you more susceptible to getting scammed. Beware of the people around you, take care of your belongings while walking in a crowd. Pickpocketing is prevalent in crowded areas. If you are keeping your bag on the ground while taking a picture, make sure that you put your foot through any of the straps, of your bag.

Food Factor
Try different delicacies of the country that you are visiting, but make sure that you know what you are eating, this will help you avoid the foods that are you are allergic to. Avoid eating with strange people, as you cannot be sure of their intentions. If you have made friends (I hope you will), then dine with them, this will help you avoid the boredom of eating alone. Prefer outdoor cafes over fancy restaurants, as a table for one in a fancy restaurant might make you feel awkward. Carry a book or any reading material when you go to eat, they will keep you company. You can always refer to ‘Zagat guides’ to find the best places to dine.

Stay Connected
Traveling alone does not imply that you totally isolate yourself from your family and friends, unless you have run away from them. Stay in touch with them. Make regular phone calls, to let them know that you are safe and having a good time. Being in touch with your family and friends will also kill the pangs of loneliness, if any. If you are changing the course of your journey, let them know. If you have access to Internet, then staying in touch with your loved ones, becomes easy.

Special Tips

  • Make sure that the hotel in which you are going to reside is safe. Compromising security just to save a few bucks, is not a nice idea.
  • I recommend you to exude confidence while interacting with the natives, this will make them realize that you are not vulnerable.
  • Women traveling alone should be more vigilant. Do not tolerate harassment and be cautious of the people you interact with.
  • Prefer asking directions to old women, or a woman accompanied by her children, to avoid fraud.
  • Observe the people around you, and befriend someone trustworthy, by this you will have a companion in times of loneliness.
  • Do not visit secluded locations at night, as it might be dangerous for you. If you want, you can visit them during the day.
  • Get accustomed to the culture of the country that you are visiting, and respect their culture.
    When you feel that you can no longer take the lone traveling, it is time to head home.