Travelling on your own is a wonderful experience. It can be the ultimate in self-indulgence; you can rest when you want and pour it on when you’re feeling ambitious. Another benefit is that your mistakes are your own, and your triumphs all the more exciting. There’s no worrying that your insistence on trekking all the way across town to a museum that was closed ruined your partner’s day; it’s your own day to salvage or chalk up to a learning experience.
Trust Everyone and No One.
One of the best reasons to travel alone is to meet new people, but this also makes you more vulnerable. Whilst it’s okay to hang out, travel and share with new friends, but be careful as you might not want to ask them to hold your money. Scam artists can often be the most charming companions you’ll find; you want to be open-minded, but keep your guard up enough to ensure your safety.
Be Aware of Safety.
Travelling solo can be both safe and rewarding, but be mindful of safety concerns as you would travelling in a group or couple. Take care in large cities at night, watch your drinks, be aware of any local scams and keep a close eye on your valuables.
Look for room rentals in an apartment, which gives an automatic connection with residents when you’re travelling alone. Even if your landlord doesn’t take you out on the town, you’ll at least scoop up a few local tips. Try online bulletin boards in your destination, room-rental sites like Airbnb and crash-pad networks like Couchsurfing. Bonus: as a solo traveler, you have tons of options to choose from. Hostels are of course ready-made for solo travelers, but you might wind up spending more time with other tourists than with locals.
Stop Reading That Book.
It’s easy to be daunted by travelling alone. Retreating into the pages of a good novel can feel like the perfect way to escape curious stares on public transport or in restaurants, but it’s the worst thing to do. Going solo means you have a chance to really take in your surroundings, meeting locals and travelers alike along the way; be content to be by yourself, but confident enough to introduce yourself to people when you want to be sociable.
Connect With The Locals.
Take the time to observe the local culture, blend in and connect with the people. While sitting at a sidewalk food stalls, on a park bench, or just killing time you can observe things around you. Learn how to talk to strangers. Smile and start a conversation. Be curious and ask open-ended questions and follow-up questions.