5 Tips For Traveling Alone
I’ve done my fair share of traveling over the past few years. Whether it’s because of my two semesters abroad in Germany and the Netherlands, or the internships I pursued in Hungary and Germany before and after them, I’ve been lucky enough to use weekends and holidays to do a lot of traveling within Europe, bringing my personal count of countries visited to 15.
While I often like to be in the company of friends, there are times when it has been more practical or simply inevitable for me to travel alone. Here are five tips that should be considered when undertaking a journey on your own.
1. Think smart and plan your trip out. Know where you are going and staying. Let your family know which hostels/hotels you will be staying at and what your approximate schedule will look like.
2. Research the local culture and learn about any cultural expectations. Knowing what the local environment is like will allow you to blend in, as opposed to standing out.
3. Keep in regular contact with your friends and family. If they are anxious about you traveling alone, set up a regular time when you can check in with them through Skype, Facebook or email.
4. Make friends with other travelers. Chances are that if you are traveling to a big city during the weekend or during vacation time, you won’t be the only one. Connect with others if you can. Some of my best memories from traveling alone are with the people that I’ve met along the way, whether at my hostel or while waiting in line at a tourist attraction. I’m still regularly in touch with a few of them!
5. Think smart but don’t be afraid. Dangerous situations can happen anywhere, but solo travel shouldn’t be avoided just because a generic fear exists. If you feel unsafe, use your common sense. Your gut instinct is usually right.