Now that the world is opening back up for travelers, more people are heading off on solo trips. Getting away from the daily grind is becoming a need instead of a want for our mental health.
Traveling solo is an excellent way to regroup and remind ourselves of our own strength. Heading into a new place full of strangers is a challenge that is often full of life-changing rewards.
It also has the potential to be dangerous. When you’re traveling on your own, you need to be smart about it. Live for adventures, but make sure you can come back and tell your stories!
On that note, there are a few things you should never do when you’re a solo traveler. Others have made the mistakes for you. Learn from their errors, and your next trip on your own can be a thriving success!
1. Never Ignore Your Gut
As humans, we have instincts that we learn to ignore but are there for our safety. When you’re traveling in a strange place, these instincts, or “gut feelings,” are usually on the money.
If the hair on the back of your neck stands up when someone approaches you, don’t talk to them. Get away as quickly as you can, or find a crowd to blend in with.
Don’t feel obligated to stay in a lodging place just because you booked it in advance. If it seems unsafe and your gut is screaming at you to leave, walk away from the wasted money and find someplace else.
Your gut instincts are part of your human survival mechanism. Listen to them, even if you think it makes you seem weird. You probably won’t see these people again, anyway!
2. Don’t Neglect the Insurance Coverage
Overseas and out-of-the-country travel sounds exciting. Even heading to another state is a great way to get a break! However, there are some boring bits you need to deal with first.
That travel insurance coverage that the airlines or tour package offers? Take them up on it, unless you’ve called your insurance company, and they’ll cover you. Most policies are invalid in other countries, though, and some will only pay for emergency visits when you’re in another state.
Check with your auto insurance, too. If you end up in a car accident on vacation, the last thing you want to be stressing about is your medical bills.
Insurance coverage can get complicated if you’re in an accident in another state or country. This article explains what you should do in the event of a vehicle collision. Knowing how to handle an accident before you travel can help make a scary situation easier.
3. Don’t Forget the Cash
Cash? What’s cash?
If you’re like most of the world, you use your debit or credit cards for everything. Using cash is becoming obsolete, but on vacation, you need to have an emergency stash.
Don’t wait until you get to a foreign country to transfer your cash into their currency. You could get stuck with some hefty fees if you do.
Head to your bank and get their advice on the best currency exchange rates. Take more than you plan to spend. If you don’t use it, your bank will buy it back. Always keep cash on you in a safe place, like inside your sock. It sounds gross, but if you lose your wallet, you’ll always have that security money.
4. Don’t Go Wild
There’s a time and a place for letting your hair down. Solo traveling isn’t one of
them. Keep your wits about you at all times. This way, you’ll avoid anything that could
If you can handle a drink or two to unwind, go for it! In the safety of your hotel room or in a safe public place, there’s nothing wrong with a little alcohol. But you know your body best. Stop before you lose control of your actions, or you could end up in unsafe situations.
5. Never Go Anyplace Without Telling Someone
No, you’re not a child. However, your parents had a good reason for wanting to keep tabs on you. If you got lost or were in danger, they could help you.
Imagine heading off on a solo trip and getting lost. No cell phone reception, no friendly faces around, and no one know where you are. How could anyone track you down?
It’s an unnecessary situation to find yourself in. Before you head off on your next excursion, even to the grocery store, send a text to a close friend. Let them know when you’ll be checking in next. It’s a precautionary measure that you’ll hopefully never need, but if you do, it can be life-saving.
The advantages of traveling solo are incredible. You can take advantage of the rewards that come with exploring new places alone, but you still need to keep some basic safety advice in mind.
Follow these five lessons learned from prior sojourners to avoid making the same mistakes on your future trips.