Many people have a fear of travelling alone, especially if it takes them outside their comfort zone. They may be fine in their own home town or are even willing to venture further afield if they’re visiting friends but the idea of going to a totally new place is scary.
Some are put off by the idea of eating alone while many worry about safety or worse, getting lost in an unfamiliar city or country where they may not know anyone or even speak the language.
Overcoming the fear of travelling alone is a hard thing to do so in this post I will share some basic but essential tips for surviving your first solo travel trip and actually enjoying it!
- Overcome Language barriers
If you are a sociable person you might find it frustrating that you cannot communicate with locals in a new country. If that is the case, book yourself a trip to the destination where your language is used (don’t forget English is spoken widely in Northern Europe, India, parts of Africa and more).
Or you could spend some time exploring your country first! After that you could branch out and ease into foreign cultures. You could also book a small group tour where you will be able to make some friends that could help you overcome the language difficulties.
- Choosing Your Accommodation
If you like a self-catering option, booking an apartment is a great choice, it not only gives you more freedom but is also a great opportunity to bond with the local residents. Hostels are also a good choice for first time solo travellers as they offer the chance to meet other travellers and staff are generally very friendly and will give advice and guidance.
For your first solo trip, it would be best to do some research online and book your accommodation in advance. Or make sure you arrive in the daytime and head to the nearest tourist information office (which may be at the airport) – they will let you know about hotels in the area and very often contact them for you too.
- Eating Out Alone
Indulge yourself by visiting restaurants with local cuisine. Ask the hotel for recommendations and, of course, those that are busy with locals are likely to be the best! Many restaurants welcome single travellers with open hands. The other option for those seeking some companion would be to eat at the bar and socialise with others. Get some information about the region you are traveling to, what is safe to eat and drink and what things should be avoided, for example drinking tap-water.
- Alone But Not Lonely
The best advice is to make the most of it! You have escaped your busy schedule or daily routine at home. Now you have made the bold decision to travel alone, spend time exploring but also give yourself the ‘me’ time to recharge and refresh your mind and body! Take a good book or magazine, send postcards to friends, take some photos, update your Facebook site or even start a travel blog or journal. Or just spend time wandering the streets, watching a magical sunset or watching the locals from a café.
- Travelling Whilst On Vacation
There are many methods of transportation, consider all of them. If you are afraid of flying or water then book yourself a trip by train. Trains are becoming more and more popular with all travellers and offer an opportunity to chat to others – and they are the most eco efficient form of transportation. If you travel by taxis, always get advice on the price first, or make sure they run by the meter. There are people that take advantage of single travellers and you should be aware of that.
- Safety First
Always pay attention to your safety because nobody else is going to do it for you. Do some research on your destination, for example, which areas are unsafe by day or night. Do not carry a large sum of cash; the best would be to carry your valuables in a small money belt under your clothes. Be aware of people around you and what they are doing.