Traveling can be a thrilling adventure, but solo traveling can add a whole new depth into your adventure with self-reflection, independence, and personal growth. Traveling solo can be a very daunting, but it can also be the most rewarding experience ever. I embarked on a 2.5 weeks solo traveling trip around Europe this Spring 2015 and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life. I was able to see and grasp the world more clearly and also learn more about myself. Before you embark on solo traveling though, here are some tips to get started on planning your own solo trip!
1. Research, research, research! If you do your research well, then you can minimize your cost of traveling. If you don’t have much time to go traveling, then maybe don’t go to as many destinations. Staying longer at one destination will minimize your cost of travel and may enrich your travel experience more through understanding a culture thoroughly. Check out AirBnB, HostelWorld, Couchsurfing, JetRadar, and GoEuro to find some of the most affordable accommodations and transport.
2. Do not over pack! You will most likely overpack on your first trip, but you will be amazed at how many things you don’t need when you are traveling solo.
3. Plan for the unexpected! Because not everything will go according to plan or to your expectations. Through the good or bad situations, take them as an opportunity for character building and personal growth. Solo traveling is a remarkable and valuable experience that can only be fully understood through experience.
When I traveled I had moments of laughter, awe, and wonder, but I had moments of tears, sadness, and loneliness as well. All those moments were able to add more value to my life and myself. However, remember that on any type of travel that safety is key! Here are some tips to be safe and to make the best of your solo trip!
1. Be safe by being aware! Be aware of your surroundings and yourself. Don’t ever risk your safety when you are traveling.
2. Have a check-in buddy! Check-in with a family member or friend every day to let them know where you are, so that someone in the world is aware of your whereabouts.
3. Beware of pickpockets and gypsies! They are professionals and can look like anybody! The best way to prevent getting your belongings stolen is by never giving someone an opportunity to steal from you. Money wallets may be somewhat amusing, but you won’t be laughing anymore once your money gets stolen.
4. Don’t forget to relax! Traveling may not always mean you are on vacation. Traveling can get stressful or tiring if you are planning to see and do so many things in a day. Prioritize your activities and remember to put down that camera and just admire where you are in the moment.
I hope my story and my tips for solo traveling will inspire you to create an adventure of your own. Traveling can be a wonderful experience when you travel with family and friends, but traveling solo is an extremely personal experience that you create for yourself. The most important thing is to travel to discover what you don't know and what you don't understand. Always ask yourself if you're curious enough, because there will always be something to discover somewhere, whether it's at a destination or within yourself. You will hear and learn through the stories told by the people you will meet and in the end, you will have stories to share that can inspire and enrich other lives as well.