If you are traveling solo, there are a lot of things that you have to keep in mind to make sure that you will make the most out of your vacation. They say wandering on your own will give you a fulfilling experience, a self-satisfaction that you’ve made it on your own. Also, you will never worry about the needs and likes of your travel companion. You can fully indulge alone.
However, there are also dangers when you travel on your own. No one will watch your back or back you up; you may feel lonely and have to settle the single supplement. So for you to feel safe and spared from spending your investment money, here are the things that you have to keep in mind when traveling solo.
Benefits of Traveling Alone
Although there are cons in traveling solo, there are a lot of benefits, too. It is the ultimate self-indulgence as you can do everything on your own — no one will stop you. You can rest whenever you want, explore the streets at the time that you desire, and go in a place without considering others. The journey will be yours alone, and it is up to you how you will enjoy it.
Keeping Yourself Safe While Going Solo
Maybe the most concern about going solo is your safety. You may become easy prey for the evildoers when you’re not with someone. However, safety in numbers is not real at all. You can stay safe even if you’re alone. You can blend more quickly than being with a companion. You can also avoid the attention of looking like a tourist when you go alone.
So to stay safe, you have to be aware of your surroundings and know how long it takes and how much it costs if you go from one place to another. Opt for a hotel that has a 24-hour front desk, so you can ask any time when you need help. Be your own counsel; if you feel something is not right, trust your instinct.
Also, it is much better if you stay in open and public places, especially in the evening. Avoid wearing flashy clothes and jewelry. When asking for a direction, say you have to meet someone — never let them know that you’re alone. Update a family member or a friend of your whereabouts. For U.S. citizen travelers, sign up for the free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) that will let the State Department help you in case of emergency. For non-U.S. citizens, you can check your home country if it has the same program.
Learn Who to Trust
Going solo is the best time to meet new people. However, this also makes you more vulnerable. It’s okay to have a new companion in the country you’re in but learn who to trust. Also, don’t trust anyone fully. Don’t allow them to hold your money or other important things you have. Keep your stuff with you, and never let your guard down.
Avoid the Single Supplement
If you’re a frequent solo traveler, you probably know what the single supplement is. Single supplement is the charge solo travelers have to pay for the losses incurred because only one person will stay in a cabin or a hotel room. This costs from 25 to 100 percent of the trip’s total amount. Hence, you seem to pay twice as much as you should have.
So, to avoid the single supplement, choose a tour operator that offers roommate matching, although there are pros and cons for using this. The advantage is you don’t have to pay for additional charges for a companion you don’t have. The disadvantage, on the other hand, is that you have to share a room with a stranger. So, you should talk to your tour operator and know how they match roommates for your safety. You can also opt for hostels that charge per bed and not per room.
In a cruise, there are cruise lines that offer single staterooms on select ships. It is best to book at the last minute as tour operators will be eager to sell the few places that are still unoccupied without single supplement charges. Through these, you can avoid additional loans to pay for a hefty place to stay.
Avoid the Fear of Eating Alone
A lot of solo travelers fear of eating alone. There is even a name for it: solomangarephobia. So, for you to avoid the feeling of being on your own, you can talk to the service people, like the waiters and waitresses. You can also dine in a café or experience outdoor dining than eating inside a fancy restaurant. Choose a counter seat or a seat at the bar.
You can also go to a restaurant that has booths so that you can have more privacy. If you don’t want anyone to see you’re alone, go enjoy your meal in your room via room service, delivery, or take out.
Based on Materials from Smarter Travel
Photo Sources: Lovely Planet, The Independent, Daily Travel, Pixabay