As someone who is quite independent, and introverted for that matter, solo travel for me is a means to reflection and discovering more about who I am in an ever-changing environment. There are people who would prefer to travel with others and there are those who choose to travel solo. I like to think I enjoy a little of both. I find the main benefit in travelling solo is being able to truly experience a destination without your thoughts being interrupted. That awe-inspiring moment when you see a sight for the first time and it takes your breath away is just magical.
Safety is a priority
Safety is a big thing when travelling solo, especially as a female. I don’t recall ever feeling particularly unsafe or threatened during my solo travels but there have been situations which have caught me off guard. I mean, if you thought that it was dangerous to travel the world or visit certain places, you would never leave the house for fear of something happening. The world is a scary and dangerous place! In saying that, I believe as long as you are aware of your surroundings and be sure not to put yourself in a situation that could turn bad you should be safe. My recommendation would be not to walk in dark alleys at night or put yourself in a situation like that where you feel anxious and unsafe.
Learning and Personal Growth
I find the biggest advantage of solo travel is learning through experience. Learning about a country’s culture, learning a language and learning about yourself and your capabilities as a human being. You discover your strengths and weaknesses and where you belong in the world. You learn about happiness and love and even life through observing and listening to people from all round the world. My experience as an exchange student in Italy when I was sixteen was my first solo travel experience and one that has shaped my life ever since. I learnt that I could do things I never thought possible. I could speak in a different language and even communicate what I meant, I could express my feelings and participate in school and daily life.
Practical Tips for Solo Travel
1. Do your research so you know where you are going, how to get there and destination specific health and safety issues.
2. Trust your intuition, if something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it!
3. This is different from getting outside of your comfort zone, solo travel is all about this!
4. Keep cash and travel documents in more than one place. I always make sure I take a few photocopies of my documents and passport and also send an electronic copy to my email address in case of emergency.
5. Travel insurance is a must! “If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel”. This is especially important for travel to the US, as their healthcare system can cost thousands of dollars just to have a doctor called out to your hotel.
6. Leave a copy of your itinerary and contact details with your family so they have an idea of where to find you.
Read: 25 Best Travel Apps that help you save your itinerary , store your records incase of emergency and much more
7. Avoid paying a single supplement on tours by rooming with a stranger of the same-sex. You may even make friends for life!
8. Chat with the locals or hotel receptionist to discover places to eat and unique experiences.
9. Take a hotel business card from reception when heading out for the day. That way you can just show your taxi driver when you need to get back and it will be in the local language to avoid the language barrier.
For more on her travel experiences and latest conquers.....visit http://safetravelsbysally.com/
Sally is a travel consultant, foodie and a lover of all things travel. She is in her early twenties and she has already been to 24 countries across 4 continents. Sally has been traveling solo since the age of 16 (how is that for an inspiration) and there is no better than her to provide useful tips for solo women travelers.
For more on her travel experiences and latest conquers.....visit http://www.safetravelsbysally.com
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