While traveling alone you need to be in command of everything – from the mundane stuff to the important things. Though it can put you in a tight spot, traveling alone can be a lot of fun too, provided you take care of a long list of minute details that will make your travels safe and enjoyable. You need to have your wits around you when traveling alone – and this list of 50 things to know when traveling alone is put together to make your job easier.
Things to do before you leave
Tip 1 – Do a thorough research on places you plan to visit and check details on the political scenario, terror threats, epidemics or anything that might put you in danger – you might reconsider your plans if you find things amiss.
Tip 2 – It will also help you to know what kind of weather conditions await you, so you can be prepared.
Tip 3 – You need to do your hotel bookings in advance, as this can save you a lot of trouble on arrival. Consider different options such as B&B, hostels, guest houses, resorts, dormitories and luxury hotels according to your budget.
Tip 4 – Pay just a small advance while making room bookings, as it can be tricky getting your money back in case you do not like the accommodation and want to move to a better place.
Tip 5 – Read reviews left by people on the internet or better still, ask family and friends for recommendations on where to stay.
Tip 6 – If you are going to be away for long you might want to unsubscribe your cable/internet connections, pay bills, ask someone to water your plants and perform other household chores for you
Tip 7 – Once your travel itinerary is planned you can go ahead and get a travel insurance, but make sure it covers all contingencies.
Tip 8 – Pack light – it is best to travel light, as you will be the one lugging your bags around.
Things To Do On Arrival
Tip 9 – It can be quite an experience finding yourself in a country with a different culture than yours. Things will be different from what you are used to – give yourself time to adjust.
Tip 10 – Respect the culture and sentiments of the land that you are in.
Tip 11 – Do not hesitate to ask people for assistance – but steer away from anyone who is overtly friendly. There are conmen everywhere; don’t be gullible.
Tip 12 – Carry all your documents and money safely and never let the bag carrying your valuables out of sight.
Tip 13 – Guided tours run by the state tourism department are an economical way of seeing places of interest.
Tip 14 – Invest in a travel guide if you rather move around on your own – also surf the net for tips and suggestions on where to visit and how to reach different destinations.
Tip 15 – Move around in public transport as it is always the cheapest mode of travel anywhere in the world.
Tip 16 – Inquire if you are entitled to seasonal passes that allow you unlimited travel by local transport.
Tip 17 – If your budget allows, hire a taxi for moving around. It is best to hire a cab with fixed rates or one that will pick you up at the hotel.
Tip 18 – Hire taxi service that offer pick up and drop and more importantly hire from a renowned name in the business.
Tip 19 – Tourist friendly places offer booking of passes/tickets online. These are generally valid in more than one tourist destination.
Tip 20 – Carry a bottle of water, hand sanitizer, sunscreen lotion and perhaps a fruit or cookies for a quick bite when you move around during the day.
Tip 21 – Have photocopies of travel documents and passport photographs – they come in handy for getting a SIM card, hiring cars etc.
Tip 22 – Do not forget to keep the phone numbers of the place where you will be staying.
Tip 23 – If you are on prescription drugs or susceptible to allergic reactions make sure you carry medication with you at all times.
Tip 24 – Eat at places with communal tables – you are likely to meet people and make friends.
Tip 25 – If you like to be by yourself carry a book along – that lets everybody know you don’t want to be disturbed.
Tip 26 – Prices at eateries are low during lunch, make the most of it.
Tip 27 – Happy Hours are another way of saving money on drinks and meeting new people.
Tip 28 – Restaurants serving buffet let you taste a number of dishes at a small price. This is a good way of experimenting with a different cuisine.
Traveling Alone At Night
Tip 29 – Even the safest place can be frightening at night especially if you are new there and alone. Remember to make your safety a priority.
Tip 30 – When going out at night let the hotel manager/concierge know where you are heading and when you will be back.
Tip 31 – Ask him if it is safe to be in that part of the town at night.
Tip 32 – Leave contact details and the name of the person you are going to be with, in your room.
Tip 33 – Have fun when you are partying, but do not get drunk.
Tip 34 – Do not accept drink/food from strangers.
Tip 35 – If you are leaving the place alone, be sure you are not followed.
Tip 36 – Never walk alone in dark alleys.
Tip 37 – Do not get into fights/arguments in clubs.
Tip 38 – Do not show off your money. In fact when going out at night it is best not to be wearing expensive jewelry or carrying too much money.
Tip 39 – Do not divulge personal details to strangers. For instance don’t give them your full name or tell them where you are staying.
Tip 40 – Trust your intuition – leave the place if you get negative vibes or feel uncomfortable.
Tip 41 – Let someone know where you are and with whom at all times. If you randomly change your plans let someone know of it.
Tip 42 – Withdraw small amounts at ATM’s and carry only little money with you.
Tip 43 – Get yourself a prepaid credit card.
Tip 44 – Always stay connected to people who matter, through a cell phone, a lot of places such as restaurants and airports have free Wi-Fi service. Load Skype on your cell phone and stay connected with family and friends for free.
Tip 45 – Smartphones are a boon for solo travelers – make use of apps such as currency convertor, travel guides, translator and GPS.
Smart Travel Tips
Tip 46 – If you are traveling by train, travel at night – you get a free bed and arrive at your destination with time at your hands for sightseeing.
Tip 47 – If you are traveling by plane take a carry-on, no waiting for your baggage to arrive and no fear of it getting lost.
Tip 48 – Shop for souvenirs at local markets instead of tourist spots.
Tip 49 – If you behave like a tourist chances of you getting duped are high. So chuck the ‘touristy’ tee and dress like the locals.
Tip 50 – Don’t let strangers know you are on your own – when asking for directions make it seem like you are meeting a friend there.
As a tourist traveling alone, your safety must be your main concern. Be vigilant and you’ll be safe. Enjoy yourself, but be aware of your surroundings. Do not be too trusting of people in a strange land. Follow these simple tips and you’ll do well on your travels alone.
This is a post contributed by Alax Pejak.