Spread Your Wings
There are wonderful benefits to solo travel. There’s the freedom to go where you want without worrying about friends who may want to go in different directions. There’s also no let down if a companion cancels plans to go at the last minute. You’ll have complete control over how much you want to spend. You can look forward to not having arguments about where to eat, stay, or visit. Traveling alone gives you the wings to fly where you please.
You’ll learn a lot about yourself. Since you’re not focused on another person, your focus will be on your own thoughts, feelings, and realizations. You will experience rich self-discovery that is incredibly fulfilling. You’ll feel your passion come alive with excitement. You’ll realize just how brave you really are by courageously handling anything that you encounter along the way. Traveling alone means setting your own schedule, meeting lots of new and interesting people, and relaxing whenever you like. Be sure to give yourself as many days as you can.
Research Your Trip Beforehand
You will feel more confident by doing extensive research about where you are going before you ever step foot out of your home. Read up on the people, places, and potential adventures you might encounter. What clothing is needed for the areas you will visit? Is the language different? Then learn some basic language phrases to help you. It will make things a whole lot easier. Study travel sites, and read what other travelers have to say. Be mindful of what travel advisories are saying. Trusted Traveler programs like Global Entry and TSA PreCheck can be very helpful. It’s good to have at least six months remaining on your passport in order to visit certain countries. Seek out the most secure countries to visit in the current year, as well as exploring the Global Peace and Happy Planet indexes to find safe and peaceful places to visit.
Be Prepared for the Unexpected
Shakespeare wrote that discretion is the better part of valor. In other words, caution is the best part of courage. While your focus will be on having fun, here are some pointers to make sure your trip is also safe and pleasurable. So much of safety is simply keeping your wits about you. Listen to your intuition every moment. Have eyes in the back of your head. Remain aware of who is around you and what the circumstances are from moment to moment. Keep a sharp eye on your luggage. Wear your money and passport close to your body. Make copies of your passport. Keep one for yourself, give one to a friend or family member at home and store a copy on your computer. Share your itinerary with folks at home and check in with them periodically. There may be areas where you’d feel better by walking along with a group, and when it feels right, venturing out on your own.
Common sense tells us that it invites danger to do things like leaving a bank or ATM with a handful of money without putting it securely away first or openly flashing your valuables. But people get distracted; they get in a hurry to get somewhere and forget to protect themselves. If thieves get even a whiff of what you might have, they may do anything to get it. It can be annoying to be careful to the point of paranoia, so try to make it fun. It might make it all a little more exciting to imagine yourself as a covert operative on a top-secret mission.
Where do you dream of going? Some of the best places to travel alone are right here in America, like New York City or even Portland, Oregon. Further out, our neighbor to the north, Canada, is filled with happy adventures just waiting for you. You may want to go to inviting countries such as Iceland, Norway, Japan, Denmark, and New Zealand. Many places in Ireland are gorgeous and lots of people there are open and friendly. Cities like Amsterdam in the Netherlands, or Melbourne, Australia also have great reputations for awesome solo travel.
Why not take a chance and travel alone on the adventure of a lifetime? Your greatest discovery might just be yourself.
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