Traveling is one of the great pastimes. But usually when we talk about traveling, we automatically assume that it is a group activity. But it doesn't have to be so. Traveling all by your lonesome is a cool travel option. Yes, some safety concerns do come to mind but if you have prepared and well and listened to the advice of other travelers who have traveled alone then there's no cause for worry.
If you're considering the idea of traveling on your own here are five essential tips that you should follow.
Preparations need to be made before you even travel. First, if you are going to travel to a country where communication may be a problem, it is highly recommended to at least know the language. Take up some classes to familiarize yourself with the language. The aim here is not to be fluent but to acclimatize your ears to the cadence of the language and learn some key phrases that you'll need when traveling in the country.
You should also read up on the region or country you're visiting. Read up on the geography, the cultural traditions and norms and the political situation. An important consideration are the gender norms that present in the country. There are some countries where this is a touchy issue so it would be a good idea to find out all about this before you travel.
Finally you need to prepare a full itinerary and also all of the contact information that you have while you're away traveling. Send this information to your friends and family so they know where you are and where to contact you. Do remember that there are certain countries where you mobile phone may not work. If this happens, tinker with the settings first. If this doesn't help, buy a local prepaid mobile phone and immediately send your contact details to your friends.
Now here are the tips:
- Do not ignore your gut instincts. Be wary of amazing offers that are presented to you. If something seems too good to be true you should have your guard up immediately. Walk away from these offers. Your mantra should always be "It's better to be safe than sorry."
- You should call your at-home contacts every day. In fact, you should set up an arrangement with your contact that you will be calling every day. If you have not called in a day without having warned them beforehand, your contact should implement a previously arranged plan for what needs to be done in case you're missing.
- All of your hotel and travel lodging accommodations should be booked in advance so that your contacts will know where you're staying on any given day. There may be a bit of a risk here since you haven't seen the accommodations yourself. Check online for reviews and only book in hotels, serviced apartments or hostels that get really good reviews on safety and quality. Other travelers are your best resource for information, always remember that. You still should check out the accommodations when you arrive and ask that you inspect it. If at any instance you feel that you're not safe, ask to be booked in another room or transfer accommodations entirely. You may lose your reservation deposit but that's a small price to pay for your safety.
- As much as possible you shouldn't bring valuables with you. But if you do, inquire if the place you're staying in has a safe that you can use. Another option is to buy security packs like money belts where you can stash your valuables within your person without anyone knowing about it.
- Be friendly with locals including the staff of hotels and restaurants. Befriend them, if possible. By knowing these locals on a personal level they will try to help you more and give you important information on not just little-known places that will interest you but also places that you should avoid.
An article published on behalf of Mr. Derek Gallimore, an expert traveler. He operates Boutique London Lets, which offers clients luxury serviced apartments.