Visiting a place where you have no friends and family can be terrifying. Traveling with groups is great, but solo travel has an allure of its own, with gems along the way that you won’t find anywhere else. If you’re wondering how solo packers make it and how they’ve established connections, second homes, and genuine relationships in the places that they visited alone, read on and learn about the backbones of an unforgettable solo travel.
Do: Plan an Itinerary; Don’t: Follow your itinerary
It’s important to know about flight dates, hours, hotel check-ins and check-outs, and have a solid grasp of where you need to be and what you might want to do at specific times of the day.
When you get to your destination, though, it’s important to just live in the moment. See new places on foot, ask locals for recommendations, and don’t worry about shuffling the items that you have written on your itinerary.
Do: Book tickets to your trip; Don’t: Book your return trip too quickly
Make sure that you’re gonna get to your destination by purchasing a boarding pass in advance. This is especially true during holiday seasons! On the other hand, when you have reached your destination, don’t be too keen on returning home. That’s one reason why I don’t usually reserve tickets for my trip back (might be a different story for planes or international travel, though) or I end up rebooking. Sometimes you wind up needing more time because the adventure time gets too good – be prepared for this.
Do: Build relationships with locals; Don’t: Assume you’re a local
Respect for locals is necessary regardless of where you visit. You have to understand and know about local culture, policies, or else you might find yourself alienated or offensive to others. Learn to observe, politely spark conversations, and always put a smile on your face.
This comes with not getting too comfortable. Avoid having any reason for you not to come back to the same destination. When you do build connections, be careful; anticipate the consequences when these relationships turn sour.
With the ease of booking your own trips and finding accommodation, a DIY solo travel itinerary isn’t hard to figure out. Don’t think of it as dangerous and terrifying! When done the right way, you will discover new places and people in the most unique way, and you’ll also get to learn more about who you are as a person.