14 Tips for Great Solo Travel – It’s always exciting to travel, whether it be solo or with a group, and we have 14 tips to help make your trip very rewarding. You should have your trip planned in advance, and if you think you’re going to be lonely, you are wrong on that count. You will be meeting a lot of friends along your journey.
Go out and immediately buy a guidebook geared toward the single world traveler. The accommodations, hang-outs and restaurants will be listed and they offer ways for you to hook up with a variety of people for an afternoon of exploring. You can also meet others so that you don’t have to eat a meal by yourself.
Many cities have well-known meccas for independent travelers from bookstores to cafes to youth hostels with bulletin boards and calendars of local events. These provide a treasure trove of listings for inexpensive tours, travel companions or rides wanted, free or almost free lectures, or social gatherings which you can join.
Even if you want to be unstructured, book at least the first night’s accommodation in advance. It may cost more than you want to spend the rest of the trip for lodging, but this makes it easier getting your bearings and ensures you don’t start the trip fatigued trying to get it all together right when you step off the plane in a foreign country.
Also, always dress conservatively so as not to draw attention to yourself and take clues from the way local women are dressed.
Some of the most meaningful travel experiences come from spontaneous invitations to join a person, family or group for a dinner or activity. Communicate with women, children and elders. Even if you don’t speak their language, a smile goes a long way.
Eating alone comfortably is a skill you will quickly develop. Choose a lively cafe or bistro with lots of people. Consider sitting at the counter and watch your food be prepared.
Take along reading and writing material. Enjoy watching people and the fine art of eavesdropping. Again, use that smile to reach out and make contact with the diners around you. Your conversations with them may be the highlight of your evening.