So, you’re about to embark on a special trip all by yourself. Well, good for you, as traveling solo can be very therapeutic and bring you closer to nature somehow. It gives you a chance to meet new people from different cultures, with different beliefs. People usually wonder about the safety of backpacking alone, and how it can be done properly; if that sounds familiar to you.
Take a look at our guide to traveling solo, and find out about some of the things that can be beneficial to you during your next adventure.
Be smart with what you’re packing
This is crucial for every traveler, because you need to be sure you have all the essential stuff you need. You have to double-check everything since no one is there to remind you, and it’s important to pack different clothes for every season—you never know how cold, hot, rainy, or snowy it could get during your travels. Remember to take all your prescribed medication with you, with spares and extras in case of emergencies; you might not find your prescription abroad, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
You need travel insurance
If you want to have a stress-free trip, you need to get proper coverage for solo traveling; you never know what could happen and what kind of emergency you might get yourself into. You need to have insurances for sudden trip cancellations, theft or personal liabilities, sudden evacuation if a disaster occurs, medical bills, and much more. The money paid for it is worth it, because you might pay thousands of dollars more without it if something unfortunate happens.
Book different tours
It’s smart to join a group of organized travelers because everything would have a system that would run like clockwork. You don’t have to do every single thing as planned in their itinerary, but you would get to meet new people easier this way. You might end up getting to know some people who have the same interests as you, leading to a lot of enjoyable conversations and fun times together. Most of these organized tours know which places are the best for lodging and sightseeing, so it’s not a bad idea to tag along with them.
Find the right spot
If you want to wander off alone on a camping trip, you need to find the ideal place to pitch your tent. Various beautiful national parks can be perfect for camping alone in the wilderness, getting in touch with nature and taking in your surroundings. Most travelers believe that going solo is almost similar to a religious experience; it’s an experience that allows you to indulge in the simplicity of things. Just make sure you have all the important tools and supplies, and remember that it’s crucial to learn how to start campfires and navigate properly in the woods.
When you’re exploring alone, whether it’s in the city or wilderness, you might find it to be the perfect opportunity to work on your skills. The amount of calmness and serenity with the things around you can inspire you to do many great things. If you’re an artist, you can draw and paint various masterpieces depicting what you’ve seen. Also, if you’re a writer, you can find a lot of inspiration and motivation to write beautiful words. So, traveling alone really has its perks.
It’s okay to say hello from time to time to the people around you. Even if you’re not traveling in a group, you can still meet new people in the local community. Try to open up to people; being a loner doesn’t feel right when you’re in crowds. Get to know one another and help out if you can. Maybe someone is having problems with their luggage, offer a hand and assist them as a gesture of goodwill. Also, it’s good if you suggest staying in smaller dormitories or hostels when you’re traveling in a group; it gives you a chance to know people better and start more conversations, building better bonds and friendships.
Research is key
This is extremely important; you have to always be prepared before going anywhere. Whether it’s a city, a village, a national park, a festival, or anything else, you need to learn about this place. Research can help you find out what to do when you arrive, where the nearest hostel is, if there are any good restaurants nearby, the location of the closest bus or train station, any notable tourist attractions, and many more. Invest in some maps so you can walk around, or you could use your smartphone’s GPS if you’re traveling with one. You need to minimize all possibilities of getting lost; you might run into nice people that can help you out, but you never know what to expect when you ask for directions.
Important things to consider
No matter where you’re going, it’s important that you cover all the bases, just in case. You should always have spare cash with you because you never know when you’re going to find an ATM again. Also, it’s important to double-check your passport to make sure that it won’t expire soon; certain countries deny you entry if your passport isn’t valid for at least 6 more months till the expiration date. Visas are another important thing to watch out for; you need to check what kind of visa a certain country requires before you travel there. And when you’re at the airport counter, always show them proof of your return ticket; some countries require that to make sure you aren’t secretly immigrating. If you take care of the basics, you will have an easier time on your trip.
Backpacking alone isn’t for everyone; most people like to travel with a crowd and experience new things with their loved ones, connecting and bonding with them in different ways. But you can still enjoy your time and have a blast alone, and you can interact with other people that you meet abroad, so you won’t feel too isolated. This is a great opportunity to try new things and do stuff you might not have done if you weren’t alone.