Also available in: Nederlands
Traveling alone is amazing
Traveling alone, do what you want whenever you want it. No need to worry about someone else for a while. Traveling alone means everything is about you for a change. Away from busy schedules and the feeling you need to finish something right now. Enjoy your own company, do things your way at your pace. Just enjoy the freedom. Don’t worry about being on the other side of the world. Your family and friends are just a call, tweet or message away. For the moments you want to share on social media or at the moments you miss them a little bit.
Ten tips to make your trip easier
Where would you like to go? That’s the first question you have to ask yourself. Take plenty of time to do your research, that way you are sure it’s the right destination for you.
Determine how long you want to travel
The amount of time you will travel that’s all up to you. Is it the first time you are traveling alone? Having doubts if you can do it? Start simple, take a city trip. Short and easy to oversee.
Choose your budget. Book your accommodations in advance, make sure your contact person knows where you are staying. Decide if you want to meet people at your hotel or not.
Meet people: Hostel, Bed & Breakfast or a room at someone’s home, for example, through AirBnb.
Don’t want to meet people: Apartment, hotel, or private room in a hostel.
Don’t plan a busy schedule on your arrival day. Take your time to explore the surroundings at the place your staying. Relax a bit; it isn’t a race.
What is your plan?
It’s useful to make a global planning of the things you want to see and do. Of course, you don’t have to plan every little detail. Especially not if you have internet access during your stay. A handy app for this is from Sygic Travel.
Google maps is a great help in this too. Also for finding public transport information.
Having dinner alone
Something all people face that travel alone. A lot of people get the feeling of being watched by the other guests. After being out for dinner alone many many times I can assure you most people couldn’t care less about you (that’s a good thing in this case). It’s just in your mind, trust me it gets easier. No need to see it as something scary or boring. Some tips to do while having dinner.
- Read a book or magazine.
- Look at other people yourself.
- Message with friends
- Go to that one restaurant you loved, talk to the staff.
- Eat at the bar or a communal table.
Perhaps even more important, do not forget to enjoy your food.
Learn the language
It’s useful when you know how to say basic things in the language of your destination. Things like, hello, thank you, do you speak …, sorry, etc. If you are not good at learning new languages, don’t worry there are enough books with short phrases you can buy at any bookstore. Just in case you lost your voice or are too scared to say something, bring the booklet Point-it along. Just point at one of the many pictures inside.
Besides that, most people have smartphones and if you have internet access, definitely make sure Google translate is installed. One tip if you use google translate make sure your sentences are simple. To ensure a more accurate translation.
Staying in touch
If you live and travel in Europe, look at your carrier’s website. Often they offer the opportunity to add a bundle for internet and calls in foreign countries. Starting from the 15th of June 2017 roaming costs for EU countries is something of the past. Check for more information about the end of roaming for EU residents on the website of your provider. If you travel outside of Europe, it is useful to purchase a local SIM card in the country you visit. Also, consider adding internet access to the sim card. That way, you can, for example, use Google Maps, call home at no cost via Skype or Whatsapp. Of course, your mobile phone must be sim lock free.
Important documents and valuable items
Make sure that you don’t leave valuable items that you don’t take along with you in plain sight when you leave your room. Always keep an eye on your bag with valuable items in it like camera, passport, phone and money at busy locations. There is always a chance for pickpockets wondering around. So don’t wear your bag on your back. Send yourself an email containing copies of your travel documents and passport in case those items get lost.
If you leave for a new location, try to arrive before nightfall, you do not know the area yet and don’t know what to be aware of yet. Be aware of your environment, know what’s happening around you, especially at busy locations concerning pickpockets. If someone bothers you, make sure to attract attention from bystanders if the person in question does not want to leave you alone. If you feel uncomfortable walking on the street late at night, take a taxi. Let a friend know you’re going out, Let them know you arrived back at your room. In the end, it all just comes down to common sense. Use that and most things to keep yourself safe come naturally.