For most people, travelling is something to be enjoyed together with others. However, if you’re more of an introvert or want to try something new, you may have been wondering what it is like to travel solo.
While an overall gratifying experience, there are some things you need to consider if you are seriously considering travelling on your own. If you can get away with just hopping in the car or plane and setting off when you’re with someone else, going on your means, you’ll need to do some more careful planning.
After all, if something goes amiss when you’re on your own, you don’t have anyone to fall back on and will have to deal with everything on your own.
For this reason, it’s better to plan carefully before you walk outside your door to ensure you won’t run into any tricky situations. Here are some things you should keep in mind.
Research your destination
The most important thing to do before you travel is to do some thorough research on the places you’ll be visiting.
This isn’t just to find the best spots to have dinner or party, but also to check how safe the region is. Are there any concerns or threats associated with the place you’re travelling to? For example, is there any ongoing political turmoil in the country you’re about to visit, such as street protests or riots?
If you are worried your vacation will be stopped short by some form of civil unrest, your best bet is to postpone it for another time. Ultimately, however, it all boils down to personal choice and how much of a risk you’re willing to take.
You should also consider the season and climate. Certain parts of the world are more prone to wildfires, floods, typhoons or hurricanes during different periods of the year, and such events won’t only cause you to stop your vacation short but might also have you stranded in a foreign country for a while. This raises further concerns about visas and unplanned costs you might be unable to cover.
Try to blend in
This is important whether you’re travelling alone or in a large group. You want to be respectful of the country you’re visiting, as well as the local customs. Dress appropriately, depending on where you visit. In some parts of the world, wearing revealing clothing is considered inadequate, and you don’t want to be seen as disrespectful.
It’s a common stereotype that tourists are selfish and leave a lot of mess behind them. You don’t want to fall into this box, and you can actually dispel the image of the ignorant tourist in the mind of some local people.
Moreover, if you respect local cultures, you’ll have an easier time travelling around. When you blend in with the people, you don’t risk being disturbed in any way or having your entrance denied at certain spots or landmarks you’d want to visit.
Consider your well-being
If you’re the more adventurous type, you’ll probably want to try some outdoor activities. Hiking, biking, and swimming are just a few of them, but you must be careful to take all the extra precautions you need to stay safe. Becoming injured in a foreign country can be a real struggle since you don’t know the best doctors or clinics, and the costs can be substantial. Moreover, if you’re on your own, it can feel all the scarier.
If you become injured on vacation, you are within your rights to file a compensation claim in the UK. The amount you’ll be eligible to receive depends on the type of injuries you sustained and how severe they were.
If you need to take a long time off from performing ordinary activities, you will receive a higher quantum compared to the case in which your wounds are relatively superficial. If you sustained chronic physical or emotional damage as a result of your injuries, you could demand more from the guilty party.
While it’s, of course, not a good idea to be hyper aware of your surroundings as it’ll make you unnecessarily fearful, it’s also essential that you don’t forget your common sense at home. For instance, there are many opportunities to meet new people on holiday, but you need to be careful about who you trust.
If you’re hanging out with someone and they suggest meeting up later at some remote or isolated spot, it goes without saying that you should refuse. It’s always a good idea to trust your instincts, and if you’re getting a feeling that something is not alright, your best bet is to err on the side of caution.
Don’t drink too much, and remember to keep your drinks within your line of sight. You don’t know who you may encounter when you’re outside, so be careful what crowds you spend your time with. If you feel uncomfortable and are worried you might be followed, your best bet is to walk into a public place like a restaurant or a supermarket. Lastly, if someone asks if you’re travelling alone, deny and say you’re accompanied by your spouse, a relative or a friend.
If you’ve been thinking about travelling alone for a while, don’t forget to enjoy your trip. With your mind considering all the things you have to do before you leave and assessing all the possible troubles that can come along the way, you might forget that the primary purpose of a vacation is to have fun and relax.
Take this opportunity to visit all the places you’ve wanted to, and spend your time however you wish. Often when you’re with a crowd, you’ll have to compromise on what you want to do so that nobody in your group feels neglected.
The best thing about it is that if you’ve never travelled on your own before, the only way to figure out if it’s for you or not is to give it a try. If you decide you like travelling with a group more, it’s a one-time experience, and you’ve learnt something new about yourself. And if you enjoy it, then you know you must repeat it as soon as possible.