Exotic travel to new destinations offers great excitement and opportunities. But what happens if your only option to escape to foreign lands is by solo travel? For many people, solo travel is intimidating. Concerns about safety may deter you from traveling alone, or you might just feel a little “strange” being all by yourself in a foreign country. Believe it or not, there are tremendous benefits of traveling alone. Solo travel can be perfectly safe with the right preparations. And it can change your life in ways you never would have thought possible!
Expanding Your Comfort Zone — Facing Fears and Letting Go of Worry
Though it may sound strange, one of the benefits of traveling alone is getting out of your comfort zone. Solo travel forces you to face your fears and let go of your worries. Even minor concerns like dining by yourself might be uncomfortable. But with traveling solo, you find ways to come to terms with these anxiety-provoking situations. When you do, wonderful things can happen. Solo travel encourages you to be more flexible and spontaneous. In the process, you experience things you might have otherwise missed. It also forces you to get to know yourself better, which might be scary for some of us. By forcing you outside your normal limits of comfort, solo travel gives you a new chance to grow and evolve. In the process, you get to know yourself much better.
Solo Travel is Self-Empowering
In addition to expanding your normal boundaries, solo travel is tremendously empowering. One of the benefits of traveling alone is that every decision to be made and problem to be solved depends on you. You might not think this sounds too wonderful, but in actuality it is. Solo travel teaches you that you can do anything you set you mind to…and do it well! In this way, solo travel boosts your confidence, independence, and sense of self. Through it all, your travel experiences can allow you to know yourself and truly love the person you are.
Personal Safety when Traveling Solo
Naturally, safety should be a concern for any foreign traveler, but it becomes more important for the solo traveler. This, however, is not a reason to forego the many wonderful experiences solo travel has to offer. In terms of safety, you should consider a few important tasks. First, research your destination thoroughly when planning your trip. Know transit options and schedules, check hotel reviews and amenities, and study maps and locations. Also, make plans to arrive during the daytime and have important numbers, contacts and maps handy. Other safety measures include staying in public settings, staying alert and sober, and protecting your belongings. These simple choices can go a long way in making your solo travel safer and much more pleasant.
Ten Tips to Make Your Solo Travel Safer and More Pleasant
1. Choose Your Destination Wisely.
Check government travel sites and do your homework. Avoid surprises as best you can.
2. Verify Important Documents.
Make sure you have all the necessary travel documents and itinerary information so your solo travel flows smoothly.
3. Spend Some Time on Accommodations.
Check hotel reviews, amenities, and cancellation policies. Check to see what happens in the event you get locked out or have other issues.
4. Verify Phone Access.
Check with your smartphone service provider and see options for international plans and Internet access fees ahead of time.
5. Arrange Daytime Arrivals.
Schedule flights and other travel so you arrive when it is daylight and easier to navigate your new surroundings.
6. Preplan Foreign Transit.
Not only might this be less expensive, but it will often familiarize you with foreign transit options and schedules ahead of time.
7. Leave Time for Spontaneity.
Don’t “overschedule” your solo travel. Make sure you have time to reap the benefits that solo travel offers.
8. Travel Light.
With solo travel, you don’t want to be lugging three suitcases around. Pack light and stay light.
9. Consider Learning the Language.
Knowing the foreign culture is important when on solo travel, and knowing the foreign language can be even better. Many cultures see this as a sign of respect
10. Take a Chance (Safely) and Do Something New.
The best part of solo travel is the opportunity to spread your wings and fly. Don’t talk yourself out of something that might be really fun and exciting.
Solo Travel Offers Many Holistic Benefits
Foreign travel can enlighten your mind and soul in many ways. But solo travel specifically offers many benefits emotionally, mentally, physically, and even spiritually. Solo travel allows you to learn about new places and cultures. These experiences provide rich learning opportunities. At the same time, solo travel provides time for serenity, self-reflection, and solitude to ease the mind and self-reflect. Physically, you will often find yourself hiking, walking, and exploring many hard-to-reach destinations. And, believe it or not, your social skills will naturally improve as you seek companionship with others. In many ways, solo travel lets you pursue your own holistic self-health while having the time of your life.