Have a great solo vacation!
Travelling on your own is a celebration of your freedom! You organize your own schedule, you visit the places you fancy, you may get spontaneous if you suddenly feel like it and you create your own rules from A to Z…
As an experienced solo traveler with a deep passion for culture, my one and only challenge has always been safety. Throughout the years, I have learned that, with the right tools and knowledge, it’s not that difficult to keep myself out of trouble.
Whether you’re looking for adventure, spiritual or cultural experiences, fun or just an opportunity to completely unwind, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have the time of your life on your solo vacation!
Whatever the purpose, length and destination make sure to:
- Do your research
Make sure you have comprehensive and accurate information about the destination, cultural particularities, activities you are planning and most of all, cover all possible safety challenges that may arise during your trip. Make sure your health insurance is covered at all times, get vaccinated in case you’re travelling to regions of high disease risk and be very strict regarding your hygiene, food and water supply when travelling to malaria stricken zones.
Plan your accommodation accordingly and consider reviews given by other travelers. The ideal case would be to get a tailored tour if budget allows, depending on your desired trip objective.
Make sure you know ahead of time what are the challenges of the region you’re travelling to, read about other people’s experiences in the same area and be wary of cultural differences.
- Pack light
Unless you have your own personal valet, you’ll pretty much going to have to carry your bag around everywhere. As a woman, I confess it’s a total nuisance, especially given the fact that my spectrum of “essential” is painfully large when it comes to wardrobe and cosmetics.
Make sure you are well aware of the weather and pack the essentials accordingly. Do prepare a list with items you’ll need and pay special care to your personal documents. On that subject, make sure you mail copies to yourself and keep some printed copies separately from your original documents.
If you’re travelling to slightly dangerous areas, I recommend packing a small pepper spray which should always go in your check-in luggage.
- Don’t be the target of pickpockets
The number 1 rule when it comes to pickpockets needs to be emphasized loud and clear: Don’t keep your wallet in your outside pocket. Whether we’re talking pants, backpack or coat, just don’t do that. Your wallet is to be kept in a pocket compartment inside your coat. During summertime, in a bag positioned close to your body.
Always be aware of your surroundings and never leave your bags unsupervised.
There are a lot of street tricksters in different countries around Europe and tourists fall victim, unfortunately. They target a single individual on the street, approaching them using different tricks and while the tourist is distracted, another member of the trickster team will rob them. Sometimes being polite is just not the best idea, so if you’re being approached by someone on the street, either don’t stop or be careful and well aware of your wallet.
- Nightlife: fun but safe
If you enjoy night clubbing and partying, there are basically 3 important rules to follow and you’ll be fine:
- Stay aware. Drink responsibly, you’ll want to know what’s going on around you at all times.
- Don’t lose sight of your drink and don’t accept drinks from strangers. Trust me on this, I’ve heard enough Rohypnol horror stories .
- Make sure you can count on a cab or Uber, when it’s time to get back to your hotel at night.
- Get an exhilarating cultural experience
Shop from locals and get to know people. You’ll make friends in no time, as most of the people around the world, no matter what nationality they are, tend to cherish and respect their clients. Ask their advice about places to visit, make conversation about their customs and you’ll get a useful insight of the things that may interest you.
Always try to be generous with hard working people and they may reward you with something that cannot be bought with money. The colours of the world may become astonishingly beautiful as your single journey becomes more and more spiritual.
By Cristina Candea