Top 8 Tips for First-Time Solo Travelers

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Imagine a vacation where you can do whatever you want. Whether you prefer to sleep until noon and drink cocktails by the pool, get up at dawn for this sunrise hike, or shop until you drop. Traveling alone means you never have to compromise or argue over where to eat. It can be hard to know where to start, so we’ve got some tips on how to get the most out of your adventure!

To make friends

Staying in a dormitory at a hostel is a great way to meet other travelers and make new friends. Try Hostel of the World to find one near you. Most hostels offer mixed dorms, as well as female-only dorms. So if you are a female traveling alone, you don’t have to worry about being stuck in a room full of boys. If you’re planning on arriving late, check that your hostel has a 24-hour front desk and know you’re on your way.

Try the free activities at the hostel

Ask at reception about activities going on in or around your hostel during your stay. Many hostels offer free or inexpensive group activities every night: walking tours to cooking classes, family dinner, drink specials and more! It’s a great way to mingle with other travelers and learn about local culture and cuisine.

Bring a book and a deck of cards

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, these two articles are a solo backpacker’s best friend. Bring a good book to keep you company while enjoying your scenic solo dinner and to occupy the time on sunny beach days. The card game is a great icebreaker to use at the bar, hostel, or on a long train ride to get to know other people.

Find a travel companion

If you’re bored of the solo life and looking for a friend to share your adventures with, try a travel companion app like Backpacker. Unlike other social media apps, this one is aimed only at solo travelers to help you connect with other people your age in the area.

Meet the locals

If you really want to get a taste of everyday life in a country, go out and make friends with the locals. Knowing a bit of the language is always a plus, but it can be difficult to strike up a conversation with a stranger. Try Couchsurfing for a free and convenient way to meet the locals. Not only can you find a free place to spend the night, many hosts are happy to take tourists to dinner, have a drink, and show them the best places you might not find otherwise. The app also hosts meetups in major cities where locals and travelers can mingle and mingle!

Keep your valuables safe

Most hostels offer a locker to store your valuables during the day or a safe where you can leave them during your visits. To be on the safe side, take only what you need during the day and leave the rest locked up. If you need to withdraw a large amount of money, don’t leave everything in one place. Store a little here and there throughout your bag. And trust us when we say a waterproof cover for your cell phone and passport will go a long way.

Trust your instincts

Traveling solo always has a touch of unpredictability, which is why we love it! It’s all part of the adventure. However, at one point or another, you might find yourself in a situation where that little voice in your head is telling you that something is wrong. Whether it’s the tuk-tuk driver offering to sell you something sweet or the local promising to show you spectacular views: if you have a bad feeling about something, it’s always best to be careful. If you ever feel unsure or in danger, find friends and ask if you can join them or stay in a well-lit place and call an Uber to get home.

Take time for you

It may be more difficult for some than for others. While introverts yearn to spend time alone, many extroverts have to make a conscious effort to make time for themselves. While making new friends is exciting, traveling alone is a great opportunity to get to know each other better. So book this chic private room for one night and spend a day enjoying the scenery. Take the time to enjoy being alone with yourself and doing what you want to do!

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About John McTaggart

John McTaggart

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