Is it possible to travel without friends and family and enjoy it?
While there’s nothing quite like making memories around the world with those you love most, travelling by yourself can be just as memorable. It’s in fact, a completely different experience as a whole. Like many other single travelers will tell you, it’s like becoming part of a new family. It’s the perfect way to make new friends.
Look after yourself
As with any travelling, safety is always the first thing we think about. When you’re unfamiliar with a place, extra safety measures are usually wise. Travelling in a group means that you’ll be in a group for most of your holiday, led by your tour leader and a local guide in some destinations.
However, for those times when you would like to spend some free time exploring, be sure to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings. As always, keep your valuables close, and try not to walk around with unnecessary valuable items or large amounts of money.
Speak to someone you’ve never met before
Going on holiday alone is the perfect excuse to come out of your shell. Even if you’re not usually a bubbly, people-person, solo travelling requires you to leave your comfort zone somewhat. We always say that people who travel have at least that in mind: A love for travel and exploring the world. Don’t be afraid to start up conversations, be chatty and welcome others into your conversations as well.
Do your homework
Before leaving, download local maps and buy a reputable travel guide for attractions and points of interest. Make a list of local authorities (including Canadian embassies or consulates), hospitals and clinics, together with their contact info.
Stay in touch
Share your full itinerary with a family member or friend, and check in every couple of days. For both safety and travel utility, don’t rely solely on Wi-Fi, even though it’s widely available. Roaming charges for your smartphone can really add up, so ask your provider for a roaming package. For longer trips, it’s often cheaper to unlock your phone, buy a local SIM card, and use a foreign carrier. Then simply replace your original SIM card when you return.
Another one of our golden solo travel trips is to buy travel insurance that will have you covered for any emergency. Since you won’t have anyone with you that is aware of any prior medical history, make sure you have travel insurance that covers you medically. Also consider trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance. Because stuff happens!
Embrace the experience
While taking some precautions, be open to meeting people, sampling the language, foods and culture. To encourage encounters, eat at the bar, frequent local cafés and lunch spots in reputable neighborhoods. Remember to smile!
Common sense is your best defense. Research unsafe neighborhoods and check out comments on your lodgings before you book. Avoid trouble spots, drink responsibly and frequent well-lit public spaces. At a café, keep valuables like your phone off the table. Don’t label yourself a tourist: wear nondescript clothes similar to what locals wear, leave your expensive camera and jewelry at home and stride confidently!