Solo travel used to have a bit of a stigma attached to it; it used to be something for people who didn’t have friends, or who were a little bit strange, but nowadays that’s not the case at all, and more and more people are embracing the total freedom of solo travel, heading off to places they’ve always dreamed of, without having to compromise.
Whether you’re male or female, solo travel is entirely safe provided you listen to advice and use your common sense. If it’s the first time you’ve headed off solo then you could be forgiven for feeling a little nervous about it, but I can guarantee that the moment you’re on your way, and you get over your first hurdle, i.e. getting on a train on your own for the first time in a foreign country, then you will be filled with such a sense of achievement and confidence that you’ll be hooked from that moment on.
Solo travel isn’t for everyone, but it’s something everyone should try at least once. The key is to be brave, and see it as an opportunity. You could meet new friends who are all travelling alone too, or you could even meet the love of your life, but the key is to remain open to new experiences and new people, be brave, speak to people, and basically enjoy solo travel for what it is – the opportunity to be completely selfish and do what you want to do for a change, without having to compromise for others.
Listen to your gut and common sense
We can’t talk about solo travel and not mention the potential pitfalls of female solo travel. Now, in this day and age it isn’t something we should even have to consider, but the fact of the matter is that females travelling alone do have to be slightly more careful than men – ridiculous, I know. The good thing is that we women are armed with female instinct, a powerful tool that you should always listen to and use for good. Listen to your gut, if it tells you there’s something wrong then there probably is, never trust anyone you don’t know, don’t go out into dark streets alone, don’t flash valuables, and always dress in an appropriate manner for the place you’re going to. It’s all common sense at the end of the day, but it will save you a lot of trouble if you listen to it.
Listen to travel advice
Head online before you go away and check the official travel advice for the place you’re visiting – and listen to it! Listening to travel advice also means taking advice from people who have done the same thing that you’re about to do, because not only will it keep you safer, but it will also give you handy tips on things to see and do solo, which you might not have thought of previously.
Consider joining groups
You will find many solo travel companies online, who specialise in bringing people together via organised tours. Now, you might wonder what is the point of this if you’re supposed to be travelling solo, but you don’t have to use your entire break in this way, you can solo travel for half of it, and go on an organised tour for half of it. This is a great way to see things in an organised way, and meet new, likeminded people at the same time.
Embrace the freedom
This is the final, and possibly most important tip there is – embrace the freedom that solo travel brings. You will never have the same opportunity in your life again, the chance please you and you alone, without having to consider other people. The world is your oyster when you travel in this way, and that sense of freedom can’t be replicated.