One of the top trends this year is going off and traveling on your own. Solo travel has taken on new heights and shows no signs of slowing down.
In fact, it may become even more popular as word spreads on how freeing it can truly be. Whether you are a digital nomad, a seasoned traveler, or just starting out, we tend to run ourselves ragged with work.
It’s always nice to decompress by taking a new trip with to discover newfound experiences. Maybe your friends couldn’t go, or maybe you actually want to embrace solitude for a while.
Either way, solo travel has become a norm, and it’s not just gap year college kids. Statistics show female travelers are flying solo the most, but it’s a variety of people who choose to take on this growing trend.
Did the pandemic make us comfortable being alone? Is it a disconnect with the way society has adapted to social media?
Regardless, solo travel seems here to stay. Here are the top 4 tips solo travelers need to know now:
Prepare For Backlash
Let’s avoid the usual solo travel advice we have all seen before. You know, ‘go out and make friends’, etc.
It’s 2023. Solo travel is booming, and we are fully aware that ‘solo’ means ‘alone’. Whether you are taking your first solo trip or have done it countless times, there always seems to be someone to get in your way.
For me, it was my ex-girlfriend and her mom (hence the “ex” part). They just couldn’t wrap their head around the idea of going somewhere alone—especially a foreign country.
Then comes accusations of running away from life’s problems, along with “you couldn’t get anyone to go with you?”, or “why isn’t your girlfriend going?”.
Are we not entitled to our own individuality anymore? The answer is yes, we are! Solo travel is a perfect escape to embrace yourself, find yourself, or whatever it is you need.
But, be prepared for others not to understand and they will let you hear about it. Many people will be supportive, but often times it’s the one negative voice our minds hold onto.
Tiktok Is Not Always A Mirror Of The World
Obviously, it’s extremely common to view the world through TikTok or other social media platforms.
However, it’s best not to judge a book by its cover when going someplace new. Tiktok can be a great tool to check out places beforehand or get other travelers’ opinions.
But you can’t always expect to have the same experience as the traveler before you. There are so many overhyped places in the world, and many are paid advertisements.
The best way to go somewhere new on your own is with an open heart and mind. Let the destination reveal itself instead of chasing what others have already found.
Sometimes, the trip that didn’t go as planned will make the best memories.
Prepare In Advance How You Handle Downtime
So, here we are. The part where we are not going to be like other blogs saying ‘go out and make friends’.
Obviously, that’s a given, as many travelers will find themselves in hostels with like-minded travelers. The opportunity is there, and it’s up to you how much you want to socialize.
Remember, this is your trip. However, it would be wise to realize upfront how much downtime you are going to have.
Solo travel is for everyone, but if you’re the type that can’t stand silence, or even if you are on the shyer side, you will want to have an idea how to handle your downtime.
Did you bring a book? Are your AirPods charged? Oftentimes, your phone is your friend on the road. Not strangers at hostels, unless you seek it out.
Don’t Shrug Off Safety Concerns
While a majority of travelers get back home unscathed, safety should not be taken lightly. We all know the golden rules of travel, such as “don’t flash your valuables”. Duh!
We live in a crazy world, and it’s important to stay up to date with wherever it is you’re headed. When you’re alone, you have to watch out for yourself.
Research travel advisories, know the local emergency phone number, and take a rideshare when possible since the rides are tracked.
Whether you want to believe it or not, at some point on your trip, you could be a target. It could be a petty scam or something bigger, but eyes could be on you.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com