Imagine a holiday where you get to do anything you want. Whether you prefer to sleep in until noon and drink cocktails by the pool, get up at the crack of dawn for that sunrise hike, or shop until you drop. Traveling alone means that you never have to compromise or argue about where to eat. It can be tricky to know where to start, so we have some tips for making the most out of your adventure!
Staying in a dorm in a hostel is a great way to meet fellow travelers and make new friends. Try Hostel World to find one near you. Most hostels offer mixed co-ed dorms, as well as female-only dorms. So if you are a woman traveling alone, you don’t have to worry about being stuck in a room full of boys. If you’re going to be getting in late, double-check to make sure that your hostel has a 24-hour reception and know that you’re on your way.
Try The Free Hostel Activities
Ask at the front desk about activities going on in or around your hostel during your stay. Many hostels offer free or cheap group activities every evening: from walking tours to cooking class, family dinner, drink specials, and more! This is a great way to mingle with other travelers and learn about the local culture and cuisine.
Bring A Book & A Deck Of Cards
Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, these two items are a solo backpacker’s best friend. Bring a good book along to keep you company while enjoying your scenic solo dinner, and to occupy the time on sunny beach days. The pack of cards is a great ice breaker to use at the bar, hostel, or long train ride to get to know other people.
Find A Travel Buddy
If you’ve gotten bored of the solo life and are looking for a friend to share your adventures with, try a travel buddy app like Backpackr. Unlike other social networking apps, this is aimed solely 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, get out and make friends with the locals. Knowing a little of the language is always a bonus, but it can be hard to strike up a conversation with a stranger. Try Couchsurfing for a free and convenient way to meet locals. Not only can you find a free place to stay the night, but many hosts are happy to take tourists out for dinner, drinks, and show them the best places you might not find otherwise. The app also hosts meet-ups in big cities where locals and travelers can mix and mingle!
Keep Your Valuables Safe
Most hostels provide a locker to store your valuables during the day or a safe where you can leave them while sightseeing. To be on the safe side, take only what you need during the day and leave the rest locked up. If you need to take out a large amount of cash, don’t leave it all 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 Gut
Traveling solo always has a touch of unpredictability to it, that’s 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 tells you something just doesn’t feel right. Whether it’s the tuk-tuk driver offering to sell you something sweet or the local who promises to show you spectacular sights: if you have a bad feeling about something it’s always better to stay on the safe side. If you ever feel uncertain or unsafe, find some friends and ask if you can join them or stay in a well-lit area and call an Uber to get back to your homestay.
Make Time For Yourself
This may be more difficult for some than for others. While introverts long for their alone time, many extroverts have to make a conscious effort to set aside time for themselves. Although making new friends is exciting, traveling alone provides a great opportunity to get to know yourself better. So book that fancy private room for one night, and spend a day enjoying the scenery. Take some time to enjoy being alone with yourself and doing whatever you want to do!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com