Your ultimate guide to solo travel
Traveling alone doesn't have to be daunting – you can make the most of your singles vacation by planning ahead. Decide what type of vacation you want to take, follow simple etiquette rules and know how to keep yourself safe. These are all part of having the adventure of a lifetime. When you're traveling, anything is possible. Who knows whom you might meet along the way. Here's how you can eat, pray, love yourself around the world.
1. Take a load off
What type of singles vacation do you want to take? The great thing about traveling alone is that you get to decide what you want to do. You're on your own time and you don't have to stick to anyone else's schedule, so why not make the most of it? Take a relaxing holiday where you do the things you love, whether it's lazing around all day reading a book or getting pampered at a day spa. Alone time is the perfect time to unwind and it's even better if you can do it in an exotic location.
2. Get social
Traveling alone doesn't necessarily mean you have to be alone. If you're not looking solely for an R & R holiday, but you want something a bit more vibrant, consider a social vacation. Wherever you go, book yourself into group activities. Snorkeling, bike tours, wine tasting – there's sure to be local events where you can mingle. If you want to go one step up, book yourself on a group tour like Contiki, or book a room in an Airbnb house or hostel where other guests are staying, making it even easier to meet people to explore with.
3. Don't bring the kitchen sink
If you're traveling alone you may have to rely on the kindness of strangers to help you lug your bag up flights of stairs. Or, you might find yourself in digs for one person that aren't big enough to accommodate a giant suitcase. Pack light to be more mobile. It might seem stressful to leave behind three of your four favorite pairs of sandals, but it will be much less stressful navigating a foreign public transport system with a reasonably sized bag.
4. Respect the space you're sharing
Chances are you're going to be sharing space with people. As a single, you'll be seated next to a stranger anywhere you go, from plane to bus to train. You might also book shared accommodations, landing you in close quarters with one or more strangers. Be respectful of shared spaces. Wear headphones when you listen to music, always clean up after yourself and don't spend the long hours you normally would at home in the shower.
5. Stay safe
Lone travelers can be vulnerable. Always know where you're going and never look lost. If you're quizzically looking at your phone or a map while scratching your head on a street corner, you could be throwing out chum for circling pickpockets. Always research the areas you're traveling in so you know where it's not safe to wander alone after dark.
It's always nice to have someone watch your back, so let those at home know your plans. Technology makes this easy. A simple text to your parents, a partner or a good friend checking in every day not only lets them know that you're safe, it gives your loved ones the impetus to raise the alarm if they don't hear from you for a while.