7 Travel Tips for Successfully Traveling Solo 

Traveling solo has many benefits but it can be nerve-wracking for some who feel unsure of going it alone. These seven tips will help ease your worries.

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Traveling solo can be a rewarding experience with many benefits including moving at your own pace, seeing exactly what you want when you want, eating the food you like without having to work out a consensus with a travel partner. However, it it’s not something you’ve ventured out to do before, you may have some concerns about how to do it successfully and safely. The following seven tips can get you started. raveling is typically framed as a group experience whether that’s with a spouse or partner, friends, family or a tour group. For those who are single or need/want to travel alone, it can frequently be a daunting prospect, but that doesn’t have to be the case. 

Traveling solo can be a rewarding experience with many benefits including moving at your own pace, seeing exactly what you want when you want, eating the food you like without having to work out a consensus with a travel partner. However, it it’s not something you’ve ventured out to do before, you may have some concerns about how to do it successfully and safely. The following seven tips can get you started. 

7 Travel Tips

  • 1

    Give your itinerary to a friend or loved one at home

    When traveling solo, it’s important to let others know your itinerary and you may want to check in with a designed person during your trip just to ensure they know you’re OK and on track in your travels. Leaving a detailed itinerary and contact information is not only important for you and your safety, but also for those at home in case something urgent occurs and you need to be reached.

  • 2

    Make sure you have proper health coverage while traveling

    Rules can change for health insurance coverage depending upon where you’re traveling. If it’s in the United States, call or visit the website of your health insurance company to see what restrictions if any there are in case you become ill or have an accident while traveling. Same for any prescription medications you might take. If something happens and you lose them, you’ll want a plan in place so you’re not left scrambling. If you’re traveling internationally find out if your Medicare plan covers foreign travel. Original Medicare typically doesn't cover health care while you're traveling outside the U.S. so this is something you’ll want to thoroughly investigate and plan for before embarking on any trip.

  • 3

    Proactively combat loneliness with certain activities

    One of the biggest concerns you may have with solo travel is feeling lonely. This is a normal concern but, with some planning, you can combat this. One suggestion is to book a group walking tour or bus tour of your destination. This is an easy way to meet others and enjoy being with a group. You can also let friends and family know that you’re traveling to a certain destination to see if they have a connection there. People often like to show off their city and enjoy spending an afternoon sharing their favorite locales. Be careful about posting your travel plans to publicly facing social media accounts, make sure your account is set to private friends only as you won’t want to broadcast that your home will be empty but this is another way of connecting with mutual friends in other locations. You may also want to check out a site like Meetup.com which connects people with similar interests for events and happenings while you’re traveling.

  • 4

    House it instead of hoteling it

    Kelly Hayes-Raitt recently moved to Lisbon, Portugal from the U.S. and is the author of How to Become a Housesitter: Insider Tips from the HouseSit Diva. She’s been traveling solo full-time for the past 12 years as an international house sitter and has lived in more than 50 homes in 19 countries throughout Europe, Southeast Asia, Mexico, the U.S., and Africa, taking care of nearly 100 dogs, cats, rabbits and fish.

    Kelly highly recommends housesitting for solo travelers. Kelly shares, “Housesitting is a great way for solo travelers – especially women – to explore a new place.  I feel safer in homes than in hotels, which are usually located in more touristy areas that attract pickpockets and scammers. Also, I appreciate amenities I wouldn't have in a hotel, such as free laundry and movie channels, faster, more secure internet and a full kitchen. Plus, I get to hang out with fabulous pets!  Sometimes I ask my homeowners to introduce me to a neighbor or friend I can meet for a meal or a cup of coffee.” Kelly advises that you be clear on the expectations for pet and house care responsibilities. Make sure they’re relaxed enough to allow you time to explore your destination!

  • 5

    When you’re traveling alone, blending into culture has several benefits says Johanna Read, a responsible tourism writer from Vancouver Canada. She shares, “Blending in and minimizing how much you look like a tourist is the secret to travel success especially when solo. On my first day in a new country, I take a walk to check how people are dressed and, especially, how they carry their belongings (e.g. Is a purse nonchalantly on a shoulder or carried more carefully in front of the body complete with a hand over the zipper? How cautious are residents with their phones?) and follow suit.”

    Johanna also says this is also a good opportunity to check out local customs about crossing the street (Do pedestrians have the right of way? Is jaywalking common? Do you need to check three times before you step off the sidewalk?), eating on the street and whether strangers say good morning, nod, or completely ignore each other. Johanna shares, “Tourists, solo or not, are most at risk of distraction crimes and crimes of opportunity like pickpocketing or leaving your bag slung on the back of your chair at a cafe. When you're admiring the architecture or looking at Google Maps, you're not paying the attention you should to the people around you.”

  • 6

    Be on guard with bags and valuables

    It’s easy to get distracted and let your guard down when traveling. As a solo traveler it’s especially important to be on guard and aware at all times. As a seasoned international traveler, Johanna knows that tourists are often targeted for this very reason, she says, “I keep the minimal valuables I carry zipped up in inside pockets. If I carry a day bag at all, it's slung in front of me with locked zippers. Wherever I travel, I make sure my bag isn't easily grabbable by someone on a bike or motorcycle. If I do pull out my phone on the street, I check to see if anyone is near enough to grab it out of my hands.”

    Johanna goes on, “I'm especially careful in busy tourist areas with shopping and street performers hoping for tips. I tend to keep moving and usually wear earphones without the sound on. If someone tries to chat to entice me into their shop or watch their performance” this way she can be polite but have the appearance of not hearing and can keep walking without engaging.

  • 7

    Another tip Johanna has is to wisely choose who you ask for help if you need directions or a recommendation, “rather than rely on the overly kind person who suddenly appears at your side. But keep in mind that wherever you travel, the grand majority of people are helpful and will look out for a solo traveler especially a female one.”

    If you’ve got the travel bug, maybe an RV retirement is right for you? Here are 5 things to consider.

This material provides general information for educational purposes only. This is not intended as investment advice or a recommendation regarding any investment. Myhealthpolicy.com and K.F. Agency, Inc. do not provide legal or tax advice. Each individual should seek specific advice from their own tax or legal advisors.

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