More About Solo Travel
With the increased connectivity of the world and ease of travel, solo travel is becoming increasingly popular. Solo vacations offer independent travelers the flexibility to immerse themselves in the culture of a new place deeper, and connect with locals more so than otherwise. It also allows travelers to be more self-indulgent by focusing on one's individual preferences. If you are planning a solo vacation TravelStore is here to help meet your travel needs.
One way to travel solo is on a guided group tour. For those that prefer the companionship of like-minded travelers and being able to share experiences with others while traveling, joining a group tour has a lot of benefits. Alternatively, for many taking a solo vacation, the focus really is being out on your own without the security of a group. For custom solo trips we work with in-country, locally-based partners who are reachable should the need arise on-the-spot.
One of the concerns of traveling by yourself is the responsibility that may have otherwise been shared such as keeping track of addresses, holding onto the hotel room key, or scheduling activities. To help alleviate any concern while planning a solo vacation, TravelStore has compiled some travel tips to help interested travelers.
Solo Travel Tips
Be sure you can comfortably carry all your luggage on your own. If that means you may have to wear an outfit multiple times on your trip, feel safe in that no one else will notice. Ensuring you can carry your luggage means that you’ll never have to leave it unattended.
Additionally, we recommend that you leave any valuables, such as jewelry, at home to mitigate any potential loss. (You can always pick up some locally-made jewelry on your trip, too.)
Take as much clothing as you can that's lightweight and quick drying. It may cost more to buy it, but it's great when you can wash clothes that will dry overnight and ready to pack or wear the next day. (e.g. ExOficio)
Show your appreciation for helpful employees with an appropriate tip. Experience shows that they will remember you and often times make you a priority with help. Additionally, carrying cash is recommended to avoid any solo visits to an ATM or issues with locations that don’t accept credit cards. Be sure to check tipping recommendations for where you're traveling. And while some countries have no tipping requirement, sometimes it's a nice gesture to show your appreciation, and helps nurture the general sense about Americans being generous people.
Learn A Bit of the Language
Solo travel means you’ll need to rely on yourself to converse with locals and fellow travelers. TravelStore recommends learning at least a few key phrases to get the essentials. Making an effort at attempting local language can earn you some brownie points and be a conversation starter to go deeper with the locals. It also shows respect for another's culture. While trying your hand at the local language, keep your eye out for fellow travelers that can provide some assistance, or at least a fun conversation.
Map Out a Plan
This doesn't fit everyone's travel lifestyle, for sure. There's something to be said about "winging it," or getting lost in a place and finding things out for oneself on the spot. However, there's much to be said about creating an itinerary before leaving for your trip, to ensure you have a realistic sense of geography, attractions of interest to you, public transit options, special events, and even restaurants you may want to try. Planning ahead of time can relieve some of the stress of travel, and more importantly, optimizes your time, so you can spend more time enjoying where you are rather than figuring out what to do next.
Keep Business Cards
Grab a business card as soon as you check into the hotel to have an exact address and phone number to direct taxi drivers or to contact the hotel in case of an emergency. Often hotels will have cards with both English and the local language -- that's especially useful if you have to deal with public transport and English may not be spoken. We also recommend grabbing business cards for restaurants and other locations to help remember your trip!
Meet Fellow Travelers
While you may be traveling alone, you don’t necessarily have to avoid interaction the entire trip! Join a free walking tour or book an excursion or two stay. You'll enjoy the enrichment provided by a local guide, and will meet other travelers to enjoy time the time together. You might even find a dinner companion! TravelStore can help you arrange some exciting excursions to enjoy on your trip.
Safety is Important
- Especially for solo women travelers, safety is important. While most travelers should be safe traveling in most countries, there may be some regions that are best not traversed on one's own. Of course, we can help guide your choice. Likewise, staying in a hotel may offer more security than in a hostel or Airbnb, and the staff or concierge can be a wealth of information about where it's safe to go, especially at night.
- Register with the STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program), and leave your itinerary with a relative or friend at home, just in case.
Contact one of our travel experts to learn more about our custom small group travel plans today!