1. Pack sparingly.
Only pack the necessities. If you’re traveling for a few days, don’t bring a weeks worth of clothes and shoes. You want to to pack as light as possible. You’re going to save money and be more mobile if you pack light. Ditch the high heels or hiking boots if that means a little less weight in your suitcase.
2. Budget, budget, budget!
Make a budget for yourself before hitting the road. Stick to that budget, but bring along extra funds in case of an emergency event. Pick a budget before leaving and make it a goal to stick with it. Hold yourself accountable for every purchase you make and how much money you spend in total.
3. Smile at strangers.
Be friendly! While visiting a new city or town you want to smile and look like you’re excited to be there. Smiling means you are happy, friendly, approachable, kind. A smile can also initiate a conversation with a stranger and you may get to learn a thing or two.
4. Save your pennies.
Make sure to save up enough money prior to your trip. Set aside a travel fund and don’t touch the money until you leave for your trip. Give yourself 6 months or more to save up enough money so that you can prioritize your funds when on the road. Don’t spend money on foolish things you don’t need or aren’t an absolute necessity.
5. Invest in travelers insurance.
Getting traveler insurance is always a smart idea when you travel often. If you don’t buy travel insurance, you will be held responsible for anything that goes wrong. With the purchase of traveler insurance, you can claim many expenses back, which can be a lifesaver when traveling.
6. Bring plenty of reading material.
Reading is a great activity to do while traveling solo not only on your flight, but throughout your day. Bring plenty of reading materials. If you start to feel uneasy sitting alone in a public place, you can open up a book, take out your phone, or read a magazine to take your mind off of it.
7. Adapt to your environment.
Adapting to a new area can be a challenge, especially when you’re only visiting for a short period of time. Adapt as much as possible so that you feel at home and comfortable during your stay. Try to blend in with the crowd. Radiate confidence and walk purposefully so you don’t look like an easy target. You want people to think you are from the area, to avoid any issues or unwanted interactions. Act like you own the place.
8. Book solo-friendly accommodations.
When booking a place to stay, many websites offer a “work trip” option which usually indicates you will be traveling solo.
9. Take a guided tour.
Take a tour of the area you’re visiting and learn more about the culture and backstory. Take a tour of a brewery, museum, art exhibit, sightseeing attractions, full day excursions, etc. A guided tour can be a good way to meet new people and experience the area firsthand.
10. Ask a local.
Nothing beats asking a local for their food recommendations. They will point you to the best spots in town. They will know where to go and where not to go, and save yourself the trouble of an unpleasant experience. The locals in the area will know the very best places to see when visiting the area. Ask where they’d recommend eating, sightseeing, exploring, and anything that’s not to be missed!
11. Lock up your valuables.
A lot of hotels and accommodations offer a lock box or safe to store your personal and valuable items. Keep your passport and other important documents secure. Have backup copies on you and at home with your trusted contact or family members. Avoid carrying a big purse if possible.
12. Board your flights early.
Give yourself enough time to board your flight with time to kill. The last thing you want to be doing is running down the airport terminal so that your the plane doesn’t take off without you. Always confirm that your flight is on schedule before leaving for the airport. If you have a lay over or connecting flight, gather all the information you need before boarding your first flight to make the connection go smoothly and without any issues.
13. Plan transportation wisely.
Make sure that you familiarize yourself with the areas local transportation and know how you’ll be getting around during your stay. Plan a ride from the airport to your accommodations that is reasonably priced. Taxis can ring up a large, unwanted bill! Take local transit if walking is out of the question. If you are going to a non-English speaking country, research how the system works before you arrive, or ask someone at the hotel you’re staying at before heading out. Be sure to be on the look out for passes and special deals for tourists visiting the area.
14. Establish a daily routine.
Try and establish a daily routine when traveling for extended periods of time. Go for a run, get a 7-day trial pass for the local gym, find a spot that offers happy hour deals. Visit the same café or restaurant every day and you will quickly get to know the people who work there.
15. Invest in a VPN.
VPNs are extremely helpful when traveling and needing to connect to WiFi frequently. Public Wi-Fi is not always the most reliable source. Sign up for a month of VPN for just $10 or a year for about $69. You can renew your membership after the month subscription runs out if needed.
16. Keep in touch with home.
Keep in touch with loved ones back at home to let them know you’re safe and enjoying yourself. Leave a copy of your itinerary with a friend or family member at home so that they have a general idea of where you will be and what you will be doing, and when you will be doing it. Stay in touch regularly via phone, text, video chat, or email.
17. Bring proper identification.
You’ll want to bring cash, along with another form of currency when traveling. In the unfortunate event that your wallet or purse gets stolen, you’ll want a back up plan for money. This is why you should avoid carrying a large purse all together. Many places ask for back up identification. It’s always a good idea to have multiple forms of I.D. handy. Examples would be a drivers license, passport, identification card, birth certificate, credit or debit card, military I.D., etc.
`18. Carry self protection.
Bring a form of self protection in case of the unlikely event that you are in harm or feel that your safety is at risk. If you feel unsafe, seek the support of strangers – people of your choice. Look for a family or a couple to ask for assistance or fill them in on your current situation.
19. Ask for help.
Ask a local about the area and spark a conversation. Don’t look lost or confused, even if you completely are. Ask someone where you are, or for directions to where you need to go. Ask them tips for getting around and what they recommend to use for transportation services.
20. Stay in public places.
To ensure that your safety is never compromised, stick to public places and don’t wander alone at night. You don’t want to arrive to your accommodations after night fall, so plan your flights and transportation accordingly so that you arrive during the day with time to spare in order to get situated and settled.