What are the best travel hacks for traveling alone?
Traveling on your own is an inspiring and fun way to get to know your limits. Breaking away from your daily routine to venture out into the world to meet new people, see new sights, and try out foods and activities is food for the soul.
After you’ve finally made up your mind to travel solo, there may be a thousand questions running through your head. These solo travel hacks and useful solo travel resources, such as The Solo Travel Handbook, will come in handy and ease your anxiety.
What to know before traveling alone
Learn as much as you can about your destination before you get there. Travel guides, blogs, magazines articles and social media now provide a plethora of up-to-date information, such as the weather, appropriate attire, insider tips and shopping hacks. Planning also increases the chance that you will come across travel offers to help you save money and time.
Even if you’re a solo traveler who likes spontaneity, it’s a good idea to book your first two nights before getting there. It’s more convenient to reach your hotel directly from the airport or railway station than to wander around a new place looking for a place to stay. This is especially important if you’re traveling during peak season or if you’re not familiar with the local language.
Packing smart can go a long way when you’re traveling alone. Put some thought into the process and take only what you need. Choosing the right type of luggage is key to making your travels more convenient. If you have a tendency to overpack, make a list of what you plan to pack and then narrow it down to the essentials. Avoid anything flashy that will draw attention, such as jewelry, and wear clothes that allow you to blend in with the crowd. Always carry a fully-stocked first-aid kit with staple items, such as a few bandages, dressings and medication.
Prepare your smart devices
When traveling alone, the last thing you want is a dead phone. Whether you need your phone for directions or safety, not having a way to connect with the outside world can cause a lot of frustration. Make sure that your phone and other portable devices, such as cameras, are fully charged so that they can last for a long duration of time. Using a local SIM with a generous data plan could save you money and time and enhance your travel experience.
Secure important documents
Instead of taking printouts of your hotel and flight books and itineraries, take a screenshot and save them to your phone so you’ll have easy access at any point during your trip. Another option is to email yourself a copy of the essential travel documents, such as your passport and visas. This will especially be helpful if your belongings get lost or stolen.
What to know while traveling alone
Mingle with the locals
One of the biggest advantages of traveling alone is it’s easier to strike a conversation with people who cross your path. Find out where the local hangouts are and spend time in the places. Learning the language and customs beforehand will make it easier to build rapport. With social media and travel forums, you could even befriend travelers and locals before you get there. Once you get to your destination, you could meet fellow travelers and exchange travel tips with them.
Ride-sharing apps are better options than using local taxis for two reasons. First, you can track your journey and send your ETA to your friends and family so they can see where you are in real-time. Second, ride shares are usually more affordable than using a taxi.
Take safety seriously
Confidence is key when you’re traveling alone. Always be aware of your surroundings and what’s going on around you. If a certain person or place makes you feel uncomfortable, leave as soon as you can. As an extra measure, consider installing a panic-button app on your phone and preload with your emergency contacts. If meeting new people, meet them in a public place.
Keep in touch with friends and family
When you’re traveling solo, it’s always a good idea to let your family and friends know your plans and itinerary. This not only gives them peace of mind but should anything go wrong, they can trace back your steps. During the trip, check in and let them know your current location and where you’ll be heading next. This also gives you an opportunity to share your special moments with them even without them there with you in person.
What are the costs of traveling alone?
Traveling alone can be expensive. No matter what your budget is, it’s beneficial to draw up a spending plan to keep your finances in check.
The costs depend on a variety of factors, such as destination, accommodation type, transportation and dining expenses. Solo travelers who want to keep costs low can opt for backpacking, staying in hostels and DIY sightseeing. Those looking for more premium experiences can opt for bespoke travel tours, stay in luxury accommodations and purchase more exclusive dining and entertainment experiences.
Traveling alone FAQ
What are the best ways to travel alone?
A. There are several options for solo travelers, including group tours or backpacking trips. Guided tours are a good option for travelers who are not comfortable exploring on their own and want someone else to handle the planning and bookings. If you don’t want to be in a group, there are agencies that arrange solo tours with a personal guide. The other option is to plan your own adventure and enjoy the flexibility of creating your own schedule and not being boxed in by a fixed itinerary.
What are the best countries for solo travelers?
A. To make the most out of your solo travels, it’s important to select destinations that pique your interest and meet other criteria, such as safety and accessibility. According to travel experts, these are some of the best destinations for solo travelers: Costa Rica, Iceland, Mexico, New Zealand, Chile, Switzerland, Spain, Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Norway, Ireland, Japan, Vietnam and Finland.
What are the best products for traveling alone
Top traveling alone product
The Solo Travel Handbook
What you need to know: This handbook is packed with advice and tips for solo travelers.
What you’ll love: This travel guide, written by experts from Lonely Planet, covers topics such as overcoming travel worries, budget strategies, picking the right luggage, meeting fellow travelers and ensuring a safe and healthy trip. The book also ranks the best destinations for food, culture, nightlife, road-tripping and more.
What you should consider: The guide is geared more toward beginner solo travelers than experienced ones.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top traveling alone products for the money
Electronic Organizers Travel Cable Storage, Electronics Accessories Cases
What you need to know: This is a compact and portable organizer to keep your cable accessories organized.
What you’ll love: This organizer case has a padded design that protects electronic accessories from dust, scratches and accidental damage. It’s made of durable, heavy-duty, waterproof polyester fabric. The case can be easily accessed and managed with a secure and sturdy dual zipper closure. It easily fits in a backpack or handbag.
What you should consider: Some users did not like the quality of the material and zipper.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Solar Charger Power Bank, Qi Wireless Charger
What you need to know: This handy charger is useful for outdoor activities such as camping and hiking.
What you’ll love: This portable charger has a wireless power bank with three input ports and can be charged with solar energy. Thanks to a high battery capacity, the power bank lasts a long time and you can have about 10 full reloads on your smartphone. The built-in flashlight has three light modes: low, glare and SOS for emergencies.
What you should consider: The solar charger function does not work as well as it should and needs more time for charging.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Seline Shenoy writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.