For travel enthusiasts, nothing can quite match the excitement of landing in a new city or foreign country for the first time. The opportunity to leisurely explore such locales compels millions of people to travel every year.
Non-business travelers tend to travel with a companion or companions in tow, but many adventurous travelers still go it alone when vacationing. Traveling solo can be just as rewarding as traveling with friends or family, but male and female travelers alike should exercise extra caution when they depart for their next solo excursion.
- Develop an itinerary and share it with loved ones at home. Independence and the freedom to come and go as you please is one of the joys of traveling alone, but it's still best that solo travelers plan an itinerary and share that itinerary with loved ones who are staying behind. This ensures that someone knows which town you are in each day and which attractions you plan to visit. Should something happen to you on your trip or someone back home need to contact you in case of emergency, this itinerary can prove a valuable resource to local authorities and loved ones who want or need to find you. You can still change your itinerary, but let loved ones know via a quick email or text message if you do so.
- Try to maintain daily contact with a friend or family member. Time flies on vacation, and it can be tough to keep in touch with loved ones back home. But solo travelers should make an effort to do so at least once per day. Even if it's just a short email or text message or a brief Skype session as you enjoy your breakfast, maintaining contact offers your loved ones peace of mind and is another way to ensure someone has an idea of where you are each day.
- Attempt to make friends with fellow travelers. If your trip will include any guided tours or even extended stays at a particular hotel or resort, speak with your fellow travelers to see if your itineraries intersect or if they want to share a meal. Many a new friend has been made on vacation, and this can be a great way to make your trip even more memorable. You may even be able to save money when befriending other travelers, as you might be able to tag along and earn a group rate to local attractions or, if you meet a fellow solo traveler, be suddenly eligible for a couple's rate. Having a friend around or traveling in a group also makes you less susceptible to criminals, who are more likely to target tourists traveling alone.
- Save more money than you think you will need. Emergencies sometimes happen when traveling, and travelers who travel with a spouse, friend or family members can depend on their companions to offer some financial assistance should they find themselves in an emergency situation. No such safety net exists for solo travelers, so save more money than you think you may need.
- Make a list of your allergies, medications and medical conditions and carry it with you at all times. A list of any allergies, medications you may be taking or existing medical conditions on your person at all times can help physicians determine the safest course of treatment should you get in an accident while traveling alone. No one will be there to share that information if you lose consciousness while traveling alone, so carry it with you at all times and write an emergency's contact's name, phone number and email address on the top of your list.
Traveling solo can make for a rewarding and memorable trip, but travelers should take extra precautions when going it alone.