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Page added on September 21, 2010

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TRAVELAERO TIPS – Traveling Solo

By: Gerine

Ever thought of travelling alone? I know others may be in awe if you tell them that you are travelling alone. We know that it is exciting yet challenging and absolutely fabulous at the same time. Yeah, traveling with friends can be fun but do you know that traveling alone can offer numerous benefits? Think of the sense of independence, satisfaction that boosts your self-esteem, and the ample opportunities to meet people that you wouldn’t come across in your usual circle. The rewarding experience is just amazing. With only a backpack for company, SOLO travelers have the freedom to make their own decisions. It forces you to be confident in your choices. Every decision is based upon your own sense of self-belief. You get to explore new surroundings, based wholly on your own desires, in short you are FLEXIBLE, and you don’t have to sacrifice any plan for the sake of compromise with a travel companion. You are responsible to no one but yourself. Every wrong turn or misstep is yours-and yours alone. And at the end of a long day, there’s no one to snap at but yourself.

But before you enjoy the luxury of travelling alone, here are some tips that you have to take:

  • Plan your trip well in advance.
  • Research your destination, study the customs and language.
  • Spend the extra money and buy travel insurance. If you lose your luggage or become stranded the extra funds will come in handy. Should you need emergency funds, medical evacuation or other assistance it’s good to have insurance to cover those unexpected travel problems.
  • Check the currency before you leave so that you will have some idea how to budget your funds once you arrive at your destination. Purchase travelers checks and keep the serial numbers in a separate place so that if they are lost, stolen or misplaced you can get them replaced.
  • Before travel abroad, copy passports and important documents. Keep the originals on hand at all times. Store the copies in a secure compartment of luggage.
  • Pay attention to your instincts. If your gut tells you not to get into that cab, take another one. Your intuition often picks up on tiny signs of danger before you consciously identify them.
  • Dress appropriately and cover up, you will invite far less attention than you would otherwise.
    When planning each day’s excursions, prepare money and valuables in private. Count out sufficient spending money for one day. This cash should go into the inner pocket of a jacket or a secure front pocket. If storing the money in a wallet, do not place the wallet in a bag or back pocket. Keep any tickets for city travel separate from the wallet.
  • Keep your purse close to the body, place your wallets in a front inside jacket pocket to discourage pickpockets. Never place your wallet in the back pants pocket where a thief has easier access.
  • When walking, walk with confidence. Hold your head high. Make eye contact with the people around the area. If you appear to be in command of yourself, you are less likely to be a victim.
  • Never leave bags or jackets on the back of a seat or stashed under a chair. Keep belongings in the lap as the residents do.
    Think twice before bringing all your credit cards, debit cards, or social security cards with you on a business trip. If a thief gets control of these cards he could easily empty your account.
  • Beware of helpful strangers. Many scams take place under the pretence of “helping” a tourist find correct change, read a map, or clean up after a mishap.
  • Single women traveling alone might want to try this tip: wear an inexpensive gold wedding band, this will discourage unwanted male attention. Thieves often look for single women traveling alone because they are considered more vulnerable.
  • Leave expensive jewelleries at home. Travelers wearing expensive jewelleries are often targets and followed back to their hotels by thieves.
  • When checking in a hotel, ask hotel personnel about fire and emergency exits, neighbourhood crime. Also, ask which areas tourist or visitors should avoid- either in daytime or at night, as well as cab service and cab fare rates to avoid getting scammed by unscrupulous cabbies who target travelers.
  • Carry a fully charged cellphone with you and make sure friends, family, business contacts know your cell phone number. If a dangerous situation arises help could be just a quick call away.
  • Resist beggars. While the tender-hearted might wish to give, beggars often work as pickpockets.
  • Be careful about drugs and alcohol. You don’t have anyone to watch your back/assist you, or drag you home if you get too drunk to walk. It’s a lot harder to make good decisions about who to trust, where to go, what to do, if you don’t have your wits about you.
  • Don’t get drunk – while it might seem fun at the time, it increases vulnerability and the chance of doing something later regretted. Drink spiking is also a danger, so keep drinks within sight at all times.
  • Check your maps and transportation schedules before leaving your hotel/train/rental car/tourist office.
  • Don’t forget to keep a journal of your experiences while traveling alone. It takes some discipline to maintain a journal regularly, but writing daily will also fill some time when you are enroute to a new location or are by yourself. It will also serve as a future reference for place names and sights after you return home and are relating your experiences to others.

Traveling alone is one of the greatest yet most rewarding challenges you can choose to take on. It may take an initial burst of courage to book a flight and get on a plane, but the rewards are rich and the life experiences priceless. Don’t let the hesitations of today keep you from enjoying the adventures of tomorrow!

A traveler who sets out alone is like a bird pushed out of the nest and obliged to take flight on its own. Travel solo, spread your wings, and soar above and beyond your greatest hopes and dreams.


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