Often traveling solo can be a daunting experience for both men and women – especially if wandering further afield and outside Europe. The experience however, need not be a negative one – especially if you follow a few basic travel tips. According to a recent Auto Europe survey of people on holidays – an average of 26.1 days are spend per year on travel, with an average of 2,810Kms spent in the air. Although safety is always one of the main priorities during a trip, it is important not to forget some of the other elements that can enrich it too.
Travel tips 1: Be safety aware
Top on our list is safety! For many solo travelers, both men and women worry about their safety whilst abroad. Often, this is simply a question of prospective, but in other circumstances some cities and countries are obviously more insecure than others. For an unsuspecting tourist can sometimes become pray to local scams.
This does not however need to ruin your holiday or experience. Often just being consciously aware is enough not to fall into any undesirable situations. Take care in larger cities, especially at night and within tourist areas. Read up on local scams before you travel there and keep your head down as much as possible. Do not make yourself overly obvious and instead keep a low key. Dress appropriately and wear few to no valuables. In addition, never wonder too far from your accommodation and whilst in clubs always keep a close eye on your drinks.
Travel tips 2: Adapt to your surroundings
It is true to say that some individuals simply will find a hard time blending into their local surroundings and will simply look obviously like a tourist. This is not to say that one cannot minimise their presence. Adapting to your surroundings is more than just blending in however. In order to fully enjoy your current host country, try and live at the pace of a local. If the way of life is calmer than back home, simply try and be patient, don’t rush and enjoy the experience fully.
Culturally be aware of the do’s and don’ts of where you’re staying. Some cultures frown upon showing the soles of your feet, others take smiles in different ways. Simply knowing what is customarily allowed will save any solo traveler much headache. Likewise, for tipping a service – it is important to know that how much and when to tip. Getting this wrong can sometimes lead to disgruntled locals.
One of the most important issues is being able to simply say “no”. As a tourist you can be approached often with offers of advice or to sell you something. Sometimes it can be pretty persistent, but often learning to say a firm no is all that’s needed to move on.
Travel tips 3: Don’t miss the experience
Many of us like to pack a book to read on holiday or a tablet to entertain us – based on our survey travelers read on average 2.4 books whilst abroad. It is important though to live the experience and all that your host country has to offer. Go to a local coffee shop, sit near to the window and interact with some locals. This can often bring up interesting conversations. Stay in hotels and within accommodations that have communal areas which encourages guests to talk. Consider taking some day tours, some hop-on and hop-off buses are also great for exploring easily. Tours can be a great place to get to know fellow travelers.
Travel tips 4: Eat locally
Try to eat where the locals eat – not only is it cheaper but you will also discover an abundance of new sounds, smells and tastes. Local food carts are especially special and often have more authentic food than the standard touristy restaurants. Market places can also be an ideal location to pick up some local produce. Not only is it cheap, but you will discover a large array of local breads, spices and treats. Often the heart of any community, the market place is an ideal place to pick up a bargain or two.
Travel tips 5: Learn some local words
It is always important to learn some local phrases or words. Not only from a safety prospective, but also from a courtesy and politeness one – together with a smile can work wonders. Try and focus on learning words that may come in use during your trip. The basics being thank you, good bye and hello. But don’t stop there! Adventure further out and try and learn some useful phrases.
Where is the hospital? Where is the police station? Where is the tourist information centre? How do I go to… ? are all phrases that might be in handy during your visit – especially due to the fact that travelers have to ask for directions an overall 2.4 times over a fortnight.
If you have any further tips for solo travelers than why not leave a comment below and tell us what you consider to be more important to you whilst traveling.