Travelling is such a great activity that leaves you with memorable experiences.
Essential tips for a solo traveler [Pulse Contributor's Opinion]
It is possible to enjoy a trip on your own
It helps you see the world through a different lens as you get exposed to a myriad of cultures. It is such a breath of fresh air and most people choose to travel with friends and family to make it more exhilarating.
But what happens when you need to adventure and no one is available to accompany you?
It is possible to enjoy a trip on your own and always waiting to travel when you have company can slow you down. You might never go due to cancellations or people just letting you down.
Traveling alone, on the other hand, has its drawbacks, like safety issues, loneliness, and solitary is a dreaded element. However, a little planning and common sense will help you save money, enjoy and get through the tough times
The following tips will help you have a smooth ride during your solo travels:-
Carry out thorough research
Have comprehensive details about your destination. Know the best time and seasons to travel there. It is ideal to travel during off peak seasons to enjoy subsidized prices and avoid overcrowding.
Researching will also help you know the hostel or hotel charges, fares and what to expect which will help you plan and budget seamlessly.
If you are travelling to a foreign country, know the visa and transport requirements. Find out the best way to get to and from the airport. What to wear, considering clothing that is culturally suitable. The best and safest areas to stay in and activities to do once you arrive.
Use hostels and Airbnbs instead of hotels
Many people don't like staying in hostels while travelling , but as a solo traveler, they're the most convenient way to meet people and it is cost effective. You'll have a local host if you book a private room in an Airbnb. You will have privacy and you will not be fully alone.
In many circumstances, your host may be eager to tour you around their hometown! Remember to check the reviews.
Have light luggage
It's preferable to travel light. Don't bring anything you can't carry with you. Pack essential light items Additionally, avoid carrying valuables. Valuables should be left at home. Wearing flashy clothes or jewelry will bring unnecessary attention.
Share your travel arrangements with a friend or family member, check in on a frequent basis, and tell the concierge where you're heading when you check out. It is paramount to share this information for security purposes.
Arrive during the day
Arriving in an unfamiliar place alone, let alone at night, is terrifying. During the day, it's much easier to regain your calm, arrange transportation, and stay safe.
Make an informed decision about where you want to go. Choose your location wisely. Preferably, choose a location where you can communicate in the local language; otherwise, expect a language barrier. Download Google Translate. It will come in handy when you have such a challenge. To avoid loneliness and long trips, consider a central location.
Anything can go wrong when travelling alone and it's ideal to have a back up plan. Have a fully charged power bank just in case your phone battery dies. Have a copy of your travel documents saved in your phone or email in case you lose the hard copies. Use Google Maps if you're having trouble finding your way about. When you don't have access to the internet or service, you can use maps offline.
Trust your gut
Do you have the feeling things aren't quite right? Pay attention to it. Even if you appear nasty or suspicious, trust your instincts.
Appearing lost or bewildered might make you vulnerable, in case you get lost, go to a shop or a restaurant and ask for directions. You can also engage with locals you meet in public places. Strike conversations and you will gather a lot of information like the activities to enjoy in the area.
Above all, make sure to enjoy every bit of it. Take pride in yourself. You may feel terrified or unsure at times, but this is a natural reaction. It's acceptable if things don't turn out the way you planned. Choosing to go is a brave act in and of itself.
The foregoing is an Opinion Article submitted to Pulse Live Kenya for publication as part of the Pulse Contributors initiative.
Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.
Should you wish to submit an Article to Pulse, do so via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Njeri Kinuthia a freelance writer who is passionate about telling my stories about lifestyle, entertainment and current affairs. I have three years of experience in article writing and a beneficiary of Ajira Digital.
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