“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer,” or so they say. But what if you’re by yourself and without a travel companion? Traveling alone can be a wonderful thing. You get to take in new surroundings without the preferences or tastes of others to color your experience. You can do and see what you want and indulge yourself fully without having to worry that your partner isn’t having a good time. Your mistakes and victories are all your own and they become stories you can regale others with later. Although there is so much to gain by traveling solo, there are things to consider as you prepare for your journey. Here are 11 important tips for solo travelers:
1. Watch Your Back
Perhaps this goes without saying, but it is important to be aware of criminals and scam artists lurking the streets. When alone, it is always smart to stick to open, public spaces, especially at night. Steer clear of those dark alleys, and try not to draw attention to the fact that you’re by yourself. Avoid mentioning that you’re alone if it comes up in conversation, and instead say that you’re on your way to meet a friend. Never tell strangers where you’re staying, and consider staying at a hotel with 24 hour desk service if you expect to be getting back late.
If you listen to music as you walk the streets, don’t wear both headphones. If you use only one earbud, you’ll be able to hear what is going on around you and you’re more likely to be aware if someone is getting too close for comfort. Don’t sleep on trains or public transit. Know how to get to and from the airport, your hotel, and the city center to avoid taxi drivers taking you for a ride at your expense. And finally, leave a copy of your itinerary with someone back home and check in regularly via text message.