5 Tips For Surviving Solo Travel
Zipaquirá, Colombia just outside of the Salt Catherdral
Traveling in general can be very stressful for some and traveling alone can make it even worse. As you may know I am an avid traveler and I'm here to share with you some tips I've found useful from solo traveling.
First off, why would you travel alone?
Whether you haven't met that special someone, are traveling on business, or simply need some "alone time." Solo travel can be the ultimate self-indulgence. You can rest when you want, turn up when you want, and if you happen to take a hike to a museum that happens to be closed on Mondays (this happened to me in Colombia) then you don't have to worry that it can ruin your travel partners day. You are on your terms and there is nothing more liberating than that.
Adapt to Your Destination
Be patient. Once you arrive get to know the area where you're staying instead of dropping you bags and hitting the town
Be proactive. Meet locals and ask for must-see in the city you are visiting.
Know which way is up. Not every city or country you visit will have wifi or data roaming, so have a physical map in the event you get lost (trust me on this one, it saved me in Costa Rica).
Travel Alone But Not Lonely
Smile. Meet new people, coffee shops are great for that.
Learn a few words in the local language.
Keep your head up, walk like you know where you are going.
Try to blend in with locals, obviously some will notice you're a tourist but don't seek attention.
Keep electronics to a minimum. For tech savvy millennials as myself it may be tempting to tote your laptop, GoPro, camera, and any other electronic that may sound useful on the road, but in the case of electronics, less is more. Your phone can take quality pictures and you don't want attract attention nor do you want to get robbed, possibly at gunpoint. Let's just avoid that whole situation.
Be cautious at Bars
I won't judge you if you swipe right and go on that tinder date but just be careful. Advertising that you're only in town for x amount of days can make you a target. Watch you drink, also watch your bartender make your drink. Trust no one. I was surprised to hear of a tourist getting drinks spiked in Cuba and him losing all his documents, don't be that guy.
Download Safety Apps
It's likely that you'll wander off of your course, so play the safe route and download these apps if you don't have them already.
Uber or Lyft. Our 2018 go to ride sharing apps of choice for fast, reliable rides in minutes.
bSafe. With this app you automatically send information about where you are (GPS) and what's happening (video + audio) with timestamps.
Drunk Mode. Another app that amazingly enough can be put to use when sober. Turn it on before setting out on your day's activities, and if you decide to separate from your friends' location. Plus it's fun to look back and see where you went at the end of the day.