As the world continues to reopen for sure a lot of us are here for some travel revenge. Since we have been isolated for two years it is time to pursue those canceled flights and trips we have been saving up for. As I talked to my friends about their upcoming travel plans most of them want to push through their solo travels that have been on the back burner due to the past travel restrictions. Sounds exciting but before that here are some things you need to consider when you are going on a trip alone.
Be Prepared For Last Minute Changes And Cancellations
The world is gradually re-opening but there is still risk of Covid outbreak and it comes with sudden change of travel plans and quarantine requirements. I was a victim of this in the past year in which I have to halt three of my planned local travels because my destinations have to change their protocols and requirements few days before my arrival. One of them are in complete lockdown that non-essential travel and non-residents are not allowed to enter. So always make sure to reach out to local authorities or tourism offices of the places you’re visiting. Be updated with changes in their locality through their Facebook Page. Most of them are very responsive to inquiries.
Everything Will NOT Be Smooth Sailing
Yes! Probably it took you several weeks or even months and years to plan that weekend getaway or ultimate backpacking travel goal of your life but don’t expect that it will always go as planned (especially now). There are times that you encounter some problems starting on your check in to the airport, errors on your required documents during last minute of your departure or mishap in your itinerary. I am a planner myself but I have to say internal and external challenges throughout your travel can not be helped. As they say, it’s the journey that counts not the destination. So the best thing to do is to go with the flow and enjoy the experience on the road.
Lower Your Expectation Even In Your Bucketlist
As the saying says “No Expectations, No Disappointments”. This applies to traveling too. If you heard of the term “Paris Syndrome” in which it is a sense of disappointment exhibited by tourists visiting Paris, who feel that the city was not they had expected. Just like other places we see on social media some of them just don’t live up to its hype. For instance they may look so serene in photos only to find out that they are stormed by hundreds of tourists in reality. So having no expectation will somewhat save you from hating the place in the end.
*I suggest to do some research about your dream place in advance to have an idea what awaits you. There are tons of useful blogs or vlogs on the internet and they offer the best travel guide.
You Will Be Asked A Lot Of Times Why You Are Traveling Alone
Although this question kind of quiet down these days as solo travel has been a thing and extremely popularized by travel bloggers, there are still people out there who are curious on why you are taking that journey alone. This usually comes from nosy people thinking you might be lonely on your own or concern citizens who associate danger with traveling by yourself. In case you are caught up in this situation and you are up for a conversation you can be honest by sharing them the joy of traveling alone but if you are introverted like me or just tired and want some time alone just tell them you are visiting someone and put those headset on. They will surely understand you want that peaceful space.
Being Overprepared Is Better Than Being Underprepared
Reality-check! You are traveling alone so it means you can only depend on yourself. Of course you might stumble upon some helpful people along the way but that is not always the case. Especially now that travels can still be uncertain therefore it is better to be extra. Some of these are preparing travel requirements and documents in multiple copies and including soft copies. Bringing extra cash for emergency or sudden unexpected payments. I advise not to put them all in your wallet, scatter them in your different belongings. Just in case you lost your bag or you got pickpocketed you still have some money to spare. If you travel overseas, I would highly suggest to go the extra mile and inform your bank about your overseas voyage because chances are some banks have put their securities to the maximum level. If they track inconsistent transaction with your credit and debit cards they might lock them and you wont be able to use them. This might be old news but a humble pen can save you some time with forms that you need to fill in. Water bottle can also take you a long way because there are free water refills in the airport and your accommodation. Also, it wont hurt to call or message your airline, bus company or accommodation in advance if there are sudden changes on their end.
You Are Not Totally Alone
In contrary to what I mentioned above, traveling alone doesn’t mean you are on your own the whole time. You will certainly come across people who will be part of your journey. Chances are the person next to you on the bus or in the boarding gate is also going the same way as you. Your roommates in your hostel will invite you to hang out or check out places with them. The local people you are greeting will generously offer you free ride if they can. These people will fill in the gap you might feel especially when you are away from home.
There Are Good People Out There
Most of us must have been warned by our loved ones before we start our journey to look out for dangerous situation and bad people. I do agree with it however I also want to emphasize that sincere people exist everywhere from locals to fellow travelers. I encounter honest and hospitable locals who just want me to have the best experience of their place numerous times. Their recommendations are reliable and better than what you scavenge on the internet. They also go all the way to warn tourists of possible scams going on for them to avoid. The same is true with other visitors you meet. They willingly lend their helping hand whenever you need. With everything going on in the world these days, it is normal to have trust issues and to never let our guard down but through traveling you will see the other side of people. The good side and you will be amazed by it.
Whether you are traveling on your own or with others always remember that it’s a big and beautiful world out there. It is diverse so always keep an open mind with people you meet, tradition you experience and culture you encounter. In that way, you will appreciate traveling more and make out the most of your journey.