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Flying Solo: Seven Tips for Traveling Alone

14 June 2018

Worried about traveling alone? You don’t have to be. Solo travel has the potential to be the most adventurous and fulfilling type of travel - if you make the most of it. Just think: you don’t have to check in with or entertain a travel partner, which means you can do whatever you want, whenever you want.

Flying solo definitely has its advantages, but it can take some getting used to if you’ve never done it before. Here are seven tips for traveling alone…and loving it.

 

  1. Work your (social) network. You may be traveling alone, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check in with friends to see if they’ve been to your destination. Reach out to see if anyone has recommendations for hotels, day trips and restaurants. Who knows? Someone in your network might have a friend of a friend living where you’re traveling to, and willing to show you around for a few hours.
  2. Have a rough plan before you arrive. Traveling without an itinerary is a great way to ensure you get lost in your destination, but you want to be cautious when you’re traveling alone. You don’t necessarily want to be seen wandering aimlessly and looking confused – this makes you an easy target for pickpockets and other unsightly characters.
  3. Make sure the hotel has 24-hour desk service. It’s always nice to know that someone will be at the front desk, especially if you’re coming in after dark. The presence of a 24-hour desk attendant will also help you sleep better.
  4. Know the ‘safe’ words. If you’re traveling to a place where you don’t speak the language, make sure you at least learn a few words that will come in handy if you find yourself in a potentially dangerous situation. ‘Stop’, ‘Thief’, and ‘Police’ are always good ones to learn.
  5. Embrace little white lies. If you’re lost, ask for directions – but you don’t have to let on that you’re alone. “I’m meeting a friend” is a little white lie that could keep you safe. Similarly, if a taxi driver asks if you’re traveling by yourself, confidently tell them that your friend/mate is waiting for you at your destination.
  6. Play it safe…but don’t be afraid. Your personal safety is the most important thing, so you should always keep that in mind. But don’t let fear of an unknown city stop you from missing out on great experiences. If there’s a party outside your hotel room after hours, go check it out. If you feel uncomfortable, you can always go back to your room. Go to the hot nightclub you read about: just take a taxi and, if you don’t like the vibe, you can leave.
  7. Book a tour. Or two. If you want to some human interaction, a guided tour might be for you. When you’re in the mood to talk, you can chat with your fellow sightseers. When you’re ready to be alone with your thoughts, you can slip on your headphones and zone out. Be careful to make sure the tour you book doesn’t charge extra for singles!

Solo travel is the ultimate in self-indulgence – everyone should try it at least once. Who knows? You might love the experience so much that you’ll decide to make a solo trip part of your yearly routine.


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Disclaimer: Welcome to the AXA Assistance USA Travel Insurance Blog! The Travel On Blog is intended to provide you with entertaining and educational information of a general nature. The articles are for editorial purposes only and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified professional. Please contact AXA Assistance USA if you have any questions.

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