Traveling alone can be pretty overwhelming at times. It is entirely reasonable to feel the need to find a company wherever we live or visit. Nevertheless, it is indeed one of the rare opportunities for self-learning and develops independence.
I moved to the United States in my mid-20s. I come from a conservative family where I had someone else make my decisions and plans. I know this may not be as common as it sounds, but many of us are hesitant to make plans for and by ourselves.
Long story short, the urge and waiting to find someone matching my budget and time for trips and travels, made me think “Why?!” and “Why Not?!”
Through some self-learning experiences, I am sharing some tips that might help some new-bees to plan and enjoy their self-time confidently.
Know Your Budget
Knowing your budget is very important. Our plans can go wrong because of a budget stretch. You do not want to go crazy and end up having a credit debt that will jeopardize your next trip/travel. Hence, the first important task is to set a ballpark that you are comfortable spending.
Here is some step-by-step thinking that can help to set a budget:
a) What do you want to do? Meaning, if you wish to go to National Parks or Big Cities.
b) If you are thinking of visiting cities, such as Boston/Seattle/San Francisco, consider the cost of living, flights, car rentals (if any), etc. Big cities can be expensive, so sometimes, if you have the possibility, then you may consider a road trip. If so, they think about tolls and gas costs.
c) What are the activities you want to be engaged with? Such as attending specific events/parades, trying different bars and restaurants, or touring attractions.
d) Think about how much you want to spend on your stay. Do you prefer AirBnB or a Hotel room?
Practice the CAR (Consult, Ask and Read)
Ask your co-workers or friends, even if they are not involved or willing to join you on your adventurous trip. It is healthy to consult experienced people who might have traveled to the place of your interest. Seeking advice about the site can help you develop an idea of what to expect from your trip.
Sometimes, it may influence your decision due to different opinions. Well, you are the one behind the wheel.
Read articles on “How to,” “Where To” and “What Not To”….relevant to your plans.
Websites such as TripAdvisor and Expedia can be beneficial with your trip plans. They offer group tours and day trips with a comprehensive budget range and with appropriate ratings. These websites have rewards programs, too, and can provide discounted rates to members.
P.S: I have tried group tours and met some fantastic people. Being in a group helps you feel safe as well as guided. You get the ride to different sites of attraction, and you may end up with a group of people who are traveling alone. However, always follow the reviews and ratings.
Pay Attention to Reviews
Pay great attention to BOTH positive and negative reviews. It is easy to get swayed by just seeing 4.7/5 stars. However, take your time to check out the negative reviews. Everything changes, from business to people.
Additionally, when browsing through reviews, look at the latest ones. It might happen something improved over time, or something got worse.
For instance, reviews help you decide whether the place to stay or the area you want to visit is safe or too active. Likewise, if you are choosing a guided tour, you can know whether they provide the service they advertise or not.
Book Ahead of Time
Plan your trip well ahead. This will help you prepare yourself well.
Sometimes, you get cheap deals, since booking rooms, attraction sites, or buying tickets for events can be way less expensive.
If it is a weekend trip to a nearby place, then give yourself a week or two. When planning for a big one, give yourself at least a month or two.
Inform and Share with Your Family and Friends
Share your trip itinerary with your close friends and family. When traveling alone, someone must know where you are, in case of any emergency.
Expand Your Knowledge
Read about the place. Study the history and prepare yourself. Research libraries or websites for travel guides.
Just Enjoy the Time
Just Breathe! Traveling alone is healthy, as well as exciting. Be open to meet and talk with strangers. At the same time, be smart and guarded to protect yourself from potential threats. Always carry self-defense equips as well as water and food to survive.
Be merry, and enjoy the time!!!