Five Tips for Surviving & Thriving When You Travel Solo
Traveling Lightly -- Semi-Straight Talk About The World of Travel according to Gayjourney.com
Sometimes you hear of someone complaining about the horrors of traveling alone. If you understand the ground rules and re-think your traditional game plan, traveling alone can be so much fun that you'll never want to travel in a pack again. With that in mind, here are our five top tips for successfully traveling solo.
1. Avoid tourist hotspots and other places that might be high on the radar of other tourists
It is said to believe that when you travel alone, the worst thing to do for experiential reasons is to seek out that which is known. By this statement I mean that frequenting American sports bars and other institutions that might be popular in your own home environment will do little to help you appreciate a different culture or locale in the long run.
Perhaps even worse, these high profile places tend to be the spots (particularly if they are recommended by a guide) that locals use as meeting places for one another, meaning that they will often not be in the space to meet new people. In other words, if you arrive alone, you will probably leave the same way.
In lieu of popular hotspots, look for out of the way neighborhood places where people go to relax and let off steam rather than showboat and be seen. In these places, you are much more likely to strike up the kind of conversations that will reveal the very best of a given destination – the kinds of off-the beaten path places that you’d have to be ‘in-the know’ to discover.
2. Drop the attitude. Be friendly.
Forget about standing and posing if that is your modus operandi when you go out. On solo travel outings, being gregarious is important to making the most of the experience.
Think about it this way… it’s like the first day of high-school and you’re the new kid amongst a bunch of kids who’ve known each other since grade school. The only way they’re ever going to get to know you is if you put yourself out there. Sure… you’ll get shot down by some, but in the end, you’ll more than likely end of making newfound friends who will invite you into their circle so you can party like a local.
3. Find places you vibe with and frequent them
When you find a place where you like the vibe during your travels, add it to the daily list of places you visit. Rather than trying out a myriad of new places, make friends with the waiters, the bartenders and the maitre ‘d at your fave places and let them be your guides to the best a destination has to offer.
Not only will you feel anything but lonely each time you return to those places you love on your solo adventures, but you will also experience a sense of belonging as you discover how many doors open to you as a result of becoming friendly with the help.
4. Don’t be afraid of the unknown
What is it they say about “When in Rome…”? Here’s the story, if you don’t like adventure, don’t leave home…especially not alone. You’ve got to be willing to throw caution to the wind (within reason) and experience the unknown and sometimes the unclear if you truly want to fully exploit the potential of solo travels.
Eat the bizarre, explore exotic cocktails or trip the light fantastic in dark garages that look unlike any scene you’ve ever known, but be safely open. Again the key is to experience local life at it’s most authentic. If you’re not going to do that, stay at the Hilton and order an American cheeseburger with a Budweiser and call it a night!
5. Mind local tastes
If you’re in a casual environment, dress to the locale. I’m sure you’ve heard the joke about how you can spot an American anywhere by the way he or she is dressed. Well it ain’t really such a joke… it’s actually quite true in most cases. If you want to make the most of a solo excursion your best bet is to live and look like locals, which means you should dress to the occasion. This is one instance where blending into the crowd can be a very good thing.
Another key point to remember is that if you’re in a location where your native tongue is different from that of the destination you visit, you should learn key phrases an make every effort where possible to use the local language as much as possible. Trust me…you will feel more at ease and so will everyone you come into contact with.
So the next time you’re traveling alone, try these tips out and I’ll bet you an ever-dwindling in value dollar that you’ll not feel alone for long.
Until next time…cheers.