by Frances Snelling, Veteran Solo Traveller
1. Make a general itinerary.
Share your plans with family and friends. Having an idea of where you’re going will be helpful for you and ease the minds of worried family and friends back home. They can use your check points as a guide for when to expect your calls or texts.
2. Buy a cheap international phone.
When I say cheap, I mean old brick Nokia phone cheap. Cheap phones repel pickpockets and are less expensive than adding an international plan to your service. If you bring your smart phone for photos and internet connection, then only use it on Wi-Fi. Find free Wi-Fi areas (in hostels and public areas) to text and call on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
3. Respect the culture.
Wherever you go, do yourself a favor and read a little bit about the history and culture of the place. You’ll appreciate what you see more. You’ll have a relative understanding of why people do what they do. And try to learn a few phrases; at the very least learn “I don’t speak _____, do you speak English?”. Not everyone speaks English!
4. Ditch technology for a bit.
Don’t have your face glued to your phone 24/7. Put your phone down and appreciate where you are… where you ACTUALLY, physically are. If you end up living in your Facebook Newsfeed or for how many likes you got, then you should’ve stayed home.
5. Be flexible.
Part of traveling alone is you have the amazing ability to do whatever the f*!$ you want. If you’re loving where you are and can stay an extra night, do it! Don’t hold yourself to a rigid schedule. Live in the moment and wherever you are, be all there.
6. Try it.
The food, the drinks, the customs, try it at least once. You may hate it but you may love it. If you do hate it, then you never have to do it again.
Be responsible. Be interested in what’s around you. Be open. Let yourself live. Don’t let fear of the unknown hold you back.