Traveling alone can be a terrifying prospect for many. It isn't something most of us have ever done until we jump into that terrifying unknown and free fall into the best experience of our lives. Naturally, the unknown creates anxiety which is worsened by the negative comments we very likely receive from loved ones who are understandably concerned. You start to believe that maybe traveling alone isn't such a great idea. Well my friends, I'm here to convince you that 'YOLO' - Traveling alone will undoubtedly be one of the most empowering, liberating and enjoyable experiences of your life. I am yet to meet anyone who has experienced it and not come out a different, improved version of themselves.
As with anything, safety is paramount.
Tips for Travelling alone
Research your destination
It goes without saying that some countries are more dangerous than others. For UK readers, the gov.uk website is brilliant for listing all the most recent travel advice for each country. It will also inform you of any entry requirements including visas and vaccinations. This website is brilliant - focusing on the safety of countries for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Good travel insurance
Whether going on a DIY trip or a package holiday, travel insurance is essential. Policies vary massively so it's important that you shop around and find the right amount of cover. We have some more information on how you can financially protect a DIY trip here. I have done an extensive video covering this information on my YouTube channel that you can find here. It's a boring topic, i know, but the most essential part of your trip.
Arrive during the day
Flight times may not be something you even think about until you turn up in a foreign country when it's dark. Suddenly the fact you are traveling alone seems terrifying. Arriving in daylight when there are more people around will make the whole experience more pleasant and feel much more safe. Look at sunset times so you aren't caught out. If you have to arrive at night, use a taxi service to get to your accommodation.
Book a few nights accommodation for your arrival
No matter how freely you plan to travel, always have those first few nights booked somewhere safe and reputable. Ideally close to transport links, and in a busy central area of town. You can then use this time to meet people and get a feel for the place. This will allow you to work out where is safe and where to avoid. Hostelworld is a great place to book hostels, read reviews and ensure the location is good. We regularly update our Solo Travel page with some highly rated hostel options. (This page is a premium page for the premium users of our site, learn more about this here).
Download a location tracking app
"Find my friends" is a good iPhone app that allows accepted contacts to see where you are, using your phones GPS. An essential for me when I am traveling alone. It can be very reassuring for people back home to see that you are safely in the hostel you told them you were staying, even if you haven't got round to replying to their messages because its 3am where you are! If your parents/loved ones aren't stressed whilst you're away, they're more likely to be happy with your future trips.