Solo travel is a remarkable opportunity to get to know yourself and the world, and each experience makes you better at traveling alone to far-off locales. Usually, one’s first solo trip is more a learning experience than a vacation and is often full of bloopers and surprises.
If you’re planning your first solo expedition, check out four common mistakes that most seasoned single travelers say they made when they first started out.
Not sharing trip details with family
Even if you don’t really want to let everybody know every detail of your trip, sharing your whereabouts with immediate family or a close friend is extremely important. It will ensure that they are at peace knowing where you are and that they can reach you if needed.
So make sure to share your air travel and hotel information with your parents, sibling or a friend. Also make it a habit to let them know when you expect not to have access to a mobile phone network or the internet.
Not spending enough time on research
Some people like the thrill of experiencing a new culture as it unfolds. However, research about your destination’s language, culture, local customs, social norms, laws, transport facilities, and public safety is crucial if you don’t want to end up getting a rude culture shock or be stuck not knowing how to communicate with the locals.
When shortlisting locations, filter it out based on what you expect from the trip. If it’s your first solo trip abroad, seasoned solo travelers recommend choosing a destination where they speak a language you understand and the culture is not too conservative or vastly different from your own.
Being steadfastly opposed to organized travel
Because of the thrill associated with unplanned solo travel, many single travelers will never explore professionally organized customized tours, which have come a long way since the age-old group vacations that had hectic itineraries and zero free time.
Today there is a whole new breed of travel companies out there offering tailor-made travel solutions for single travelers with plenty of me-time built into the trip. For instance, check out the popular Cambodian sport expeditions by a leading Missouri-based adventure tour company well known for their bespoke expeditions across the world.
Before making reservations for a solo trip, consider if you’d like to benefit from the experience and local know-how of a trusted travel company.
Not being realistic about the possibility of unforeseen events
When you leave home to travel to a completely new place, it’s good to be positive, optimistic and fearless about your upcoming experience. However, there is a fine line between being carefree and being careless.
Planning for emergencies is an important part of any experienced solo traveler’s pre-travel preparations. To be safe, note the contact numbers of local emergencies services, carry local currency, avoid crime-prone areas, take an extra credit card, know the address and contact details of your embassy and carry paper maps when visiting an unfamiliar destination alone.