The motivation for solo travel is a reflection of changing lifestyle patterns. People seem to be more career-oriented than ever before and many enjoy the independence of making their own travel decisions; they feel empowered and liberated when seeing the world solo. I recently joined the ‘Solo Travel Society on facebook and was awestruck by some of the adventurous solo trip experiences posted by people.
I have never really got a chance to travel alone but it has been my fantasy to travel alone to a faraway sacred place or deep dark forest!
However, I have many friends who go for solo trips every year and thanks to them I know a great deal about solo travel!
Here are some things that you should know about solo travel:
1) Budget constraints:
The span of the solo trip is shorter due to budget constraints as compared to non-solo trips. The expenditure on meals, accommodations, entertainment, everything has to be chalked out and planned from before.If you are traveling alone and don’t mind staying in a hostel, then you pay per person per bed which usually is drastically cheaper. You need to be flexible with accommodation. Transportation can be much friendlier for solo travelers. When staying in hostels or guesthouses with communal kitchens you end up making friends with the other people staying, and you could sometimes cook a dinner together and set out for adventure. Traveling alone gives you more freedom to do what you want with meal time.
2) Chances of getting mugged are more:
There are people skilled in the art of theft in certain countries. You need to keep your antennas open 24 X7! Don’t get drunk or appear to be rich(even if you are). Separate your sources of cash; never all in one bag or wallet. Scan your travel documents as well as photocopying them. If possible, stop looking like a naive tourist! Get travel insurance. Be respectful of local customs. Learn the local language a bit.
3) You are bound to make many new travel buddies:
Solos are more approachable, safe and simple. Lone travelers learn that the benefits of this are twofold, not only will other traveler’s feel far more comfortable introducing themselves to you, but it’s actually easier for you to strike up the conversation with others as well.
4) Creativity at its peak:
When you are all alone on a mountain or sitting by the riverside, you are sure to develop poetic vibes even if you are not a born poet. You will try to keep a proper track of all the events and adventures of your trip in your little diary.
5) Engage with locals:
Local folks are more open, and definitely more curious, when it’s only you walking into that hole-in-the-wall café, or sampling the pungent flavors of that roadside food stall. They would be more welcoming and helpful towards you if you are the solo traveler, they will help you more if you are a solo traveller-in-distress! You know none of these incredible experiences would have been possible if you’d been traveling with others.
6) Ultimate freedom:
You experience a sense of individuality like never before! U feel strong and happy. The song ‘roar’ by Katy Perry might play in your head now and then because you know you have no other option but to be brave. You might also love to hear the song ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams. No other person is there to dictate your itinerary.You are a free bird.
7) Do research obsessively:
TripAdvisor will be your best friend; places, you’ll need an account to read endless full reviews. You will be able to feed your hunger for exploring places, cultures, food habits.
8) You will love being a DareDevil:
‘If it is to be, it is up to me’-this will be on your mind all the time. You will seek for more adventures.
9) Mastering the art of packing light:
You will be used to packing your suitcase with strictly the necessities as you know it would be the key for comfort. It’s best to bring a suitcase that meets the carry-on dimension requirements for multiple airlines and is filled with extra compartments to squeeze in essentials like a laptop and is well-designed to maximize organization.
10) You become relatively more fearless:
Despite the worries, you ignored the fear so you could experience traveling alone. Now you can often ignore the fear because you know you are capable of dealing with anything.
Solo trips are mostly successful and memorable as compared to group trips and bring about the great transformation in you that you have always craved for. However, you need to be fully prepared and systematic with a sound mind before you set out for your crazy solo trip.