Have faith in yourself - this is the key to do pretty much anything in life including solo travelling. And for the rest, here is a humble attempt to guide you. Read it up before you select a destination and book your flight ticket.
Prior to swinging the decision in favour of travelling, you must spend adequate amount of time in research. The research realms must comprise of the chosen destination, lodging, climate and the existing socio-political situation of the place, aside from other issues. You can recourse to the umpteen blogs written by other travellers and personally chat with them, if possible, to gain a better perspective.
As you are about to sojourn under your own steam, it is essential that you initiate the planning process way ahead of time. You may definitely consider resorting to an expert for help.
Try to carry as less as possible or else your baggage is sure to become your principal worry. Take items that are inevitably quintessential and you know that each of them will be used.
Ensure that all the documents are in place. It is advisable to carry documents such as the passport or other identity proofs, receipts, tickets and several other documents in a separate bag such as a sling bag where you can reach easily anytime.
When you are travelling for the first time on your own, is it better to do what you think is right. If you are diffident about something then better not do it. So, be your own counsel.
6. Stay Connected
Inform your kith and kin regarding your travel itinerary as well as your whereabouts once you reach the destination. Carry your Identity proof all the time. Share the addresses and contact numbers of the hotels where you are about to put up. And if you are travelling abroad, it is important that you follow the Embassy and Visa rules verbatim.
7. Arrive by the day
Try to arrive the destination during the day. It will be easier for you to get your bearings during the light of the day.
Surprised? But this bound to happen! At times, while you are dinning alone or sitting alone, loneliness may find its way to descend on you. And you may not be able to deal the ill-feeling successfully every time. But then, it comes with the territory. So try to give way to it for it is only transitory in nature. Soon you will bestir yourself to carry on with your journey.
Avoid travelling alone chiefly in the night and choose crowded streets over empty ones anytime of the day. The dark alleys must not be considered even during the daytime. For commutation, take cheap transport and crowded vehicles.
10. A little lie is good
Even though you have been taught from the childhood to not lie, while you are alone in a distant land, it is judicious to lie a tad. So when you have to deal with a stranger such as for directions, you may tell him that a friend is waiting for you at the place you are asking the direction for. That way the stranger will think that you are not alone. This will keep you out of harm’s way.
11. Mix with locals
The locals are mostly helpful. If you can successfully strike a good rapport with them, you may recourse to them in case of any emergency.
12. Night times
Even if the roads are teeming with people, it is better that you return to your room before it is dark. And while returning, invariably take the well-lit and crowded roads.
Make a list of medicines that you generally require. Besides, there are some basic items that must go into any medicine kit such as a stock of adhesive bandages like Band-aid, cotton, anti-headache balms etc. This is your go-to first-aid box.
14. The trust factor
You may have to encounter a situation where a stranger offers you assistance, or a drink or a lift. Now, judging to perfection whether a certain stranger truly means to help you or not, is a difficult task. So it is wise to maintain a golden mean so you neither accept the offer nor offend the person. If you deem it right to decline then politely but assertively pronounce ‘No’.
One mistake that people still make is underestimating the power of the smartphones! From Google maps to GPS, from budget calculator to online transactions, pretty much everything can be done using it. So remember that!
16. Organised tours
Finally, if you are not very confident of the fact that you can travel on your own, you may consider the option of tagging along with a band of travellers. There are many organised tours that are conducted every year. You may enroll yourself and travel with them as long as you are not ready to travel solo.
Solo travelling is perhaps the most exciting of all forms of travelling. If you are ready then take the plunge. Just remember, solo travel is all about alertness and self-confidence. If you have that then half the battle has already been won!
Author : Satarupa Hajra