Traveling solo is a completely different experience compared to traveling with friends and family. From the minute you leave Singapore on that plane, you have to be a lot more alert to your surroundings.
Without someone familiar to talk to, you are forced to make conversation with strangers. But that’s part of what makes solo travel so rewarding.
Here are 5 tips that will make your next solo trip one of your best ones yet.
It’s one thing to overpack when you’re traveling in a group and have extra pairs of hands to help with your luggage. It’s another to be alone in a foreign land and have to deal with hauling your luggage up and down stairs all by yourself, or have to go to the toilet without anyone to look after your bags.
That’s why it’s best to always pack light when you’re traveling alone. With less stuff to worry about, you’ll be more alert and more mindful of your safety. With less luggage, it’s also easier to take cheap forms of transport like subways and buses instead of splurging on taxis, which are more expensive when you’re alone.
Be open and talk to strangers
Traveling solo can get lonely, but it certainly doesn’t mean you have to be alone all the time! In fact, as a solo traveler, people are much more likely to approach you or be open to talking to you than if you were traveling as a couple or family.
So peel your eyes from your smartphone for a moment and be open to contact with locals and fellow travelers. Not sure where to eat? Ask the person next to you for a recommendation. There are also meetups for travelers on platforms like Couchsurfing. Taking a walking tour or attending a one-off class such as a cooking class can be a good way to meet people, too.
Go easy on the alcohol
You might have gone all the way to a certain destination for some cheap partying, but when you travel solo it is imperative to go easy on the alcohol, no matter how much fun you might be having. Nobody is obliged to look out for you if you go overboard. And when the party’s over, you’ll have to find your way back to your accommodation all by yourself.
Also never leave your drinks unattended, and keep your eyes open when they are being served to you. The risk of drugs being slipped into your drinks is always there even if you are a man, particularly if it seems like you might have cash or valuables on you.
Send friends or family your itinerary and keep them updated on your travel plans
While you should not spend your entire trip glued to Whatsapp or Skype, always make sure someone has a rough outline of your travel plans. Forward your flight, train or bus itineraries to a friend or family member so your whereabouts are always known.
Not only can this be a lifesaver if you get lost or go missing, but it also makes it easier if you need your folks back home to make a call to an airline or insurance company on your behalf since you might not always have access to the Internet or a local SIM card.
Take a photo of your passport’s ID page
Email yourself a copy of your passport’s ID page and keep a picture of it in your smartphone. You’ll be glad you did if you lose your passport when you’re all alone with nobody to vouch for your identity.
It also makes it a lot more convenient to fill up immigration cards and other forms without having to rummage in your bag for your passport all the time.
Buy travel insurance
Before leaving on your solo trip, don’t forget to protect yourself with HL Assurance travel insurance. If you’re a seasoned globetrotter, an annual travel insurance policy can keep you safe throughout the year.