Health And Wellness Tips For Solo Travel

Health And Wellness Tips For Solo Travel – Allie Volpe is a senior reporter covering mental health, relationships, wellness, money, family life and work through the lens of meaningful personal improvement.

In 2019, Alea Simone quit her job, sold all her furniture, packed her bags and embarked on a four-month trip by herself through 17 countries in Europe and Asia. It was my first time traveling alone. The Texas native had never visited Europe or Asia before, and admits she was intimidated. Would you be able to navigate public transport? Communicate in non-English speaking countries?

Health And Wellness Tips For Solo Travel

“I was really scared,” says Simone, “but at the same time, I had to move forward because there really wasn’t much to go back to.”

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Four years and countless solo trips later, Simone is something of an expert. She chronicles her travels to thousands of followers on TikTok and Instagram, offering adventurers information from cheap flight deals to a review of airport nail salon services. Although she still has anxiety before solo travel from time to time, the best way to calm her fears is to get on the plane and go.

More travelers than ever are choosing to venture out on their own. According to a survey by travel search engine Kayak, searches for solo flights in 2023 increased by 36 percent compared to 2022. Search interest in solo travel reached an all-time high in July 2023. The benefits of travel in lonely are wide. ranging from total flexibility to the potential for a transformative experience. Due to no one but themselves, solo travelers can eat where they want, spend what they want, and see what they want.

This is not to say that solo travelers should not take their safety seriously. “Solo travel is definitely about getting to know yourself,” says Simone, “and trusting your intuition.” Travelers of colour, queer people and women themselves can be targeted by scammers, endure harassment and encounter racism and other forms of intolerance. Still, travel experts say the potential for negative incidents shouldn’t deter those hoping to travel alone. With no one else to depend on, solo travelers must be very careful when planning a trip, navigating new places, and interacting with new people. Seasoned independent adventurers offer their best tips for staying safe, while being open to new experiences.

Whether you’re traveling to the next city to attend a concert by yourself or you’re boarding an international flight, you need to be prepared for what lies ahead. However, the further you venture from home, the greater the opportunity for cultural miscommunications and misinterpretations. “You’re not going to read every situation correctly, because you’re in another culture,” says Janice Waugh, the editor of the Solo Traveler website, “whether you’re from Kansas and you’re going to New York or New York to Kansas.”

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Google it to see if your proposed destination has travel advisories and if there are any laws that would make your visit unsafe. But keep in mind that countries are vast places, and while a city or province may not be accessible to tourists, that doesn’t mean the entire country is unsafe for a solo traveler.

Research which neighborhoods are close to restaurants, parks, public transportation, or other areas that interest you. Can you walk from one place to another? Is your hostel close to all the sites you want to visit?

Try to identify various local communities on Instagram in your proposed destination (for example, a yoga club if you’re into yoga or a queer social club) and reach out to members for recommendations on what to do and where to stay, says the writer of trips Bani Love Amor also suggests solo travel Facebook groups where you can find information about various companies and places to meet.

Familiarize yourself with popular tourist scams, Simone says, so you don’t unknowingly get into what you think is an airport taxi and get overcharged. “It’s usually a very simple Google search,” she says. “What are common scams in Morocco? What are common scams in London? What are common scams in Bangkok?

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When booking flights or other transportation, Waugh recommends arriving during the day so you can get your bearings. As you coordinate your transit, make a plan for how you’ll get to your accommodation, says travel writer and expert Jessica Nabongo. Especially after a long flight where you may be tired and disoriented, knowing how you will get out of the airport is critical. Nabongo is a fan of booking a car service, but for cheaper options, research public transport options from the airport. The Rome2Rio app offers a variety of routes, from metro and bus to train and car.

As a good rule of thumb for all travelers, Simone recommends a few crucial travel accessories: locks for your luggage and backpacks, and a portable lock for hotel and hostel rooms. He also suggests an RFID-blocking wallet to prevent new-age pickpockets from using sensors to steal your data without having to steal your wallet. A low-profile money belt that you can tuck under your clothes helps keep your money close and out of sight.

If you’re traveling to a place where you don’t speak the language, try to learn a few phrases, says Amor, in case you need to ask for directions or read public transportation signs.

Before you leave for the airport, train station or bus stop, or before you get into a car, tell some friends and family where you’ll be. You can even share your location with a contact on your iPhone or via Gmail on Android and Google Maps (you can always turn this off when you’re at home). Someone should always know where you are in the world.

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Travel experts sing the praises of all forms of accommodation: hostels, hotels, Airbnb, staying with a friend of a friend. The main consideration is your budget. Hostels will be the cheapest option as you will be sharing a room and bathroom with other travelers. However, this is a great opportunity to meet other people, some of whom may also be single. “I always like to suggest that people who have never traveled solo stay in a hostel, because hostels are built for solo travelers,” says Simone. “They’re always going to do tours that you can sign up for.” Always remember to keep your items safe and locked.

For a slightly more expensive option, Amor suggests a private room in a hostel. You’ll have a door that closes and you won’t have to share a bathroom.

Hotels and Airbnbs will be the most expensive places to stay. “I like the amenities,” says Nabongo. “I like breakfast and my gym. And I like having a concierge, so I can ask, ‘What should I do? Where should I eat?’

Take advantage of staff and hosts wherever you go, experts say. These people are usually local and are familiar with the place you are visiting. They can provide tourist recommendations, directions and places to avoid.

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Before booking, Waugh suggests looking at the location of the accommodation on Google Maps Street View. “Make sure the area looks active, that it’s well-maintained, and that you’ll feel safe,” he says.

You can always tap into your network, says Amor, and ask if anyone has a trusted friend who might be willing to let you fail. “Before I book anything, anywhere, I go online to my social network and I’m thinking, ‘Who has room?’ Who has a friend of a friend?” they say. “If I’m part of a radical community or a punk community, then I know that we have some kind of ethos that’s very focused on helping each other.”

No matter where you stay, write the address in a note on your phone or mark the location on Google Maps so you can always find your base.

While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying your own company, solo travel offers adventurers a chance to meet new people. Group tours and Airbnb experiences are great ways to mingle with other travelers. Opt to sit at the bar if you can as you’ll be in a better position to chat with other patrons and the bartender. These new connections can invite you to other events they have planned, says Simone, and give you strength in numbers. “You have to be open-minded and you have to be willing to say yes to things,” she says.

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Try looking for clubs or social groups that fit your interests, Nabongo says. In big cities, there’s a good chance you’ll find a group of manga lovers, beer runners, or a poetry reading event.

However, always keep these interactions in a public place, Waugh says: a coffee shop, a park, a museum, a store, historic sites. Simone and Waugh warn against going out alone at night unless you’re with an organized group like a bar crawl. Also don’t tell anyone where you’re staying, even if they ask. You can enter a general location, such as “on the other side of town,” and then keep the

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