While your friends are off planning their future families and careers, all you seem to plan is your next adventure—alone. But don’t fret; I interviewed Carolyn Crist, an avid traveler and teacher’s assistant for the University of Georgia’s study abroad program, and gathered some helpful hints to help you sojourn solo.
“The biggest thing to think about is budget,” she says. “I think a lot of young or new travelers forget to budget extra for things like meals that you don’t anticipate are going to be more.” Have your funds ready ahead of time—souvenirs, food, water and entertainment add up.
2. Be smart
“Especially when you’re alone, just keep a watchful eye on things,” Crist advises. Stay in well-lit, public areas, plan ahead and always keep your head about you.
3. Stay in hostels
“Hostels are great,” she admits, “especially in Europe.” Not to mention they’re a cheap and easy way to meet people. Try and look at ratings and reviews ahead of time on websites such as Hostelworld.com to ensure you have a clean, respectable place to stay after a long day of exploring.
4. Stay Calm
When you inevitably get lost, don’t panic; stay calm and take a second to regroup. “Duck into a store, bathroom or restaurant,” suggests Crist. “Pause, be inconspicuous and figure out where you’re going.”
5. Try new modes of transportation
Trying unique modes of transportation such as bullet trains or ferries is a great way to step out of your comfort zone while stepping into new sites and cities.
6. Don’t be afraid to talk to people
When in public places, listen for English and make friends by introducing yourself. You may have started the journey solo, but you definitely don’t have to end that way.
Traveling alone can be the perfect time for self-discovery, personal growth and wonder. So pack your bags, grab your passport and hit the road.