Are you scared to travel alone to another country? Don’t be because, with the help of this article, you would know exactly what to expect and how to prepare yourself for a solo travel.
In today’s world, solo traveling is becoming more popular with each passing day as people are aiming to live their own lives as they want. No one wants to wait for someone to accompany them anymore. Gone are those days when you needed at least one person to go along with you to have a fun and amazing time. Nowadays, you are never alone when traveling solo because you meet other fellow travelers or friendly locals who quickly gel with you and lo-behold, soon you have made some amazing and long-lasting friends and some lasting memories with them.
Why Should you travel Solo?
I will be honest with you, I have never been a big fan of solo traveling ever. I never wished to try it because frankly, I thought it to be a little depressing. I have always preferred traveling with one person, doesn’t matter who, but I have never actively sought out to travel alone. Why would I when I have friends who love to travel with me?
This all changed though when I decided to visit a new country for my birthday and none of my friends were free to travel with me. I figured I am not canceling my birthday plans just because my friends are busy, I will celebrate my birthday on my own in a place I have always wanted to go and so, that is how I ended up celebrating my birthday alone on the Cambodian beaches!
Yes, it was risky and I was both terrified and thrilled to do it but in the end, I loved the experience and I am glad I got to do this alone. Here are a few reasons why traveling solo internationally can be a lot of fun:
You get to decide your own itinerary
One of the best things about traveling solo in a new country is that you get to decide all the places you want to visit and there is no second opinion about it. You can visit the places you like and don’t have to compromise on the places that you really wish to visit. I got to see all the places I wanted to see which included Siem Reap, Koh Rong, Sihanoukville and got to spend as much time as I wish, without anyone messing with my plans.
You meet a lot of new people on the way
Although this holds true for general traveling too although, in solo traveling, you don’t have to worry about your travel partner getting pissed at you if you ditch them for some spontaneous plan with other travelers. You can go wherever you want, with whom so ever you want, no strings attached. If you and your travel partner have different interests, then this is the best way to explore those interests.
You can spend as much time at a place as you want
This one is my favorite, you get to spend as much time as you want at a particular place. Want to laze around the beach all day? Then, do that. If you are traveling with another person, it is quite likely that they would want to visit other places around the area and not laze around the beach which could be a total bummer for you. Trust me, on my birthday I spent my early half of the day on the beach, just chilling and I don’t regret a single moment of it.
You are less likely to miss out on things because you are waiting for someone else
Another favorite of mine is that you don’t have to wait. If you are ready early then you can just leave, no need to waste time by waiting for someone. This way, you are more likely not to miss out on some amazing experiences. I was able to get up early in the morning at 4.30 to witness the Angkor Wat sunrise and I didn’t have to wait for anyone. I was on time! Can you imagine being on time for once in your life? It is truly an amazing feeling!
There is no need to compromise
Yes, one of the best advantages of traveling solo is that you don’t have to compromise anymore. You can go to all the places you like and spend howsoever much time you want and there is no need to give up on things or places because your travel partner has a different plan in his/her mind. You can eat what you want, travel how you want and there won’t be anyone to stop you. You get to visit places that make you happy, isn’t that incredible now?
Things to Remember when traveling Solo in another country
While traveling solo can be fun and endearing, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a safe and happy travel.
Always have an appropriate amount of cash with you
One of the most important things to keep in mind is to have enough cash with you when traveling solo in another country. Don’t have an excess amount of cash or less cash, calculate the tentative amount and keep that much cash with you. If you have too much cash, chances are it might get stolen or lost and if you have less cash, you might end up getting stranded in some secluded place! So, always get the right amount of cash with you.
Ensure you have credit/debit card that works internationally
Make sure that you have a working credit card and debit card which will also work internationally and take it with you. This will make your life easier when traveling abroad, as you can just swipe your card to make a purchase or use an ATM to withdraw some money. Don’t make the mistake of relying only on your cash.
Get a local Sim
Another important thing is to buy a local sim so that you can call your hostel reception or your bus company to ask about details and how to reach when traveling solo. Trust me, you end up using your local sim a lot while traveling internationally and the internet facility helps you in keeping a check of your location and letting your family and friends know about your whereabouts at all times.
Take care of your belongings
There are a lot of places which are famous for stealing and robbing, so make sure that you always keep your important belongings wrapped around you or your vehicle tightly. Don’t carry your passport to every place you visit, keep it in a locker in your hostel for safe keeping. Also, don’t take a lot of valuables with you when going to the market or just for a night walk, just take the essentials with you. Think I am a little paranoid?
Absolutely not! In Cambodia, a couple of guys tried to snatch my belongings from me but luckily I had wound up the bag’s handle around my cycle’s handles which although resulted in a slight fall but saved my belongings from getting stolen. So, don’t take this one lightly! Always keep your belongings tightly worn around you or your vehicle!
Be careful with the food
Don’t ever eat anything which looks weird to you or which you don’t like, you would end up falling sick and there would be no one to take care of you. This is one of the most important piece of advice that I can give you, avoid eating anything which doesn’t taste good or makes you feel icky. I ate something on my last day in Cambodia which I wasn’t really comfortable with and I ended up with a bad stomachache for the next week. So, avoid eating anything weird when traveling!
Make friends but always keep a lookout for strange things
While making friends is good when traveling solo, it is equally important to be vigilant and keep your guard up when going alone with people you have just met. Don’t let your defense down and always be on a lookout for something weird. There are a lot of cases where tourists are taken to a secluded area and robbed and are left with nothing to go back, not even their passport. So, be vigilant always.
Pack smartly and be Punctual
Don’t take too much luggage and take only what is necessary for the journey. Pack clothes according to the country and keep common medicines in your bag. Also, leave all the places on time and try avoiding missing buses or trains during the journey, especially when you have a return flight to catch.
Relax and have fun
Most importantly, have fun guys. Solo traveling can be a little terrifying but if you are smart and careful, it can be one of the best experience of your life. So, just go out and enjoy yourself. Trust me, this is one experience you won’t ever forget!