Traveling solo is an adventure many brave people embrace each year. However, there are significant differences between traveling alone and with others. After polling the internet, here are the top-voted advisements for solo travelers.
1. Travel Flexibility
One said, “Travel flexibly- don’t book everything all in advance. If you stay in hostels, you’ll likely meet fantastic people you get along with and want to travel with for a few days or weeks. But, on the other hand, if you book all your travel arrangements ahead of time, there’s less opportunity for spontaneity.”
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2. Engage With the Locals
“Engage with locals and local culture, not just your fellow travelers,” another shared. “Try to attend local events such as sports matches, dance classes, and culture exchanges.”
“Also, don’t be afraid to spark conversations with locals in bars, parks, or the beach. That said, be conscious that not everyone who starts a conversation with you has good intentions.”
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3. Research the Cash Requirements Before Visiting a New Country
“Research whether the country you’re visiting is particularly cash-heavy,” another warned. “In some places, you can get away with a credit/debit card, but try to have some cash on you to grab a taxi, or street food, etc. I’d recommend Revolut- of a few cards I tried, it offers the best exchange rate and has limited charges.”
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4. Take Walking Tours
One said, “One of my recommendations is to take the free walking tour offered in various cities. It helps get your bearings, is a good way to meet others, learn a little history, and may lead to fun places outside the typical guidebooks.”
“Start by Googling the city name, followed by free walking tours. A bunch will pop up along with other free tours. I also look on sites like TripAdvisor.” Another confessed, “I’ve been solo traveling domestically and internationally for 30 years, and walking tours are still my favorite way to experience a new city.”
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5. Be Aware of Local Tourist Scams
“Be aware of typical tourist scams, including those particular to your location. Also, be particularly cautious of unsolicited offers on the street to visit a bar, temple, or club,” replied one.
“However, remember that you can still be aware and vigilant of potential scammers without alienating most local people who have no interest in scamming you.”
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6. Map Travel Out
“Download the place you’re going to on Google maps- you never know if you might run out of data or signal, so it’s super helpful to have your maps offline,” shared one.
“Agree with you on taking a map. However, I found the maps of OutdoorActive and OpenMaps even better and more detailed, especially on the level you use for walking,” another added.
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7. Try Local Food
“Try local food!! Home comforts are incredible sometimes, but you don’t visit Mexico or Thailand to eat the same burgers you would back home. Local food is way more exciting and often cheaper and of higher quality,” one exclaimed.
8. Pack Basic Medications
Another stated, “Take some essential medicines with you- it will make it much easier if you get sick. I’d recommend paracetamol, ibuprofen, diarrhea tablets and maybe travel sickness tablets if you get travel-sick.”
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9. Be Generous
“Be generous,” replied one. “If you’re visiting a country with a higher poverty level than yours, the least you can do is budget a small amount of money to give to those in need.”
“Often tourism can have negative consequences for places poorest: higher rents, food prices, general gentrification, and potentially being pressured out of an area by police. Giving a small amount back is the least you can do.”
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10. Learn a Little of the Local Language
Finally, someone said, “Learn a little of the local language. Even if it’s just ‘good morning,’ ‘thank you,’ and ‘a coffee please,’ it will go a long way, making people happier and more likely to extend you help or recommendations should you need it.”
We hope you enjoyed this Reddit picks list of advice from solo travelers.