TOP TIPS ON HOW TO BE A SUCCESSFUL SOLO TRAVELER Wednesday 10 July, 2019

It is traveling high season and I thought this would be a good time to post some of my own personal tips on solo traveling. If you didn’t know, I have been in Mexico for a month on another solo traveling trip and loving it. There is something so liberating about booking a flight and actually exploring and immersing yourself in a city in solitude. As a woman I’ve had previous fears of traveling alone and wishing people would book a flight when I wanted to travel, but I not longer haves those feelings.

Traveling alone is freedom and it truly lets you know it is a great big world out here meant to be explored. I hate to tell you but if you are waiting for your friends, family or mate to travel you are missing out sometimes. I have talked to several people and they still do not understand how I do it. It’s easier than you think, but since there isn’t a class you can take on how to solo travel in school or college, I am happy to share my top tips on how to be a successful solo traveler!

BOOK FLIGHT AND PLAN PEACEFULLY

I think the top reason that stops most people from traveling, whether solo or not, is that people fail to book flight tickets in a timely manner. Tip to go on your solo trip with confidence is to BOOK THAT FLIGHT. I always say once you book the flight you will be committed to your travel plans. If you dont book it and keep thinking about it and over-processing it, before you know it the month you wanted to travel is around the corner and now the tickets are 3x the price you wanted to pay for it.

So figure out where you want to go months in advance, I advise do not wait more than 3 month prior to your trip to book a flight. Once you get closer to 3 month before your trip flights are increase. Look into booking on Tuesday and Wednesday. Try to also book your flights arriving/departing between Tuesday-Friday. Saturday-Monday departures and arrivals are the most expensive.

Also look for booking flight deals. If you see a flight deal that is in your budget and there is no way you can say no, book it! Do not wait, book the flight and follow the next steps!

RESEARCH YOUR CITY/COUNTRY

It doesn’t matter if you are stateside or internationally traveling, always research as much as you can about the place you want to visit alone. Don’t be a tourist who goes into a city blindly and have no clue what to expect or where to move about. Learn the city and major areas you should know to feel comfortable. Check out the crime rates, especially.

Google is your friend, Youtube your city/country to get ideas and my top favorite I love to Instagram geotag my city/country before I travel. Also make sure you make a travel itinerary to know where you want to travel and visit ahead of time before you get there!

RESEARCH & REVIEW ACCOMMODATIONS

This is extremely important. Booking the flight is easy, but where you will stay should be a top priority. Make sure when you research the city, figure out where you want to stay. If you are staying local, get familiar and look around online what will be nearby where you are staying. Are restaurants, stores, etc…walking distance? Is your city easy accessible with transportation? Will it be expensive to move about? How far will you be from the main area?

Outside of just researching whats around, please look at your options carefully for your actually accommodations. A lot of travelers are opting for more Air bnb experiences, where you can stay in a local home shared or book an entire space to yourself. This gives you more access to a local feel and even cheaper rates than booking a hotel. If you are going to book an Air b n b, please look into not just the photos but CHECK OUT THE REVIEWS.

My personal tip: I tend not to book Air bnb’s that have zero or very few reviews. The photos might be nice and the price might be good, but its nothing like readings several good reviews about the potential place you will stay. You don’t want to be the first to stay at an accommodation to gamble with the experience.

Also look for affordability, but do not choose a place for pricing over safety and/or cleanliness. I know it is tempting to book something when the price look right, but this is where checking reviews from others and researching the area is very important. When you select a place you are looking into please zoom in on the map and get the exact city you will be in (most places that say they are in the city, sometimes are in the outskirts or surrounding). Also Google Maps the location and see what is surrounding the area, and double check if where you will be staying in walking distance from many place, can you take local transportation or will you have to pay for taxis.

MIND YOUR MONEY WISELY

So people think after they book their flights and accommodations that is the least of their money worries. Well its very important to get those two things out the way, but always make sure you will have enough money for the duration of the trip. Please always keep up with your bank account statement while on the trip and have more than one card for using as well. A back up card is important just in case the other method of payment gives an issue.

Make sure you have enough money in your account to withdraw from ATM, and always learn your conversion rate from your country to another country. Spend wisely and use conversion rate apps if you get confused with how much something cost converted from your standard dollar.

Make sure to budget and bring with you enough money for traveling transportation from airport and within the area you will be staying, food budget for the entire trip, miscellaneous money such as souveniers and excursions, and most importantly emergency money! I think that it is important to bring not just the necessity budget you will be spending, but your emergency money for mishaps that might happen while you are on your trip such as accommodation changes, unexpected flight expenses, replacement item expenses, additional food money and more. Nothing with hurt your feelings or end your trip prematurely is if you run out of money when you need it.

Please also remember if you are solo traveling for a longer extended amount of time, think about a grocery budget too. It might seem cool to eat out every day, it doesn’t matter how cheap the currency is in that country/city, nothing beats cooking at your own place from time to time and save some of your money. A lot of what eats up travelers money quickly without realizing it is eating out all the time.

PACK NON-TOURIST CLOTHES

When you are traveling, most people believe you have to have an amazing traveling wardrobe to make yourself feel good while on vacation. Its nice, depending on where you go but if you are solo traveling and for a long period of time, you might want to tone down your outfits. This is not to say do not pack any nice outfits while on your trip, but a lot of your wardrobe should be packed to blend in with your surroundings.

If you are wearing loud colors, gaudy accessories and design brands your entire trip, you will be a tourist target. A tourist target will be more likely to be financially harassed, scammed or even robbed out of their money. You do not want to be a target anywhere to be harmed physically or financially just because you decided to be flashing in another place. Take fashion precaution.

For longer-term solo travelers (a week or more) I definitely highly recommend this because you want to blend in with your local environment and get yourself comfortable. Yes your attire can make you a target. You will also stand out like a bright peacock if people in the area you are visiting do not wear flamboyant clothing. I highly suggest packing a lot of basic and classic items; solid clothing colors, items without wording/phrases,  limited accessories, etc…

 Basically be more minimalist as you can in your attire.

NETFLIX AND CHILL INTERNATIONALLY

Now this is a tip I wish someone would of told me last year when I booked my first long-term solo trip.

In very simple terms, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connects your PC, smartphone, or tablet to another computer (called a server) and allows you to browse the internet using that computer’s internet connection. So if that server is in a different country, it will appear as if you are coming from that country, and you can potentially access things that you couldn’t normally.

You can use a VPN to:

-Bypass geographic restrictions on websites or streaming audio and video.

-Watch streaming media like Netflix and Hulu.

-Protect yourself from snooping on untrustworthy Wi-Fi hotspots.

-Gain at least some anonymity online by hiding your true location.

So traveling isnt always going to the ocean, or being out and about in a new city/country. There are days and nights when I am in my room and I want to still catch up on my favorite Netflix/Hulu shows.What many people fail to realize is that when traveling, your home country Hulu/Netflix is not the same and it is limited or even blocked to a certain extent depending on what country and their restrictions. One of my favorite VPNs is through ProPrivacy. Netflix and binge away securely!

TRAVEL WITH FRIENDS AND EXTEND YOUR STAY

So this tip is moreso for people who are hesitant on solo traveling for the first time or in certain countries/cities. If your friends/family book a trip somewhere already that you are planning on going, make up your mind to book the trip with them for their exact days, and extend the trip a few more days.

That way if you were in city/country for a while with your travelmates, you would of already explore the city for a few days with people you know and gotten to know the town with them. Once they leave, you will be more comfortable with the surroundings and you should be able to move freely and confidently.

I would say extend your stay for a minimum of 2 days. Do not move too far from where you were with your travel mates and stay on the same course you were when you had them. Explore but don’t venture off too much alone. The purpose of this extended stay is to prove you can travel alone and you do not always need people to accommodate you traveling.

Only do this tip if you researched this country/city thoroughly for safety.

JOIN FACEBOOK TRAVEL GROUPS

This is also a life saver for solo travelers. Join Facebook travel groups. There are a growing number of travel groups popping up daily, some specifically for solo travelers. Join them and get tips from other experienced solo travelers. You should be engaged in the group and even ask questions and most of the people will be glad to help newbie solo travelers.

Whether you are a newbie solo traveler or experienced, it is good to join these groups to make connections with people. Even better if you can find an EXPAT group in the country you are visiting and make new friends. You might start off your trip solo, but you can end the trip with lifelong friends once you join the group.

Expats groups are great because these are people who have left their home country to live in the country you’re visiting and 9 times out of 10 they are also looking for people to connect with. These expat groups are mini communities of support, meetups and learning together new things in the city and places to see and do. Don’t just join the group, be social, send out a message asking if anyone wants to meet for lunch/dinner in person and hang out. If there is an event in the group happening while you are there, make sure you go to the meet up! Make new friends thanks to social media!

Have you ever traveled solo, if so where did you go?

 

About the Blogger - Kiwi the Beauty


Kiwi is the free spirited blogger and content creator of KiwiTheBeauty.com. As a digital influencer, she produces creative inspiration around beauty, lifestyle, media and travel leisure. Her life mantra is to make manifesting fun! When she’s not blogging, she is eating trendy hipster food, carrying crystals, making it rain at her local farmer's market and binge brunching. Follow her on her blog and social media at kiwithebeauty.com + @kiwithebeauty


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