Do you crave for adventure and you would like to see the beauty, sights and sounds of the world? You and your friends have planned a gazillion trip but none ever materializes. You still want to travel solo so bad you can feel it under your skin. So WHY haven’t you gone already? Are you too scared to travel solo?
This is quite a common scenario for most women who want to travel but can’t seem to find travel mates. Solo travel can be scary especially if you’re doing it for the first time. So how do you kick fear in the ass and just go?
The answer is simple; knowing your fears and knowing how to deal with them is key. Not sure where to start? Read on as we address common fears and how to deal with them.
1. How will You Stay Safe When You Travel Solo?
When traveling alone, safety is one of the biggest concerns many travelers face the first few trips. So believe me you’re normal for wanting to skip the solo trip to Colombia if you’re worried about how you’ll stay safe.
How to deal with safety: One of the best ways to be fully confident of your safety is by being able to physically protect yourself. So, if the opportunity is given, take a self-defense class. Once you travel, remember, safety is crucial everywhere (even at home!). Apply the same cautiousness you would while being at home when you are in a foreign country.
Various government bodies usually warn voyagers on travelling to some countries, though the vast majority remains safe. Threats of terrorism and economic crisis might give you a scare when you are planning a trip. The best way to overcome this fear is to do a deep background research on the country of visit, their nearest embassy or consulate in case of an emergency. Check with the government of your home country too on travel advice, just to get a peace of mind.
2. Initial Solo Travel Loneliness
When you embark on your first solo trip your initial worry might be getting lonely now that you won’t be hanging out with your friends and family as you normally would at home. So how do you deal?
How to deal with loneliness: Solo travel should be viewed as ‘me time’. This is that moment you get to unwind from a busy work schedule or your business. So enjoy some free time.
To avoid getting lonely, try and meet locals when traveling. There are so many ways for you to safely meet locals as you travel solo who can become some of the best friends you’ll ever make.
3. Getting Robbed when Travelling Solo
Besides physical harm, you fear that you may get robbed and lose your possessions such as money, camera, laptop, phones etc. when travelling solo. This is definitely a valid fear.
How to deal with the risk of getting robbed: Keep your valuables, such as phones and cameras as close as possible to your body. A bumbag or a money belt are good solutions for that. Don’t fiddle around showing off your smartphone in certain countries, this can attract attention to strangers and this is what you are trying to avoid!
While it’s important to keep your valuables safe all the time, sometimes you may be caught unaware. To have your devices covered and make sure you will receive some money back, should they be stolen, make sure you invest in a good travel insurance.
4. Language Barrier
Most people are afraid to travel solo because of the language barrier. Imagine getting lost in Tokyo and you have the slightest idea of how to even say ‘hello’ or ‘excuse me’ in Japanese. Oh the horror!
How to deal with language barriers: It’s almost impossible to learn a foreign language every time you travel especially if languages aren’t your thing. The best option is to learn the simple daily phrases such as greetings, how to ask for directions, how to order food etc. Duolingo is a great app to learn such phrases.
Another popular option is to use hand gestures. This can actually be so much fun, just imagine you’re playing charades. You could also use Google Translate if you have internet. Simply type your question in your native language and translate it to the foreign language and show the translated message to the local.
5. Getting Sick While Traveling Solo
It’s hard to avoid illness when you visit a new place. Possibilities to get sick range from sanitation facilities to food or even the weather.
How to deal with illnesses: The best way to prevent getting sick while traveling solo is to take precaution. Drink bottled water, pick your eating spots carefully and use sanitizer for your hands. Make sure that you have a comprehensive travel insurance that covers for any medical needs that may arise during your trip. At least this way you don’t have to worry about paying for medical bills on top of being sick. World Nomads is a trustable travel insurance and offers coverage for your electronic devices as well.
6. Running Out of Money
We are all used to group travels where you get to share accommodation, meals and transportation cost and the idea of solo travel seems too expensive.
How to Deal with Travel Expenses: If you want to travel solo without any financial hiccups, start saving for your trip early and make sure you have enough money before you leave home. Have a budget and make sure you stick to it. Fight the urge to splurge if you’re on a tight budget. There also many ways to save money as you travel solo such as using AirBnB (Get $ 25 off your first adventure now) instead of booking a hotel room, using UBER instead of the local transport (which is most of the time over priced!), and flying with budget airlines. Take advantage of those methods.
Last word: If fear has been holding you back from enjoying the one thing you love, traveling, just remember that the hardest part about getting started with solo travel…is getting started. So take the first steps and trust yourself! After the first move it all seems so easy and you start questioning yourself why and what you have been so afraid of.
Do you travel solo? How did you manage to get the fear of traveling alone? Share with us in the comments sections we’d love to hear!