Just a few tips and reminders for you, travel safe and enjoy!
The last few months have been so exciting and full with school, work, my sister’s wedding and my weekend travels. I haven’t had much time to write so I thought I might share some tips with you! Enjoy!
Tip #1: Research, research, research!
I cannot stress this tip enough so I made it #1! If you are on a budget, you should research lodging, airfare, transportation, food, sightseeing-including the reviews of the before-mentioned. You should do these things even if you are not on a budget so that you are simply educated on the culture and geography of the desired destination. Explore the options because chances are, you may spend hours doing the same research on your trip deciding what to do, where to go, best local spots, how to get there… you get the point.
#2: Solo travelers, be cautious when revealing that you are traveling alone.
Don’t think of this as lying; think of it as withholding personal information for security purposes. If you are comfortable telling someone, do it. You’re a brave bad ass, toot toot!
#3: Solo travelers, don’t get wasted and go home with someone.
This is dangerous, even when you are back home.
#4: “Should I buy airfare in advance or to purchase a few hours before I fly?”
This varies. For flights, set flight alerts and watch the trends. Sometimes there are amazing deals months in advance and on occasion, tickets go on sale 24 hours before departure. For international flights, it is suggested that you purchase 7-12 weeks before your departure date.
#5: (FREE) Apps are your friends, especially transit apps (subways, buses, construction, etc.)
My favorite flight-finder apps right now are Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights and I also subscribe to Scott’s Cheap Flights. As far as transportation and planning, I use Sygic Travel, CityMaps2Go and Transit. Since I don’t usually stay in hotels, I search for rooms on Airbnb and HostelWorld. I haven’t used Couchsurfing yet but I’ve heard great things about it. Solotraveller is another great app for connecting with like-minded solo travelers like yourself for ride sharing, coffee or concerts.
#6: Stop looking like a tourist, fit in with the crowd.
If you are wearing a camera around your neck, cargo shorts, flip flops and are carrying a huge map – you might be a tourist. It is apparent that you are not local and could be a target for scams. Avoid this.
#7: Be alert (threats, cabs, ledges, dogs, dark alleys, curbs, kids, etc.)
Watch where you’re going! It would be a shame to become injured while on your vacation.
#8: Don’t carry mace into the security checkpoint at the airport.
I always travel with mace. Since it can’t be carried in a carry-on bag, once I’ve landed, I purchase one at the nearest Walgreen’s or convenience store for about $10.
#9: Pack light, obviously.
If you are backpacking, this is key. No one wants to haul around their giant suitcases and carry-on’s. Pack what you need, chances are you won’t wear or use the extra stuff you thought you might need in case you fell in mud or if you met George Clooney and needed to look fabulous. If you’re like me, you HATE checking bags. Certain airlines are notorious for high baggage fees which may range from $25-$80 one way! I’m the girl in the airport wearing 2 pairs of pants, 1 pair of leggings, 3 shirts, a scarf, a watch and bracelets. So yeah, I carry-on.
#10: Use public transportation
Ride sharing can be so costly! Taking an Uber may seem like the safest option but you will pay for that falsehood. Public transportation is used by the general public. Give it a chance!
Meet some of the locals! I love chatting up old people for history and recommendations. Just because you travel alone doesn’t mean you need to BE alone.
#12: Don’t rush
Explore this new destination with your own eyes, not through your camera lens. Yes, you have glorious photos of an orange watercolor sunset in the Nevada desert but did you see it? Put down the camera and iPhone and let yourself be surrounded by beauty, if only for a sunset.