Bitten by the wanderlust bug? Well, you’re not the only one. There are so many who decide to travel solo only to come back to the mundane life because the fact is that it’s just not easy. There are many things both positive and negative that come along with it. You’ll be able to take everything on your stride if you answer these 8 questions to yourself.
Q1. What’s your Motive?
Try finding out the motive for your solo travel. This is an important aspect as you need to find why you want to travel, and travel solo. While it may take you some deep thinking to convince yourself for this answer, a relatively easier question would be the motive of travelling to a particular destination.
Before you purchase the plane tickets make sure why you want to visit a particular nation. Are you interested in mountaineering, architecture, beaches, or museums? Select your location of visit accordingly while making the most out of it.
Q2. Have you thought about the expenses and the budget?
The most important part of any trip. Being so, even if you are short of budget or if your account is anemic, do NOT put an end to your travel plan. With the right planning and proper allocation of funds you can manage a good trip to cherish. If your budget for trip is less, then you can reduce the expenses considerably by targeting your frequent flyer miles, staying in hostels and arranging homestays, taking overnight train or bus journeys to save on accommodations, and eating hygienic street food. You can also gorge on meals in good restaurants by buying meal coupons online for considerably low price. Think about the place you want to go and start researching to get good knowledge of that place.
Q3. Will you be ok being alone?
Don’t rush in saying Yes. Think. Do you like being alone? If a chipped nail freaks you out or no Wi-fi makes you frustrated, then solo travel is not for you.
If you are comfortable being alone or want to be comfortable when you are alone, then a solo travel is what you require as it will help you accomplish that. When you have to entertain yourself, and manage travelling and expenses that’s when you develop ultimate organizational skills. You have no day-to-day distractions and can focus on your thoughts and skills. If you want to transform your weakness into strengths and test them then a solo travel is a great learning and amazing experience.
Q4. Have given a thought to the Trust factor?
Are you more of a trusting person? Then you will have to rein-in your horses when you go for a solo travel. Being social is necessary when you are out there so that you can get the best experiences but you also have to be more careful while interacting. It is better to appear rude than getting yourself in a dangerous situation. At times, it will be unavoidable to go to a deserted station or bus stop at the middle of the night, so it is better to be prepared. Research about the local culture, rules of that place and whom to approach in case of harassment or trouble well in advance.
Q5. How Open Minded are you?
When you visit any country there might be things and practices that you are not aware of or find it weird. Like you might see scorpions being eaten in China, snakes eaten in Thailand, or roaches in some other places. You might be coming from an open culture but the place you’re travelling to is conservative and might demand a particular type of clothing. It is fine to have an opinion but do not make judgements. The best part of travelling is that you get to see people from other parts of the world and their way of living. Plan your travels such that if you have a strong belief towards anything and something you strongly disagree to, you don’t go to that place or ensure you respect the local customs. For example, in Middle Eastern countries it is expected that women cover their legs and shoulders. Always remember, a responsible traveler has many good experiences to share.
Q6. Can you handle Emergency?
Do you have a panic attack if you miss a train, then solo travel is not your cup of tea. When travelling solo, you have to ensure you have a calm expression and cool head so you can think in case of any emergency. Even if you freak out internally, you must maintain your cool in order to sort the problem and don’t let the strangers surrounding you know about it. Always remember one plus one is two. To come to the solution, manage the problem one at a time. You keep solving one issue at a time and you can be out of any emergency. One thing that will always come handy is that you learn the key phrases in the language of your destination. This will help you to communicate with the locals in case of any problem. Also, before you leave for your trip share your detailed itinerary with your loved ones so that they know your whereabouts.
Q7. What is your No-zone?
There are somethings that you cannot adjust to. Think before you leave home with your backpack. How much can you adjust and what are your no-zones. Ensure you don’t get in the no-zone situations. For e.g. some people might not be comfortable with having group meals or to share common bathrooms. If you have back pain problem, then you might avoid long bus journeys and instead catch a flight to you next destination. There is thin line between adjustment and discomfort; know where to stop.
Q8. Have you considered your health and personal Restrictions?
Thoroughly research your destination before you leave to check on the health and medicinal care you might need. There might be situations where if you are on a medication but that medicine is not available in the market. In such a case, you must carry all your medications or at least must know the substitute available in the local market. Always carry a scanned copy of your passport, your doctor’s name, any health-related information, and medical insurance card. It is better to invest in travel insurance before you leave. It is quite inexpensive considering the help it gives in case of medical emergencies.
Travelling solo isn’t something to be scared of, but it definitely requires a lot of thinking, planning, research and guts. There’s no doubt about that. There are so many amazing solo travelers travelling like free birds all across the world. You can be one of them too. All you need to make is an informed choice. Be happy, be safe, and keep exploring.