I know, you think you might be interested but the apprehension is beginning to creep up in the back of your head. So, here are 7 tips from our guest blogger, Chad Wallace at Four Spheres Travel to motivate you and get you prepared for that solo trip you need to take.
- Plan the trip YOU want: The beauty of traveling solo is you don’t need to find consensus with any travel partners because the trip is a blank canvas and you’re the only one holding the brush. If you want to sleep away an entire day that is perfectly fine! But if you need a little more structure, then you can always go with . . .
- Joining up with other solo travelers: Together-but-alone-time works if you need some structure and want to join in with a group on an escorted tour. We love Cosmos tours because they hit all the highlights for a destination, they don’t break the bank, and they’ll pair you up with another solo traveler roomie (and if they have an odd number of people they’ll waive the single supplement fee so you might even get your own room!).
- Upgrade: You have a bunch of airline miles but not quite enough to upgrade yourself and others to business class. Now’s your chance! A good night sleep on an overnight flight across the pond on a lay-flat seat in business class will certainly reduce some of that apprehension about venturing solo. If you don’t have the miles, then think of splurging on a Premium Economy cabin seat.
- Share your adventures in real time and stay connected: Post those photos and updates to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It will keep family and friends updated that you’re doing just fine on your own. It will also help to dispel any feelings of loneliness because all the likes, favorites, retweets, comments, and the jealously (*wink*) your posts induce in others will remind you that traveling solo was a fantastic idea!
- Be practical: Email a copy of your passport, itinerary, and travel documents/confirmations to yourself and a loved one. Make a hard copy of your passport photo page and pack it with your luggage. Also pack a hard copy of important phone numbers for friends, family, your credit card companies, and the local embassy in case your phone battery dies. (Don’t forget to set up your phone for international use.)
- Smile and talk to the locals: This is both the scariest AND the most rewarding part. If you’re in a non-English speaking country and you have some of the language under your belt, this is the time to use it. Just remember that people are inherently kind and are willing to help you muddle through the language. If you’re in an English speaking country (or most of the locals speak English), and you’re still apprehensive about talking to people, remember that you will likely never see these people again and you have nothing to lose by trying to make a new friend or drinking buddy for the evening. Locals also have the best insight on what to see and do in your destination.
- Trust yourself: You are hardcore! You’re going overseas by yourself and you have the strength and courage to do it because you are AWESOME! Just think of the continual confidence boost you will get for years to come when you tell people you went on this amazing adventure by yourself. Their response will likely be, “oh, I could never do that!” Maybe not. But you did. And that sets you apart from the rest. Well done, you!
Photo Credit: Air France
Chad Wallace is the owner of Four Spheres Travel, a boutique travel agency in Washington, DC. He’s fallen off a Vespa during a small-group tour of the Chianti wine region in Tuscany and lived to tell the tale (or as the story goes . . . Tuscan ninjas jumped out of the bushes and he had to spring from his Vespa to fight them! . . . errr something like that). He’s a lawyer by day and runs Four Spheres Travel by night, applying his OCD lawyering research skeelz to come up with sassy vacations for his fantastic clients and has a ton-o-fun doing it. Chad can be reached at email@example.com