A large majority of us seek the company of a friend or family when traveling simply because we’re afraid to be alone in a foreign country. What with all that daunting thoughts going around in your head — Will I get lost? What if someone robs me? How am I supposed to eat alone in a restaurant without looking like a loser? Traveling solo can be challenging, but that is exactly what makes it all the more exciting! You get to do whatever you want, you get to go wherever you desire, and even better you have no one to answer to! And if this still hasn’t convinced you, then read on for some helpful tips & tricks that’ll help you plan and get through your trip safe and sound — and tons of fun!

  1. Budgeting

budget planning before traveling
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This is a crucial step and it’s important that you have your trip well-budgeted before flying off. Most of us are well aware that the right budgeting can curb overspending and running out of money in the middle of your trip. So start off by picking your most desired destination and proceed to do some research on it. Research about airlines that offer flight deals, non-peak times, must-visit places, etc. If you’re looking to go on an excursion, or try out some activities, then book your ticket online instead of buying it on the same day as the price difference can be a burden. As for accommodation, there are multiple sites like Agoda and Booking.com that offer year-round discounts on hotels and Expedia offers greater deals when you book both flights and hotels together!

  1. Making Friends

Stay in Hostels

backpackers youth hostels
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Staying in youth hostels or hostels in general are a great way to make friends during your trip especially since most hostels organize bar hopping and many activities where you mingle with other fellow travelers!

Travel Apps

apps for making friends when traveling
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Travel apps might be your best bet yet, for there are multiple ones in the market such as Backpackr, Solo Travelers, MealSharing, and EatWith; and they all cater to different needs. These apps have customizable options which allow you to filter your preferences too!

Traditional Approach

making friends on your trip
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If all else fails, then go with the traditional approach: smiling at strangers and tourists alike. Don’t hesitate to ask for your photo to be taken — and offer to take pictures of others. Or simply strike a conversation with someone across from you in a café. If they keep it going then you’ve got a friend, and if they’re not interested then move on to someone else.

  1. Being Safe

be careful when traveling
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Like we mentioned earlier, solo traveling can be a bit daunting especially since the crime rate seems to be on the rise almost everywhere. So, it is crucial that you follow these suggestions to stay safe and sound during your trip.

Keep someone informed

Make sure there is at least one person who’s aware about your whereabouts. Keep them in the loop of whatever activity you have planned for that day, and if they don’t hear from you for an entire day, then they should probably be worried.

Don’t stay out too late

Unfortunately, no matter where you go, there are bound to be some “funny” characters, so try not to stay out too late at night especially if you’re not familiar with the place. Which brings us to our next point, dark alleys are a big NO-NO, no matter how they shorten the distance to your hotel.

Split your cash beforehand

Try not to whip out your wallet out in the public with stacks of cash in it. Now that you’ve set a budget, you should know an average that you’ll need for the day so take that and place it in a different wallet. Then, store the larger sum in your backpack or someplace safer. This way you don’t attract unnecessary attention.

  1. Enjoy Eating Alone

riding a book while eating in a cafe
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Eating alone may not entirely be such a scary thing as one might think. And you need not feel embarrassed about it because nobody’s going to be really paying attention — unless they’re interested in you or just plain ol’ creepy. Nevertheless, to lessen the awkwardness, you could always take a book or a journal with you — that is, if you’re into journaling. Or maybe just a pair of good earphones to listen to music while you stare into the distance. Whichever you choose, just remember to feel confident by being yourself because that’s all that matters!

So if all this has you pumped up to go on a solo trip, then be sure to check out Expedia’s promos and score up to 6.0% cashback when you go through Shopback!

*Featured Image Credit: Tyson Dudley | Unsplash