It’s so much fun to be back in the travel game. And I know I’m not alone in this: I’ve received lots of messages from you guys saying that 2021 is the year that you’re going to try solo travel. I started traveling solo a few years ago and it’s been incredible. But I’ve made a few mistakes along the way. So today I thought I’d share some mistakes to avoid when traveling by yourself. Overpacking is a mistake when you’re traveling, but it’s exponentially worse when you’re traveling by yourself.
Do not Overpacking:
When we’re traveling by ourselves, we go to the airport, we get through security, we get to our gate, and then what do we always do? We drop all of our luggage and then one person sits with the luggage. One person goes to the bathroom. One person goes to get snacks. So when you’re traveling by yourself, if you want to go to the bathroom, you are lugging all of your luggage with you trying to cram it into that tiny little stall, Or maybe, if you’re at a busy train station.
Being prepared is important for any trip. But especially if you’re traveling solo. You can avoid this pitfall by leaving some time to arrive at your destination, rather than trying to get there at night. You can also arrive during the day when it’s generally safer to travel.
Always keep Map of Traveling Destination:
It’s really easy to have hiccups when you’re traveling by yourself because you don’t have a second person to double-check all of the decisions you’re making. Somebody to say, “oh, I think the map is turned around” or “oh. I saw that sign back there”. Because we all make mistakes when we’re traveling, somebody else is there to catch it.
Solo travel can be super lonely. So my strategy is to just plan one thing for the first half of the day and one thing for the second half of the day: That way, if the thing in the morning gets a little hectic, it probably won’t have too big of an effect on the thing in the afternoon.
Planning too little, I think, planning too little is a mistake that makes solo travel, feel lonely If you get somewhere new check into a hotel and then have no plans and you’re just wondering what to do. It’s really easy to start feeling like.
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Keep regular taxi:
In most countries, you can tell the difference between a regular taxi and an expensive taxi. So if you’re paying by the kilometer, you want to avoid the more expensive taxis (even if they come with a fancier car). No need to pre-pay in advance. Just get in and tell them how you’d like to be charged.
Taxis that accept credit cards have a sticker that says something like “accepted by modern” or “pay with card”. When you get to your destination, the driver will tell you that the machine isn’t working. Then, he’ll ask you if you want to pay with cash and charge you the full fare.
Always keep some cash with a credit card:
Maybe there aren’t any extra fees for using a credit card. But if you don’t have credit cards available, it can become a problem. This happened to me in Dubai last year around midnight. It was 1 am. I got a cab that was brand new and had the “plus” signifying availability through Apple Pay.
We took a cab from the airport to our hotel in Paris. When we got to our hotel, the driver said, “The credit card machine is broken. You have to pay me in cash.” I told him that we didn’t have any cash, and he was adamant that the machine was broken. He thought that I was bluffing about not having cash. It wasn’t a big deal to us, but it kind of was because we had a flight to catch.
I finally said to her, Well, how about if I just pay you in US dollars? And she agreed to that. So she gave me a $20 bill and I gave her a $10 bill. That way, I would literally only pay her $10 in cash. I’d still be within my limit. But it would be kind of funny if she thought I had $40 in my wallet…Frustration was building to the point where, after a few minutes of having the same
a conversation like five times around, she just went silent.
She silently fumed in the front seat. I was in the backseat, honestly terrified because this was my first time in Dubai. It was the middle of the night. I was all by myself and I’m being told, I have to pay cash and I don’t have cash and I’m thinking I have no way to pay.
Always keep eyes on ATM:
The very first thing I do when I get a taxi is: I get cash from an ATM at the airport, so I never find myself in that position again. But the second thing I do when I get a taxi is Before I put anything in the car or get in, I asked the driver: “Do you take credit cards?” And since I’ve started doing that, I have never had this problem again. I ask the driver to confirm before I even get in their car that they will take my credit card.
Be careful during custom clearing:
Customs are always an issue. I’ve actually been stopped by border agents before, which wasn’t fun. The way I look at it is this: I don’t have cash, so they’ll let me go with a check. All saying that we don’t have cash But because I was by myself, I think she felt comfortable pushing it harder. Not preparing for a time in customs, It’s easy to think of the journey to your destination as just the flight time or that you get there when your plane lands.
Always keep a phone with internet charging:
When traveling by myself I always make sure to have some kind of data plan on my phone. That way, I can access the internet when I need to look something up. Or when the WiFi isn’t strong enough to load the site I want to visit. It’s also nice to have a backup of my passport and important documents on my phone in case I lose them.
So if you lose your passport at least you have a scan of your passport. Then there’s money which, if you saw my video about the horrible mistake I made in Portugal, you know I will link it down below if you haven’t seen it, But I lost all of my money. Credit cards cash everything three days into an 11-day solo trip to Portugal And it was a nightmare. I didn’t even have a Euro to get me to a train station. Like it was awful.
Be careful about pickpocket:
If you want to stay safe while traveling, avoid looking flashy. When you look flashy, you make yourself an easier target for pickpockets. Wear clothing that has less of a chance of standing out. Also, be careful about what you’re reading on your phone in public. Look like you’re busy doing something else, and you’ll be less of a target for scammers.
Do not wear costly jewelry:
You don’t want to wear anything that makes you look like you’re traveling alone. So when you’re out and about, you want to dress like you’re with a group. A little black dress or skirt and a white shirt work well for this look. Then, when you get into a taxi, say you’re with friends.
Always tell people your family in the hotel you are not alone:
Oh, what’s your reason for visiting? Are you by yourself, like they are, all normal questions, but I am ready to lie? My family’s back at the hotel, I’m just running an errand. Oh, I’m on my way to meet my friend, You just never know who you’re talking to or who’s.
Everything else says, “I don’t have anything to say about that.” It’s like you’re training your brain to avoid uncomfortable conversations.
Everything else says, “I’m not sure how to answer that question.” This shows you’re honest and will make people feel more comfortable with you.
Yeah, I’m excited to hear about other people’s solo travel experiences. It makes it all worthwhile.
And now I want to turn things over to you:
Which mistake did you make when you were solo traveling? Or maybe you try to avoid a certain type of travel situation.
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