Pros and Cons of Solo Travel
Solo travel has several advantages over group travel. For one thing, there is the independence one gets while traveling alone which provides the ability to make decisions on accommodation, meals and travel destinations entirely at one's own discretion. Traveling alone can also often be relatively cheaper as costs are based on one person’s habits and preferences.
However, traveling alone does have its downsides. There is always the risk of loneliness. Another disadvantage of traveling alone is the lack of safety brought by being in a group. Solo travel makes one more vulnerable to several social ills ranging from pick pocketing to kidnapping to murder.
- Keep all important documents nearby. This may seem obvious, but nothing can cause bigger headaches than losing identification documents while abroad. Aside from keeping the original copies in a hotel safe or money belt, all documents should also have copies scanned and saved on cloud storage for easy access, just in case.
- Consider purchasing an international phone plan and research the local emergency numbers of the areas you are travelling to. It could come in handy.
- Register with your home country as a citizen abroad. The Embassy can't pull you out of every mess, but it's still important that they know you're traveling.
- Split up your money. In the case of robbery, you'll be happy that you had some security cash stashed away in your sock.
- A good lock is a smart investment, especially if you're staying in hostels where lockers will be used.
- When taking public transit at night, stick to the first car closest to the driver. It will be easier to get their attention in case of emergency.
- Try not to flaunt personal belongings. This could make you a possible target for pick-pockets.
- Be wary of possible travel scams. You can see our list of the most common travel scams to avoid here.
- Just say no. When invited to unfamiliar places, don't let fears of being impolite take over. If something feels dangerous, chances are it is.