If you have decided to go on vacation alone, you may begin to feel a little apprehensive. I reassure you, I experienced it myself!
In general, I start by preparing my suitcase beforehand. When I travel there are certain objects that we always like to take, such as a thermo bottle, a cotton bag or a style for the customs declarations of certain countries that need to be filled in. These types of accessories are generally offered as corporate gifts; many companies use this marketing support as you can find on Maxilia, my toiletry kit or a banana bag that is back in fashion! Then once everything I need is ready, the stress comes back to planning! It happens to you too?
Don’t worry, once you start your adventure, you will quickly become aware of the incredible richness of travelling alone. Passport ready, bank card with no withdrawal fees abroad, not to mention travel insurance in your pocket, all you have to do is pack your suitcase and leave.
In order to best prepare you for the great leap into the unknown, here are 10 tips inspired by my personal experience.
Let go of the guide!
Whatever my destination, I always start by going to a place where there are people. I sit down, have a coffee, and simply observe the life around me, that’s what going on vacation alone is all about.
This moment of observation and impregnation will teach you much more than any guide. Afterwards, you will see that it will be much easier to interact with the locals. They will appreciate the effort you have made to understand their culture. It’s a great way to make friends and build relationships.
Yes: the magic word
It will either be a wonderful moment or a funny story, but either way, saying yes is the secret of the solo trip. Say yes for the coffee, yes for the trip, yes for getting so far out of your comfort zone that this trip will make you a new person.
Say yes to adventure. The advantage of not being with a group is that it is easier to say yes to the situations you face. So go for it! Incredible things can happen!
Learn how to meet new people
Travelling alone means having written on your forehead “Talk to me! ”on your forehead, and I find it thrilling! At any given moment, you may be approached by a local or another traveler and an exciting conversation may emerge.
Seeing a stranger makes you curious, and chances are you will be approached to find out your story. And in return, you will discover theirs. All you have to do is show that you are open. Look for places where you can meet people (coffee shops, parks, bars, youth hostels, etc.).
Pay attention to evaluations
Travelling alone can make you feel more vulnerable in unfamiliar places. Before booking a room with Airbnb, or choosing a hotel, I therefore advise you to take a look at the ratings to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Most reservation platforms nowadays have this kind of rating system (Booking, Expedia…, etc.).
Think about giving news
The easiest and quickest way to travel safely is to keep in touch with a friend (or more). If you don’t often feed your social networks, it’s a good idea to communicate regularly with a few people so you can keep track of your journey if you need to.
Forget everything you’ve been taught
We have been taught from a very young age to be wary of strangers. Forgetting these programs is not easy as they are so ingrained in us. If this is the first time you are traveling alone, you may be a little defensive at first. But the more you travel, the more you will realize that most of the people you meet are not malicious, quite the contrary!
Put aside for a moment the fear of the other person and of the difference and go for it. The encounters you will have will far exceed all your expectations.
Fuel the conversation
It is likely that the first questions will be about your nationality and the length of your stay. But afterwards, if you are not an extrovert and your level of English (or any other language) is not excellent, the conversation may turn short.
This is why I recommend that you always keep in mind a small question or reminder to fuel the discussion. For example, I find that talking about what you like the most in the country you are visiting is an excellent way to put your interlocutor at ease. Compliments are as nice to give as they are to receive!
Salsa, paragliding, culinary experience… By opening yourself to new experiences, you will make many encounters. The truth about going on vacation alone is that you are never really alone. Every time you sign up for a new activity, you’ll have a number of friendly faces in front of you just waiting for one thing: sharing.
The power of a smile
There is no weapon more magical than a smile, it is a magnet for encounters. People will naturally approach you to engage in conversation. Keep this golden rule in mind: the smile is friendly, personable and universal.
One hello and everything opens up
In our western societies, it has become almost strange to greet a stranger! Yet, a simple hello can create so many bonds between human beings. Here again, forget your conditioning and dare to meet the other, without barriers. This is the key to an unforgettable journey.