The Top 12 Tips for the Best Solo Getaways
Dying to take that weekend getaway but don’t have anyone to go with you? It sounds like it’s time for you to delve deep into the bliss of your first solo weekend getaway. Don’t worry! It’s not as scary as it sounds. With these tips, any solo weekend can be some of the favorite travel you’ve ever done. Here’s everything you need to know.
1. Download offline maps
Offline maps are absolutely critical when you’re somewhere without service or your data runs out. They give you the ability to track where you’re going now and map out where you’ll go next without having to worry about being connected to service or WiFi.
Some great apps to have are Google Maps, Maps.me, Ulmon’s CityMaps2Go or any others that you find that works to you. Be sure to think ahead because you’ll often need to connect or download before leaving a service area.
If you are traveling with Weeklander, be sure and download your curated guides before you travel. We’ll email them to you about a week before traveling.
2. Be aware of how you appear
This has nothing at all to do with what you’re actually wearing. There’s a whole other element of how you can appear to be a target when you’re travel alone. Do you have your head buried in your phone? Do you keep looking at your map and then looking up, evidently lost? Are you walking aimlessly? Do you have your belongings swinging around? All of these inadvertently make you a target to anyone looking for someone vulnerable.
Do yourself a favor and be critically aware of how a perpetrator may perceive you. If you look like you know what you’re doing and carry an air of self-confidence with you, you’re much less likely to have any sort of trouble.
3. Walk with a purpose
Just like your appearance can impact your safety, your walk and demeanor can also play a huge role as well. This was touched on briefly in number two, but it’s so important that it deserves its own bullet point. When you’re traveling by yourself, you must walk with a purpose. This means always having some idea of where you’re heading next and never looking like you could be uncertain.
Predators prey on those who are lost and uncertain, so don’t find yourself in that situation. If you’re not sure what you’re doing or need to gather yourself, step into a nearby coffee shop or convenience store to avoid attracting attention while you do it.
4. Take pictures and scans of important documentation
While a passport may not be required for domestic travel, you never know when losing your wallet or having it stolen could throw a wrench into your weekend. It’s always best to make physical copies of any important documentation you may need and then upload digital copies to Google Drive, the Cloud or another form of Internet storage. You’ll have the physical copies if you need them and the digital copies are stored in a place that they can’t be lost or ruined. In this case, even if your phone, wallet, and bag were all stolen, you’d have access to the information you needed on any device that you could log into.
5. Don’t become overly inebriated
When you hear tragic stories on the news about individuals who got into trouble while traveling solo, there’s often a common thread behind why it happened. They were out late, they had been drinking, they were with people they didn’t know. Something about their story doesn’t exactly add up.
There are a variety of actions that you can take to avoid unfortunate events and ensuring that you don’t become overly inebriated is one of them. This doesn’t mean you have to deny yourself a beer or those two glasses of wine, but there’s no reason to get slammed at a bar when you’re out on your own. Be smart and stay safe when it comes to alcohol, drugs, and solo travel.
6. Pay for safety
Solo travelers often overlap with the budget traveler demographic. Yet, if there’s one element that’s worth paying for on your trip, it’s safety. You may have been comfortable walking those 12 blocks when you were with a friend, but if you’re not sure about doing it on your own then don’t. Go ahead and call an Uber and swallow the $7.00 that it’s going to cost you. You may spend a little bit more, but you know that you’ll be safe and feel comfortable at the end of your solo weekend getaway.
7. Get an early start
If you normally drink and stay out late when you travel with your buddies, your solo weekend getaway might be a bit of a different vibe. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t be just as fulfilling. Consider flipping your schedule and getting an early start to your day. You’ll likely be going to bed a bit earlier and getting out the door earlier will give you the opportunity to see things without the typical crowds.
8. Do research and follow reviews
When you solo travel, you can’t bounce ideas off of another person or use their knowledge to supplement your own. That means that you need to have an idea of what you’re doing way more than usual (sounds hard, right?).
Make sure you do your research and use reviews to help guide what you find. Reviews are the gold standard of the travel industry today. The businesses with the best reviews are the ones that really make it. Read the reviews, learn from them, and don’t use a company that only has a couple of reviews. You want to know what people thought from many different perspectives.
If you travel with Weeklander we do this for you in our curated guides. We do the research and leg work to find reputable companies that match your interest. Whether that is restaurants, bars, tours, or even shopping.
9. When in doubt, take a tour
Sometimes even the most planned solo travelers find themselves unsure of what to do. If you want to take a trip and are okay with doing it alone, consider taking a tour. Taking a tour is one of the best ways to not only break up the time you spend alone, but the right tour allows you to see a peek into the place that you’re visiting. A tour often has local guides and provides you with experiences you wouldn’t be able to gain when you’re on your own.
10. Don’t be an open book
When you’re on your own, you might feel a little desperate to make friends but fight that urge. It can be dangerous to let everyone know who you are and what you’re doing. Guard your identity and your itinerary with cautious. It isn’t always the most fun way to go about a weekend of travel, but it can save you a lot of trouble if someone is looking to take advantage of you. That doesn't mean don't talk to any one or keep to yourself, just be wise with who you interact with.
11. Don’t stress about being alone
The first time you travel alone is going to feel weird. You’re going to feel like you should have a friend to turn to when you don’t know which bus to get on, or you’ll think that everyone is staring at you for eating alone at the restaurant you really want to try. Do yourself a favor and don’t stress.
Solo travel, above all, should be fun, so relax and make this solo weekend getaway fun for yourself. Don’t worry about what others are thinking about you and make your travel experiences all about what YOU want them to be. Remember, this is your time to decide everything and that’s incredibly empowering.
12. Be open-minded
Not everyone loves solo travel or solo weekend getaways, but one thing is for sure - No one enjoys them without being open-minded first. Your first key step to a great weekend is having an open mind. Don’t worry if you didn’t read about something or aren’t initially sure. The reason you travel is to open your mind, and you can’t possibly do that from behind a desk or on a couch. It’s okay if solo travel isn’t our thing by the end of the weekend, but at least you gave it a go, right?
Your solo weekend getaway can be everything you want it to be with this travel advice. While you may be tempted to just stay home after hearing that your friend can’t or won’t go with you, a weekend away (just you) could be exactly what you need. Relax and enjoy the solo plan that you make, it will be slightly more laid back and incorporate everything that you love.
Check out Weeklander for more details on solo weekend getaways. Their subscription packages allow you to find exactly the best travel options for you and help you maximize your adventure every step of the way.
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