Traveling alone may seem like an insane thought to some. To be honest, when I was younger I probably would have never entertained the idea of going anywhere alone. Up until my past Eurotrip in May, I had only ever travelled with friends or family. I had been wanting to go back to Italy and France since the second I boarded the plane to go home last time.
As I have mentioned a few times, I took off the 2015 from work to finish school and travel so my schedule of availability to travel is a bit more flexible than my friends or families. I realized that if I just waited around for other’s schedules to open up, I would never see anything so I took the plunge and planned my first solo trip!
I realized that I actually enjoy traveling alone. I was able to do what I wanted, when I wanted and on the time schedule and pace that worked best for me. I really tried to wake up early, pack my day full of activities then return back to the hotel late. For some of my friends/ family that wouldn’t have worked so, I am glad I was able to do what I wanted without compromising.
Anyways, while I was traveling alone, I came up with a few tips/tricks to maybe encourage you to take a solo journey!
- Don’t be worried/scared of what others will think. One of the things that crossed my mind before leaving was “what will other people think about me travelling/eating/touring along?” Let me just tell you, I didn’t short myself on any meals or experiences just because I was alone. I will say that I didn’t get any strange looks or comments and I really didn’t even feel uncomfortable. When sitting at a restaurant and people watching, I realized that everyone else was so engulfed in what they were doing that they didn’t even notice me.
- Be aware of your surroundings. A big thing about traveling alone is that you are on your own. There isn’t anyone else looking out for your belongings so, make sure that you are watching your bag at all times. Unfortunately in Europe, pick pocketing is a big issue so, you always need to be alert.
- If you feel unsafe, get out of the situation. I will be honest with you, I felt very safe in Paris and Venice. Rome on the other hand is notorious for sketchy characters. I am not saying this to steer you away from Rome because that would be stupid. Every city has its “bad” parts. What I am saying that you may not want to take the metro in Rome, as that is the hub of pickpocketing. Instead, maybe opt for walking or taking a bus. (Uber is also now in Rome!)
- Plan. Plan. Plan. When traveling solo, I think it is important to know where you are going. You can see my Venice itinerary here. I always leave myself time to do things that I may just see in passing or hear about last minute so nothing is set in stone but, it is more efficient than ditzing around or walking in circles.
- Be cautious. If you get mixed up or turned around and didn't pay the $300 for an overseas data plan for google maps, Ask! however, do not just go up to any rando on the side of the street. Go into a bank, restaurant, museum, etc. just someone who is 'official' and won't take advantage of a lost tourist.
- Talk to people! In Venice I went on a Cicchetti tour, which was a three-hour food/wine tour in some local restaurants. Everyone in the group spoke English so as we were walking, the tour guide was asking where everyone was from. Shockingly enough, 4 of the other people in the group were also from Florida and 2 of them lived in my city!
- Enjoy it! Traveling is such an amazing thing. Seeing the way different people and cultures live will make you so rich.
Solo traveling can be a bit intimidating at first but, once you get over the thought of traveling alone, I think you will really enjoy it. I know I did!
Have you ever travelled alone? What did you think about it?