When planning winter break, weekend road trips, or even day trips, we tend to ask our friends if they’d be interested in joining. While traveling with your close friends will result in memories that will strengthen your friendships, this doesn’t mean that traveling with other people is the only option. If your friends are unable to travel with you for whatever reason, don’t let it stop you from going by yourself! People often underestimate the benefits of traveling alone. You not only gain a new perspective and learn about the world around you, but you also learn about yourself. Here are some tips on how to travel alone:

Make sure that where you are going is safe

This one may seem obvious, but while booking a trip you may not be considering if the destination is even safe. Prior to booking anything, make sure you do your research. Just because a place looks beautiful, doesn’t mean it is safe for someone to travel there alone.

Bring a book

While traveling alone, you will find that you will have plenty of down time. Whether you spend this time laying on the beach, at a quaint coffee shop surrounded by locals, or on a park bench, having a book handy is a great idea to keep you busy.

Remain low key

This is essential while traveling alone. The last thing you want to be doing in sticking out in a new, unusual place. Leave your expensive jewelry at home, and go for neutral clothing.

Give your friends and/or family a copy of your itinerary

Prior to departing on your solo travels, print out a few copies of your itinerary to hand out to a few of your loved ones at home. Make sure your print outs include where you are staying, how you will be getting around, and phones numbers. This way, if you forget to check-in with your loved ones back home, they can call your hotel, and/or know exactly where you are supposed to be.

Figure out your transportation before you go

Transportation costs can add up very quickly if you don’t plan ahead. If this is the case, you may find yourself spending extra cash on Uber and taxis. Instead of wasting cash, research the public transportation options in the area. There could be a bus that will take you exactly where you need to go for a fraction of the price of an Uber.

Follow your instincts

Following your instincts is extremely important, especially while traveling alone. If something feels off, it probably is, and you should remove yourself from the situation.

Talk to locals

Although most of us have been taught “Stranger Danger,” at a very young age, don’t be afraid to talk to the locals around you! A simple, “Hello” can go a long way. People tend to be friendly, and if you happen to spark up a conversation with a local, take this time to learn about their culture, and the area that they know so well.

Bring a journal

Just like bringing a book, bringing a journal is another great option to help pass the time when you find yourself in a relaxing setting. If you document your travel with a journal, you can look back and read exactly how you were feeling in that present moment. While pictures and videos will bring back memories, keeping a journal will bring back the emotions attached to the visuals.

As you can probably tell, traveling solo can be extremely rewarding, and allow for you to create memories that will last a lifetime all by yourself. Not only is traveling solo empowering, it allows for you to get in tuned with who you are. Try it out!

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