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September is for the Solo Traveler

Traveling solo can, scratch that--IS a great adventure. It’s a time to really get to know yourself better plus you have the freedom to follow your own schedule. If you’ve been holding back, these tips will give you the confidence to head out alone. Most importantly, you’ll learn how to overcome some of the most common concerns like, will I be bored?

You may wonder about whether you’ll get lonely. What I’ve found is that learning to enjoy your own company is remarkably rewarding. If you feel like mingling though, you will definitely find friends along the way.

My first tip is to say yes and engage fully. I mean, that guy who talked your ear off on the plane may know the best local spots where you’re going. If you’re apprehensive about dining alone, eat at the bar or select a table near the back and people watch. Of course be mindful of your surroundings but, by getting caught up in new experiences as you travel will leave little time for boredom.

A tour is an easy way to see the city and ideal for meeting new people. You may find It’s easier to strike up a conversation than you would at home when you share the same interests with others and you’re away from your usual routine.

Stay local when possible. The owners of bed and breakfasts find the nicest ways to enhance the experience of your stay and are eager to talk about local attractions. There will likely be other solo travelers at these types of places too. An popular alternative is Airbnb which often will have a listing of local recommendations when you check in.

If this is going to be your very first solo trip, do volunteer work and sign up with a non-profit organization. During the off times, enjoy solo activities like visiting a museum or lie on the beach with a good book. Enjoy the peace and relaxation you get from being alone.

What about My Safety?

Your security is my number one concern so keep this checklist in mind to reduce your risks.

1. Don’t look like a tourist. Seriously, walking around with a map is a dead give away. Use your phone, pop into hotels and ask the staff questions and walk with confidence wherever you go.

2. Always be alert and observe what’s going on around you. If you’re near a sketchy area, take an Uber or cab to your destination. This is one time I’m telling you not to walk on foot and sight see.

3. Watch your money honey! Get a cute cross body bag and if the weather permits, wear it under a coat. Please do not wear a backpack. It is a perfect target for pickpockets. Leave valuables at home.

4. Assess your fluency of the local language. If there is an emergency you will definitely need to be able to communicate.

5. Copy your documents. This way you can keep it on you and store the real items in the hotel safe. Also, provide a second copy of your itinerary, identification and health insurance with loved ones at home and check in regularly.

6. Use social media wisely. Post regularly enough so those who know you are gone know you are ok, but avoid posting where you are in real time. Doing a recap in the evening while relaxing poolside with a glass of wine is perfect.

I really believe if you follow these simple steps for safety, you can avoid being intimidated by the thought of traveling alone. Remember, alone does not mean lonely, it is a choice so choose you sis! What better way to DateYourselfGirl!

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