20 Tips For A Young Adult Traveling Alone
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20 Tips For A Young Adult Traveling Alone

Eat, pray, Uber.

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20 Tips For A Young Adult Traveling Alone
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Traveling alone can be quite like like the first day you stepped foot onto your college campus, you're scared to death, alone, and you're signed up to be somewhere at 9 am but you have no idea how to get there. You thought nothing could be more horrifying than that first day, except now you don't even speak the same language as the people around you and unless the airport has wifi, google translate has left you hanging too.

Here are a few first hand pieces of advice so that when your plane's wheels hit the pavement you feel a little more confident stepping off alone.


1. If you're staying at a hostel, guard your things with your life.

Yes sleep with your arm around your bag and your money in your pocket because you have no idea the integrity of the people around you.

2. If you're a girl and are thinking about staying at a hostel, try to book an all girls dorm

I can't stress this enough. Hostels are open to any and everyone. So you could meet the most laid back world travelers or a drunk guy who just got kicked out of his girl friend's place and won't leave you alone.

3. If you can do without a suitcase do it!

Dragging a suitcase around a large city is nothing unusual but it's still cumbersome and annoying depending on how cobbley the roads are in your country of choice.

4. Get used to walking and public transportation.

Pack as light as possible with one or two pairs of comfortable shoes that can be used for multiple scenarios. And for God sakes don't bring heels I promise it's not worth it!

5. If something in your travel plans change BE FLEXIBLE

You're traveling alone for a reason you only have to rely on yourself so it's extremely easy to adapt to sticky situations, which leads me to my next point...

6. Public transit will fail you every now and again, so have your über app ready

I can say from personal experience that trains and planes and automobiles driven by someone else will never be as reliable as your own car. So build in time in your plans for human error.

7. Cheap European airline tickets, yes they are real, but they are cheap for a reason

Your flight may be delayed for 4 hours or cancel all together because they are smaller airlines with less resources and are not as dependable.

8. If you are traveling multiple places in an indefinite amount of time be ready to explain it to border control, because they like definite times and dates.

The fact that I was to 3 countries in a period of 3 days freaked them out and supposedly looked suspicious. So have all your confirmation numbers and addresses of where you are staying, because the last thing you want to do is seam like a threat during a time of heightened terrorism in tourist areas.

9. Pack clothes that can function with multiple outfits.

I'm talking about one jacket that works with 4 or more outfits. I promise you will regret over packing because it's on you when it comes time to pick up that extra weight.

10. Be open to meeting new people and putting yourself out there but still use precaution.

That's the point of your trip anyways isn't it? To immerse yourself in new things and learn about different cultures. Use your common sense if you don't feel comfortable with the situation, but sharing backpacking stories with a seasoned traveler, over a cup of coffee, at a crowded cafe is probably well worth the risk!

11. Check the international fee on your credit card before you leave.

Some cards don't have one at all but others are more expensive than the item you may want to buy. So don't let your credit card statement be the first time you're finding out about international fees.

12. You may have to pay for basic human needs like using the bathroom or ordering a cup of tap water.

I've paid the equivalent of $1.55 to use the restroom before, so either save your coins or wait till you get back to the place you're staying at.

13. Even if you feel jet lagged avoid a nap it'll only make it worse.

Sleep as much as you can on the plane and start your trip off right by making it through the first day without taking a nap. This will help reset your sleep schedule faster.

14. If you're going to a country that speaks a different language try to learn basic phrases in advance.

Phrases like bathroom and other necessities will save you in times of desperation.

15. Pickpockets are rampant in most big cities and tourist areas, so avoid putting your phone or other valuables in exterior pockets.

Your best bet is either a jacket with interior pockets for guys or a secure cross body purse for girls.

16. If you're traveling a lot or a long distance sign up for frequent flyer miles and rewards programs.

It's so wasteful to not take advantage of free flights and hotels that come from the money you're already spending either way. You will be able to make your money go much farther this way and one long trip essentially pays for a short one later on.

17. Invest in a universal converter.

Don't buy one for just the country you are going to buy one that can be used in most if not all countries. If you're going to spend 20+ dollars on a converter you might as well pay a few extra dollars for one that can be used anywhere your travels may take you.

18. If you're going to buy souvenirs think light, thin and durable.

If the item you want does not meet at least two of these criteria, then you may want to really ask yourself if it is truly something you can't live without.

19. The sun doesn't always go down in the summer and doesn't always come up in the winter depending on the part of the world you're in.

In the US many of us are used to standard days with very little fluctuation in daylight between seasons. Keep in mind this is not always the case and you may find yourself in bed staring out the window at a beautiful "day" at all hours of the night.

20. If you're still a student take advantage of the discounts.

There are so many resources that make traveling cheaper for young adults and students such as:

Student Universe for drastically cheaper plane tickets.

EF College Break for affordable all inclusive guided trips for single travelers ages 18-28.

Reduced prices on entrance tickets to multiple museums and attractions at the gate or online.


Traveling alone can be a blessing or a curse depending on how you react and prepare for certain situations. So I hope that you take some of my advice so that you don't have to learn these lessons the hard way like me.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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