Traveling is one of the best experience of our lives. It is marvelous to discover new places (yes, those places we only have watched on TV or in a book), new people, new food, new versions of the food you always eat, new cultures. To summarize, traveling is unforgettable.
Seeing new places with our love ones is the best. We want our friends, family members or partner to live these experiences with us but sometimes it is not possible. It is difficult; not everybody has the time, the money or the desire to travel at the same time as us. Then, you have to choose between waiting for your people to visit the places of your dreams or going by yourself.
A couple of years ago, I had to make that decision. All my life, I dreamed of going to Paris, France. One day, I understood my friends had a different agenda than me, my family did not have enough money to go, and I did not have a boyfriend. I took the risk.
It was an amazing experience. I saw Paris by my own rules. I chose the places I visited, where I ate, how long I slept, how much money I spent.
After my trip to Paris (actually, to Europe because I visited more cities), I have traveled alone many times. I enjoyed all of these trips, and I have learned a lot. I have some tips I can share with you about traveling alone.
Be picky with your hotel
I am not talking about spending all your money in a luxury hotel room. I am saying you should check if the hotel is good enough. When you travel with a partner or a group, you don't realize how bad the hotel is because you are so entertained. On the other hand, when you are alone, every single detail can destroy your trip. For example, if the bathroom is an issue for you, check the reviews about how clean the hotel's bathroom are and make sure you don't share your bathroom with other guests (some hotels have only one bathroom per floor).
Have an agenda
I know being spontaneous is fun, but you need to know which places you will visit every day, and what kind of transportation you will use (rental car, bus, subway, cab, uber). I am not telling you to have a strict schedule with the exact hours; it is important to have a plan to not waste your time and money.
Be careful with money
Have a realistic budget; be prepared for new currencies and currency exchange commissions. Have an extra credit card in case of any emergency. Remember, you are on your own; running out of money is not an option.
Only drink bottled water
The water is different in your city or country than wherever you are going. You can have serious stomach issues if you drink tap water.
Don't overwhelm yourself
I know you are worried that you could get bored because you are alone. Let me tell you, it is not going to happen. Even though you are by yourself you will meet new places, buildings, stores, museums and restaurants. You won't have any chance to get bored. You don't need to go to ten different places in one day. Also, I highly recommend taking one day or afternoon to just walk around the hotel or just to sleep (yes, after a week of walking eight or ten hours per day, you need to rest).
Planes, trains and buses are on a tight schedule, they are not going to wait for you. If you have a flight because you are visiting different cities, be in the airport three hours before. Believe me, losing a plane, train or bus could be a disaster (in my case, it was $250 and six hours of my vacation).
Print the essential information
Such as embassies and consulates addresses and phone numbers (you are in a different country; it is good to know where our government is located) as well as all your tickets and hotel reservations. You don't know if you will have internet, battery or power in your destination. Don't make the mistake of assuming you can have all the information only on your phone.
I sound like a mom, but always remember you are in a stranger place with people from other cultures and regulated by different laws. Of course, I want you to have fun, but it's better to be cautious than overly confident.
They are my best tips. Now, choose where you want to go and start planning your next trip! .