Whenever the opportunity and desire to travel present itself, I am on my way, no matter if the person who I’d like to go with me is available or not. more...
Whenever the opportunity and desire to travel present itself, I am on my way, no matter if the person who I’d like to go with me is available or not.
Traveling alone has a number of definite advantages, which become even more apparent when you have the option to travel with others as well. Going solo means that you can do whatever you like, whenever you like. No discussions, you are in charge of your day! When this choice is not available, it is only natural you might feel slightly apprehensive about being by yourself at times, especially while eating in a restaurant. Embrace the fact that there is a time and place for everything. Take advantage of the moment and realize that by travelling alone, unique and unexpected adventures are about to come your way, which would never happen if you would be with your favorite person in the world! Making friends is much easier than you think. People by nature are curious and will not hesitate to begin speaking to you as long you show some interest in them as well.
Without a doubt preparing your trip becomes even more important when you decide to travel by yourself since you do not have someone to fall back on. Think about activities to partake in, like for example a scuba diving course, which is a great way to meet people. Choose a destination were plenty of people travel to and where there are plenty of places to meet them. Travelling alone can be more expensive; hotel rooms are just an example. Smaller hotels are in general cheaper and the best places to meet like-minded travelers. Whenever you find yourself in a real expensive place, it might make sense to share a room. In all cases investigating prices at home can save you some serious money. Leave unnecessary stuff at home, traveling light is essential and increases your mobility.
The Debbie’s forums are a great to post questions or message to fellow travelers. You would not be the first person who found someone to meet up with in a wonderful Caribbean setting!
Male or female, there are safety issues that you need to take in consideration. I compiled some great tips for you!
How to stay safe while traveling alone!
1) Using common sense is perhaps the single best tip for staying safe and having a good time while traveling by yourself.
2) Arrive at your destination during daytime. This way you have enough time to “scope” the place and figure which places to avoid late at night, also ask the folks at the hotel desk which places to avoid, if any.
3) At check-in, you might consider asking for a room near the elevator so you won't need to walk down long, potentially ill-lit hallways to reach your room. Especially when you are a female, use only your initials while filling in the check in form and leave the gender spot blank. Who needs to know that a single woman called Janice is staying in room 313?
4) A rubber doorstop that you can wedge under the door comes in really handy in case the door lock is unreliable.
5) Take a couple of business cards of the hotel you are in, really handy in case you get lost and need to take a cab back.
6) Always have some loose cash in your pockets, reaching for your money belt attracts unwanted attention.
7) Keep your cash and copies of your travel documents in different places and always keep your passport and credit card separate. I always keep a copier of my travel documents on the web like the inbox of my hotmail account for example.
8) Learn a bit of Spanish or French, depending where you travel to in the Caribbean. Buy a small phrasebook. It comes in handy when you know how to tell someone to leave you alone!
9) Try not to look at maps in busy streets, in other words don’t look “lost”, even when you are not. Pickpockets are on the lookout for easy targets. Go have a cup of coffee somewhere and figure out where to go.
10) Don’t panic when you get lost or find yourself in a strange place. Think of it as part of the adventure and since you have cash and business card of the hotel on you, you are just a cab ride away from ‘home’.
11) Come across confident!
12) Know when it is time to find you a travel companion. Although the Caribbean is in general a very safe place to travel, there are situations you better do not travel alone. Listen to your instincts and look for some people you can tack along with. They probably will understand!
13) Especially when you are a woman, dress appropriately. Check what others are wearing and try to blend in rather to stand out! Different cultures have different customs, learn about them and respect them.
14) Take care with alcohol etc., the last thing you need is loosing control over your own safety.
15) If you meet a cab driver you like, why not ask if you can get his/her number!
16) Falling in love is always a great thing but stay alert and keep control over yourself!