No one to travel with? No problem! Solo travel is trending and has become one of the most exciting ways to see the world. Yes, it’s wonderful to make new memories with loved ones, but there’s also something very special about traveling solo right now and making friends along the way. (That’s why we’ve recently introduced a bunch of new Solo Tours!) When you travel on one of our solo trips, you may not be with a friend you already know, but you won’t be traveling totally alone; you’ll be joining likeminded travel lovers on the adventure of a lifetime. Think about it this way: You’ll be making memories with new friends.
That said, we understand that the idea of traveling without the comfort of a familiar face might be a bit overwhelming. So, to help make choosing to take a solo trip even more exciting, we’ve compiled some of the most important travel safety tips for exploring the world solo. Because when you’re prepared, you can spend more of your energy on having a great time.
1. Do your research
As they say, knowledge is power. If you’ve got a general understanding of what your trip is going to be like, it’ll be easier to navigate through it as a solo traveler. You don’t need to know every single detail—a little bit of spontaneity is fun! But being familiar with key details is an important tip for traveling alone. Brushing up on the customs of the destination (are there dress codes you should follow?) and the vibe of the neighborhoods where your hotels are located (is there a lot going on or is it more residential?) can better prepare you for the trip. More importantly, being better prepared could help ease any potential nerves you might be feeling about traveling solo.
2. Learn the local lingo
Connecting with locals is one of the most rewarding parts of traveling, and the best way to do that is by attempting to speak with them in their own language. A little bit of Greek will go a long way on our Greek Islands for Solo Travelers: Crete & Santorini Tour; while brushing up on basic Spanish will be really helpful during our bucket-list-worthy Peru for Solo Travelers: Lima, Cuzco & Machu Picchu Tour. Even if you butcher it, people love to see that you’re trying. So, feeling comfortable with a several phrases in the language of the country you’re visiting can help bridge that initial connection. It’s a foolproof solo travel tip for making new friends around the world.
3. Use the buddy system
Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins on our Egypt & Nile River Cruise for Solo Travelers Tour or savoring the flavors of the Emerald Isle on our Ireland for Solo Travelers Tour, you will have free time to explore without the group. And as a travel safety tip, if you’re not ready to strike out entirely on your own, ask your fellow solo travelers if they’d like to buddy up for an afternoon of shopping or for an evening out after the group dinners. This is one of the priceless perks of going solo with a group, where learning how to travel alone doesn’t mean always doing everything by yourself. There might be some activities you wouldn’t want to do by yourself, but with a buddy or two, you might become even more adventurous. Using the buddy system can especially help solo female travelers feel more at ease in a new destination.
Explore our trips for solo travelers like you
4. Save maps onto your phone
If you’re not traveling with a data plan, fret not: Most places these days (from cafes to museums) offer complimentary Wi-Fi. But for moments when it might be impossible to connect to the internet, you’ll want to make sure you have some maps saved onto your phone. There are apps that allow you to access some maps offline, which can be a lifesaver when you’re strolling around a new city. But one of our favorite safety travel tips for solo travelers is to take a screenshot of the map around important addresses (like your hotel). During our Venice, Florence & Rome for Solo Travelers Tour, for instance, having a map saved of your hotel and some of the nearby museums you can visit can make you feel much safer than pulling out a massive paper map to find your way. It’s one of our favorite Italy solo travel tips
5. Back up important documents
This is more than just a solo travel tip, it’s a general travel hack: Make sure you have multiple copies of your most important personal and travel documents. Copies of your passport, visas (if needed), hotel and flight confirmation details, entry and exit forms, and health documents should be stored in pockets or folders that are out of sight, but easy for you to access should you need them. It might even be helpful to stash a copy in your carry-on and a copy in your checked luggage. Now that we have smartphones, photos and screenshots of these same files should be saved onto your devices, too.
Looking to renew your passport? Find tips on how to get or renew a U.S. passport.
6. Get advice from our Tour Directors
Our Tour Directors are more than just experts with historical data and cultural intel. They’re also pros when it comes to the day-to-day ins-and-outs of your destination, including the most helpful solo travel safety tips. You should ask them for advice on everything from where to get the best pastries in Lisbon during our Portugal for Solo Travelers Tour or how much a tuk-tuk should cost while you’re on our Thailand for Solo Travelers: Bangkok, Phuket & the Islands Tour. Feel free to rely on their expertise should you have any questions about how to travel alone safely in their hometowns. They can point you to the right places to check out and, in some cases, which areas might be best avoided if you’re traveling alone.
7. Download our app
Rounding out our tips for traveling alone is to download our free mobile app. (This is true whether you’re traveling solo or not.) It puts everything you might need for your trip on your phone on one easy-to-navigate platform. For instance, our Egypt & Nile River Cruise for Solo Travelers Tour is an 11-day adventure where you’re staying in different hotels, visiting many cities, and eating at countless restaurants. We don’t expect you to remember all of that. Our app not only has the itinerary, but also the addresses and contact details you need for your trip. Plus, we even include a list of your fellow travelers there. That way, you can connect with them before you leave for tour and start building friendships that you’ll strengthen when you’re finally on the road.