Before you travel abroad alone…

Refinery 29 recently published an article about what you need to know before you travel alone in a foreign country:

  1. Know before you go
    • Gather any information you may need, like hotel addresses, public transport routes, and flight info, before you leave for an international trip, unless you’re okay with the huge roaming charges to your phone.
  2. Brush up on your social skills
    • Whether you’re interested in chatting up your neighbor on the train or just looking for directions, you’ll need to be able to start conversations with strangers.
  3. Choose your lodging wisely
    • While hostels are wallet-friendly, they offer little security and numerous bunkbeds full of strangers. But if you’re looking to make friends with other solo travelers, hostels are the place for you.
  4. Streamline your must-haves
    • Everything you bring, you and you alone will have to carry, so limit yourself to only the essentials. Do you really need that hairdryer or those heels?
  5. Play with your budget
    • There are a lot of costs that can pop up, like a fun museum you didn’t know about or that one morning you desperately need that cup of coffee for your early train, so analyze your budget and make sure a line is for fun items.
  6. Make safety a priority
    • Being street smart in another country is completely different than being one at home. It is easy to stand out as a tourist if you’re constantly looking around like you’re lost. Know where you’re going ahead of time so you don’t carry around that large city map.
    • Also, don’t wear headphones as you tour the town. It not only weakens your ability to hear danger, but also signals that you have an iPod or smartphone that is playing music, and that is worth a lot to pickpocketers.
    • The number one item to keep safe is your passport; don’t leave it in the hotel, but also don’t put it in a backpack or purse. Invest in a money belt to wear under your shirt and keep copies of your passport because this will make it much easier for the consulate to replace if you do lose it.
  7. Embrace the solitude
    • You have no one to answer to, no one to keep entertained. This is your time to learn about yourself and this other country. Completely immerse yourself in the culture, read a book, and just sit and enjoy the awesome experience you have been given. You are more self-sufficient than you realize.
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