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Solo Travel-8 Top Tips for a Better Trip Alone-Our blogs have provided 600+ tips on how to travel solo. We have selected the 8 below as some of those updated tips for better solo trips.
Solo Travel-8 Top Tips for a Better Trip Alone: Know Before You go!
Don’t buy trouble! Be sure that your required official documents are in order.
-To avoid being left at the airport, check to be sure your passport has six months’ remaining.
-Read your visa to be sure there are no limitations known as “special endorsements”. I had this experience on arrival in India. My visa stated I had to sign in as a “Foreign National” within 14 days. That was an error. However, I had to answer questions to enter the country and again to exit. If you see this on your visa, try to get it reissued without the restriction before you leave home!
-Research your destination’s laws on prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs. See, for example, US State Department.
-Understand currency restrictions as to the amount and type of foreign exchange that can be imported.
-Airport security can vary. In India, we were cautioned that a really fun cobra toy would not be accepted in the cabin. (Apparently, it was so life-like that passengers might panic.)
Plan on ways to receive emergency funds from abroad.
-Having spent 8 days abroad trying to get back to the US after 9/11, I was luckily able to use my ATM bank card. This may not always work. One example: Certain foreign hospitals require daily cash payment rather than rely on health insurance.
-See what your bank requires to allow friends and family to draw funds on your behalf. (In case of a real emergency, plan for ways to access funds beyond your bank account.)
Solo Travel-8 Top Tips for a Better Trip Alone: Safety Comes First!
Travel in uncertain times.
-Have a reliable daily method whether by phone, text or email to connect with a specific friend or family member.
-Identify your best local contact. That can be a tour group director, the concierge at your hotel or a professional associate if you are on business.
Solo Travel-8 Top Tips for a Better Trip Alone: How to Save:
An unrecognized cost of travel comes with meals. They can seem hard to track. However, this can add up to a huge number if you don’t plan.
-See if there is a cost-effective meal plan at your lodging. In resorts, there may be no other options without incurring added transportation costs.
For shopping on travel, do what locals do: Shop beyond the tourist route.
-Take a local bus to boutiques outside the city center or in the suburbs. (I tried this in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Do make certain of the route the bus takes on return. I found that not to be the case on my trip back in town. Fortunately, a local student came to my rescue with directions.)
-In fashion centers like Paris and Milan, save on high-end couture at stores that sell seconds, runway leftovers and irregular sizes. Paris has designer consignments shops that are deeply discounted but still pricey.
-In Asia and India, I found real savings on beautiful, vibrant silks for custom made outfits. (Special tip: I took a shirt from home to India and had it copied in silk in Jaipur, India. The prices were better than at home and the quality special.)
Solo Travel-8 Top Tips for a Better Trip Alone: Transportation-Making it Work!
Expect flight delays and missed connections.
-One way to solve this problem is to avoid combining a domestic and international flight in the same day. The reason? Many flights are scheduled within 45 minutes of each other. If the first flight is late, you can miss the second one. In addition, even flying the same carrier can mean that you have to change from international to domestic terminals. If you add time for Immigration and Customs, even in transit, you can be left behind.
-Consider booking a room to break up too close international flights. One year on Christmas Day, I flew from Washington, DC non-stop to Beijing. From there, I was to fly to Bangkok and on to Siem Reap, Cambodia to catch a Mekong Delta cruise. Faced with impossible connections and flight times, I booked a hotel at the Bangkok airport. I was surprised to find my temporary airport hotel had marble bathrooms and an elegant breakfast. It was hard to leave.
Think again before renting a car solo abroad.
-Besides the cost, can you change a tire if stuck on a remote road with no help?
-If you don’t have a strong sense of direction at home, it won’t be any better abroad. (Don’t just assume you can get a local GPS.)
-Outside the US many rental cars have manual transmissions which are not as frequent in the US. If you don’t know how to work the clutch on a steep hill, this is not the time to try to learn!
-In addition, besides driving on the “wrong” side of the road in many countries, you will sit and shift on the “wrong” side of the car left-handed.
Solo Travel-8 Top Tips for a Better Trip Alone: How to Pack:
Pack light for safety and savings.
-For solo travelers, carrying too much can be a safety hazard. If accosted, it is impossible to get away fast with lots of bags.
-The more you have the more limited your options are for inexpensive public transportation.
-Here are some small items you may not think of: Ballpoint pens, battery operated fan, adapter and converter. Put them in sandwich bags, and tuck them inside your packed shoes.
-Added pleasures-I travel with hot chocolate packets to make mocha coffee in my room. It is a great cream or milk substitute.
For more than 600 tips from past Solo Trekker 4 U Blogs, click the following sampling: