If you are planning to travel alone, and mainly if this includes overseas travel, this can be a very scary or, for many, strange proposition. You may also have family and friends try to talk you out of traveling alone and tell you it is too dangerous or unsafe.
Traveling alone to explore a new destination is not strange and can be a fantastic experience. But before you travel, there are things you should do, such as doing your homework to know about your destination. You must also check out all the legal and visa requirements to be sure you have no issues with your travel plans. And finally, have at least the first few days of your travel planned out.
Table of Contents
- Why It Is Not Strange To Travel Alone Or Solo-Traveling
- Our Top Tips To Help You Not Feel Strange When Traveling Alone or Solo Traveling
- Do Your Homework Before Solo Traveling
- Understand Your Legal Requirements For Any Place You Travel
- Carefully Plan out Your First Few Days Of Travel
- Related Questions
Why It Is Not Strange To Travel Alone Or Solo-Traveling
If you decide to travel alone, especially if you are traveling overseas, you will be surprised by how many people you will meet who are also traveling alone. The great thing about traveling alone is you can encounter can friends along the way; you may even find some friends you can travel with for part of the journey.
I have traveled alone many times and always found it a great experience. It has forced me to get out of my comfort zone and talk to people I did not know. I have also met some amazing lifelong friends through my travels.
It is not strange or weird to travel alone; in fact, you will find that many people are also doing it.
Our Top Tips To Help You Not Feel Strange When Traveling Alone or Solo Traveling
If you are going to travel alone, it is essential that you take the time and do your homework and where you are traveling. There are specific steps you can take to ensure that you have a fantastic journey.
Here are some of our top tips on preparing for a fantastic journey so you do not feel strange or weird when traveling alone.
Do Your Homework Before Solo Traveling
If you are planning to travel alone or solo, one of the most important things you can do is do your homework before traveling to your destination. Especially when planning an international trip overseas, there are the basics things you should do before you travel:
Read Up On Where You Are Solo Traveling To
Read up and learn about where you are traveling to. Know a bit about the culture, people, history, and places you will visit.
One of my favorite travel guides has always been Lonely Planet Guides. Many of their travel guides have great history and information on the culture of the destinations you visit.
Reading up on your destination can also include reading some books and novels that local authors have even translated. Doing this will help make your trip more meaningful as you will understand more about the location you are traveling to.
Read Blogs From Those Who Live or Travel There
Today there is so much information online. Read some blogs from those who live where you are traveling, such as an insider’s guide to life and living in the location you will be traveling. Many blogs are filled with a lot of great information and ideas.
Watch YouTube Videos About The Place You Will Travel
There are a lot of YouTube videos about places worldwide. Many of these are from people who live and work in these countries. Many of these YouTube videos can give you great insight into the history, culture, and people of the place you are traveling.
Check Out Documentary Programs and Movies About the Location
Documentaries and even some Hollywood movies have excellent historical or cultural insights about locations worldwide. Through these programs, you can gain valuable insights about the place you are traveling to.
Pick Up Tour and Travel Brochures
Some travel agents have free travel brochures. These brochures will usually have some general information and basic itineraries. This can be a wealth of information on where to go or the significant sites in some areas of the world.
Visit a Local Travel Agency
When you arrive at your destination, you may want to participate in some local tours. Do some research online to have a potential list of what tours you may want to take.
I would probably hold off booking local tours until you get to your destination unless you are under challenging time constraints. Once you get to your destination, you may find other tours you want to take that you did not know about.
Do your homework about the places you will visit before you travel. It will be much easier for you than trying to do this while traveling, especially if you are going to some remote places that may not have access to good internet and other information.
Also, doing your homework before you travel will help you to go to your destination armed with insights and knowledge; these insights and expertise should help to make your trip so much more meaningful.
Understand Your Legal Requirements For Any Place You Travel
International travel will require a passport and, in many cases, a visa. Some countries will allow you visa-free entry for a certain period. But all these requirements will change depending on the passport you are holding and the country you are visiting.
Here are some ways you can check out the legal requirements for the places you are traveling
Check Embassy Websites
Many Embassies have their websites. This should be the first place you check, as their information should be the most up-to-date.
Visa Services For International Travel
There are also a lot of online Visa Services. Some of these may be in the country you are visiting, or others can be in your home country. These websites should also have much up-to-date information; if possible, I would double-check their requirements with the actual Embassy website.
Travel Agencies May Offer Visa Services
Many travel agencies also offer a visa service. They can help you understand the visa requirements and help you get the visa you need.
Check Out Travel Blogs For More Visa Information
Many blogs have information about visas and other requirements. Many of the blogs will usually link to the Embassy and relevant sites. Check out these links to ensure the blog has the most up-to-date information.
If you are traveling to Vietnam, you can read our blog entitled Vietnam Travel Visa, What You Need to Know Before You Go by clicking here.
Check Out The Airline Website
If you cannot find out any of this information through the embassy or any other way, you can also try to talk to your airline to find out what they have as the visa and other requirements. An airline will not allow you to board the plane unless you show a proper visa or documentation for your final destination.
Purchasing an airline ticket does not guarantee the airline will allow you to board the plane, especially if you do not have a valid visa. Airlines will typically check this when you are checking in for your flight.
If you do not have a proper visa, they will not allow you to board the plane, and you could lose your seat and ticket. Also, some airlines may want to ensure your visa is valid for the trip. This is why you need to check this before you travel to any new destination.
Carefully Plan out Your First Few Days Of Travel
It is always best to have your first few days and nights set up and planned before you travel. This is important in case the hotels are overbooked or in limited supply. You do not want to end up on the street or sleeping in an airport as you did not plan things correctly.
For the minimum, you should have an idea about the following:
Understand How You Will Get From the Airport To Your Hotel
You should know how you will get from the airport to your hotel. If you are unsure how to get from the airport to your hotel, ask your hotel.
Many hotels will offer a taxi service to pick you up upon arrival; this service is usually always more than a local taxi, but it may also be the safest option.
I have used my hotels to pick me up at the airport a few times, especially in places where I was not sure how to get to my hotel or how safe it is to get a taxi or other local transport from the airport. Most hotels will also be able to give you some information on the best way to get from the airport to your hotel.
Book A Hotel Room Before You Travel
Even if you are unsure if you want to stay in the hotel for just one night or several nights, you should have a plan when you arrive at a new destination and have a hotel room booked. You should know where you will stay for your first night.
If you want to change your hotel, you do it the next day or travel to another location. But have all the first few days of your hotel rooms planned before your trip.
Today many hotel booking websites offer excellent review sections. I usually read through the reviews and what others have said before I book a room or even an Airbnb.
Understand How and Where You Can Get Local Cash
When you get into a new country, one of the first things you will need is some local cash. Many airports will have an ATM allowing you to use a western bank card.
Most airports also have a money exchange counter. In some countries, the money exchange can take a lot of commission and other fees. Just be prepared for this \
You will need local cash for taxis, local transportation, and other tips upon arrival. You should investigate and have an idea about this, so there are no surprises on your arrival.
Traveling is a great way to explore and see the world. But before you go anywhere, it is best to have some knowledge, plans, and itineraries lined up. This will help you to ensure you have a safe and memorable journey.
Traveling alone is not strange or weird; when you do it, you will find that many other people are also traveling alone.
For more ideas about traveling alone, you can read our blog, How To Travel Alone and Make Friends, What You Need To Know, by clicking here.
How Can I Travel Alone and Make Friends?
When traveling to a new place and you do not know anyone, it may seem overwhelming to think about traveling alone, especially if you are a woman. This can be especially true for a country like Cambodia, which has had a violent and checkered past.
I have traveled alone to Cambodia many times and have always felt safe. But whenever you are traveling alone to any country, especially if you are a woman traveling alone, there are some precautions that you should take.
You can read our blog, Is Cambodia Safe For A Solo Female Traveler to Travel Alone, by clicking here.
Do I Need a Rabies Shot To Travel Southeast Asia?
I have lived in Asia for many years (Thailand, Vietnam, China, and Hong Kong). And I have traveled throughout most of Asia at one time or another. I have learned that it can be expected for some dogs to wander the streets. Many of these same dogs could come up and bite and infect you with rabies.
Travelers to Asia, and especially Southeast Asia, should be sure to get or ensure their rabies shots are up-to-date before they travel anywhere in southeast Asia. The reason is that rabies is still a common problem in many of these areas, and getting a shot may be difficult or almost impossible to obtain if you travel out in the countryside.
You can read our blog, Why You Need a Rabies Shot to Travel Southeast Asia. By clicking here.