Let’s face it, travelling solo can be the most rewarding, and most terrifying, experience for anyone. The differences in languages, cultures and customs can have an impact on how you make the most out your solo experience. I’ve read, and heard, the stories about people going through the worst of the worst. However, as a Millennial, I realized that there were more positives than negatives when travelling alone. And, I know I’m not alone on this sentiment.
When I arrived in Italy, I didn’t know the difficulties I would face. I was completely lost, and I didn’t know how to cope. Italian wasn’t a language I studied in college, and although most Italians know French, my knowledge of French was limited to small talk, nothing significant. In my mind, I wasn’t going to survive on my own. Luckily, the years I spent learning Spanish helped me a little with understanding the Italian, and I figured out how to get to my hotel without any trouble.
While I encountered the negative aspect of solo travel, I ended up making the most out of my trip. It’s easy to get discouraged when you are faced with your first obstacle but don’t let it get the best of you. To prepare yourself for your solo experience ahead, here are some tips for travelling solo as a Millennial:
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
I can’t say this enough…please be aware of your surroundings! Fumbling with your map and/or reading your guide takes your attention aware from what’s going on around you. Make a stop in a store or restaurant if you want to figure out where you are going. Ask for directions. Most times friendly locals are willing to help.
Don’t…I repeat…Don’t act like a tourist! Sometimes it’s best to “blend in” rather than attract any sort of unwanted attention, and this goes for everyone. As I stated before, this all boils down to being aware and keeping yourself and your belongings safe from any pickpocketing or scams.
Interact with Locals
One of the positives of solo travel are the locals. You meet a lot of interesting people, and make life-long friends in the process. I would recommend interacting with some of the locals, trying to learn more about their language, culture and customs. It could turn out to be a truly rewarding experience.
Never Travel alone at Night
This goes without saying but, I think it needs to be said nonetheless. DON’T GO OUT ALONE AT NIGHT! While its fine for you to venture out on your own during the day, the night scene is completely different ballgame. It’s better to be safe than sorry. I didn’t go anywhere by myself at night when I went to Italy. Please just be safe, and if you need to go out at night, take one of the new friends you made, if you TRUST them, with you!
Trust your instincts
Just remain vigilant! It’s important to trust your instincts if you get a weird feeling about a person and/or place. Wanting to be polite is normal but, when it comes to your safety, it’s also okay to avoid certain situations. Again, better to be safe than sorry. #sorrynotsorry
I can go on about ways to stay safe as young solo traveler but please take these tips into consideration. Solo travel is the best thing you can do as a Millennial…however, you can never be too safe!