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Why You Should Travel Alone (and Ways to Stay Safe)

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Have you ever traveled on your own? I backpacked around Europe on my own when I was in college, and I loved it. I stayed in hostels and met friends along the way, and I never felt alone. These days I tend to be traveling with my husband, my sister, or friends. When the opportunity to sneak in a solo trip to Portugal presented itself, I jumped at the chance. Let me explain why I love to travel alone.

I meet amazing people. In Lisbon, I spent a day hanging out with an incredibly friendly Canadian couple and enjoyed a night sipping wine and chatting at the hotel bar with a Polish actress and her sports journalist boyfriend. I tend to interact with strangers less if I am traveling with someone else.

I love art museums more than most people (I do have a Masters Degree in Art History). When I travel alone I can spend entire days in museums. I can explore at my own pace, and never feel rushed.

I can hang out and draw. When I was in college I would spend hours drawing when I was traveling.

I don’t need to have an itinerary. When you travel with others you kinda need a plan. You want to agree on which sites you want to do, when you want to eat, and when you want to go to the hotel etc. When I am on my own I can just do whatever I want to and I don’t need a plan.

You never have to worry about holding someone up or hurrying them along. This can be a tricky part of travel.

You don’t spend any time waiting for anyone. This is such a luxury. The thing about sharing a hotel room is that you have one bathroom, and as a result, I feel like you always end up waiting around for people to get themselves ready.

When I travel with someone else I feel like we are in our own little world. When I am alone, I feel like I am a part of the world around me. I meet more people and it becomes more of a cultural experience.

It’s extra important to be safe when you are traveling alone. Here are some little things that I do to stay safe.

Don’t walk alone on side streets at night, stick to busier areas. Take a cab if you are unsure.

I always keep a spare credit card and some cash in a locked piece of luggage in my hotel room so if my purse is stolen I still have money.

Never carry your passport around with you. Keep it at the hotel.

Leave expensive jewelry at home. If I am going to be traveling alone, I leave my engagement ring at home. I do wear my wedding band, and I do know that some wear where a fake wedding ring when they travel so that men are less likely to approach them.

Make sure your family knows where you are and check in with them. Give them a photocopy of your passport and license to keep just in case either are stolen.

Say you are Canadian. The American president is not popular abroad, so I say I am for Nova Scotia. But I’ve still had some awkward encounters. Everyone loves Canadians and saying you are from Canada won’t stir up any controversy.

Try to blend in. Keep maps and cameras in your bag. If you look lost you can be an easy target.

Have you traveled alone? Did you love it or hate it?

Rhonda Gales

Friday 25th of January 2019

I travel alone, and I love it for many of the reasons you stated. I love to take pictures, and I don't want to be on anyone else's time. Thanks for the tips.

Betsy Glenn

Wednesday 23rd of August 2017

This is all great advice. I've never traveled by myself before, although I do plenty of travels around Chicago by myself. I've been thinking about doing some trips by myself because Kevin can't do boats on the sea but in my mind I think it's hard to wrap my head around doing something like a Greek Islands cruise on my own without Kevin.

thekittchen

Wednesday 23rd of August 2017

Even if you don't pick Greece I definitely recommend traveling alone!

Tanja / The red phone box trav

Thursday 17th of August 2017

good advice!

thekittchen

Monday 21st of August 2017

Thanks Tanja!

Amy McNeill

Thursday 17th of August 2017

I love travelling alone, but find it more daunting now days than I used to. Thanks for the post. It was interesting and I enjoyed it a lot.

thekittchen

Monday 21st of August 2017

Glad you here that you also like solo travel!

SarahLagen

Thursday 17th of August 2017

Eddy and I are going to Dubai for a week in September, he is going for work and I'm just tagging along. He will be in meetings all day and I'm all on my own to travel and do what I want! I'm excited and nervous at the same time! Hearing how you've done it so many times makes me feel much better. Great tips about staying safe!

Sarah

thekittchen

Monday 21st of August 2017

You will have so much fun Sarah! Can't wait to hear all about the trip!

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