By: Julie Morris
Being a single parent is one of the hardest jobs on the planet, and a solo trip to an exciting destination can be just the break you need to fully restore yourself. There are dozens of benefits to traveling solo, but there are also some things you should know. Here are some important tips.
Mind your safety
It’s fear mongering to say that solo travel is dangerous. It’s not. People travel all over the world with nothing but their whims and a suitcase and have perfectly safe, incredibly enjoyable trips. That doesn’t mean you should be too lax, however. It is important to mind your safety at all times.
It’s very important to know how to say “no” in as many ways as possible. As a solo traveler, you’re more susceptible to people trying to persuade you to do/buy things.
“Learn how to say ‘no, thank you’ in the local language, as well as ‘absolutely not’ – plus the local nonverbal gesture for no, which is often more effective than both. Also have local help numbers, such as the tourist police, programmed in your phone. You’ll probably never need them, but just knowing you have them can give you the confidence to deal with awkward situations,” says RoughGuides.com
Look for solo travelers deals
While there are many benefits to solo travel, there are also some downsides. One is the “single supplement”, where “tour operators, cruise lines and hotels often tack onto your bill to make up for the fact that they’re not making money off a second occupant.” Another is good ol’ fashioned loneliness. Sometimes you want - even just for a few hours - someone to experience things with. There are tons of cruises, trips, and set adventure packages for solo travelers that give you the freedom of being alone, with the comfort of never being too far away from travel companions. Here are just a couple of resources.
Be as selfish as is reasonable
One of the main mistakes first-time solo travelers make is they forget they are traveling solo. Let me explain: solo travelers should know it’s ok to indulge themselves in anything they want (within reason). That’s the point of solo travel. You are by yourself - without responsibilities to your children or another traveler with different wants and desires than you.
“Never will you have to apologize to anyone for sleeping in late at your hostel. You don’t have anyone else’s feelings to take into consideration, and that is sometimes the most encouraging reason to travel alone,” says travel site Matador Network.
Why do this?
Why leave the kids behind and travel solo? For one, it’s the ultimate way to refresh, recharge, and focus on you and your desires. For people in addiction recovery, or those dealing with some sort of major life stress, solo travel is perhaps the only way to get a true break from life’s daily stressors and triggers. It’s hard to get perspective on your life from the same place you’re always in. Getting away for a bit can provide the ultimate clarity, and, in turn, show you just why you love and cherish your normal life. That’s the truly restorative effect.
In the end, a solo travel trip is whatever you want it to be - that’s the point. But the one common thread running through most solo adventures is one of restoration and discovery. Not only is it not wrong to want to get away, by yourself, for a bit - but it’s sometimes better than traveling with others.
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com