Monday, October 31, 2016
Top Travelore Tips for Solo Travelers
1. Learn the Culture
Dressing like the locals isn’t a bad idea, but it should be less about blending in and more about understanding cultural norms so you can avoid wearing things that will offend other people. Also, knowing important phrases in the local language and any common etiquette rules or embarrassing faux pas is crucial before visiting a new place. By finding out cultural norms before you go you make it easier to interact with locals and have a richer cultural experience.
2. Know Your Neighborhoods
Nearly every city has areas that can be considered dangerous, but that doesn’t mean solo travelers need to stick only to "safe" tourist zones. Finding out which neighborhoods are relatively safe and which are not means you can explore a city confidently. Asking locals is the best way to learn what parts of town you can feel comfortable walking around solo and which you should take more precautions. People living in the city walk these streets every day and will know about neighborhoods in transition or what areas are like at different times of day and different times of the year.
3. Know Your Transportation Options
Write them down or have them easily accessible on your phone. Familiarize yourself with route maps and schedules so you can have spontaneous adventures. Knowing when the trains stop running in the city you’re visiting or what the best bus route is back to your hotel gives you piece of mind when you’re out without having to plan every minute of your trip. Plus, if you’re not feeling well or find yourself in a part of town you feel uncomfortable, you’ll know how to quickly and safely get out.
Also, finding out which forms of transportation are safest and most reliable ahead of time (in some cities it might be cabs, while others a bus is a better way to go) means you’re not scrambling when you’re too far away (or too tipsy) to walk back to your hotel.
4. Meet Locals
Meeting locals and forming connections makes travel so much more rich and rewarding. My most memorable travel experiences come from meeting locals and seeing a destination through their eyes. It’s also been extremely helpful in keeping me safe. Locals usually know the most about what areas to visit, the customs you should know, and the best ways to get around.
5. Trust Your Gut
If a situation feels sketchy, trust your instincts and get out of there. Travel should be about trying new experiences and getting out of your comfort zone, but that doesn’t mean you should throw all caution to the wind.
Do you have tips you’ve learned from traveling solo? We want to hear them! Share your advice in the comments below.
About the Author
Evan Hung is the Co-Founder and CEO of Zipskee, a social-discovery platform that connects travelers and locals around the world. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University and has experience in eCommerce, brand strategy, and business development. Zipskee was founded in 2015 on the belief that people make the culture, and connecting with culture is the best part of traveling. The platform can be used to share recommendations, arrange meet ups, and experience the real side of a destination that you can only get when meeting locals — Zipskee’s mission is to make it easy to make friends wherever you go. In Evan’s spare time, he can be found teaching hip-hop dance, playing music, and traveling the world.
To learn more about Zipskee, please visit zipskee.com.