As a solo traveler you may experience times of stress or hassles that you would never have experienced before. You should firstly know that you are not alone. Well everyone may not have experienced what you have, there are lots of people who have; some stressful times are common and some are not.
Here are some tips that you can use for a stress-free time.
- Plan your trip in advance: Majority of people are not planners, they may have an idea but do not plan their trips in detail. It is best to plan your trip as much as possible in advance. The first thing you can do is create a checklist of everything you will need, such as visas and create another checklist for things you want to do and when.
- Don’t plan lots of first day activities: Well it’s great that you want to get the “party” started, you have to remember that getting to your destination will make you tired. Keep the amount of things you want to do on the first day to a minimal. If you arrive to your destination by the afternoon, try to keep your first day activities to later in the day. You should allow time for things like a power nap, shower and grocery shopping (a few food / beverage items).
- Book tickets to attractions in advance: This actually may be required for certain attractions due to the amount of tourists visiting, but in any event it is a great idea. It saves you hours in line and many attractions will allow you to pick a time to visit, which can be great to keep your trip on schedule or so you don’t miss anything you want to see.
- Talk to your hotel’s staff: Remember that the staff at your hotel as there to help you and since they live or are familiar with the area, they can help you get your way around and perhaps suggest things to do that you would have never thought of or knew existed. The hotel staff can also recommend and sign you up for tours.
- Let your bank / credit card company know: You should let your bank or credit card company know that you are leaving the country. Let them know where you are going and when. It’s best to inform them at least a month in advance. If you booked your trip less than a month before leaving, immediately let them know, as some financial institutions have delayed processing times.
- Are you lost? Ask for help: If you are lost, don’t be afraid to ask a local for help. Keep a copy of your hotel’s address on you or ask a local to direct you to the nearest attraction. Remember to stay safe and use common sense in picking who to ask.
- Keep a list of phone numbers: Add important phone numbers to your cell phone. It’s also a good idea to keep the phone number of your hotel on your phone or the same paper you wrote their address on. Just in case you run in to troubles.
- Know where your embassy is: It’s extremely important to know where your embassy or representative is located and the phone number to contact them.
- Safety gear: Make room in your luggage for a small first aid kit and other safety gear like a whistle. Well, we never like to think we would need to use them, it’s important not to forget them. First aid kits are great for even the smallest scrapes and cuts. Also, throw a small bottle of hand sanitizer or wipes. Also check to make sure the water in the country you are going to is sage to drink, if not make sure you pick up a pack of bottle water when you arrive.
- Your passport: Make two copies of your passport. Give one to a family member and keep one with you. The copy you bring with you should not be located with your passport. If you go out, leave it back in the hotel. So, if your passport is ever stolen, you can bring the copy to your embassy to speed up the process. It is also common that countries or hotels may take your passport upon arrival. You should report this to your overseas representative, even if they make a copy for their records.
- Register electronics / goods: If you are going to a nearby country, you might want to call your border agency and ask if you can register your electronics or other expensive goods before-hand. Why? So when you return home, you don’t get hassled about purchases you made or worse get taxed on the goods because the border agency believes you bought them elsewhere.
- Report border hassles: If you are investigated, asked a series of odd questions or if your electronics are opened at the border, you should report this to your overseas representative. You should not store important documents on your computer or similar electronic. Instead, keep these important documents on a flash or compact drive that can be stored on you – this is more-so for business and personal financial documents.
- Always stay calm: If you are in a stressful situation, sit down, breathe and think about how to get out of the situation you are in.