Considering a Solo Trip? - Brookside Travel | Travel Agency | Novi | Michigan | Preferred Sandals Specialists

 

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Traveling with a friend, family member or romantic partner can be wonderfully fun and exciting, but the real adventure comes with taking off solo. You may be a bit nervous about the prospect, but traveling on your own can turn out to be the experience of a lifetime. Here are just a few benefits of traveling by yourself:

The Trip is YOURS

 When you embark on a vacation by yourself, there are no rules but your own. No arguing over where to stay or which tour to cut out of the itinerary. In other words, NO DRAMA. Go where the day takes you and answer to no one.

Besides having the freedom to choose how you spend your time, you’re also in charge of the budget. We all have different ideas of what is “expensive,” or “cheap.” If you’re alone, there are no squabbles about how restaurant bills are split and who pays for this or that.

 

It Will Build Your Confidence and Faith in Your Fellow Humans

The first time I traveled completely alone, I landed in Johannesburg at 10:30 at night, shaky with hunger and exhausted from 20 plus hours of traveling, only to discover that my pre-booked ride had completely flaked out on me. I called and called, I circled the airport while my backpack seemed to grow exponentially heavier with each step. A fellow solo woman traveler who was a regular at the Jo-burg airport noticed my struggle and directed me to a reputable local tour conductor who was able to get me set up in a last minute hotel room with a ride. When I finally crashed that night, I admit I shed a few tears. But then I felt so strong having gotten through such a stressful situation, and also felt much more confident in the kindness of others.

Traveling solo is a chance to exit that comfort zone you’ve been safely huddling in and find out what you’re made of. Issues may arise and not if, but WHEN you handle them yourself, you will gain self-awareness and confidence like you never expected.

 

You’ll Meet Some Really Amazing People

Think you’re too introverted to socialize with locals and other travelers? This is the perfect opportunity to prove yourself wrong. Or not. Whatever works for you! But I suspect you’ll find yourself chatting it up more than you think. When you’re traveling without a companion, you are much more likely to strike up a conversation with someone new. You’ll share stories with each other and get to know people from other cultures on a new level.

If you truly can’t get past your nervousness about being alone, consider joining a small group tour. We offer trips with G Adventures, a company that embraces the solo traveler and won’t automatically penalize you by charging a single supplement. You’ll enjoy the security of a built-in group to travel with, but still get plenty of alone time when the mood strikes. It’s the perfect balance!

 

Tips for Solo Travelers

The following tips are useful for ANY traveler, but are especially important for solo travelers:

  • Work with a reputable travel agency; the agents at Brookside Travel are well-versed in a multitude of destinations and can offer invaluable advice
  • Visit a travel health clinic prior to your trip to learn about vaccines and other prophylactic treatments
  • Assemble a travel health kit to bring along on your trip. A sample list of items to include can be found here: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/pack-smart
  • Purchase travel insurance. Not only will you be covered financially if something goes awry during, but most offer a 24 hour worldwide traveler assistance hotline. They can help you with a variety of issues such as a lost passport, finding a local English-speaking doctor and assisting you with emergency return travel arrangements along with many other situations that may arise.
  • Have an emergency fund
  • Research local customs and attire and do your best to avoid standing out
  • Regularly keep in touch with someone at home
  • Register your itinerary with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program here: https://step.state.gov/step/

Whether you decide to take the leap and go off on your own odyssey, or embark on your next trip with friends or family, one fact remains true: you won’t be the same as you were before you left. Give us a call at Brookside Travel and we’ll help you plan your next adventure.

 

Questions? Email me at hdoba01@jebrookside.com any time!

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