There are a few things I have picked up while traveling solo. I have visited a few major cities alone. Never meant to go alone, but sometimes you just have to pack your bags and go! A trip to the big apple was my first solo trip. I had the urging desire to go and when a sale popped up for a plane ticket for less than $300 from Phoenix to New York, I couldn’t pass up the offer! My next solo stops were to Washington D.C., Italy, France, and Canada! Here are just a few tips I picked up along the way:
- I always devise up a story to tell (only when asked) of what I am doing in the city. My “go-to” story is, my boyfriend is here working and I flew out later to spend a few days with him.
- Never tell someone you are traveling alone. It’s just not safe. You should interact with new people and have friendly conversations but just be cautious! Maybe I watched too many Law and Order episodes in my time, but being a woman, alone in an unknown city, you can never bee too cautious.
- When possible, use Uber INSTEAD of a cab/taxi. If you have never used Uber before you are missing out! With the Uber app on your phone, you can track exactly where you are at and if you going to the correct location after being picked up. Taxi/cab drivers like to use their “own” routes and sometimes that means more money for you or even worse, they could be taking you somewhere you don’t want to go! Uber also shows you a picture of your drive and automatically saves it in your email address attached to the app. So if for any reason, you get lost, or taken somewhere you’re not supposed to be, you know exactly who took you there!
- Plan your days ahead of time. Yes some travelers like to free-ball it and go “where the wind takes them” but I like to have a plan and schedule ahead off time. This makes it easy for me to get around and make sure I hit all my desired tourist sites! It’s also what I like to do before bed at night, gets me excited for my next day!
Who doesn’t love a good party!? When you are traveling to a new city, you definitely want to hit the night life or check out the scene. This is really when you want to be aware of your surroundings. These are my tricks of the travel I picked up:
- If you’re going to go to a club alone at night, check out the club during the day and scope area. See what is around the club, which major cross streets are closest? How long does it take you to get to the club from your hotel, or designated living quarters. Reasons for this are: at night, when you’re drinking, you will know if you something is off. 9/10 people can tell you are drinking or are drunk. This is when you are most vulnerable. If you don’t know how long it takes you to get from your club to the hotel, then your driver may be jerking you around. Or if you took the bus/subway, and it’s take longer than expected to get back to your hotel, then maybe you jumped on the wrong bus/subway. Check your phone or navigation system to see where you are heading!
- Drinking, who doesn’t love a good cocktail or a tall glass of wine. But, I try to stick to bottled beer, call me paranoid, but it’s not as easy for someone to slip something in my drink with a narrow beer bottle, instead of a cocktail or wine glass. You can never be too careful when you’re out alone. This might be an obvious tip, but don’t take a drink from a stranger. If someone offers to buy you a drink, get it directly from the bartender.
- Let someone from back home know where you are going before you head out for the night. If you have a BFF or someone at home you can communicate with, send them a text every hour or so. Tell them about the club. “Check in” with them. Send them pictures of the place if you can! Better to be proactive than reactive. Hopefully nothing happens but like I said, you can never be too cautious.
- If you’re going to sit and drink at a bar, try to sit in the middle. You want the bartender and staff to remember your face. If you sit in a corner or at the end, you might blend into the background. Sitting at a bar is going to draw more attention to you then just hanging out at a club. Stick to your “story”. If it’s a cute guy, I’ll switch up the story and say my sister is working in town and I met her here to hang out for the weekend. Never want to turn away a cute guy ! 🙂
- If you are drinking, trying to order food and drink water. Sitting at the bar, you tend to drink more so make sure you balance your food/water intake.
- Same rules apply for the club, send pictures to your friend/s back home. Let them know what you are doing. Make sure you know how to get back to your hotel and pay attention!
Don’t forget to have fun and yes lots of selfies will be taken when you’re traveling solo!