Solo traveling is getting very popular these days and with that there are many solo traveling mistakes people make. Many people are willing to travel solo now and truly it is a very fun thing to do. Although there are a lot of things you need to think of while you are traveling solo. This article is going to be about 17 solo traveling mistakes you need to avoid.
Yes, I have also made a few mistakes while I was on the road and wished that I would have avoided that. These solo traveling mistakes can see pretty common but trust you don’t want to make these mistakes while you are on the road.
Let’s start with the article.
1) Not informing your closed one about your travel.
Traveling in a foreign country or even your own country doesn’t come with a guarantee that everything will be going great. There are a lot of things you cannot predict and can go wrong during the trip. It is better to keep a copy of your itinerary at home or anyone close to you. You can also just text the place and the number of days you are staying.
Things don’t always go according to the plan and you have to be aware and keep your closed ones informed about your situation.
2) Checking your credit/debit card status with the bank.
This is a very important part and you should always check this with your bank before you start your trip. There are various types of credit and debit cards in the market now. There is a possibility you could be having one from any of the reputed banks. Not all the cards are activated for international transactions or some are not even valid.
You need to clear this with your bank and activate your card for international transactions. Most of the cards nowadays are activated by default by still confirming it beforehand would do you no harm.
Most of the countries accept Visa, Mastercard. If you have any of these cards then you will be fine and you could do the transaction without any problems. In India another type of card available is RuPay. Some countries do not accept RuPay cards. If you own one of these then better ask for a new card or ask for any other alternative available.
I have all three types of cards. I have used all three of them and my RuPay card was never accepted while in Thailand and Malaysia. Make sure you check your status and don’t make this mistake.
3) Not Researching the place, you are going.
Ever wondered being in a new city and having no clue about it? Although most people research the place they are visiting, they are not researching much. The definition of research has changed nowadays. People just look at the place on Instagram, check photos and that’s it. Yes, I agree Instagram is a very good app for researching purposes but I’m afraid many are just not making full use of it and limiting themselves with just the photos.
Here is how you can research using your Instagram app. After you search for a location, there will be a list of photos. Choose any one of them and see the location. For example, if you search for Udaipur then it will show you a list of places in Udaipur. After you choose your favorite pic there will be location say Pichola Lake. Now you know this is a great place. Now click on the location and open it in Google Maps and check where is it located exactly. Nearest transit hubs, restaurants, etc.
There are many ways of researching and with a lot of apps. Do your research thoroughly and you will have a great trip.
4) Not Having an idea about public transportation.
This is very important as a solo and a budget traveler. You should always keep a detailed knowledge of public transportation. If you cannot find it online then make sure this is the first thing you do when you arrive in a new place. Ask the locals about it. Some public transportation is completely a nightmare and only the people following it every day can help you with it.
Make sure you check everything about it. What I do is I start checking everything systematically. First, I start with the airport to the city and then the city to my hostel and then from my hostel to the various places I have to visit.
You can do it any way you want. Avoiding this mistake would save you a lot of money.
5) Not willing to stay in hostels.
Yes, I know the feeling when people don’t want to stay in hostels and want to have their personal space. I was there when I started and I was not willing to stay in hostels. During my first trip, I stayed at many hotels and frankly I was kind of bored and trust me it was not a good feeling. Later on, I canceled the hotels and moved to a hostel and from then I have never stayed in a hotel room while traveling alone.
And yes, after staying with a lot of people you feel that sometimes you need to be alone. At such times you can opt for a private room in the hostels. Many of the hostels have that facility and it would great to check in one for a change.
I always say there is a lot you can learn from people who have similar thinking like you. And I can give you tons of reasons for staying in hostels. You are also missing out a lot if you are just going for the hotels during your solo trips.
6) Hitchhiking in the night.
This is kind of an obvious one. For all those who are not familiar with hitchhiking, let me explain to you what it means. Hitchhiking is not but asking lifts from the people on the roads. There are many people I know who hitchhike even after 10 p.m. Even I have done hitchhiking many times and I kind of have a rule for it. I always hitchhike before 5 p.m. You also can come up with a time limit if you ever hitchhike.
After 5 p.m. it doesn’t matter how much it would cost me but I never break this rule. Make sure you be careful and come up with a time limit.
7) Arriving at night.
This is a kind of mistake which I corrected very soon. This is not about just getting robbed or anything. There are a lot of factors that are not in your favor while arriving at night. There are lesser modes of transport for reaching the city as compared to during the day. The amount you are charged is also very high during the night time. Also roaming with your bags in a foreign city in the night alone is not a good thing.
This is a mistake you should never make. You should avoid this for your safety and also saving some money and time.
8) Not keeping a backup for Couchsurfing.
Couchsurfing is great and this concept has been popular form the past years. Many people have been using this platform and giving very positive responses. There are chances that this could also go wrong. I’m not scaring you. There could be many situations like there would be an emergency with your host, sometimes the host doesn’t pick up your phone, sometimes you don’t get a good vibe after going to the place.
You have to keep a backup for these situations. You can use Booking.com for booking hostels with free cancelation so you won’t have to spend any extra money.
Let’s continue with our next solo traveling mistakes.
9) Not having copies of your documents.
Yes, this is a kind of safety measure. You never know when you might need your documents. It is always better to keep a copy so you don’t have to look for a copying machine. You can also keep a copy of it in your mail but you don’t have access to the internet.
You are going to need your documents on various occasions during the trip like while arrivals, immigrations, hotels and some transit hubs. Be ready with all those and keep at least 2 copies of each document you are carrying with you.
10) Letting people know you are alone.
This is a mistake you should avoid. Never let strangers know that you are traveling alone. You never know who you are sharing this information with and what the other guy is up to. Keep your information to yourself and try to avoid sharing it.
11) Running out of cash.
This usually happens at the end of the trip. It had happened to me once during my Thailand trip and trust me you never want something like this. I was returning from Krabi and going to Phuket to catch a plane back to India. After I reached Phuket and while I was waiting for the airport bus, I was hungry and wanted to have some Pad Thai. I only had around THB 50 left in my wallet and yeah there was an ATM nearby but it didn’t make any sense to remove money from the ATM and get a service charge of THB 250.
This happens sometimes and trust me it is not a good feeling. Also, you never know what emergency you might face. Always carry some extra cash and keep it as an emergency fund. Only use it when you don’t have any cash left and there is no way to withdraw any cash or maybe you want to eat some Pad Thai from the street. Hahahaha.
12) Not bringing any entertainment with you.
Traveling solo sometimes gets boring when you are on a 7 8 hours flight or a 12-hour bus or an overnight train. You need something which might help you pass the time and not get bored during your entire journey.
This is a personal preference for what you are going to carry. Some like to watch movies, read books, or any other sort of entertainment.
13) Having an itinerary for an entire day.
This goes for any sort of traveling and not only solo traveling. Never plan an itinerary for an entire day. I usually only plan a single place for a day and afterward, I just wander around and check out new places. This way you don’t rush to places from places to places and truly enjoy your trip.
There would be instances when you get a chance of joining some people and a group from a hostel or the area you are staying because of your full-day plan you would miss that. This also could be one of the reasons for not planning an itinerary for an entire day.
14) Not saving your maps offline.
This will be your savior if you avoid this one. Before going to any country or even a new place in your own country always offline the map of the entire area you are going to be. There is a possibility that you won’t have internet connections everywhere. It not only helps for checking the routes but you can also ask people about any particular place and the transportation available for it.
15) Not knowing the landmarks of the places, you are about to visit.
I have seen this mistake made by many of the travelers I have traveled with. Like, say you are going to Sydney and the place you want to visit is the very famous Opera House. Now, this is one of the famous places in the city and say you are traveling by any public transportation, but do you know where to get off? Or do you know the area the place you want to go? Or what area you are going to ask the taxi driver to drop you in case it is a less famous spot?
So, while researching and making a list of the places also include a landmark category so it would be very easy for you to travel in the city.
16) Not taking care of your belongings.
This is a mistake which I make on almost every trip. I am very bad at keeping my belongings safe and I lose at least one thing on every trip. I try to avoid this but it happens almost every time. Until now I have lost one jacket, one debit card, 2 lens caps, 3 eyepieces of my camera and the list goes on and on.
Make sure you don’t make such mistakes and keep all your belongings safe. I have no advice on how to do so as I am very bad at this. Although if you have any suggestion then please do comment below.
17) Being shy.
Traveling alone also involves meeting new people and making new friends. You cannot be shy and expect people to come to you always. You should go up and strike a conversation and get to know others. This should your last solo traveling mistakes out of the list.
There you go.
These are the 17 solo traveling mistakes you need to avoid.
If you know some more solo traveling mistakes feel free to comment down below.
See you in my next article.