It's an invigorating idea we've all pondered at some point — leaving everything behind to embark on a solo journey. Thanks to memoirs like Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love" and Cheryl Strayed's "Wild," traveling alone has a reputation for fostering self-discovery. Without the crutch of friends or family, we're forced to interact with new people and motivate ourselves to try new things. We also have the freedom to build and change our own itinerary as we see fit, with no one to please but ourselves.
While the notion of unhampered exploration sounds thrilling, traveling alone still raises some concerns, like personal safety and vulnerability to criminals. But these potential risks shouldn't discourage you from setting out on your own journey. To help you plan a safe and rewarding trip, U.S. News Travel has some advice on how to make the most of your unaccompanied adventure.
Choose Your Destination Wisely
Of course the first step to mapping out any solo adventure is picking your location. While safety is a top priority, it's necessary to consider a few other key factors as well. Is the public transportation system easy to navigate? With no one to help you split the cost, is it affordable? Can you speak the language and easily connect with locals? Austin, Texas, is known for its budget-friendly attractions and low-cost accommodations, while Portland, Ore., offers a cool yet laid-back vibe with plenty of lush outdoor spaces. If you're eager to venture beyond familiar borders, consider Sydney. Although a jaunt overseas will cost you, you'll be greeted by English-speaking Sydneysiders and plenty of free attractions, including Coogee Beach, Sydney Harbour National Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens.
If you choose to travel internationally, make sure to consult the U.S. State Department to check for any travel warnings. Once you've decided where you want to go, devour as much information as you can about the city's customs and languages. While you don't need to be fluent in the local language, learning a few resourceful phrases (like "please," "thank you," "excuse me" and "can you help me?") will go a long way.
For more tips, click here: How to Travel Solo.