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Traveling alone can change your life in more ways than one. It may not be the easiest decision to make, and it’s likely to be both an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. You won’t be around familiar faces, and you might be taking a big step outside of your comfort zone. While fears of loneliness, boredom, and safety might be overwhelming your thoughts, traveling alone is one of the best ways to truly discover yourself.

Whether it be for business or pleasure, traveling alone at least once in your life provides a strong sense of freedom and independence. It can offer a great way to escape and disconnect from our busy lives. When it’s just you, you take full responsibility for your trip and its agenda. There is no one else to lean on, and no excuses to be made. You can do what you want to do and when you want to do it. This allows you to truly discover yourself and your likes and dislikes, as well as any personal issues you may need to improve on. When you discover and appreciate yourself, you will learn what makes you happiest and will begin to value being alone.

That being said, solo travel doesn’t mean you always have to be alone. Traveling provides a great way to meet new people. Before your trip, take a look online for travel groups, apps, and group outings occurring around your destination. Always check in with the front desk at your hotel and ask if there are any guided tours or group activities. If there aren’t any preplanned group events, you might be able to see if the concierge knows what some of the other guests are doing and you could tag along, or at the very least share a cab ride. It’s also a smart plan to casually alert the front desk before you leave for any excursions, should anything go wrong while you are out.

Here are a few key tips to make your next solo adventure a little smoother:

  • Leave your travel itinerary with someone at home. Your friends and family will feel better, and so will you. Include flight information, where you’ll be staying, and a rough outline of your agenda.
  • If your hotel doesn’t provide WiFi, take some time to research nearby places that do. Or better yet, invest in a portable WiFi device to take with you. There is nothing worse than getting lost or needing to looking something up quickly and not being able to.
  • Beware of being out late at night by yourself. There is nothing wrong with getting an early start to your day and taking the evening to relax and prepare for the next day’s events. This also applies to arriving at your destination after dark. If you do decide to go out at night, try to go with a group and remember to be cautious of your surroundings.
  • Pack a lock for your suitcase. This will come in handy for securing valuable belongings.
  • Make a list of emergency contact information. This is just always a good idea.

The most important tip for traveling solo is to stay positive. Your trip is what you make of it, and a positive attitude will go a long way. Being alone in a different location is an impressive and courageous feat. Feel good about it, realize your inner strength, and have fun.