How to Enjoy Air Traveling Alone
The Art of Traveling by Yourself
Traveling alone seems a scary prospect to many but not to the one who is in the know. When planning for the solo journey, air travel sans partner doesn't have to be upsetting. On the contrary, a trip alone allows the traveler to enjoy some benefits that might not otherwise be afforded by the presence of a companion.
Prepare To Travel Alone
Tips to follow help:
- Before leaving town, have the passport and identity documents organized and make copies. Let trusted family or friends know of travel plans, departure dates from town and expected arrival back to town. Check in with family or friends by email or phone when arriving at the destination and when returning from the trip.
- When traveling by plane, staying in hotels and hostels, and traversing public eateries, drink quality water, wash hands, and learn the ways for serious travelers to stay healthy.
- Avoid couple-oriented destinations. Many solo travelers go to less developed nations.
- Have a plan of where to stay on the first night. Travel light! You don't need more than one bag. My article, Pack Like A Pro And Travel Light!, explains how to pack for even extended vacations with no more than one carry on bag.
- Decide in advance if you will get a hotel, a hostel bed, or a free stay through a service like CouchSurfing.
- When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Dress like a local. Eat locally. Take a tour in the daytime of the area. Many guided tours are free or low-cost, allow you to meet other solo travelers, keep you safe, and usually end in the same spot they started, making it easy to return to your lodging spot.
- Don't announce yourself as a lone traveler to others because that makes you a target. Know the area and avoid pulling out an actual map. That behavior attracts criminals. Instead, make notes to yourself on small slips of paper of directions to and from the hotel, bus lines you might use, or use your phone to find directions or discreetly view online maps.
Perks of Solo Travel - Sun or Sleep When You Want It
Have a position of employment requiring long hours, where you catch only glimpses of daylight or look wistfully from the cubicle to the slightly open blinds by the window? Do you clock in to start your shift just after the sun appears on the horizon and head home well after the sun has left for the day? Are you working such long hours that you need an extra amount of sleep on the weekends? Are you trying to make up for lost time on Saturday morning... er, afternoon?
Well, the beauty of traveling alone is that one can enjoy the sunlight - or the sleep - without having to manage the obligation on staying awake or chatting with a companion. It is a great gift when we are afforded enough time to truly enjoy our own company.
Does Air Travel Make You Nervous?
If you should feel a bit uncomfortable about airline excursions, then one of the quickest ways to remove yourself from the uncomfortable feelings is to immerse yourself in an activity. Here are some ways to get your mind off the nervous concerns you may be struggling with:
- Read that book you've been putting up. Whether it's on the tablet or is a hard-copy in your hands, delve into the hidden world of the imagination and experience the story while blocking out the sights and noise of the airplane you're in.
- Watch a film. Longer flights have films available and headsets for rent but consider bringing aboard a device that allows you to enjoy a film previously downloaded or brought from home.
- Complete a particular project you always wanted to do but just "never had the time" - until now. It might be crocheting, writing a short story, or even just sewing up the holes in your socks!
Making Friends While Traveling Is Easier Than You Think
Organized events allow you to safely make friends with others, through a group that requires members to join and, in some cases, validate their identity. Through these groups, it's easy for travelers to join locals or even other travelers. Here are some online sites that facilitate meeting strangers in order to make friends in a safe manner.
If you don't mind making friends in new places by yourself, there are some places that are easier to do this in:
- A bar (during the day or just after work is a different crowd than those seeking a single's scene after dark) to eat at is a great place to meet people.
- Hanging out in the hostel's common area or the hotel lobby allows you to meet other travelers who are alone and may want to join you in visiting a museum or other area attraction.
- Facebook can be your friend. Ask your friends if their friends or family would host you with an overnight stay or just a tour of their hometown.
Now Is The Time!
No need to wait for another to enjoy the world. Now is the time to travel and you can do it on your own and love it just as much. It's a lovely experience to get to know yourself and enjoy your own company on an adventure that will stay with you forever.