You are probably reading this article out of sheer excitement right after your parents granted you permission to travel alone (in which case, I would like to congratulate you, I know how big of a milestone this seems to have been conquered). On the contrary, it may be that you are done with your preparations yet continue to feel like there’s something you might be forgetting which you fear you will only remember when you are halfway across the country. In either of these cases, need not worry, you have come to the right place.
On that note, let’s get right into what you need to know so sit tight and buckle up!
Make a to-do list.
I know you are probably thinking, “Why does everyone keep saying that? I don’t need to write anything down, I have a very sharp memory”. Take it from someone who thought the exact same thing and regretted it like hell. I kid you not when I say, I was on the verge of a full-blown mental breakdown when my sharp memory betrayed me. I was left deserted on this planet with my phone’s battery on 3% while its charger was at home. Thus I speak from experience when I say, you might want to jot down all the important things you would need to ensure that you don’t end up in a situation similar to mine. The proverb, a stitch in time saves nine, my friend, is very true.
Pack accordingly to your stay
No matter how much I emphasize this it would still not be doing any justice considering how significant it is. I understand that you want to be prepared for whatever comes your way, but at the same time, you need to think like a realist, more than a highly enthusiastic millennial. Therefore, it is in your best interest to realize that the probability of you falling in a muddy puddle and ruining your outfit three times a day, might be a little too unrealistic. A ton of luggage would not only be a pain for you to carry but also might be a hassle to keep safe. When on a holiday, you deserve to relax and give yourself a due break instead of being occupied with the nagging thought of whether you packed all the luggage back in the suitcase on your way home.
Don’t get me wrong! Do pack an extra outfit in case there is a fashion emergency but keep in mind that there are only so many calamities one can go through.
P.s. Dear life, this is not a challenge!
Disaster in the middle of nowhere
Keeping a spare tire in your car is just as important as making sure the aux in your car is working. If you are going on a road trip this is without a doubt, a must for you (might as well write it down in your ‘to do list’). You don’t want to be left high and dry on a road in an unpopulated area in the middle of the night with a punctured type (for more thrill imagine your cell phone ran out of battery too). This is one of those “hope for the best but be prepared for the worst” scenarios. We truly hope your travel experience is distress free but if you not so, fortunately, happen to be out of luck –be prepared. Which ultimately takes us to be our next point.
Know your way out
Unfortunately, only having a spare tire in the trunk of your car might not be enough to deal with a situation that includes a flat type. Let me be the first one to admit, the movies make you think your knight in a shining amour has been waiting all his life for you to get a punctured type so he can drop out of nowhere and help you replace the type. Nonetheless, I regret to inform you that you might need to be your own knight (if not in a shining amour). For this reason, it is best to know how to change a type (it is easy peasy lemon squeezy, trust me, you don’t need to worry). In addition to this, as a bonus, the feeling you get after overcoming a problem independently is in fact highly unmatchable.
Beware of strangers
Pickpocketing is a thing, it really happens, especially in tourist hotspots. You must be alert at all times, where your heart might bleed for the innocent-looking woman begging for food or money, as terrible as it sounds, it may be a trick to grasp your attention. Even if it is for a second during which she could rob you of your valuables and cash. Thus be conscious of your surrounding and preferably keep little cash in the pockets of your coat or purse that are in easy reach.
Better safe than sorry
Safety comes first at all costs! (by all I literally mean “all” including some sacrifices). With solo travel, it is likely that at some point you’ll end up wandering around an unfamiliar city or area. You need not be frightened. Luckily family and friends can keep tabs on you even from a distance. This is possible because of the few free apps on the market. Live 360 is one of such apps (that too, I would personally highly recommend) it not only allows your loved ones to know about your current locations but also about your previously made stops along the way. It might seem like a compromise of your privacy, I know. Albeit I promise it would be worth it.
Pro tip: Instead of your parents, reach out to your fellow peers that way you would get the assistance you need in case of emergency and the reputation you build of being a ‘responsible adult’ in the eyes of your parents will also be maintained.
You can thank me later!