Solo Traveling Made Easy!


 

Plitvice Lakes National Park (Croatia)

A few days ago, I returned from a 16 day/7 country Balkans adventure. My head has been spinning ever since, and honestly, I am still trying to catch up on much-needed sleep. On average I slept about 5.5 hours each night. But, who needs sleep for an undertaking of this nature? You sleep when it’s all over. What a thrill ride! It started in Slovenia, then onto Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, and ended in Kosovo. Yes, I am knackered.

In the coming weeks, I will share with you my experiences. I need to finish gathering my thoughts, and catalog everything I saw, felt and experienced. I traveled through the Balkans with a group of strangers, who later became friends. I’ve also done solo travel. I thought it fitting to share some helpful advice, that has served me well over the years. It’s intimidating traveling alone. There is a fear of loneliness and boredom, staying safe, budgeting, and so many variables to consider. I hope you find today’s entry most helpful!

Traveling solo can be a great adventure. If you travel alone, you’ll get to know yourself better and follow your own schedule. If you’ve been holding back, these tips will make it easier for you to head out alone. You’ll learn how to deal with three of the most common concerns.

Coping with Loneliness and Boredom

You may wonder whether you’ll get lonely if you travel alone. The truth is that learning to enjoy your own company makes solitude rewarding. On the other hand, you can surely find companions if you feel like mingling.

Engage fully. Be mindful of your surroundings. Getting caught up in new experiences as you travel will leave little time for boredom.
Take a tour. A day tour is ideal for meeting new acquaintances. It’s easy to strike up a conversation when you share the same interests with others and you’re away from your usual routine.
Dine out. Look for places with communal tables or ask your hotel to recommend them. Eat at the bar if you feel conspicuous at a table.
Stay at a bed and breakfast. The owners of a bed and breakfast may be happy to talk about local attractions. Hostels are another good choice. There will likely be other guests and maybe even other solo travelers at these types of places.
Frequent local businesses. Visiting the same fruit stall every day will quickly turn you into a regular. Exchange greetings and let them know you appreciate any advice on what to see.
Talk to new people. Approach your fellow travelers or locals who seem friendly and helpful. Trains and coffee shops are two good places to start.
Do volunteer work. Sign up with a non-profit organization and perform group volunteer work. For example, travel to exciting places while building new homes through Habitat for Humanity.
Pursue solitary activities. Visit an art museum or lie on the beach with a good book. Enjoy the peace and relaxation you get from being alone.

 Protecting Your Safety

Security is an important concern for any traveler. Some basic precautions will reduce your risks.

Blend in. Looking like a tourist may leave you vulnerable. Walk with confidence and step inside a hotel to check your map.
Be alert. Observe what’s going on around you. Ask your hotel to advise you about where it’s safe to walk. If you’re near an unsafe area, avoid unnecessary risks by taking a cab to your destination.
Watch your money. You may want to wear a shoulder bag strapped across your body or under a coat. Consider using a money belt or clip. Solo travelers are often the perfect target for pickpockets.
Assess your fluency. Language skills also matter. Ask yourself if you can communicate clearly in case of a medical emergency.
Gather your documents. Put a copy of your identification and health insurance in your pocket. Leave a second copy with loved ones at home.
Check-in at home. Speaking of home, give your full itinerary to at least one person. Call or text them every few days to let them know you’re okay. There have been way too many instances of travelers disappearing on a trip and nobody realizes it for quite some time.
Pack light. Leave your valuables at home. Traveling with minimal baggage increases your comfort and your ability to move quickly.

Sticking to Your Budget

You may run into what’s called “single supplements” on cruises and tours. This is when the venue charges single travelers extra to try and make up for the lack of a second customer. Still, there are plenty of ways to vacation affordably on your own.

Save up in advance. Put money aside gradually. Small amounts add up over time.
Be flexible about timing. You’ll tend to find the best deals at the last minute or several months before your departure. Be open to traveling during the off-season for further monetary savings.
Look for special bargains. Check discount travel sites and look for deals. Some venues may even be willing to waive the single supplement.
Accept roommates. Contact travel companies who specialize in solo travel. Ask to be paired up with another single traveler who is headed to your same destination.

Spend a whole week at a pumpkin festival or browse the Louvre at your own pace. Avoid being intimidated by the thought of traveling alone. Solo travel creates memories you’ll treasure for life.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

Obstacles Equals Opportunities


I’ve been working on several projects for the past few months; one of which is eBooks and Course creation. Occasionally, I will offer excerpts from my courses and books here, as well as free resources and handouts, leading up to the launch dates. I am passionate about empowering others to see beyond their sometimes limited tunnel vision. As a Social Worker and Life Coach, guiding clients to overcome tough times is a daily occurrence.

I have worked hard not to let fear paralyze me! Every time I step outside of my comfort zone, I am always amazed by just how I accomplish. You can too. Your experiences are shaped by your thinking. Even obstacles have a value when you can see it. You can develop convictions that will help you to feel happier and achieve more, regardless of the situation. Consider these empowering beliefs that you can start using today, to transform your life through the power of positive thinking. The suggestions are taken directly from the current Ebook I am currently editing.

Game-Changing Empowering Beliefs

    1. I understand my potential. You can achieve amazing results when you put your mind to it. Feel excited about reaching your true potential.
    2. I count my blessings. List each thing that you have to be grateful for. Remember to include the smaller items, like warm socks or tart cranberries. Expressing your appreciation reminds you of how rich you are.
    3. I learn from mistakes. You can make setbacks work for you by focusing on the lessons that they contain. Flubbing one job interview can teach you how to ace the next one.
    4. I find meaning in adversity. Tough times can be the most rewarding phase of your life. Know that you can emerge from any challenge with greater wisdom and courage. Look back at the obstacles you’ve already overcome, and reassure yourself that you can handle what’s ahead.
    5. I embrace change. Accept that life is a series of changes. Focus on the present moment, and prepare yourself to adapt to whatever circumstances come your way.
    6. I dream big. Expand your wish list. Setting demanding but attainable goals give you adventures to look forward to each day.
    7. I practice forgiveness. Lighten your load by clearing away any resentment you’re holding onto from the past. Set reasonable boundaries while you respond with compassion when others disappoint you. Pardon yourself too.
    8. I give generously. Sharing your blessings makes you more powerful and joyful. Volunteer in your community and speak kindly to each person you meet today. Buy a coffee for your co-workers or give your receptionist a flower.

    Empowering Beliefs to Help You Strive

    1. I take responsibility. You are in charge of your life. Hold yourself accountable for the outcomes you create. Celebrate the fact that you have the power to determine your own future.
    2. I apply effort. Figure out your definition of success so you know what is worth working for. Give yourself credit when you’re making progress rather than comparing yourself to others.
    3. I leverage my strengths. You have your own individual strengths that you can draw on. Figure out what you’re good at and what you want to do. Let that knowledge guide your choices.
    4. I listen to feedback. Ask for feedback so you can enhance your performance and show others that you respect their point of view. You grow faster when you gather solid input that you can translate into action.
    5. I ask for help. Expand your capabilities by building a sturdy support network. Carpool with other parents. Divide up household chores with your spouse and children.
    6. I connect with others. Moral support counts too. Surround yourself with loving and encouraging family and friends. Participate actively in your faith community. Join a club with members who share your interest in solar power or badminton.
    7. I recognize opportunities. Stay alert for promising openings. You may meet a new friend while you’re standing in line to buy your morning coffee.
    8. I try new things. Be open to experimentation. Go kayaking one weekend instead of playing tennis. Bake your own bread or knit a scarf. You may discover hidden talents.

    An upbeat attitude increases your happiness and productivity. Question your old assumptions, so you can replace them with a new sense of certainty about yourself and your future. Adopt empowering beliefs that build up your confidence, and prepare you for greater success. Start today. 

    You’ll be glad you did!

    Need a free copy of this worksheet? Email Me!

    Kindly use this form to contact me. I will get it right over to you! I hate spam, and will not share your email address with anyone. If you are my friend on Facebook, you can direct message me.

    Until the next post,

    Best,

    Juan