Many travelers like to explore cities on their own, wandering the streets without a destination, watching the locals go about their business, visiting museums, and making new friends. Solo trips are more popular than ever, and apart from meeting new friends and organizing our own time, they give us the opportunity to fully indulge ourselves. But, when you’re a teen traveling like this means there is a thing or two you need to learn and prepare, for in order to stay safe. Even though many psychologists agree that traveling without company has a beneficial effect on the sense of self-confidence and on our personality, which changes lives for the better, it doesn’t mean we should go unprepared.
If you’re new to teen solo travel or just planning it, your family and friends probably wonder why you’re going alone, but according to the experiences of many travelers, solo travel is one of life’s most inspiring adventures. When you decide to set yourself on a such adventure, we advise you to read bold earth reviews on boldearth.com, to see what are your options in terms of organizing activities for your trip. But as far as what to keep in mind before departure, and how to travel without company goes, read the rest of this article to prepare.
Some Safety Tips for Your First Solo Trip
Perhaps the most important question of every person traveling alone: ‘Is traveling alone safe?’ If you are going somewhere for the first time, you cannot know what to expect. Trust your intuition, be open and if you don’t feel good about something, don’t do it. To begin with, make a travel plan and know how much it takes and how much it costs to get from the airport to the hotel or to the city center.
Choose the right accommodation and book a hotel with a 24-hour reception. Hide your passport, extra cash, and other important documents and divide them into two places. Exude confidence – confident and purposeful movement is an effective technique for deflecting unwanted attention. If you are lost, enter a store or restaurant and look for further directions there.
Stick to open and public places, especially at night, and while on the streets, avoid acting like lost tourists. Also, don’t forget to send friends and family information about your trip (flight times, hotel reservations, and maybe even a rough idea or plan for the entire trip).
Meet Other People, Communicate With the Local Population
If you are staying in a hotel or hostel, talk to the staff at the reception or in the restaurant. Your ‘small talk’ doesn’t have to end with a short greeting when you get out of the elevator and head towards the city center. If you stay there for a few days, you will quickly get to know them and they will be able to give you useful information, and you may even end up becoming good friends. Ask about local food, restaurant recommendations, a particular attraction, or public transportation.
If you keep an open mind, you will meet different people from all over the world that you would never meet at home. Whether you’re on a bus, at a coffee shop, or at a museum, every person you meet has something to offer, if only you give them the chance.
Keep in mind that local people are often curious about foreign visitors and want to strike up a conversation. If you want other people to talk to you, be aware of your body language and be approachable. Instead of avoiding eye contact or looking away when someone looks at you, smile back and you’ve already taken the first step towards getting to know them. Don’t be afraid to connect with locals and ask about their culture and start a conversation about your trip.
These were some general tips, but since you’re a teen, it is a good idea to consider some of the things we wrote below
1. Send the itinerary to family or friends
Never be too careful – it’s wise to have at least one person know where you are at all times. US citizens even have the option of announcing their trip to the US embassy in the country they are visiting. Check if your embassy offers this too.
2. Beware of pickpocketing and invest in an anti-theft bag
In big cities, pickpocketing is highly developed – never take your eyes off your belongings, buy a bag with zippers that cannot be easily opened, and lock especially valuable things in the hotel room safe.
3. Copy your travel documents
It is wise to always have a copy of your travel document. In case of theft, it will be much easier for you to manage and get out of the inconvenience you may have.
4. Try to travel during the day
Traveling as a solo teen is always safer during the day, although of course, this is not a strict rule. Whether you’re arriving at an airport or train station, unaccompanied individuals are easier targets than couples or groups. Also, when you post pictures on social media, don’t post them in real-time with location, but rather wait and post them afterward – that way no one can track you.
5. And, finally, make sure this adventure is remembered.
Bring a tripod for better photography. So that you don’t have to constantly rely on others to photograph you, bring a small folding tripod and be your own photographer.
6. Keep a travel journal
When traveling, we are often overwhelmed by various new experiences, new people, cultures, food, and museums… Although at that moment it seems impossible to forget them, some memories will disappear after returning home. If you decide to keep a diary, you will save memories forever.