Solo travel is something I will forever advocate for people to branch out and experience. I mean, I too love a black woman from infinity to infinity however, sometimes the girls flake and what do you do? Put your life on hold? No ma’am. We are very much outside this year (if your local public health authority allows it of course) even if it means doing it alone. There may be some negative connotations attached to solo travel, concerns around safety or the fear of being perceived as a loner. I, however, see being able to travel solo as a privilege and an opportunity to experience exponential growth.
My first solo travel was to Thailand at 20 years old and that trip is forever engraved on my heart. I did some things then that I probably shouldn’t have but now I am older, wiser, and here to share some solo travel tips.
The fact of the matter is that they are targeting the gorgeous, gorgeous girls in these streets, archery or no archery, however, I have a few tips to help you feel safer on your solo travel.
Do Not Announce that you are Solo
You are solo travelling and proud however, in the name of safety, keep it to yourself while you are abroad. If this means making up an imaginary person that is also staying at your hotel, so be it! Announcing that you are travelling solo makes you a walking target and this isn’t archery, love, you do not need to be targeted.
Share your location with someone
Picture this, you are in India, your family is in Canada and [God forbid] something happens to you in India. Your family would not be able to walk across the water in 1 business day to save you from the wrath of anything. BUT it helps that they would be able to attest to your whereabouts and report it to the authorities when questioned.
Get a Mobile Data Plan
PLEASE add a mobile data plan to your travel budget. It is 2022 bestie, I know you are not walking around with a physical map to find your location [if you are, love that for you] and a pigeon to deliver messages [unrealistic but if you are, I respect that]. This is exactly why I want you to get yourself a data plan. You are an independent baddie and I do not expect you to be reliant solely upon public WIFI because what if there is no public WIFI?
I love using Airalo. It’s an eSim meaning you don’t even need to find a phone store in order to activate it. Here is a video I made about the topic. Use my code RENI9563 to get some $ towards your first eSim.
Walk Around Confidently
The ONLY time I will encourage faking it till you make it is this very moment. You may be in Mexico for the very first time and the only words you know in Spanish are the ones Dora taught you, that is OOOKAY! What I want from you is to act like you know every single street in Punta Cana, every pothole in Montego Bay and every tree in the forests in Costa Rica. While it may seem silly and superficial, predators are more likely to target the ones who look the most vulnerable, and if you are in The Bahamas with your face planted in a map, you may just attract a predator. I don’t say this to scare you, I am just looking out for you, queen.
Plan for the Worst
This sounds terrible but I promise you, it is an effective strategy. You can’t plan for everything, but you can plan for something. When I think worst case, one of the things that come to mind is a lost passport. Make plans for if your passport gets stolen. To do this, I recommend that you make a photocopy of your passport and keep it with you on your trip.
Get Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is at most, $40, please just get it. Travel Insurance covers risks during travel such as loss of passport and personal belonging cover, loss of checked-in baggage, medical emergencies etc. Having these risks covered ensures an additional layer of protection against financial loss. 10/10 would recommend.
Utilize Travel Resources
One of my favourite resources when planning my solo travel is Girls Love Travel. This is an online community of over a million women who are inspiring and empowering other women to solo travel. This community shares travel safety tips from either locals or people who have travelled to the country and I have found it to be very helpful.
Let’s make this clear, alone and lonely are not synonymous. You are capable of being alone without feeling lonely. But if you are feeling lonely or have a fear of loneliness, here is what I recommend:
Go on Walking Tours
Most major cities have free guided walking tours! 10/10 would recommend because this is a great way to learn the space and meet other people who are also trying to learn the space.
Try Making Friends
While you are going solo; this doesn’t mean you need to stay solo [unless you want to]. Contrary to popular belief, there are tons of people who are also solo traveling or locals who are open to making friends. Drop that pride and introduce yourself to some people. You aren’t doing this with the expectation of becoming lifelong besties, but I always recommend making connections wherever you go [networking 101].
Carry a Book When Eating Alone
People are often super hesitant about eating alone however, I promise it is not that bad. If you are self-conscious about eating alone, I would recommend you bring a book to keep your company. Even if it is just for optics, bring the book and sit pretty!
Solo travel has grown and stretched me in so many ways, and I would recommend that everyone does it, at least once. It does not need to be a solo trip across the world. You can start with a new city within your province, a new province within your country or a new country on the same continent. Let me know if you are planning a solo trip soon! I am rooting for you.
I share more solo travel tips in this video, feel free to check it out.