Some solo travel tips from a solo traveller
One of the best advice that you will get when you ask anyone about how to travel alone is that you need to fit in like a local.
But how exactly do you do this?
Here are 10 Solo Travel Tips on How to Travel Alone and Fit in with the Locals
There are several ways on how to travel alone and fit in no matter where you are. Some are obvious while others not so much. Let’s dive right in.
1. Dress Like a Local
Your dressing will be the first giveaway that you’re not a local. As you travel around the world, you will notice that some cultures have a particular way of dressing that will be quite distinctive from what you’re used to.
While most countries won’t insist on wearing exactly what they wear, a lot of the religious countries such as Saudi Arabia, Israel, Thailand, Indonesia, Dubai, Qatar, Iran, Egypt etc. will insist on modesty so dress accordingly. Be careful not to dress in short clothes or those that expose too much of your skin.
Before you leave for your trip, do some research and find out what the locals wear. If they have any particular clothes they insist on, make sure that you buy some of that before hand or immediately when you get to your destination.
2. Keep Your Gadgets Away
You’ll certainly get excited about being in a foreign country and as you tour the place you won’t want to miss any photo opportunity. So you will want to have your camera and phone on standby. While this is totally ok, it’s best not to expose your gadgets too much. Tone it down a bit and instead of having your camera hanging on your neck, carry it in your bag.
If you want to blend in don’t expose the fact that you’re a foreigner by having your fanny pack and guide book exposed everywhere you go. You may also want to tone down on jewelry and bling. Too much of it exposes you to thieves making you an easy target.
3. Get Local Currency while travelling alone
Nothing screams foreigner than whipping out foreign notes while travelling alone. While the dollar, the Euro, the British Pound and other popular foreign currencies are acceptable in many places over the world, if you want to fit in, use local currency.
Google the the local currency and various denominations to understand them and then exchange some of your money into local currency and carry that in your wallet. Use this for all your transactions. If you are not yet familiar with the local currency pay using your card but be wary of card fraud (and bank fees) so only pay using a card at reputable outlets.
4. Learn A Bit of the Local Language
Learning the local language is not a must and you will still get around even if you don’t understand it. However, learning a few popular local terms earns you favor from the locals. If you will be staying at a country long term then it will be easier for you to get by if you learn the language.
Asking locals for help in learning a few terms is a good icebreaker and also a great way of learning the people and their culture making your trip even more valuable.
5. Learn the Local Culture
This is another one of the most popular solo travel tips that you will come across. As you do your research make sure that you also find out about the culture of the local people. In some countries you can attract a fine or even a jail term should you break cultural rules. So educate yourself because ignorance won’t be a good defense.
6. Be Courteous to Others as a lone traveller
The one problem that locals have with tourists or lone traveller is that they tend to demand special treatment because they are foreigners. Some tourists, especially when visiting third world countries, will carry the mentality that they are doing the countries a favor by spending their money in those countries. Some, might even become disrespectful to the locals.
No matter where you are from or where you go, always remember that this is someone else’s country and they deserve respect so be courteous to everyone. Talk to the locals politely, ask for assistance don’t demand for it, and show a general interest in the people.
7. Skip International Chain Stores and Go Local Instead
There is some comfort in going to the same grocery store in Barcelona that you go to when you’re home. A H&M store in a foreign country will seem more inviting that the local outlet. However, you stand to miss out on what a country has to offer if you always play it safe.
Go shopping where locals shop. Eat their food. Buy their local products. You might just be surprised at how much better somethings are out there than at home.
8. Go Where the Locals Go
If you want to blend in you will not only visit the tourist attractions but also go where the local go for fun. There are many hidden gems that most travelers don’t get to see because they focus more on the popular spots.
Ask locals what are some of the unusual or out-of-the-way sights and make a point to visit them. You could even ask a local if you can join them on one of their trips! This is actually a good tip if you’re into solo travel.
9. Learn the Local Driving Rules
Driving is not the same alone. This here is not just about fitting in but also about your own safety. It can be quite dangerous if you’re used to driving on the left and you’re in a country where they drive on the right and you’re not aware of this. Whether you’re driving or simply a pedestrian, it’s important to know the driving rules of a country in order to stay safe and not break any traffic rules unknowingly.
Our most popular tip on how to travel alone
10. Attend Local Events
There’s no better way to interact with locals and learn a local culture than by attending local events. Look out for flyers in cafes and local grocery stores for upcoming festivals, concerts and other events that might be of interest to you.
Learning how to travel alone is not something you learn overnight. But if you want solo travel your thing then you definitely need to learn how to fit in with the locals. We do hope these tips help!
Have you been to a foreign country before? What did you find most helpful in blending in with the locals?