Curiosity

How to Reap the Benefits of Solo Travel

May 15,2017 | Curiosity

Those who have traveled alone often describe their first solo trip as life changing. Having the ability to explore new surroundings, unfiltered by a travel companion’s preference can be exhilarating. Simply put, traveling solo can allow for the opportunity to reflect and achieve inner peace. Of course, solo travel can have jeopardizing factors as well – such as safety concerns – so preparation is key. 

 

Why Travel Alone?

 

Solo travel can be the ultimate chance to experience new cultures and people while also having time for yourself, since you control the decision-making. When looking for inspiration for solo travel, consider writing a bucket list of places that interest you. AARP members recently revealed that their top bucket list destinations are Hawaii and Alaska. After narrowing down destinations, stay focused and research offers online by checking out the AARP Member Advantages website, including discounts on hotels, flights, cruises and more on the AARP® Travel Center powered by Expedia. Whether you’re looking to whale watch or eat your way through Italy, get great travel inspiration by checking out Grand European Travel or Collette. The information and options are plentiful, and will allow for planning based on your desired budget and length of travel. 

 

Staying Safe While Traveling Alone

 

Safety may be considered one of the biggest concerns for single travelers. Without a companion, people are more susceptible to scam artists, as well as simple health worries. Here are a few tips to consider before you go:

 

  • Carry good identification and keep multiple copies on you, in the safe at your hotel, in your suitcase and pictures of your I.D. on your phone – as long as it does not include sensitive information. It is also beneficial to share copies of your identification and itinerary with friends and family. Be sure to stay in touch with them regularly.
  • Ask your doctor for additional prescriptions of medication, if possible. Plan ahead by filling your prescriptions with your Rx discount card provided by OptumRx. Keep a list of pharmacies close to your hotel in case of emergencies. 
  • Protect yourself during upcoming travel plans by signing up for a MedjetAssist membership to aid in case of hospitalization domestically or internationally. AARP Members save up to 18% on membership. 
  • Sign up for the free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which could help the State Department assist you in case of emergency.
  • Know how long it takes and how much it costs to get from the airport to your hotel or to the city center. Ask the taxi driver for an estimated fare before getting into the car.
  • Dress like a local. Don’t draw attention to yourself by wearing flashy clothes or jewelry. Leave the expensive sneakers at home.
  • Check your maps and transportation schedules before leaving your hotel. A solo traveler with an open map can be a mark for unsavory types.
  • Don’t keep all your money in one place. Keep some cash and a card on your person and some in your bag and some in your hotel’s safe.

 

If the desire for exploration is calling, consider answering it! By traveling solo, you’ll talk to people and truly immerse yourself in the culture. 

These articles present general information and are for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for legal, financial, medical, or other professional advice.

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