First-time millennial solo travellers may encounter the stigma surrounding travelling alone. This is particularly true for women who often associate solo travel with safety concerns. However, with more and more women and men around the world embracing solo travel, there are ways to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey to your favourite destinations. In fact, a 2014 study by Booking.com revealed that 72 per cent of American women and men had embraced solo travel after being inspired by social media. HostelWorld also reported a 45 per cent increase in solo bookings between 2015 and 2017. Millennial travellers are now hitting the road without the need for a spouse or a group of friends. It's possible to explore new places without going too far from home. Taking a statewide trip or visiting nearby destinations before embarking on a more adventurous journey can help ease homesickness. Here are some tips to help plan your first solo trip
Keep At Least A Few People In The Loop
When exploring a new place, it can be tempting to get lost in the excitement. However, it's important to inform a trusted family member or friend about your whereabouts. You wouldn't want to find yourself in a dire situation like in the movie "127 Hours". It's a good idea to share your travel itinerary or a brief summary of your plans with someone at home.
Pro Tip It is not recommended to announce your departure on social media as it can leave you vulnerable to a potential break-in. Sharing that you will be far away from your home with strangers could result in your home being targeted. It's important to consider the potential consequences of sharing this information, as returning to find your home ransacked by people you know through social media would be distressing. Take precautions to keep your home and belongings safe.
Prepare A Solid Safety Kit
When preparing a safety kit, it's important to pack it consistently so that you can quickly find everything you need. Nobody wants to be holding up a line of impatient people while frantically searching for their ID. This can negatively impact your chances of making friends and enjoying your travels. It's also a good idea to keep copies of your travel documents with you at all times and consider storing them digitally for added security. While weapons like pepper spray and pocket knives are prohibited in airports, a fashionable whistle can be a discreet but effective tool for alerting someone in case of an attack. Other important items to include in your safety travel kit are a portable charging port, miniature flashlight, rain scarf for unexpected weather, bag protector, and a door barricade lock for added security in your hotel room.
Keep Emergency Help Numbers Handy
If you're travelling alone, don't hesitate to reach out for help if you feel uneasy or unsafe. Many lodging places have overnight security personnel who can escort you to your room. Building a rapport with the hotel staff can also provide a valuable support system when you're away from home. A little kindness can go a long way, and being friendly to the staff can encourage them to look out for you. It's a good idea to let the hotel staff know that you're travelling alone, as they may be able to advise you about any risky areas to avoid. They might even be willing to ensure that you return to the hotel safely each day. If you're in a rowdy area and decide to have a drink, consider talking to a female bartender or hostess and letting them know that you're alone. They can keep an eye on you and assist you if necessary.
Pro Tip Prior to embarking on your journey, it is advisable to explore the safety programs available in your community, such as self-defence classes. These classes are often reasonably priced at community centres, libraries, and women's groups. While learning basic reflexive defence skills may not prevent harassment, it can definitely boost your confidence.
Utilise Solo Traveller Meet-Ups And Programmes
If you're a solo traveller, the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has a program that makes it easy to connect with other independent travellers. You can attend a meet-up aboard the ship, where you'll have the opportunity to meet people with fascinating backgrounds and stories. It's the perfect way to end your first day at sea.
Airbnb is another option that offers more than just lodging. You can also find unique excursions and experiences that locals curate. These immersive activities give you a chance to explore the area in a special way.
For millennials, Under 30 Experiences and Contiki are great options for meeting other like-minded travellers without searching too hard. These programs provide a supportive network of fellow millennials with whom you can form lasting connections.
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