August 20th, 2015

Solo Travel Survival: Your First 24 Hours on Your Own

The first day of a solo trip can be confusing and frustrating, because you have to figure out everything on your own. Following these seven steps will help calm your nerves, so you can get to your destination safely—and happily.

Traveling to a new place can sometimes be exhausting and daunting. When you're flying solo, and you can't ask a partner for help, you may feel especially overwhelmed. People at your destination may speak a different language, use a different form of currency, and eat different kinds of food. Navigating a whole new world certainly isn't easy.

Although your first 24 hours in a new area may seem a little lonely, there are strategies that can help you figure out how to get around—and have fun in the process. After all, once you conquer the challenge of solo travel, you'll feel confident and independent enough to do just about anything! So keep these key tips in mind.

1. Get to your hotel safely. Take only a marked taxi, so you don't accidentally get into a car with a predator or thief. And if something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut, and take a different form of transportation.
2. Make friends with the hotel staff. They’re locals and will be able to guide you to the best places to eat, drink, and have an overall great time while you’re there.
3. Hang out in the hotel's common area. It’s never a bad idea to meet fellow travelers. They’ve been at your destination for at least a day longer than you have, so they've likely already gotten a good lay of the land. These travelers might be able to offer helpful hints about how to get around, how to communicate, and which attractions are worth your time.
4. Leave excess baggage locked in your room. If your pockets are bulging with cash or your passport, you'll become an easy target for pickpockets. Stash all that in your RFID Blocker Money Belt DLX and keep it hidden. Leave anything valuable that you don't need—such as jewelry or expensive electronics—locked in your hotel room's safe or locked in your suitcase. We always recommend leaving expensive jewelry at home, as it’s not worth losing them on your trip.
5. Go out, walk around, and people-watch. Listen, look, and learn. Observe how the locals greet each other, how fast they walk, and how they present themselves. In order to blend in, you have to act like a local.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whenever you get lost, ask someone for directions, such as a local store owner. Chances are, this person will be able to point you in the right direction.
7. Smile. You’re on your own for a reason. You want to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people. So don't forget to smile, be friendly, and enjoy every minute of your adventure. When you're approachable and kind, others are more likely to chat with you, and interesting opportunities are more likely to present themselves.

To recap: Make sure you get to your hotel safely, make friends with the hotel staff, hang out in the hotel’s common area, lock your excess baggage, be observant, ask for help, and smile! Now break out of your bubble and get out there on a solo adventure while keeping these seven tips in mind.

While Eagle Creek is here to provide tips and insights on travel, we cannot accept any responsibility for any potential consequences arising from the use of this information.  Always conduct your own research and use your best judgment

Justin Fricke is an office dweller by weekday and a rock climber, hiker, surfer, cyclist, runner, and all-around adventure junkie by night and weekend. The Weekend Warrior is where he keeps records of all his adventures, gear reviews, tips and tricks. You can also find him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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by Justin Fricke

Justin traded in his cushy desk job for a life on the road. He's spending a full year living in a converted Sprinter Van with his brother while they climb, surf, and explore all 50 states in one year. Follow his blog, The Weekend Warrior, where he keeps tabs on their adventures. You can also find him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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