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Tips For Traveling By Yourself

5 Tips For Traveling Abroad Solo

After an OnSugar user requested advice for traveling abroad alone, I turned the question over to all of you. Whether it's for traveling to the rural edges of a countryside or a city center, here are your lessons learned from experience.

  • "Stay at smaller, boutique hotels. Of course you can get good customer service anywhere, but I found that the staff at these hotels took more of a personal interest in what I was doing (but not in a creepy, needing to know way, more in a advice-giving way). Maybe I am just paranoid, but I also felt safer knowing that they recognized the people staying at the hotel and would have been more likely to notice if, say, I didn't come back for two days or something." — lilkimbo
  • "If you're visiting a non-English speaking country, make a point to learn some local words and phrases like "Hello, How much? Water? Toilet? Thank you." They're useful during emergencies and the locals are more willing to help you when they see you make an effort." — provocative
  • "Toilet paper and granola bars. TP can be used for its obvious purpose and also as a tissue, a plate, and a thousand other things. Granola bars because then no matter the travel hold ups or otherwise you have something to get you by. Also, when you get a bad belly from travel foods or water your body always does better with something bland and familiar." — mrsld
  • "Email your itinerary to a friend/family member in the United States and have a rule that you'll check in via email everyday or every other day." — ocgrl527
  • Bring a laptop/iPad, or not: Spacekatgal suggests splurging for an iPad to double as a computer, but lilkimbo says consider where you're going first. "I've heard from countless travel agents that having a piece of technology like that makes you a huge target for crime," she said. "I would just go with a basic smartphone because it is nice to have maps at your fingertips."

Add yours below!

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janneth janneth 5 years
Don't get in a car with a strange guy. If you meet someone promising, just WALK with him to a cafe or restaurant until you get to know him better. Carry a copy of your birth certificate. Hide it in the lining of your suitcase. If you lose your passport or if it is stolen, it will make replacing it 100 times easier and faster. Travel light. Everything is better with a smaller bag, esp when you are alone.
amybdk amybdk 5 years
:jawdrop: $200! I wish $200 weren't a big deal to me!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 5 years
Since I know no less than 12 people who have been pickpocketed, had their purses stolen, etc. while traveling internationally, I'll heed the advice. And travel agents are amazing when you're traveling somewhere slightly more remote! They can really give you great tips and find amazing deals that may not be available to the average person online. Like you, snarky, I would rather spend my $200 (or $800 if I need a full-on replacement) on an experience. And once you get your flight paid for, travel can be very inexpensive if you want it to be! That amount of money could go a long way. And I try to do the minimal amount of work possible when traveling (unfortunately, I have to check my e-mail every other day or so, but that's it!), so bringing something I need for work is a no go for me!
snarkypants snarkypants 5 years
plus, i'd rather not spend $200 to pay for something i broke that i didn't even use. $200 can get you a long way backpacking, especially in the places i like to go (places that probably don't have wifi anyway).
snarkypants snarkypants 5 years
when i travel (for fun), i want to be sightseeing, etc. to me, that's way more fun than facebooking, etc. so to bring an electronic device is a waste, as i wouldn't even use it. for others it's not a waste. i really don't think it's an essential. but different strokes for different folks.
snarkypants snarkypants 5 years
alternating staying at hostels and hotels is also a good tip. i've meet so many awesome people at hostels...it's always nice to have a travel buddy for a day. however, i'm not a good sleeper, so i don't get much rest at hostels. so i'll hostel it up in one city, hotel in the next, and on and on. staying in just hotels can get pretty lonely if you don't know anybody.
snarkypants snarkypants 5 years
i don't care about things getting stolen SKG, i am concerned about breaking them. i usually backpack when not traveling for business, and there's a whole lot that could damage electronics. also, with something like a laptop, it's not worth the added weight. i could see bringing an ipad, but then again, i am capable of being away from technology for a while.
snarkypants snarkypants 5 years
although, using a smartphone internationally can be ridiculously expensive, depending where you are. my favorite part of traveling is getting lost anyway. you'll be fine with a old-fashioned map. the most important foreign phrase to know is "thank you". just thanking people in their native language lets people know you are a respectful tourist (this is especially true in asian countries)
snarkypants snarkypants 5 years
i agree with lilkimbo. traveling internationally with a laptop is a total pain, and not worth the risk.
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