Tips for Solo Travelers

Traveling to Europe alone is a great opportunity for personal growth and discovery. But for many, especially first time travelers, hitting the road alone can be an overwhelming proposition. That’s why a guided vacation can be a great compromise; it provides some of the freedom of independent travel with the inherent advantages of traveling with a group. Even while on a guided vacation, it’s a good idea to exercise caution while exploring on your own. Here are some tips for solo travel to help you enjoy your journey with peace of mind.

Don’t draw undue attention to yourself

There are a couple steps you can take to ensure you don’t look like a hapless tourist. Make an effort to exude confidence while sightseeing. If you need to check a guide book or a map, try not to do it in the middle of a busy sidewalk.  Instead, step into a café or shop and don’t be afraid to ask a local for assistance – after all, interacting with locals can be a lot of fun.

Leave your expensive jewelry and flashy clothing at home. Consider bringing sunglasses as they afford you the ability to survey your surroundings without inviting unwanted eye contact.

Get advice from your Travel Director

Thinking about exploring on your own for the afternoon? Quickly ask your Travel Director (or hotel concierge) about any necessary safety precautions in the areas you’ll be visiting before heading out.

Let someone in your group know what you’re doing

It’s always a good idea to let a member of your group or your travel director know what your plans are when you head out to explore on your own. If your group is set to leave soon make sure you know exactly when and give yourself plenty of time to get back.

It’s also wise to pick up a business card in your hotel lobby and have the address handy in case you get lost.

Learn some key phrases

Figuring out how to say “help” or “please call a doctor” (or the police) along with more pedestrian phrases like “where’s the bathroom” can help keep you navigate a new destination with confidence.  


Don’t tell a stranger too much about your trip

Meeting new people can be one of the great joys of exploring a place on your own. However, it’s a good idea to limit the amount of information you disclose about yourself. Don’t divulge too many details and never tell a stranger your itinerary or where you’re staying.

Carry a whistle

This is sound advice for traveling anywhere by yourself. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and trust your institution. So if you feel unsafe don’t worry about making a fuss – blow it loudly until help arrives.  

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