Just 21 Genuinely Helpful Tips For Anyone Who Travels Alone

traveling alone

We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share their best tips for traveling alone. Hopefully their advice will help you navigate — or even inspire — your next solo adventure.

Do some research about each destination you’re going to and organize the basics, like where you’re staying and how to get there, before you arrive.

Don’t — or at least TRY not to — overpack. Remember you have to carry it all on your own!

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My first time traveling alone, I took way too much stuff but didn’t realize until I was struggling to move all my luggage by myself. Bring essentials only! Plan different outfits using the same pieces to save space, and don’t bring your whole shoe closet! —elizabethb4d752b39e

Take a mini first-aid kit.

Invest in a hidden wallet so you can keep your valuables close at all times.

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Buy a tiny crossbody travel wallet that you can put under your shirt to hold your ID, passport, money, etc. separate from your purse or backpack. If someone steals your purse, you’ll at least still have money and a way to get home. —barnesrenee7

Spend time curating a special playlist for your trip and download it to your phone.


Make a playlist of new songs and artists specifically for your trip. Whenever you hear those songs again after your return, it’ll always remind you of your adventure. —cperryrun

Give a copy of your important travel details (flight numbers, hostel names, etc.) to someone reliable back home.


Make an itinerary to give to a worried mom or friend so someone knows where you’re at in case of emergencies. I always do this for my mom and it really eases her mind about me traveling solo. —ccc12345

Leave your family with a copy of your passport. Should it get lost or stolen they will be able to email it to you. —rachelk4418b3566

But remember that just because you make plans, it doesn’t mean you have to stick to them. Allow yourself to be spontaneous!

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I can’t tell you how many times I ended up chucking out my original plans and doing something completely different (and better) based on meeting new people, both fellow travelers and locals. —russjosephs

If you’re headed overseas, buy a local sim card so you don’t have to rely on finding Wi-Fi.

Karl Baron (CC BY 2.0) / Via Flickr: kalleboo

Get a phone card as soon as you arrive in a new country. In case of emergency, it will be easier to call for help. —annarosa

10. Or at the least, use Wi-Fi to download offline Google Maps of the places you’re visiting.

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Download maps of the cities you’re going to so you can access GPS without data. I also shared my Google Maps location, which tracks you without data, so if anything were to happen my family and friends could possibly know where I was. —patriciarosswog

11. If you’re daunted by the idea of dining out alone, sit at the bar or bring a book to keep you occupied.

12. Be friendly, approachable, and open to meeting new people.

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Talk to people! I’m incredibly introverted normally but I find I put myself out there more when I travel. Try things you wouldn’t normally do. It’s a chance for growth!


Even if you can afford a hotel, consider staying in a (highly rated) hostel. Most have options for private rooms as well as dorms.

chris atto (CC BY-NC 2.0) / Via Flickr: dailybeatz

Finding a good hostel is the best because if you feel like you need to socialize you easily can, but if you want some alone time, you’re totally in control! I try to find places with a bar or good common area. I’ve met so many amazing people who I still keep in touch with. —julias4abab2a7a

And if you’re arriving into a new city late at night, it can be a good idea to book accommodation close to the station or airport, even if it’s a bit more expensive.

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The last thing you want is to be lugging your stuff around an unfamiliar place in the dark while you’re tired, trying to work out where to get a taxi or bus. This way you can get settled straight away, and in the morning it will be much easier to try and get where you need to go. —jamtoasty

Take advantage of free walking tours.

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Free walking tours are a great way to meet fellow travelers and learn the city. I always came back from a tour with new travel friends and an idea of what else I wanted to see. —rachels4674e6161

If you have a smart watch, use it as a self-timer remote for perfect selfies.

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Place your phone on a bench or something facing towards you. Hit three seconds on the watch and smile! —c4fe982507

If you’re a woman and want to avoid being hit on, it can sometimes help to wear a fake wedding ring.

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If you’re a woman traveling alone and don’t want to get hit on or hassled on the street, buy a cheap ring and wear it like a wedding ring. As ridiculous as it sounds, it will discourage unwanted advances. —laurens4faa6b76c

Honestly, it sucks that this is something women have to deal with. But if you’re worried about unwanted attention, it can be a useful thing to do.

Try to act confident in public, even when you’re not totally sure what you’re doing.

But also remember it’s OK to ask for help if you need it.

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Whether it’s in the airport or an unfamiliar town, it can save a lot of time to ask a friendly face for assistance rather than trying to figure out a problem yourself or scrolling through pages of Google results. —nathanvh

Try not to worry about what other people are thinking. Honestly, they’re probably not paying as much attention to you as you think they are.

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I worried about people judging me for being alone, but really no one is paying attention. In fact, most people are probably jealous. —courtiepaigee

And perhaps the most important of all: Just go!


This article was originally posted on Buzzfeed.