For the past two and a half years, I’ve been living on the road more often than I have at home. If I tallied up the hours, I bet I’ve spent more time asleep on a United plane than in my own bed. As a single female traveler, I’ve spent many hours in various cities, countries, and continents as a result of an amazing mix of employment that takes me all around the Levo community.

The decision to travel alone, especially internationally, is a personal one that I hope every woman makes during her lifetime. Traveling abroad will always hold a special place in your heart, no matter when you do it.

Traveling by yourself can be tricky. Wherever your next destination may be, here are some tips to help you feel more at ease when going on vacation alone. 

I’ll tell you what. My finest content is the fact that I can share it with you, but just so you know, the majority of these come from having created them myself, fortunately, without much consequence. You learn a few things after two hundred thousand miles.

No matter how many times you’ve gone on a solo trip, avoid these costly mistakes:

Before You Leave:

1. Failing To Tell People Your Travel Plans.

Make sure they know where you should be in the event of a crisis, from flight numbers to hotel stays to villa-landlord counts. They would be able to track you down. I took a journey to the other side of the planet, and it hit me that I was completely alone in not knowing where or when I was supposed to be. It’s not difficult to send confirmations and itineraries to your travel companions.

2. You Don’t Give Much Thought to Your Money.

Before going on vacation alone internationally, be sure to let your bank know or else they might put a freeze on your card. I’ve been there- stuck in a foreign country with currency I couldn’t use and cards that didn’t work for an entire day. It’s not a fun lesson to learn the hard way, but it’s one worth learning nevertheless.

3. Failing To Pack Enough Medical Supplies.

Foreign stomachs can be tricky business. This broad-spectrum antibiotic will help if you have a gastrointestinal infection. Talk to your doctor about getting a prescription.

4. Only Having a Passport Will Not Be Enough.

Although you shouldn’t expect to lose your passport, it’s a good idea to have some backup in case something goes wrong. I always keep a physical and digital copy of my passport on me, and I hope I never have to use it.

5. Assuming That Your Phone Will Have Service.

There’s always a chance it could work out, but there’s also a chance it might not. It’s better to be safe than sorry. I always call my provider before I go out and have him/her add an international plan to my account so that I may text, iMessage, and make a phone call here and there if necessary. It’s cheaper and more convenient to plan ahead for travel expenses. If you wait until the last minute, you’ll end up spending a lot more money.

While You Are at Your Destination:

6. Announcing Your Room Number.

Even though I am not exempt from this mistake; it just takes a little more mindfulness. Whenever you need something from room service or want to order coffee, remember to give the hotel staff your room number. In a crowded lobby, it is preferable to point to the number on your room key or phone rather than vocalizing it.

7. Allowing the Driver To Take You Directly Home.

Last week, I caught a ride on a motorbike taxi (which is basically hitchhiking) and as I was telling the driver where to go, I realized that I was essentially sharing my home address with a complete stranger when going on vacation alone. When I recognized what I’d done, I had him drop me off a few blocks away from my home. I handed him some money and went up to the house as if it was mine. This is an important tip to remember next time you take public transportation.

8. You Neglected To Wear Your Wedding Ring.

While I enjoy my single status, there are a few nations where a tall red-head stands out like a sore thumb. And in societies where people will naturally leave you alone if they believe your husband is on his way. I usually bring along an imaginary husband on my travels to developing countries. And I have my grandmother’s ring on the wrong finger as proof.

9. Nobody Knows Your Location for Weeks on End.

While traveling by yourself can offer many unique freedoms, it’s important to let people know where you are going in case of an emergency. I prefer to use the app Find Friends to keep tabs on my movements without feeling like I’m being micromanaged. That way, my loved ones can get notifications whenever I go somewhere new. I know my parents appreciate being able to check in on me when I’m traveling, and it gives me peace of mind too.

10. Traveling With Your Protective Shell.

This might appear to be at odds with the rest of this post, which is all caution! But it isn’t. Although it’s always important to be cautious when going on vacation alone, part of the excitement of travel is taking risks every now and then. 

Make mistakes, but make sure they’re calculated ones. Those that you think about and then decide to pursue adventure anyhow. I’ve done it from four-hour long bike rides on the back of my tour guide’s motorbike to whiskey on a rooftop at midnight with a group of strangers, and even renting scooters that I do not know how to drive

Stepping out of your comfort zone is the best way to get new experiences and make the most out of YOUR trip–just be smart and know your limits.

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