RISMEDIA, April 15, 2011—(MCT)—Traveling solo brings challenges from luggage logistics to long-distance navigation. Whether it comes naturally or not, most people could use a few tips when it comes to on-your-own vacations.
Solotravelgirl.com’s Jennifer Huber has traveled on her own through Afghanistan, Cuba and the United States. Huber took the plunge after realizing how many adventures she was missing out on by waiting for people to follow through on plans. Her advice?
Confidence: You may need to start with baby steps, but solo travel will definitely boost your confidence, according to Huber. So take yourself out to lunch, see that museum on your next business trip or take a brief road trip on your own. Before you know it, you’ll be taking a page from Huber’s book and tent camping in California or hopping on a plane to Kabul.
Driving: Planning and preparation are particularly important for road trips, warns Huber, who never heads out without a GPS or having Google Maps loaded on her smartphone. She also believes in tire and fluid checks, as well as an old-fashioned road map for backup in case of technology failure. When road tripping in the United States, Huber stresses the power of AAA memberships for discounts and tire-changing support.
Safety: She advises common sense for the budding solo traveler. Says Huber, “If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.” Huber has specific tips for avoiding risk during hotel stays. She only stays in rooms with interior entryways and makes sure the desk staff doesn’t mention her room number out loud while she checks in. Journeywoman.com’s Evelyn Hannon also sees hotels as a hot spot for safety concerns, and cautions against telling new friends where you are staying. If you want to meet up for an activity says Hannon, choose a neutral and busy spot.
Dining: Hannon has faced the solo-dining conundrum and suggests that until you’re comfortable eating alone in restaurants, reading materials will help pass the time. They are also, says Hannon, a helpful conversation starter. She advises that while eating in a cafe, solo travelers keep an English language book or newspaper on their table. English is an international language, and if you have reading materials close by, someone will inevitably strike up a conversation. Likewise, says Hannon, you can be the first to initiate an exchange if you notice someone with a book title you’ve previously enjoyed.
(c) 2011, McClatchy-Tribune News Service.
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