Solo International Travel Tips and Tricks to make your grand adventures a success!
I’m excited to begin a series on some of my favorite tips and tricks from traveling abroad “solo” in Europe. During my 7 week adventure I spent time in 6 countries and 12 different cities. I’ve loved highlighting recipes of the cities and along with sharing photo’s and a travel log of sorts; things to see and do in each city.
AND so we are off . . . here’s the first post in a series of Solo International Travel Tips!
Naturally, the first thing you’ll need is a plane ticket. I loved traveling in the late fall and early winter because the “off season” has many advantages with just a few draw backs (which we will get to in this series). I bought my ticket in September to travel in the beginning of November on Kayak.
I also set alerts in Google Flights and Expedia so I’d get notifications when amazing fares were available. You CAN NOT wait when you get notified on a fare. . . great deals will not wait for you to finish the dishes! Be prepared to seize the moment, my friends!! All I knew at that point was that I would fly in and out of Paris, France and that my departure date would be on my birthday to return 7 weeks later. Traveling during the off season gives you a much better chance at finding a sweet price on flights, seriously, no one can ever believe the steal I found. 🙂
Safety is important when we are talking Solo International Travel Tips
First tip is just be smart. . . don’t put yourself in dangerous situations! I walked A LOT and thank goodness for Google because I enjoyed getting to know the cities on foot; stopping here and there to explore stores, museums, and restaurants. Which brings us to a quick tip; all of my exploring was made so much easier with my travel BBF . . . Google Maps! Before I left, I made sure to download offline maps of the major cities I was visiting that way even if I had poor internet service I always had a back up to get me where I needed to go.
Next, don’t second guess your gut. . . google can tell you the fasted route to get somewhere but it cannot sense if the area is sketchy! If it feels off, turn right around and head back to the main road. (this happened a few times to me). There’s more than one way to get to someplace, stick to the main roadways and where there’s a lot of activity, people, and merchants.
The magical moment of earphones. . .
After experiencing google maps blare from the speaker on my phone, “in 200 feet turn right”! I thought it was painfully obvious I was a tourist so I discovered that with earphones in google could quietly whisper directions in my ears so I didn’t have to look at my phone much at all. Then another fabulous discovery. . . street vendors ceased trying to stop me, or sell me things, or talk to me in a language I could not speak. (which BTW the camera on google translate is AMAZING… trips to the grocery store, reading signs, and menu’s are all made quite possible with it!)
There I am in the streets of Napoli, Italy with my earphones cascading down the front of my coat. . . I got so used to having them there that I’d forget to pull them out for selfie shots! 🙂
Next up . . . Pick Pockets on our Solo International Travel Tips
They are REAL! I heard again and again the announcements made in all public transportation areas. . . the metro’s, trains, and airport. Be cautious and keep your luggage right with you, even take it right with you to your seat on the train or metro. Keep your pockets zipped on your jacket, back pack, and purse. For day outings be sure to keep your bags on your body and be prepared to carry whatever you’ve got around with you all-day-long! I traveled with a small leather crossbody purse that has a long strap to cross over my neck and shoulders– Brown Leather Crossbody Shoulder Bag. . . someone would pretty much have to take my head off to snatch it away from me. This is where I kept my more valuables items like: cash, passport, and chapstick! 🙂 I also had a collapsable day back pack– Durable Packable Backpack by Ultra Lightweight Water Resistant Travel to carry my coat if I got hot, some snacks and a water bottle, and my leather notebook journal– LEATHER JOURNAL Writing Notebook for Travel
Above is a photo of me with the strap to my cute leather crossbody purse. . . it worked like a charm!
A couple additional safety notes in our Solo International Travel Tips
~ Load the next location you want to visit in google maps before you leave wifi connection so even if you have poor service or go off-line you can still get there with no problems.
~ Use Google Maps Location Sharing or life360 to stay connect with a family member or a good friend~ it’s a simple way to stay connected wherever your travels happen to take you!
~ If the city/area where I was staying felt even the slightest bit sketchy. . . I made sure to be back to my room by dark or I’d take an uber or mytaxi ride home.
~ I carried pepper spray (that looks somewhat like a very large tube of lipstick) with me everywhere I went. If I had to catch a flight then I’d stick in a shoe in my luggage, followed by stuffing the shoe with socks or something small so it was safe. Lipstick Pepper Spray for Women
If I had just one wish for you in the big world of traveling adventures it would be that you’re blessed to be able to watch the sunrise from the window of a plane- it’s spectacular in every way!
Stay tuned for more posts in our series of Solo International Travel Tips in the coming weeks!
Ruthie & Madeliene