Monday, June 24, 2019

5 Solo Travel TIPS you MUST know NOW!

Travel Fit: Comfy, cute and simple. Don't be a target and wear anything that screams TOURIST!
Hi dolls! Long time no post. I know it's been a while but I thought what better way to start back blogging than to bring you along my birthday trip to Tulum, Mexico. It was a super last minute trip, I ended up rolling solo and it was the absolute BEST trip ever! Never be afraid to travel solo, life waits on no (wo)man and you never know what's in store for you on that next adventure!

My advice to anyone that desires to travel on their own will always be, DO IT, DO IT NOW!

However, I do have a few tips and tricks to do it safely and without incident.

1.  Do your research of the area.
Have a plan of where you want to go and understand the different modes of transportation. When you are lost do your best to NOT look like it. Ask your hotel the best way to get to the Hotel or for directions around the area. I typically trust them more than a stranger on the street. Quick story, when I arrived in Rome I had a Taxi try to charge me 100 USD for a 6 min ride to my hotel. (Note: I did pay $40 which was still insanely expensive🤦🏾‍♀️) Had I not known what it SHOULD cost and stood up for myself that would have been a very expensive mistake made. I could have also jumped on a $3 trolley that would have dropped me off at the corner from my hotel. I didn't know that at first so I did that when leaving. It was super easy and a total deal.

2. Drop A Pin, Sis!
This one might seem obvious but you need to actually tell people where you are going. Give them flight and hotel information and notify them if plans change. This can be done by sharing with loved ones or in this day and age a simple check in via Facebook works as well. I sent a simple text like the one above to a few people and that was it. Just think about the dialogue if GOD forbid you come up missing. Do you want your loved ones to say, "She left yesterday sometime to Mexico, I think Tulum but it could have been Cancun🤷🏾‍♀️ and she was staying at some hotel in the Jungle." Ma'am, what?! Sis, help them and YOURSELF out and provide details.

3. Pack light. 
No seriously, you want to be able to handle your own bags. Pick pockets and thieves target people that need help with bags and while MOST people are actually generous people that would not mind helping you, there are some that will find you easy prey. Also, bag handlers will offer to help you but best believe they will expect or demand a tip after.

One of my biggest travel regrets was over packing for Italy. I visited about 5 cities in 2 weeks and it was HELL lugging 2 FULL-SIZE suitcases through the streets of Venice. If you've ever been to Venice you know exactly what I'm talking about. Cobble streets, stair cases and bridges at every corner oh and let's not forget the lovely task of getting on and off a water taxi. Dear sweet Jesus, I truly don't know how I made it. Also, train stations (which was my primary mode of transportation) do not always have elevators or escalators up and down, so moving from one track to another meant MANY, MANY stairs! Oh the struggle!! Trust me no outfit is worth that stress. Pack what you need, nothing more.

4. Update your bank and phone plan. 
So, my bank does that very secure (and usually inconvenient) thing of locking down my account when my account has suspicious charges and will decline the purchase. This has happened to me at a pet store in my neighborhood or when my account was hacked with 12 dollars in porn charges (they were not mine, swear!). It has also happened to me at dinner in Aviano, Italy with co-workers and NO cash on me. Very embarrassing. Not only do you want to be in a foreign country with no cash (rookie mistake) but also not a working card and hours before you bank opens. Just notify them you will be out of the country and to allow charges for a certain period of time.

Also, your phone is essential. You need a way to communicate while away on a solo trip. Even if you are only able to make local calls that is fine. Either purchase your company's international plan for your trip, take a portable Mi-Fi device or download the What's App. As long as someone at home can get ahold of you and you can get a message to them. I will admit I fail to do this just about every time. Doh! I land in Mexico and my phone doesn't work. Not only can I not make calls but I can't connect to the internet to access Facebook or emails. Don't be like me, be better than me!

5. Last but not least, trust your gut! 
It typically won't stir you wrong. If you feel uneasy in a situation get out of there immediately. DO talk to strangers, please. I have met some of the dopest people on my solo trips but listen to your spidy senses if something feels 'off' to you. Whether it's someone being way too friendly or aggressive or if you end up in a sketchy area of town, be careful. Don't get too drunk, don't walk down dark alley's alone, ya know the usual common sense advice applies here. Be smart, Be safe, but most importantly, have FUN and enjoy your trip, you deserve it!

If you have other travel tips please leave them in the comments below! Also, do you have any cool trips coming up this summer, I want to know where I should go next!!



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