[1] a good camera—and a local SIM card

1
Travel is one of life’s great pleasures. People travel for many varied reasons:
to see new countries, experience different food and cultures, learn something
new, escape one’s job and everyday challenges, find spiritual awareness, celebrate
an occasion, or just to relax—these are all great reasons for getting out of
one’s home and on the road. Travel gets you out of your comfort zone, but as a
result, things can occasionally go wrong—especially when traveling solo. So here
are some tips for making sure your trip goes smoothly.

 

2
Don’t over-pack

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Carrying
too much stuff is a classic travel problem. Traveling light makes everything
much easier. Prepare what you think you need and then take away half. Most people
usually overpack clothes. Stick to a few T-shirts and pairs of slacks or shorts.
You can always do laundry at your destination, and part of the fun of traveling
is buying local items as you go.

 

3
Do plenty of research, but don’t plan too
much

Probably
the best part about real travel is the freedom to change what you want to do
and where you want to go. So, except for key events and flights, leave as much
as possible flexible. But do your research and learn as much as you can about your
destination. The more you know about a place, the more interesting it becomes.  

 

4
Unplug your devices

A
lot of people travel to get away from modern technology and the pressures of
always being available. However, a smartphone with a good camera—and a local
SIM card that includes data—can be a vital companion. The advantages of taking a
smartphone are many: the ability to take photos, stay in touch with people,
find the best routes, locate good restaurants and places to stay, as well as
the ability to alert people in an emergency. But as soon as you’re done, remember
to put your phone away. That way, you can interact with local people and concentrate
on enjoying the place you’re in.

 

5
Don’t appear lost

If
you look like a confused tourist, you send a signal out to possible troublemakers.
Rather than open your guidebook or map in public, try to do it inside a shop or
café. If you can, check out maps on your phone, as no one will know what you
are doing.

 

6
Research typical tourist scams

Before
you set out for your destination, research any scams that may be common there—in
other words, any dishonest tricks or illegal activities designed to get money
from tourists. Most places are generally safe, but there may be certain kinds
of activities to be aware of. If you are knowledgeable and well-prepared, you will
less likely become a victim.

 

7
Don’t take unnecessary risks

Being
away from home can make some people behave more freely. That may be part of the
fun, but don’t do things you wouldn’t usually do. It’s not a good idea to give
private information to strangers, or invite people you don’t know well to where
you are staying. If you are going to meet a new person, do so in a public
place.

 

8
Invent a companion

Although
meeting and talking to new people is one of the great pleasures of travel,
there may be times when you have unwanted attention from somebody, especially
when traveling alone. At those times, it will help to have an imaginary friend
or a partner who is waiting for you back at the hotel or at a café.

 

Happy—and
safe—traveling!