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Solo Travel: A Teen’s Guide
Travelling abroad can be a life-changing, eye-opening experience that shapes the lives of those who do it, but have you ever thought of travelling alone?
Solo travel is one of the top trends of 2019, and 38% of those who travelled alone say they’d do it again. Travelling, in general, is a great way to practice self-care and reflection as well. However, travelling solo isn’t all fun and games.
Solo travelling can be significantly more dangerous than travelling with a group (or even your parents), so preparation and safety are more than important.
First things first
While travelling solo is a major stress reliever, safety is still number one, and luckily for us, there are many ways to prepare. First things first, you’re going to need a passport when travelling abroad. A passport is your key to travelling, and because it’s so small, it’s easy to misplace. This is why you should always take copies of your passport information page. Copies are great for many reasons, though most people never think to do so before leaving. A copy of your passport information page can come in handy should you ever lose your actual passport, but copies are wonderful for many other things as well, such as your travel itinerary.
Since we live in the digital age, taking pictures can prove to be vital in case of any mishaps, so snap away. Your luggage, airline ticket info, itinerary, everything can and should be photographed. This simple travel technique has proven to be helpful for many solo travellers, in instances where the luggage has been lost by the airline, you lose something, etc.
Keeping you and your money safe
Money is probably one of the most important things when travelling abroad, especially alone as a teen. Using it to invest in a good insurance plan can prove to be an important decision should things go wrong. Since you’ll be alone, insurance can give you peace of mind knowing that if something should happen, you’ll be covered. However, choosing the right one isn’t always easy. When travelling, you should consider choosing an insurance plan that will cover things like medical expenses, lost luggage, excursions, plane trips, and emergencies. If your parents are nervous about you travelling alone, you having a good insurance plan will give them peace of mind.
A good idea while travelling with money is to stash some in multiple places; some in your wallet, some in your backpack, purse, suitcase, even in your shoe or sock. The logic behind it is simple: if you lose it or it gets stolen, you haven’t lost everything. Solo travellers rely heavily on money to get them around, and thieves are not unheard of. Hiding your money is a great idea every time you travel.
A whole new world
Travelling abroad is exciting, especially when you go alone for the first time. No matter what country you’re headed to, you should keep in mind that another country is almost like another world. A different language, currency, culture, and way of life. It’s more than worth it to research your destination beforehand. Knowing a bit about your destination country can really help you out in the long run. If you don’t speak the language, learn some useful phrases. Learning about the social norms, how to greet people, local laws, and cuisine will be well worth your time.
Use your common sense
Travelling solo as a teen, especially abroad doesn’t mean your brain can go on vacation as well. Travelling without anyone to watch your back means you have to do it yourself, which is easier said than done. Keeping an eye on your luggage at the airport, using your best judgment and your gut feeling are just a couple of examples.
As a teen, of course, you’re going to want to party, but you should probably think twice before heading out to that Parisian night club at 11 pm. While it might be okay with a group, it isn’t the best idea while on your own. If your parents wouldn’t let you do it, you probably shouldn’t do it. The news is peppered with solo traveller horror stories, so think twice before you go on any excursions alone, especially at night. When it comes to your gut feeling, listen to it. It could save your life.
Solo travel CAN be safe
Solo travel as a teen is an amazing experience, and can also easily be a safe one. With the right knowledge and preparation, your first solo adventure will go smoothly, and you’ll make many memories that will last a lifetime.
Article written by Jackie Edwards