Solo travel has its advantages such as being able to explore on your own terms, but there are some practical issues that often need to be addressed if you are going to enjoy a trouble-free vacation experience.
Here is a look at some of the practical issues and general travel dilemmas you often have to overcome as a solo traveler, such as how to protect your luggage, ways to deal with scammers if you are chosen as a potential victim, plus a sensible backup plan to consider.
In your line of sight
A classic solo traveler conundrum is what to do with your luggage when you need to go to the bathroom at the airport or when you are on the move.
You can never afford to take the risk of leaving your luggage unattended in a public space and that would be a security issue at the airport anyway, so you will have to be savvy about your options.
A good strategy would be to time your toilet break at the airport and go before you collect your luggage from the carousel. If you are on a train or bus, try to wedge your bag into a very tight or inaccessible spot so that it will deter a thief from a quick theft if you do have to take a break.
If you stay somewhere like the Marriott Bridgewater, New Jersey you are not going to stand out as a single traveler in a well-staffed hotel with other guests around and where you are in a well-regarded part of town.
Putting yourself in a good environment like that is always going to help avoid you getting hassled or putting your personal security at risk when you are in the room on your own at night.
Stepping outside to explore does create a challenge in certain areas and it is not unusual for a single traveler to be targeted by scammers.
The immediate assumption is that you are more vulnerable because you are on your own, so be prepared to be confident and politely decline any attempt to engage with you as your first step.
Using confident body language and standing your ground if you are being scammed in some way like overcharging can often help you get out of a tight spot. Be prepared to walk away if you feel uncomfortable about the unwanted attention you are getting or feel you are being targeted.
Someone watching over you
Although you are obviously independent and more than capable of taking care of yourself as a solo traveler it never hurts to have a backup plan so that you can get help if you need it.
Always aim to tell someone you trust at home about your travel plans. Let them have your itinerary so that they know where you are expected to be and when, and check in from time to time to confirm that everything is ok.
If you fall ill on holiday, it is always a good idea to let someone one of the hotel staff, for example, know you are sick, so that they can keep an eye on you and arrange medical assistance if you need it.