10 Tips for Solo Travelers

Solo travel can create the most exhilarating and proud moments of your life. In fact, solo travelers account for 11 percent of all American vacationers according to the U.S. Travel Association. So if you’re thinking about making your way across Europe solo or visiting the Virgin Islands by yourself, we’ve got the top 10 tips to keep you safe, happy and ready to hit the road … solo.

 

  1. Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
  2. Avoid appearing like a tourist. Leave the “I LOVE NY” shirt at home and don’t walk around with your face in a local guidebook. You’ll save yourself from appearing vulnerable.
  3. Carry identification with you. It is also important to make copies of your driver’s license and passport and leave them in safe place with a trusted person.
  4. Walk in well-light, public places, especially at night.
  5. Double check your directions and public transportation routes before leaving your hotel.
  6. Send a copy of your itinerary with a friend or family member. It’s also important to stay in touch by email or phone.
  7. Talk up your travel plans on social media. You don’t have to giveaway your exact travel dates or any personal information, but sharing ideas and experiences with other solo travelers can provide important insight.
  8. You may be able to bargain room rates. Most hotels base their rates on double occupancy. Simply try asking if a discount is available since you’re the only person staying in the room and that you’ll be using less electricity and water and eating less breakfast than two guests. In the end, it can’t hurt to ask.
  9. Take lots of pictures. When you return home and want to show off all of the great places you traveled, you’ll be glad you have the pictures to go along with your stories. Don’t forget to share them with the people that helped you on #7, too!
  10. Safety should be your top priority. Traveling solo means you have to look out for yourself even more. Carry travel insurance to make sure your belongings, travel investment and medical needs are covered. If your bag is lost, travel insurance can cover your costs to replace the lost items. If you fall ill in a foreign country, travel insurance can make sure you are seen at an English-speaking hospital and cover the costs of your treatment.

Now it’s your turn to tell us – what’s your best tip for someone traveling solo? Share your tip in a comment below, Tweet us using the hashtag “#TravelSafeSolo” or post on our Facebook page. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Parlez-vous polite? Paris Wants Happy Tourists

Paris is aware of their dwindling economy, and tourism officials know that tourism is an important piece of putting that puzzle back together.  To make sure tourists are happy in Paris, tourism and commerce officials are distributing pamphlets to businesses. The pamphlets are part of the “Do you speak touriste?” movement that encourages businesses to be polite and friendly to tourists.

There is a long-standing feeling that French can be rude, especially to outsiders. This pamphlet provides a cheat sheet to taxi drivers, servers, museum workers and other merchants to meet the tourists expectations.

The six-page guide includes tips for connecting with 11 different nationalities. Their tip for Americans? The guides says they demand WiFi and enjoy high-end accommodations. It also says the Spanish like amusement parks and the Japanese need to be reassured. As for the Germans, they want to converse in their native language, German.

Tell us, what do you think about the Parisian’s efforts? Are they spot on with the assumptions about Americans? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment below, write on our Facebook page or Tweet us.

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