Solo traveler, here are the 10 Biggest travel mistakes to avoid

The thought of being a solo traveler can be scary, and it has stopped many people from embarking on adventures. However, solo travel can be exciting if you note these biggest travel mistakes to avoid while traveling.

Let’s face it, it’s your first time visiting a new place in a new region, and things can get overwhelming. However, I always advocate that the excitement of the journey you are about to embark on should alway overshadow any fear that might creep in. 

Having enough and adequate information is one thing that helps with being a solo traveler. In this blog, I have decided to compile 10 pitfalls to avoid as a solo traveler. If you’re looking to have a safe and enjoyable journey, these tips will come in handy. 

Want to know more? Stick with me!

Biggest travel mistakes to avoid as solo traveler

I have experienced both worlds as a solo traveler vs group traveler. However, there are so many things you will have to deal with as a solo traveler.

One of them is the fact that many locals see you as a target for theft or scam. You have little idea of the environment. However, on a group tour, they have all figured out.

That is not to say solo travel is bad or a death sentence. Anyhow, here are the biggest travel mistakes to avoid as a solo traveler.

Not doing enough research

It’s always unimaginable to me when I see people traveling without doing research about their destination. Of course, I understand the thrill that comes with being spontaneous. But, that shouldn’t rule out research work. 

Before you go anywhere, ensure that you research the destination thoroughly. By getting information about your destination, you get to understand the local customs, laws, and safety concerns. 

For example, is your destination country a conservative society? Do they frown at people of opposite genders interacting together in public? Not being aware of things like this can lead to uncomfortable or dangerous situations. It is always best to be armed with enough information. 

However, if you’re a last minute travelers, check this tips on how to plan your last minute trip to get you started.

Overpacking

People always say it’s best to travel light, and I’ve had to agree with him over the years. I know that the concept of traveling light might seem foreign, especially as a lady. 

The other time I traveled with some colleagues, all the guys seemed to have only one small box each and it was amazing how all their items could fit. But for the ladies, we each had a minimum of two large boxes. Understandably, there are always a lot of essentials for us to pack. 

However, packing too much actually makes traveling cumbersome and can restrict mobility. Packing light on the other hand makes it easier to move around and saves you from extra baggage fees. 

Not being safety conscious 

While it is good and advisable to always share travel details with friends and family, you should always ensure to not overshare. This is to ensure that information doesn’t get into the wrong hands as we all need to be safety conscious. 

During my last visit to Rwanda, I met a friendly local who took me everywhere and gave me needed directions. However, he also seemed too intrusive and kept asking for details that were none of his business. While it might have not meant anything to him, I remembered that I was a solo traveler and his intrusive questions seemed like red flags. So, I gave him wrong information every time for my own safety. 

As a solo traveler, always prioritize your safety. This includes sharing your travel itinerary with someone you trust, being aware of your surroundings, and avoiding risky behaviors like walking alone late at night in unfamiliar areas.

Being rigid

One thing about me is that I always like to have a plan. I envy those who live life through spontaneity as I always have to question decisions before I make them. If you see me embarking on a journey, you can be sure that I have made plans prior to that trip, and I try to stick with plans. 

While it’s good to have a plan, I have also noticed that being too rigid can cause you to miss out on spontaneous adventures or become stressed if things don’t go as planned. The panic that comes with something being out of place isn’t what you will want to experience while on a trip. So, allow room for flexibility in your travel schedule.

Not having travel insurance 

The topic of travel insurance is usually one to look at from different points of view. Some people argue that there is no need to get travel insurance, especially when going on a short trip. After all, you can save the money you would have used to get travel insurance, and use it for other things. 

Yes, it might be a short trip, and not getting travel insurance might help you save money. But, have you thought about what happens when unexpected situations occur? You might think it won’t have to you, but you will start wishing you got the travel insurance when it does. 

Travel insurance can be a lifesaver in case of unexpected medical issues, trip cancellations, or lost luggage. Skipping it to save money can end up costing you more in the long run.

One of favorite travel insurance to use is insubuy. They offer you cover on medical, theft, among others for your travel in and outside USA. I highly recommend them for your travel. Click here to sign up got Insubuy travel insurance for your travel.

Being reckless with money

I got an opportunity to travel to Tanzania recently, and converted $200 to their local currency. This conversion gave me over 500,000 Tanzanian Shillings. I was excited and bragged to my friends that I had more than enough money for my stay. Well, did I? 

With the thought that I was walking around with over half a million of the local currency, I didn’t think twice before spending. In the twinkle of an eye, I ran out of cash. It was then it dawned on me that I was being reckless with money and I needed to manage my money wisely. 

I’ve learned that as a solo traveler, it is always safe to have the local currency and another backup option. It also helps to not solely rely on one form of payment. 

Not Learning Basic Phrases of the Local Language

Yes, you are new to the country and region, but it is helpful to do things that will help you blend in. In many countries, you will realize that English is not their primary language. So, communicating with the locals can get frustrating when you do not know bits of their local language. 

Knowing basic phrases like “Hello,” “Thank You,” and “Where is the bathroom?” can go a long way in navigating a new place and showing respect for the local culture. One of the fastest ways for your trip to go south is when you cannot communicate with the locals. 

You need travel apps like Google translate to help you pick up phrases and communicate effortlessly. I used this app on my trip and I love it. Check out other must have travel apps you need as a frequent traveler.

Sticking to Tourist Traps 

Only visiting popular tourist spots can give you a skewed view of a destination. The most annoying part of it is that these tourist traps are usually unnecessarily expensive as everything is hiked. 

For example, anyone who visits Paris France would love to see the eiffel tower. Which is not bad, however it may be crowded. There are other fun places to visit in Paris that is not a Hotspot but still fun.

When traveling, my best advice is to explore the country like a local. Instead of sticking to local traps, try to  explore local neighborhoods, eat where locals do, and discover hidden gems. For me, I would rather spend money getting a local to show me around than sticking to tourist traps. 

Underestimating Transportation Times

As a solo traveler, you always need to be alert. It is best to keep in mind that you’re not in your home country, and things are different. 

 Failing to account for travel time between places can lead to missed flights or rushed sightseeing. Always factor in extra time for transportation, especially in areas prone to traffic or with complex public transport systems.

Not Backing Up Important Documents and Photos

Losing your phone, camera, or documents can be a major setback. Always have backups of important documents like your passport, visa, and travel insurance. Additionally, regularly backup your photos to a cloud service or external storage device.

Planning to travel soonest, check out our detailed and best travel resources. These resources are tested and tried for your flight tickets, hotel accommodations or alternatives and of course huge travel deals and cash back.

Which of these biggest travel mistakes have you experienced? Comment below the biggest travel mistakes to avoid that you’d follow. Ciao