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Personal Finance

How To Travel Solo On Budget

By David Krug 7 minute read

These solo travel recommendations might assist you in avoiding typical errors while traveling alone. Many people experience worry or terror while traveling alone, referred to as “solo travel.” However, it is gaining popularity globally. Solo travel accounts for 18 percent of global reservations, according to a 2019 study provided by Travelport, a prominent global distribution system and travel commerce platform. This figure has increased by 7% in the previous 12 months alone.

Because it is not always possible to travel with family or friends, striking out on your own may be required to meet your trip objectives. If you’re considering traveling alone, here are 13 solo travel ideas to help you be more effective and enjoy your vacation.

10 solo travel tips

Buy travel insurance

While you hope that your vacation will go smoothly, you should be prepared in case something does go wrong. Lost luggage, a stolen phone, a canceled flight, or a medical emergency may all be covered by travel insurance.

While major insurers such as Allianz provide travel insurance, the proper travel credit card can provide comparable coverage. For instance, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card has the following complimentary benefits:

  • Non-refundable travel expenditures up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip are covered when your vacation is shortened due to bad weather or other qualified circumstances.
  • Baggage that was supposed to arrive on time but was not: If your luggage is delayed by more than six hours, you might be charged up to $100 per passenger for a five-day period.
  • You can get up to $500 per ticket reimbursed if you’re delayed overnight or for more than 12 hours.
  • Chase offers emergency assistance options if your trip goes awry, including legal and medical referrals.

Meet new people by going on a city tour

It’s possible to be a loner while traveling solo, but it doesn’t mean you have to be. We3Travel travel writer Tamara Gruber suggests Free Tours by Foot for a city tour.

Tamara adds, “These may be found in many large cities and are guided by a local.” “You may join for free and pay anything you like. It is an inexpensive way to enjoy a guided experience, meet other tourists, and feel comfortable in a group as you get to see the greatest elements of a place.”

Consider cell phone insurance

If you’re looking for a place to stay, a restaurant to dine at, or transportation from a vehicle-sharing service, you can use your smartphone. However, they aren’t inexpensive to get. A new smartphone may cost up to $1,000, so it’s well worth the money to get it insured.

There are a number of credit cards that come with free cell phone insurance, in addition to the insurance you may purchase from your phone service provider.

  • Uber Visa Card
  • Citi Prestige Card
  • Chase Ink Business Preferred

In the same way, that vehicle insurance has a deductible and a maximum amount of coverage, these policies have a deductible and a maximum amount of coverage. In most circumstances, you’ll have to pay your phone bill with the credit card that comes with the insurance coverage.

Avoid international phone charges

Traditional American cell phone plans may not be the best option for a solitary traveler. Avoid foreign roaming charges by doing some research ahead of time. Turning off your data and connecting to the internet via wifi is a simple method to save money on your phone bill.

Consider purchasing a local SIM card if you want more stable phone service. Depending on the package you choose, you’ll get a set amount of messaging and data, which may be purchased at airports or city centers.

If you don’t travel much and your phone is unlocked, this is a perfect alternative for you. You may save even more money by contacting your cell phone company to see if you can have your service “shut off” while you are away.

Stay at solo-friendly accommodations

A solo traveler may be interested in meeting people from the local area or other travelers. Consider staying at a hostel or a homestay in this situation. As a lone traveler, these sorts of lodgings can save you money and enhance your overall travel experience. To make new acquaintances and learn about the local sights, there are typically shared kitchens or other common spaces.

To get you started, here are a few excellent websites:

  • HostelWorld
  • HostelBookers
  • Homestay
  • Couchsurfing

Consider house-sitting as a way to save money while on vacation. Supal Desai of Chevrons & Eclairs travel lifestyle blog says it may also be a “wonderful method” to immerse yourself in “ordinary life wherever you’re visiting” because it can save you money on hotels.

Supal makes it a point to get to know her house-sitting neighbors. When it comes to getting to know her neighbors, she adds, “I always do.” When you run into problems, your neighbors and the homeowner will be able to tell you what’s going on and help you fix it. My host family and the people around me take care of me as if I were one of them.”

Nomador, for example, connects you with folks searching for homesitters all across the globe. It’s a trade: free lodging for free house-sitting services (maybe playing with the occasional pooch, too).

Send your travel itinerary to loved ones

Even if you’re a seasoned traveler, your friends and family at home will still be concerned about your safety. Send them your trip schedule to ease their minds. In the event of an emergency, they will know where you are, and it will help you stay organized as well.

TripIt is a free program that my wife and I use to plan our vacations. Keeping all of your trip dates and confirmations in one place is easy with this software. Once you’ve sent your confirmation emails to the app’s specific email address, it will automatically put up an itinerary that you can then quickly share with other people.

Use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees

Credit card firms charge foreign transaction fees to convert your foreign currency purchases into U.S. dollars. Each transaction might cost you as much as 3% of your credit card imposes these fees. This may not seem like a significant sum of money, but it’s one that may soon mount up if left unchecked. Credit cards that don’t charge overseas transaction fees include the following, fortunately:

  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

A single supplement should be avoided

Because you’re on your own, you may end up spending more on things like excursions, hotel rooms, cruises, and other travel arrangements. This is because the company can’t earn money off of two individuals, so they have to charge you more to make up for the lost revenue. (It’s as absurd as it sounds.) However, the “single supplement” can be avoided.

  • A roommate service may be offered by some companies. You may be partnered with another lone traveler if you’re willing to share your accommodations and amenities. You may both save money and meet new people this way.
  • There is a high and low season in most places, and it’s best to travel during the low season if you can. In the off-season, you may have a better chance of getting this cost canceled.
  • To get it waived, simply say. “You never get what you don’t ask for,” as the old adage goes. Many companies may lead customers to alternate solutions that don’t need you to pay this cost, even if they can’t waive it themselves.

Find ex-pat hang-out spots when you’re homesick

It’s totally normal to miss your family when you’re away from home. Feeling hopeless and alone when you’re out of your comfort zone and don’t know the local language can soon set in. There are, however, methods for getting out there and meeting new people.

Find out where other ex-pats in your region go for a drink, a yoga class, or a place to work. Online travel communities Expat and InterNations offer free services to link you with other travelers. Additionally, there are countless ex-pat Facebook groups to join, and you can utilize Meetup to identify local communities and activities wherever you visit.

Avoid pickpockets by blending in

Stereotypes about American college students are based on the fact that they wear sweatshirts with their alma mater’s logo, American brands on their chest, and workout clothes for nearly any informal event. It’s easy to spot American visitors since they’re so out of place. You’re an easy target for fraudsters and pickpockets.

Instead, do everything you can to fit in. That’s what Passport Explored founder Michael Anderson proposes. To avoid being seen, he suggests dressing modestly. “Avoid wearing brightly colored or logoed apparel. Don’t show off your valuables in public either. There is a good chance that no one will even consider committing a crime if you can blend into the background.”

Bottom Line

Solo travel is a fantastic opportunity to get away from work, unwind from the daily grind, and learn about oneself. However, like with anything else in life, the highest chance of success comes through thorough preparation. Consider these tips before embarking on your next trip, and you’ll be well on your way to a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.