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Frau macht Yoga vor dem Camper
Frau macht Yoga vor dem Camper

Travelling alone - Our tips

Autorin Elinor
Article from Elinor

The many benefits of travelling alone are often overshadowed by concerns and worries. Put an end to it! With our tips for the solo vacation you are well prepared for an unforgettable vacation just the way you like it.

If we at Off had to agree on one thing that we associate summer with, it would clearly be the travel bug. But what if you're all alone in your own environment, with your wanderlust? Or if you simply don't feel like going on a group vacation? The answer should be quite simple: You travel alone. In 2021, traveling alone is the travel trend par excellence, along with vacations at home.
But since the thought of travelling alone causes many people great concern, we have dealt with the most common problems and concerns and developed a small guide. With our tips you'll be well prepared for your solo vacation!

The fear of boredom

Most of us will be used to having company when we travel. This company brings two decisive advantages with it: On the one hand, there is usually neither a lack of talking material nor of conversation partners, and on the other hand, you can draw from a larger pot of ideas when choosing activities than when you are traveling alone. When traveling alone, one misses (at least initially) exactly this company. So, before setting out, many are justifiably afraid of boredom.
It can be unusual to suddenly be able to determine the entire program on your own when traveling. But if you go about it the right way, full control over the day's program can become a huge advantage when travelling alone. If you only have to pay attention to your own wishes, you don't have to engage in normally disagreeable activities or daily rhythms for the sake of your fellow travellers.
Our tip to prevent boredom on vacation: Inform yourself in advance carefully about what your destination has to offer - activities in the area, shopping, restaurants and cafes, opportunities for sports, cultural offerings and nightlife are all points that could come into question for your research. Think about what you want to experience and do on this vacation and then research all the topics that are relevant to you. Either just write out the things you like or create a rough daily schedule - depending on what feels better for you. However, don't forget to leave enough room for spontaneous actions in your head as well as in your daily plan!
Mann steht bei Sonnenuntergang am Meer, neben ihm steht ein VW California Beach Camper.

Safety concerns

Most people tend to feel safer in groups than when travelling alone. So it's no surprise that the issue of safety when travelling alone is perhaps the biggest fear factor. But it doesn't have to be: if you combine a fair amount of common sense with listening to your gut and our tips, nothing should really go wrong.
Our Off tips for staying safe when travelling alone:
  • You can already pay attention to the issue of safety when planning your trip. On the internet, there are numerous lists of countries that are suitable for solo travellers in terms of safety. On the website of the German Foreign Office, for example, you'll find a lot of entries on the subject of safety that can help you plan your vacation. We recommend that you also search for rankings that are specifically relevant to you, such as safe countries for women travelling alone or for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Countries that are generally considered safe may be riskier destinations for these groups of people, among others.
  • Find out in advance about the most important emergency numbers of your destination - save the numbers of the police, fire department and ambulance service in your cell phone and include them in the speed dial. This way you are prepared in case you forget them and can quickly call for help in case of an emergency.
  • Avoid particularly remote, deserted and dubious areas. Sounds quite simple but in practice it's often more difficult to implement: Especially if you don't know your destination well, it's easier than you think to stumble into more dangerous areas. So always pay attention to your surroundings and have a map of the region on hand - and not just on your cell phone! Cell phone batteries tend to run down at exactly the wrong moment...
  • Just because you are travelling alone doesn't mean you have to travel without others! Especially in tourist hotspots, there's the possibility to join a travel group for almost any activity, if you want to. Whether you're actually travelling in a group or want to explore everything on your own, be sure to always let someone know what you're doing, where you'll be, and approximately what time frame. You can either limit yourself to one or more contacts from home. However, it can also be an advantage to let a trusted person from your accommodation know.
  • I pack my bags and take with me: Copies of all important documents and extra cash. These two things not only belong in your luggage in general, you should actually have them with you at all times. What you should leave at home or at least in your accommodation are valuables - the more obviously you carry valuables with you, the more dangerously you live when traveling. So it's better to avoid expensive watches, designer clothes and the like.
Of course, our top 5 tips for safety when travelling alone are just the beginning: be sure to check out other sources for tips on safe travels. DER and Plan B Voyage, for example, have some other advice and here you'll find a selection of tips for women travelling alone.
Frau mit Hut und Karohemd sitzt am Lenkrad eines VW California Ocean.

Holiday acquaintances

While there are people who don't feel the need to make new contacts on vacation, many others - especially when travelling alone - want to do just that. In the past, as a child, it was still so easy to make new friends. Like so many other things in life, this endeavor becomes more difficult with increasing age. Especially when travelling, many people have difficulties making new friends. This is due to possible language barriers but also to shyness and insecurity.
Overcoming language barriers often isn't that easy or in some cases almost impossible. Only very few people have the time to learn the language of their vacation destination before starting their trip. If you want to make new friends while travelling alone, you can prioritize the countries whose language you already speak, even if only partially. If you are fluent in English, it's a good idea to go to a region that's known for a large tourism industry or other internationality. The chances of meeting locals with whom you can talk to are very good.
You want to meet new people, but are rather a shy person? Our top tip for making contacts anyway: Fake it till you make it! If you combine confident gestures and facial expressions with an open, friendly expression you've already done a lot to overcome that annoying shyness. In the beginning, it's much more important to radiate self-confidence than to actually possess it. You'll notice: The more open and self-confident you are, the more you'll actually adopt these traits and your chances of being approached and having the courage to approach others will increase.
Despite all openness, always make sure to stay safe - listen to your gut feeling and do not trust every person immediately. For example, getting drunk with people you don't know, using drugs, or revealing too many details about your whereabouts can end badly. Not all people you meet mean you well (unfortunately)!
Here, you can find more tips on how to make new contacts.
Mann sitzt auf Motorhaube eines VW Beach mit aufgestelltem Dachzelt. Hinter ihm ist eine imposante Berglandschaft zu sehen.

What are you waiting for?

Travelling alone can be an incredibly enriching and inspiring experience. If you start your adventure well prepared and informed, you'll have an unforgettable time full of positive experiences at the end of the trip.
Since we are more used to travelling in company, it's perfectly normal to have concerns before leaving. It's important to deal with these in order to be able to set off as carefree as possible.
We hope that our tips have helped you and that we've been able to calm your worries.
Have fun on your next adventure and see you next time!

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