Travelling alone without your parents is both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. It’s exciting to think about the freedom of making your own choices and exploring new places on your own. However, that freedom is accompanied by responsibility for every decision on your trip. Why Travel on Your Own?
Although the first time travelling alone as a student may be a bit stressful, solo travel or travelling alone with friends will help you develop independence, confidence, and maturity. It’s like the difference between watching your parents drive and driving somewhere yourself.
When you travel without your parents, you have to anticipate your needs and manage time and money wisely. Foreign travel can present additional challenges, such as navigating a language barrier or calculating a change in currency.
As you encounter and handle each new situation on your own, you’ll build a sense of confidence and calm that will follow you back to school. Travelling makes the awkwardness and stress of learning new things exciting. Here are five tips for travelling for the first time without family…
Before you get too invested in travel plans, always start by checking requirements. Ensure your passport is up-to-date, and check to see if you need a travel visa or other legal documents to enter the country you want to visit.
You should also consider how your destination is handling COVID-19. Some countries are still closed to visitors, while others require a negative test result or a lengthy quarantine for entry to the country.
Do Your Research
Once you’re sure you can visit your chosen destination, it’s time to do research so you can make the most of your adventure. Learn all you can about the culture, environment, and people of the country you want to visit.
If you don’t speak the language, consider learning several key phrases so that navigation is easier after you arrive. You could also use translation apps to help you communicate. Don’t be too intimidated by a language barrier – you can communicate a lot with facial expressions and gestures.
Make a Budget
You can significantly reduce the cost of travel if you plan ahead. When creating your travel budget, make sure you plan for these six key areas: transportation, accommodation, eating, shopping, legal documents, and emergency money.
It can be challenging to navigate a change in currency and ensure you stay within your budget. To keep costs low, make a budget before your trip and stick to it. Do your best to make it realistic, and allow a little room for splurging.
Travelling alone is much less stressful if you have a plan in place before you arrive in a new location. Research and book your accommodations and transportation early to save costs and ensure peace of mind.
Some banks may lock your account if you don’t let them know you’re travelling before spending money in a foreign country. You should also plan ahead for Wi-Fi connection and ensure you have multiple ways to connect with family and friends back home.
Stay in Contact
Speaking of which, staying in contact with friends and family is very important during your travels. It may be tempting to indulge in your newfound freedom and wait to check in with family until you return, but this isn’t a good idea for several reasons.
For one thing, your parents are bound to worry if they don’t hear from you for too long. Checking in with people you know helps to keep you safe while you travel solo. If something were to happen and you need help, people will need to know where you are, who you’re with, and what your plans are.
With the right planning, travelling solo will be an amazing, exciting experience you’ll never forget. You’ll return from your travels with a fresh sense of independence and a zest for life, sparked by meeting new people and seeing new places. Before you know it, you’ll be anticipating your next adventure!
Ginger Abbot is an education and learning writer, as well as the managing editor of Classrooms, a college and university site for students. Read more of her work on her author page.
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