by Yvonne Quarles
Here is some practical information you need to safely go out and meet the challenges and experience the excitement of traveling on your own. If you wait on someone to travel with, you may be waiting for a long time. Don’t let life pass you by. Traveling alone is a way to be independent. You don’t have to travel alone all the time, and this does not mean you will go alone all the time. This is a good way to meet new and interesting people.
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If you want to travel, don’t hesitate to go it alone. If you don’t go, you are not being fair to yourself. Live your dream!
Planning Your Trip
Planning a trip is just as much fun as the destination. Deciding where to go is the first thing to do.
If you have not traveled on your own very much, you may want to ease into it. Travel to a place where you know someone first. Go to a place that is familiar to you, such as a place where you used to live or where one of your friends or family used to live.
Do you want some excitement, or a little peace? Do you want to go where it is cooler, or warmer? Ask yourself these questions.
How long do you have for your trip? What is your budget right now? If you don’t have the money for the airlines, try the rails.
Remember, you can do exactly what you want.
Talk to a travel agent, read some travel books in the library or talk to others about their trips. Tourist places are not the only places you can go to. Visit out of the way places too. Working with a travel agent is free.
You can travel alone, but with a travel group. Being with a group tour enables you to be with other people, yet you still have your independence.
What You Need to Take
Be sure you have all the papers you need for where ever you may be traveling to, such as a passport etc. Other things to think about are insurance, medical papers, and money. Remember, it takes time and planning in advance to get passports etc.
Money is something you can’t afford to lose. Obtain traveler’s checks from good, reliable sources. If you are traveling overseas, obtain some of that countries money and get familiar with it, whether it be pounds, marks, pesetas or whatever.
Get any required immunizations. Some places don’t require any extras than what you have already, but be sure and check in advance. Your travel agent can tell you this.
Traveling overseas takes some advanced planning, especially if you have not done it before.
You only need one carry on bag and one other bag you will check in.
Luggage can be important. When traveling alone, that is exactly what you need to think about. Your luggage should be light enough to handle by yourself. You want it to be durable and waterproof. It is very important to label your bags, inside and out. Do not put your name and address where it is openly visible to everyone, as you are inviting any stranger to see that information.
A carry on bag is great. What do you carry in it? The most important things you travel with, you want to carry with you. These are your passport, money, tickets, traveler’s checks, medicine (with a list of your prescription drugs), credit cards (I recommend carrying only what you will use), extra eye wear (glasses, sunglasses or contacts), and anything else you will absolutely need if your other luggage gets lost. I like to throw in an extra set of clothes and a toothbrush and my camera.
Pack light! Wear clothes that are wrinkle resistant. Mix and match your clothes, so you will have several different outfits with fewer pieces. Pack comfortable shoes. It is possible to have an outfit for any occasion and everything you need in just one bag. Try rolling your clothes, as this keeps wrinkles down and makes more room in your luggage.
All of this will become second nature when you get more experienced with traveling.
Remember, attitude is all important. Things will go wrong, no matter how well you have planned. Don’t let it get in your way of having a good time.
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Copyright 2002 by Yvonne Quarles. All rights reserved.