Traveling alone can be a really liberating experience. You don't have to worry about anybody else's needs and you're answering only to yourself. But for a lot of us, being in a foreign place by yourself can also be very daunting.
No need to panic: you're not alone. If you're thinking of flying solo on your next trip, here are some baby steps you can take to prepare yourself. You'll be ready to book your flight in no time!
If you're thinking about traveling alone because...
...you're bored of routine...
Get started: Stray from your daily commute. On your next train ride home from work, get off a couple stops before or after yours and walk home. There’s no better way to discover new things about your neighborhood than to get a little lost!
...you value alone time...
Get started: Book a tour and extend your pre-existing trip for a couple of days. This way, you would have seen the main attractions and can go back for more exploring and find new local spots the tour may have missed.
...looking for more than just a beach vacation..
Get started: Explore a nearby city for a day. Just doing the research and figuring out how to get there should make you feel a little more comfortable about traveling alone.
If you're hesitant to travel alone because you're scared of...
Get started: Go on a local day hike. As always, make sure you do your research before. Don’t forget to bring a map, compass and let a friend or family member know where you are!
Get started: While there’s no way of knowing how loneliness will (or won't) affect you when traveling solo, you can do some activities by yourself to test the waters. Try eating at a new restaurant, going to a new bar or even going to the theater alone.
...not being able to meet people
Get started: Meeting people has a lot to do with being at the right place at the right time, but you can meet other travelers on TravBuddy.com and Couchsurfing.org. For something in your area, you can join local group activities on Meetup.com. Of course, use your best judgment.
There's no right or wrong way to prepare for a trip, but you do have to get started somewhere, right? Add any traveling tips you like in the comments below.