What are the risks of travelling alone?

travelling alone

Solo travelling empowers everyone regardless of gender, religion, and country by boosting confidence, improving and expanding skill sets and exploring nature, but it is not always safe. In this comprehensive guide, explore the risks of travelling alone. 

Solo travelling means that you are the boss of yourself. You can choose destinations, activities, and places to stay and eat according to your interests and choices. There are a lot of benefits of solo travelling, and the trend of travelling alone will increase rapidly, especially for women. 84% of solo travellers are women, and 16% are male. Women consider Europe the safest destination for female solo travelling, and 50% of women choose Europe. Travelling alone has many benefits, such as boosting your confidence, and you need to know about your likes and dislikes. Solo travelling is a source of empowerment for women especially. It allows you to break a traditional shell of household responsibilities and get time to spend with yourself.

With many benefits, solo travelling can sometimes become a risky adventure. Travelling without proper planning and practice creates a problematic situation. With many pros, solo travelling has some cons, which we will discuss in detail in this article. These risks can affect male and female travellers equally, but women must face a more challenging situation in solo travelling. In this article, we will explore the risks of travelling alone and try to cover all possible risks for solo travelling, about which you must prepare yourself for safe solo travel.

Safety

women safety solo travel

Safety is a primary concern for solo travelling, especially for women. You have to take care of your valuable items and money alone. A single person is an easy target for robbers and snatchers compared to a family. 

Moreover, if you Lose your money or luggage, you must survive on your planning and strategy. In solo travelling, there is a chance of sexual harassment for women. The dangers of illness, traffic accidents, and pickpocketing are high in solo travelling.

Loneliness

Loneliness

Loneliness is the biggest issue and the risk of solo travelling increases. You have nobody to share your new thrilling experiences and feelings. This loneliness can be severe in case of depression and becomes a cause of discouraging exploring more of the world and trying new adventures. 

If you find excellent fellow travellers, you may not feel lonely, but in another case, you can feel dull and socially anxious when travelling solo. 

Language barriers

Language barriers

The language barrier is another risk in solo travel, as you may need to talk with locals to get information about routes and places. Still, in the case of different languages, people cannot understand your needs and problems, so it’s better to learn some phrases and basic sentences about the local language of the destination to which you will travel. 

Otherwise, you can also use Google Translate to understand the local language. With proper preparation, language can still be solved in solo travel. 

Health issues

Health issues

In solo travel, health issues can also be a high risk. In case of food poisoning or due to changes in weather and climate, you can feel travel sickness, but there will be no family to take care of your health. So, in solo travel, you must take care of your medicines and food alone. 

There will be no partner to take you to the hospital. It’s better to learn about your allergy issues and other infections by which you are commonly affected and keep all relevant essential medication with you in solo travel to ensure your safety and health. Otherwise, health issues can create a barrier to enjoying your trip.

Cultural differences

Cultural differences

A significant risk in solo travel is cultural differences. Every region has its customs and traditions and has specific clothing restrictions. Therefore, it can create problems for foreigners, such as short skirts and sleeveless shirts not being allowed in some countries. 

Because of the overdressing or different looks, foreigners can easily be recognizable for pickpocketing and scammers.

Legal problems

Legal problems

For planning solo travel for international travel, the first issue you have to face is the visa process. The legal problems can sometimes create a risk of visa cancellation or take time for approval. 

There are a lot of documents that you have to fill out to get a tourist visa. Most of the time, travellers refrain from planning international trips due to facing troubles with visa approval. After getting a visa, you also have to face legal problems at your destination, such as getting a return ticket or learning about each country’s legal rules and regulations.

Financial troubles

Financial troubles

As in solo travelling, you must manage all your needs and expenses on your own, and in case of money stolen, you must face financial troubles. 

Sometimes, ATMs don’t respond for approval, and your cash or lost ATM card can create a risk for financial survival. In crowded areas, many pickpockets and snatchers can steal money, or sometimes the expenses cross the estimated limit. Then, you need help with financial management in solo travel.

Transportation issues

Transportation issues

Many criminals use transport methods to catch passengers as their next victims, so care is needed when selecting transport for solo travel. It would help if you chose licensed taxis or sharing a cab with other passengers is also a good option. 

Government buses are the best way to avoid this risk, but sometimes, this means of transport can cause inconvenience for your travel due to overcrowding. Therefore, you may have to face transport issues in your solo trip.

Lost or stolen documents

Lost or stolen documents
cc : Istock

In solo travel, if your identity documents are Lost or stolen with your backpack, you have to face trouble booking a room and your return flight. 

Therefore, avoid keeping your original documents in your bag but keep them safe in your luggage and also keep more than one copy of your documents; also keep electronic copies of your ID card and passport in your mobile, as in case of stolen or lost of documents the survival in outer country will be a risk for your safety.

Homesickness

Homesickness
cc : oztrekk

If, for some reason, you extend your trip duration or get stuck at one point, you will feel homesickness and loneliness. Because, on many points, you want a shoulder to cry or to share your exciting feelings of exploring new places, but there will be no one in your room to share your problems and excitement. 

In many cases, if your family gets in trouble and you cannot get back home instantly, then homesickness will be at the top of your solo travel.

Overpacking

Overpacking

Avoid packing overloaded luggage when travelling solo, and add only multifunctional and needy items to your packing list. Overpacking in solo travelling will create difficulty moving from one place to another. 

You will need someone to move your luggage from cab to hotel or from one hotel to another, and you have to manage by yourself; therefore, overpacking in solo travelling is not a positive thing.

Lack of support

Lack of support

In any emergency, such as if your documents or money has been stolen, you need support from the officials of the local country, and if you get it on time, it encourages you to travel more. But sometimes you have to tackle many problems on your own. No officials can help you with solving them. 

On the family and friends trip, the union of family members or friends solves the risks and problems, but in solo travel, you must solve all your issues with your skills. In some situations, you Lack the skills and willpower to solve the problem. Therefore, in solo travelling, Lack of support is another possible risk for travellers.

You should build your cognitive and analysis skills. You should also build your communication skills to convey your problem correctly to anyone. Also, focus on your body language and learn it properly. It will boost your confidence, and you will be more able to solve your problems independently.

Lack of confidence

Lack of confidence

Travelling alone as a new traveller can cause you to lose confidence in new places, and you may fear being a victim of robbers or snatchers. You don’t try most of the adventures because of the Lack of confidence, and there is not a dear one to boost your confidence. 

You can overcome your low confidence by learning personality development tricks before visiting any country. Ensure your dress is comfortable and appropriate according to the local culture. Don’t do any forbidden acts, and keep a smile on your face. Also, don’t look depressed and carefully follow your health care and skincare routine. 

Lack of social skills

In places, you have to face the language barrier, and if you don’t have a grip on the local language, you may have to face the Lack of social skills. You can only interact with local people and fellow travellers if you are an expert in making new friends. 

Friendly nature helps you make friends in new places, and in the form of fellow travellers, you can find a temporary family to help you in an emergency. Sometimes, this temporary relationship turns into a lifetime friendship.

Lack of local knowledge

In solo travelling, people fear making friends with locals and remain separate, so they can’t get knowledge about local culture and history. Moreover, proper research about any destination helps to understand the local values, but a lack of local knowledge can create difficulty in intimacy with local people.

It would be best to learn some basic phrases and words from your target country before visiting there. It will help you come close to the locals. Before planning a visit, ensure you have some basic knowledge about the history and culture of the destination country. 

Lack of fun

You can’t enjoy and have fun in solo travelling compared to friends and family. In solo travelling, there are lots of fellow travellers who want to join you. Still, everyone has their own choice and priorities, so you have to enjoy loneliness in your selected activity.

You can overcome this challenge by sharing your activities with your family and friends through your mobile phone. You can also connect with a close friend by calling him frequently and discussing what you have done and are planning to do. 

FAQs

What are the disadvantages of travelling alone?

You may face loneliness and unsafe during solo travelling. Similarly, single accommodations cost you more as compared to sharing. It can be challenging if you don’t have management skills and proper knowledge about the flights and the destination country’s history and culture.

Is it safe for a girl to travel alone?

A solo traveller girl’s safety depends on where she is going and her target country. What mode of travel did she choose, and which accommodation option did she prefer? 

How travelling alone can be stressful?

Yes, it can be if a traveller faces financial, safety, or any unaccepted issue. He may feel homesickness, etc, as well. 

What is the fear of travelling alone?

It is called homophobia. It can originate while travelling in a specific mode of transportation. It could be a past traumatic experience as well. To overcome it, you must go to a psychologist and follow instructions.

Final Analysis 

To sum up the whole discussion about “what are the risks of travelling alone,” we can say though solo travelling has lots of risks, it is also a life-changing experience, and you can explore the world’s beauty from your point of view. Travelling alone is safe if you perform it with proper planning and management. Using some planning and strategy can manage all the risks related to solo travelling. It would be best if you were always prepared for unexpected situations and had a backup plan for each risk, such as keeping your money in various pockets divided to survive in pickpocketing situations. Travelling Alone is a good choice for empowering yourself, and some smartness can also minimize risks. Keep your spirit high and pack your luggage for the next solo trip, but plan about everything and keep your safety at the top in solo travel.

Ajmal Sheikh

A Travel Blogger

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