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Many people fear traveling solo, but in reality it can be a life-changing experience. Traveling with your family, your significant other or your friends can be great, but traveling alone has a certain magic to it. Through a solo vacation, you can learn more about yourself, do exactly what you want to do and have an overall great time. But before you take a vacation on your own, you’ll need to be prepared for some of the obstacles you’re bound to encounter. While you can’t predict everything, preparing for a solo trip will help you make the most of your vacation. Here are a few solo travel tips:

Go somewhere that matches your personality
When you travel alone, you get to think about exactly which vacation destination suits you. If you’re a social person who wants to meet people, make sure you go to a location where you know the language. If you can’t communicate, you may end up having a bad time. If you’re an introvert, you don’t need to worry so much about language barriers. Instead, go for passive entertainment, perhaps in a city with a good cafe culture such as Paris.

Bring a book
While there’s nothing wrong with going to a coffee shop or restaurant alone, there is a definite possibility that you will feel a bit exposed and uncomfortable in this situation. Even if you aren’t the type to feel embarrassed eating alone, there are many instances in which you might get bored on your own. Bring a good book or magazine. Reading is a perfectly normal activity to engage in while you’re sitting alone. You can even bring a travel journal to jot in or postcards to write. That being said, don’t end up getting lost in your book for the entire vacation and missing out on great sightseeing opportunities.

Go to nice restaurants
One of the aspects of solo travel that can worry people the most is eating alone. Don’t let this fear cause you to only eat fast food in an attempt to avoid awkward restaurant situations. Servers at fancy establishments are happy to help solo diners. While some sociable people will want to eat at the bar, it’s okay to take a table for two. You travelled to your destination to enjoy its culture and a big part of that is the food. Don’t miss out on the food due to social concerns.

Take pictures
When you’re travelling with other people, it’s easy to feel like you are inconveniencing people by stopping to take pictures of the little things. While you’re traveling alone, take advantage of the fact that there’s no one waiting for you. Photography can also add a little structure to your day if you make it a mission. Push yourself to take pictures of the odd little details about the place. With the extra time you have to look around, you’ll notice a lot of interesting details that give a place its charm.

Stay Safe
Traveling solo can be extremely relaxing and empowering, but don’t lose sight of safety concerns. Make sure you tell someone back home your itinerary and stay in contact with that person by phone throughout your trip so they know you’re okay.
If you go your whole life without traveling alone, you’re missing out. Solo travel can be a truly wonderful and enlightening experience. If you make sure to fully immerse yourself in the beauty if traveling alone, you’ll discover some incredible things about the world and about yourself.