How many mistakes do you make when you travel solo?
Traveling is one of the best things you could possibly do in your life. You get to know different cultures, you see amazing things you don’t usually have at home, you create memories, you get to try different foods and drinks, and so many other things.
However, when you’re a retiree traveling all by yourself, there is a tiny possibility you can make a few mistakes here and there. However, there is something empowering about traveling solo. We are so used to always having somebody by our side, that when we’re left all alone, we might get overwhelmed by our own company.
This shouldn’t discourage you or make you scared to go on your trip, because we have a solution for you. Here are 11 mistakes no retiree should make when traveling solo.
…Have you ever traveled alone?
Mistake 1: You Choose The Wrong Destination
Even though you might have a young soul and feel like you’re in your 30s, the reality is different. You should acknowledge your physical abilities and choose a destination that is suitable for your body at the moment.
Maybe you’ve been an amazing hiker in the past, but now you might not be able to climb a mountain. If you choose a trip that works for you at the moment you’re at, we guarantee that you’ll have the time of your life, and you won’t think that your vacation was a mistake.
Mistake 2: You Go All Out On Your First Time
One of the best things you can do when you’re a retiree and want to start traveling solo is to start small and build up from there. Pick a close destination the first time you go on vacation all by yourself.
You can choose a city that is close to you and feels a bit familiar. Or if you want to be a bit more adventurous and leave America for a couple of days, you can choose Canada or the United Kingdom.
This way, you’ll be sure to understand what everyone’s speaking and if you experience a great time there, you can always choose something else that’s more out of your comfort zone.
Mistake 3: You Overpack
Overpacking makes things a lot harder when you travel, especially if you’re a retiree. It’s uncomfortable and also expensive to walk around with pounds upon pounds of luggage.
Pick the things you absolutely need on your trip and fit them all in a single carry-on bag. You’ll be more mobile that way and you won’t feel tired from carrying a big suitcase.
Mistake 4: You Overestimate Your Powers
As we previously said when we discussed mistake no 1, you shouldn’t overestimate your powers and your age. Many people suggest that you should take an assessment and know your physical strengths and weaknesses before traveling all by yourself.
You should know how much you can walk, how far you can hike, how you feel when you climb the stairs, and the list can go on. Having all these pieces of information in your head will definitely influence the way you feel during this trip.
Mistake 5: You Don’t Buy Travel Insurance
Travel expert Janice Waugh of Solo Traveler World suggests that it’s always a good option to buy travel insurance because you can never know when things can go wrong.
One example can be losing your luggage. If you don’t have travel insurance, you won’t get it covered. Even though it is more and more expensive the older you get, if you want to be extra secure about your trip, you should get one.
Mistake 6: You Think You Won’t Make Friends
If you think that you’re the only retiree who’s traveling solo for the first time, you’re wrong! There are many other people out there who got out of their comfort zones to enjoy their own company for a while.
In conformity with Waugh, in the majority of cases seniors travel all alone because they are divorced or widows. She added that many of them choose to go on tours or escorted travel, in order to make sure they always have someone by their side for the whole experience.
Mistake 7: You Don’t Plan Your Communication Strategy
You should never leave your home before knowing how you’ll contact home in case of an emergency! Things can always go wrong 0ne way or another, so you have to be prepared for situations like this.
For instance, if you’re under stress and you have to do something immediately, such as contacting home or your travel agent, but you have a few issues, like having a new phone, the stress can make things even harder.
This is why it’s very important to plan out in advance! Make sure you’re prepared and you know how to reach home or your travel agent before you go on your trip!
Mistake 8: You Don’t Use Technology
It’s not the smartest idea to learn how to use a device while you’re on your vacation, because it can get frustrating. For example, if you decide to travel somewhere outside the country and you don’t know the language there, make sure you get familiar with a translating app before you leave your home.
Other than that, you should know how to use Google Maps if you want to explore more and you don’t have a guide. A good tip is to check Google Street View to have an idea of how the area looks before booking accommodations.
Mistake 9: You Ignore Your Instincts
You should always do your research regarding the place you want to travel to before you actually go on your trip. If you feel that something is off, like a bad neighborhood, you should immediately get out of there.
For instance, if you notice that someone is making you feel uncomfortable, don’t be too polite, be noisy and strident about it. This way, people around you will know that there is something going on, so they might be able to help you.
In addition to that, Waugh recommends that if you meet someone and you find them interesting and want to get to know them, it’s always safer to remain in public areas. Don’t go to private places, such as in a taxi, to their home, or in their hotel room, because you can never know their intentions.
Mistake 10: You Schedule Your Arrival After Nightfall
If you’re a senior who travels alone, you should schedule to arrive at your destination in the daytime, because it’s easier and safer to navigate during that time.
Besides that, when it’s dark it’s also harder to find public transportation or taxis to take you to your destination. There are places that don’t have good street lighting, so you can easily get lost if you don’t know the area well enough.
Mistake 11: You Underestimate The Power Of Traveling Solo
Even though traveling solo can seem a bit too much at first or maybe it makes you feel uncomfortable, you’ll notice that you’ll actually enjoy it. You have a lot of time for yourself, enjoy your own company, and do all the things you want, without thinking about someone else’s schedule.
You can visit all the museums you want, you can eat at the restaurant you want, and you don’t have to wake up at a certain hour. In addition to that, when people see that you’re traveling all by yourself, they will come and talk to you, and maybe you will make some friends.
…We are sure that you will feel ten times stronger than you were after you come back home from a solo traveling experience!
…If you want more tips and tricks for retirees, here’s a great article for you: 12 Places Where Retirees Can Have Fun in NY!