Traveling is the one thing found on everyone’s bucket list, yet there are so many people who don’t travel because of a fear they have. Today I thought we’d pick apart a few of these fears and tackle them head on.
Fear #1 – Afraid to travel alone.
Solo travel, especially solo travel among women, is on the rise, but there are still so many people worried about trekking out on their own. Women have a special subset of issues to work through on this set – fear of unwanted attention from men being the #1 feedback that I get from my female clientele. So what’s a girl to do? Fortunately she has a couple of options.
- Join a group tour. There are several amazing small group tours out there that are doing amazing things. Many, like G Adventures, cap tours at around 10-15 people so you don’t feel like you are being shuttle herded with the masses. There are a growing number of options for women only groups as well. Check out our private facebook page The Serendipitous Travel Squad or sign up for our newsletter to keep in touch on Serendipitous Traveler’s upcoming group trips.
- Work with a travel advisor to map out your itinerary. Most importantly – do your research. The fact remains that some places are more friendly for solo travelers than not. A travel advisor can help you work through the best ideas, safe places to stay, and help set you up with a solid itinerary so you are never out in the wind. As long as you use a travel advisor, you always have someone that knows where you are and you have someone to check in with as you go.
Fear #2 – Afraid of something bad happening
I get this fear from solo travelers, groups, couples….basically everyone. And I get it. Especially if you re traveling somewhere foreign and you don’t speak the language. And there’s always a litany of things that can go wrong. And was anyone else scarred by the movie Taken? Well even if your dad isn’t Liam Neeson, there are plenty of things you can do to mitigate disasters while traveling. Here are some of our favorites.
- Be cognizant of your surroundings. Pickpockets are there and they like to take advantage of crowded tourist spots. Because tourists are always carrying money and are distracted by the sights around them. So many people get pickpocketed and don’t even realize it until it’s too late. But if you are on guard and cognizant of where you are, you can easily avoid being a target. That means, guys, put your wallets in your front pocket. Girls, travel with a purse that zips up and is in front of you. If you need a backpack, know that you are walking with a bit of a target on your back and keep it close by. Invest in a brand that is slash proof (we like these from ebags), and again, be aware of your surroundings. If someone is begging from the front, make sure their partner isn’t digging through your pack from the back.
- Invest in RFID blocking sleeve, wallet or ID holder. I was shocked last year when I attended a trade show and a supplier showed me how easy it was to swipe credit card information using an app on her phone. Anyone sitting in a public place can gain access to hundreds of credit card numbers and have something purchased and charged up before you even get back to check the balance in your hotel room. RFID blocking sleeves, wallets, etc are a cheap investment that can save you a lot of time and headache while traveling.
- Be wary of public wifi. In a world where we are always connected, it’s tempting to take advantage of a cafe pit stop and check up on your social channels. When you are traveling, you are probably spending more, so it’s natural that you’d want to check in on your finances or your credit card statement. Unfortunately, public places are traps for mining your data. It’s too easy to set up a hot spot and call it “Whatever Establishment You Are Sitting At Free Wifi” and dupe unsuspecting folks. If you much check your wifi, be sure to ask someone if there is free wifi before linking up. Better yet, wait until you are back in your hotel or spring the few bucks and pay for the data. It will save you more money in the long run.
Fear #3 – Afraid of the unknown
You just don’t know what you don’t know.
- How to get from point A to point B.
- How to use the subway system.
- Where to go for dinner.
- What museum should you visit. Do you need to purchase tickets in advance.
- What do you pack.
- How to read your train tickets.
And this is where a good travel advisor comes in. They arm you with information so that not only are you adequately prepared to travel, you are armed with enough information to really enjoy and be wowed by your travel. After all, if you understand what you are looking at you are getting twice the value. At the very least be sure to arm yourself with a good guide book to get you started.
Travel can be an intimidating experience, but fortunately with the right preparation, anyone and everyone can have an enjoyable travel experience.
Face your fears and get out there!
Until next time, happy wanderlusting!
Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). I only recommend items that I personally use and gift to my own clients and just want to share the love with you!