No matter where you plan to go, traveling is a great way to build your confidence and broaden your horizons. From taking in the natural beauty of Australia’s Great Ocean Road to sampling the best that modern global cities such as London and Paris have to offer, there are many reasons to take the plunge and start traveling abroad (or here in the US, no less), no matter what age you might be or what your prior experience is.

However, whether it’s the risk of medical problems or the simple fact that you might get lonely, there are some downsides to traveling across the globe, especially if you’re making the journey by yourself. Thankfully, though, there are all sorts of ways in which you can combat these problems. Here are just some of the methods that you can put into place in order to make sure that your solo traveling experience is as positive as possible.

Loneliness

Traveling alone is something that can be quite a solitary experience from time to time. Unlike living with your family or staying in a student dorm, for example, traveling by yourself is something that can’t automatically be made sociable if you find yourself feeling lonely: you may, for example, be staying in a remote location, or you may be in a bland hotel with a layout and room system that doesn’t exactly lend itself to making new friends.

However, there are some ways that you can defend against the scourge of loneliness when traveling. By researching places to stay in advance, for example, you can locate the hostels and other spots that enjoy welcoming those who are specifically looking to make friends: that way, you’ll be in prime position to buddy up with someone else no matter where you are or what you’re doing. 

Health

Traveling solo can in some cases lead to all sorts of situations that put your health in danger, and unprotected sex is one of them. It’s a good idea to use protection if you have sex while traveling – though if you’re concerned about your sexual health, your first step should be to visit a clinic. Even if you’re not certain about your condition, it’s a good idea to go: after all, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

These are available in most countries and locations, and it may help to have travel insurance in order to easily identify the nearest location if you’re traveling abroad. If you’re traveling internally on the Eastern seaboard, meanwhile, testing locations such as STD testing Columbia, SC sites are ideal. If you’re feeling embarrassed about heading to the clinic, don’t be: not only will they most likely be able to help, but they will also have seen it all before! 

Decision-making

While some of the disadvantages of solo travel are rooted in issues such as the impact on your physical and psychological health, it’s also the case that solo world travel can lead to other problems. While the vast array of destinations that many solo travelers are able to choose from can on the face of it seem amazing, for example, it’s also a little overwhelming to have to make that choice by yourself without any external input.

With group travel, the destination is often discussed and finalized beforehand in order to ensure that everyone is happy with the decision being made, but with solo travel, the world is your oyster – and this means that decision paralysis is a common problem that lone travelers face. However, by focusing on what your personal preferences are, you can make the decision about where to go in a matter of hours. By filtering based on, say, proximity to the beach, you can use the internet to find your perfect destination without having to resort to panic.

Traveling by yourself is an exciting and liberating experience in many ways, but it’s also one that can seem a little tough to do if you’re not used to it. Whether it’s defending yourself against the scourge of loneliness or becoming entirely responsible for your own health outcomes, there are lots of reasons why solo travel may seem daunting. However, by taking steps to get these problems tackled either before you head off or while you’re on your big trip, you can make sure that you set yourself up for the best possible solo trip of a lifetime.