(Photo: Getty Images/Matteo Colombo)
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="A little over five years ago, sitting from my dark, cold cubicle in New York, I couldn’t stop thinking about Puerto Rico. Though I’ve always been adventurous by spirit, my bank account didn’t allow me to truly indulge in my wanderlust until I turned 25. Since then I’ve made up for lost time — stamping 31 countries (and counting) on my passport. " data-reactid="22">A little over five years ago, sitting from my dark, cold cubicle in New York, I couldn’t stop thinking about Puerto Rico. Though I’ve always been adventurous by spirit, my bank account didn’t allow me to truly indulge in my wanderlust until I turned 25. Since then I’ve made up for lost time — stamping 31 countries (and counting) on my passport.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="With visions of sandy beaches and tequila sunrises bouncing through my head, I started to poll every last friend I had to go on a long weekend excursion with me, and couldn’t convince anyone to pull the plug. Frustrated and in desperate need of a vacation, I decided to take the trip alone. Though my mother was panicked, I packed my bag and set sail, excited for the adventure. " data-reactid="23">With visions of sandy beaches and tequila sunrises bouncing through my head, I started to poll every last friend I had to go on a long weekend excursion with me, and couldn’t convince anyone to pull the plug. Frustrated and in desperate need of a vacation, I decided to take the trip alone. Though my mother was panicked, I packed my bag and set sail, excited for the adventure.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="And an adventure it was: exploring Old San Juan and eating mofongo. Talking to a crew of local medical school students and sleeping in as long as I wanted. Though I have mostly traveled with groups, that April getaway made me realize how easy it is to catch a flight on your own. Since then, I haven’t been afraid to venture to new lands alone, and I encourage other women to do the same. " data-reactid="24">And an adventure it was: exploring Old San Juan and eating mofongo. Talking to a crew of local medical school students and sleeping in as long as I wanted. Though I have mostly traveled with groups, that April getaway made me realize how easy it is to catch a flight on your own. Since then, I haven’t been afraid to venture to new lands alone, and I encourage other women to do the same.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="While there is definitely a stigma attached to it — the truth is, plenty of women are mapping their escape. In fact, in recent years, searches around “solo female travel” have risen by more than 50 percent, according to Solo Traveler World, and one in four people say they have or intend to trek all by their bad selves. If your resolution is to finally book a trip to the country you’ve always wanted to see, without worrying about anyone else’s schedule or ideas, here’s what you need to know:" data-reactid="25">While there is definitely a stigma attached to it — the truth is, plenty of women are mapping their escape. In fact, in recent years, searches around “solo female travel” have risen by more than 50 percent, according to Solo Traveler World, and one in four people say they have or intend to trek all by their bad selves. If your resolution is to finally book a trip to the country you’ve always wanted to see, without worrying about anyone else’s schedule or ideas, here’s what you need to know:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="Engage with locals" data-reactid="26">Engage with locals

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="Touching down in a new city — especially one where you don’t know the language — can be intimidating. But thanks to a slew of apps, getting by with a handful of phrases is easier than you think. Even if you can’t express more than humor, global senior manager at a multinational company and blogger, Anne-Madeleine Kleinwächter recommends connecting from locals from the get-go. " data-reactid="27">Touching down in a new city — especially one where you don’t know the language — can be intimidating. But thanks to a slew of apps, getting by with a handful of phrases is easier than you think. Even if you can’t express more than humor, global senior manager at a multinational company and blogger, Anne-Madeleine Kleinwächter recommends connecting from locals from the get-go.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="“Once you get to your hotel, hostel or Airbnb try to find your way around by asking questions. Get to know the people you are taking to and ask for advice about what you can do. Ask for the best coffee in town, art galleries or whatever you are passionate about,” she recommends. Not only will this enrich your experience, but it can provide a safety net of sorts, in case you run into any trouble. Considering Kleinwächter has been to 15 countries alone, she would know a thing or two about solo jet-setting: “Befriending strangers will break the ice and it will open doors to [new] experiences.”" data-reactid="28">“Once you get to your hotel, hostel or Airbnb try to find your way around by asking questions. Get to know the people you are taking to and ask for advice about what you can do. Ask for the best coffee in town, art galleries or whatever you are passionate about,” she recommends. Not only will this enrich your experience, but it can provide a safety net of sorts, in case you run into any trouble. Considering Kleinwächter has been to 15 countries alone, she would know a thing or two about solo jet-setting: “Befriending strangers will break the ice and it will open doors to [new] experiences.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="Trust your instincts and emotions" data-reactid="29">Trust your instincts and emotions

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="While traveling challenges you to try activities and meals you would normally shy away from, travel blogger Sarah Swank says solo adventuring pushes you far out of comfort zone. This is why many people decide to throw on their backpack and head out, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise caution and listen to your instincts if something feels off or wrong. " data-reactid="30">While traveling challenges you to try activities and meals you would normally shy away from, travel blogger Sarah Swank says solo adventuring pushes you far out of comfort zone. This is why many people decide to throw on their backpack and head out, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise caution and listen to your instincts if something feels off or wrong.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="“Absolutely try new things and be as open as you can to new experiences and people but don’t feel obligated to travel any certain way,” she recommends. “Sometimes I find solo travel to be super exhausting and I need to say ‘no’ to a few invitations so I can watch Netflix in bed, and regain my mental and emotional strength.” Swank has plenty of practice in following her heart and being mindful of her experiences, since she’s been to 14 countries and has plans to continue her travels. " data-reactid="31">“Absolutely try new things and be as open as you can to new experiences and people but don’t feel obligated to travel any certain way,” she recommends. “Sometimes I find solo travel to be super exhausting and I need to say ‘no’ to a few invitations so I can watch Netflix in bed, and regain my mental and emotional strength.” Swank has plenty of practice in following her heart and being mindful of her experiences, since she’s been to 14 countries and has plans to continue her travels.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="Be spontaneous and curious" data-reactid="32">Be spontaneous and curious

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="No matter if you’re nibbling on croissants in Paris or learning about tango in Argentina — one of the most beautiful parts of traveling is becoming mesmerized by fascinating sights and flavors. But to fully immerse yourself in the moment requires a healthy level of trust, Kleinwächter shares. Though practicing street smarts and only doing what you feel comfortable with is essential, so is allowing yourself to be spontaneous and curious. “It is amazing what can happen once you immerse yourself into the local culture. Taste the food they love, try their dance moves and find out what they are most proud of. Believe me, this will make you friends for life and create memories you will never forget,” she continues. “And most importantly: have fun.”" data-reactid="33">No matter if you’re nibbling on croissants in Paris or learning about tango in Argentina — one of the most beautiful parts of traveling is becoming mesmerized by fascinating sights and flavors. But to fully immerse yourself in the moment requires a healthy level of trust, Kleinwächter shares. Though practicing street smarts and only doing what you feel comfortable with is essential, so is allowing yourself to be spontaneous and curious. “It is amazing what can happen once you immerse yourself into the local culture. Taste the food they love, try their dance moves and find out what they are most proud of. Believe me, this will make you friends for life and create memories you will never forget,” she continues. “And most importantly: have fun.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="Don’t tell strangers you’re alone" data-reactid="38">Don’t tell strangers you’re alone

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="First and foremost, global education evangelist Fernanda Meier reminds women it is never their responsibility to not be attacked when traveling. Even so, taking steps to feel more comfortable when you’re in an unfamiliar place will ensure you have a better, happier time, instead of feeling on edge from the moment you touchdown. She’s navigated 12 countries by herself, and has developed a few best practices to staying alert and aware. " data-reactid="39">First and foremost, global education evangelist Fernanda Meier reminds women it is never their responsibility to not be attacked when traveling. Even so, taking steps to feel more comfortable when you’re in an unfamiliar place will ensure you have a better, happier time, instead of feeling on edge from the moment you touchdown. She’s navigated 12 countries by herself, and has developed a few best practices to staying alert and aware.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="Her best tip is to refrain from telling people you’re traveling by yourself. “When chatting with people, I use phrases like, ‘I’m traveling with friends,’ or ‘My housemate is meeting me later,’ or ‘I’m enjoying the program I’m traveling with.’ Even though this isn’t true, it still gives the illusion that you aren’t alone, and that other people are going to be expecting you,” she explains. " data-reactid="40">Her best tip is to refrain from telling people you’re traveling by yourself. “When chatting with people, I use phrases like, ‘I’m traveling with friends,’ or ‘My housemate is meeting me later,’ or ‘I’m enjoying the program I’m traveling with.’ Even though this isn’t true, it still gives the illusion that you aren’t alone, and that other people are going to be expecting you,” she explains.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="Figure out the ways you enjoy spending time alone." data-reactid="41">Figure out the ways you enjoy spending time alone.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="Product manager and traveler Aashima Kapoor has made her way to 12 countries and countless cities by herself, and says determining alone time joys will make trips that much more exciting. “Is it reading? Playing an instrument? Writing? A long bubble bath? Find what allows you to connect with yourself,” she says. “And make sure to carve out time in your solo travel to do that activity.”" data-reactid="42">Product manager and traveler Aashima Kapoor has made her way to 12 countries and countless cities by herself, and says determining alone time joys will make trips that much more exciting. “Is it reading? Playing an instrument? Writing? A long bubble bath? Find what allows you to connect with yourself,” she says. “And make sure to carve out time in your solo travel to do that activity.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="Overestimate how much money you’ll need" data-reactid="43">Overestimate how much money you’ll need

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="Some folks calculate their spending down to the very last penny (or euro, peso or quid), while others take a glance at their credit card and shrug, hoping all looks right. No matter where you fall on this spectrum, Swank says it’s always better to overestimate your budget for solo travel. “I’ve never spent less than I expected on an adventure,” Swank says. “Make sure you have a financial safety blanket so you can still get home when you blow your budget on that perfect tour, souvenir, or hotel room you just couldn’t skip.”" data-reactid="44">Some folks calculate their spending down to the very last penny (or euro, peso or quid), while others take a glance at their credit card and shrug, hoping all looks right. No matter where you fall on this spectrum, Swank says it’s always better to overestimate your budget for solo travel. “I’ve never spent less than I expected on an adventure,” Swank says. “Make sure you have a financial safety blanket so you can still get home when you blow your budget on that perfect tour, souvenir, or hotel room you just couldn’t skip.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="Leave your valuables at your lodging" data-reactid="45">Leave your valuables at your lodging

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="Once you have made it through customs, you don’t need that passport anymore. But you’ll definitely need it to make it back home. So, much like you would do when you travel with a buddy, Meir suggests placing them in a locked suitcase, and keeping copies of your paperwork in your bag or on your phone. If you don’t have this type of luggage, she suggests asking the front desk to keep things in their main hotel or hostel safety deposit box, which is usually much more secure than the one in your room, and they usually are liable for anything that disappears from the front desk safe." data-reactid="46">Once you have made it through customs, you don’t need that passport anymore. But you’ll definitely need it to make it back home. So, much like you would do when you travel with a buddy, Meir suggests placing them in a locked suitcase, and keeping copies of your paperwork in your bag or on your phone. If you don’t have this type of luggage, she suggests asking the front desk to keep things in their main hotel or hostel safety deposit box, which is usually much more secure than the one in your room, and they usually are liable for anything that disappears from the front desk safe.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="Keep your solo travels balanced" data-reactid="47">Keep your solo travels balanced

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="You could consider graphic designer Erica Brooks a professional solo traveler — having visited 30 countries on five continents and 20 states in the United States by herself. With all of this experience and miles behind her, she recommends newbies find a way to keep their trip balanced. This may mean sectioning off how much time you’ll be fully alone, within a structured social setting or hanging out with locals. “That keeps me from living only in my mind for the whole trip,” she says. “Plus, every once in a while, I’ll connect with someone in the group that will lead to an actual friendship and more adventures in the following days.”" data-reactid="48">You could consider graphic designer Erica Brooks a professional solo traveler — having visited 30 countries on five continents and 20 states in the United States by herself. With all of this experience and miles behind her, she recommends newbies find a way to keep their trip balanced. This may mean sectioning off how much time you’ll be fully alone, within a structured social setting or hanging out with locals. “That keeps me from living only in my mind for the whole trip,” she says. “Plus, every once in a while, I’ll connect with someone in the group that will lead to an actual friendship and more adventures in the following days.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="And if you’re still not sure how to be at a restaurant without a buddy? Brooks says to request a seat at the bar so you’ll have company. “I can strike up conversation with the bartender, who is usually curious about why a woman is traveling on her own, and is often a little extra attentive to make sure I’m having a good time,” she continues. “They often have the best recommendations for what to choose from the menu, where to go next, and what to explore in the area off the beaten path. As a bonus, they’ll keep an eye out for my safety and comfort.”" data-reactid="49">And if you’re still not sure how to be at a restaurant without a buddy? Brooks says to request a seat at the bar so you’ll have company. “I can strike up conversation with the bartender, who is usually curious about why a woman is traveling on her own, and is often a little extra attentive to make sure I’m having a good time,” she continues. “They often have the best recommendations for what to choose from the menu, where to go next, and what to explore in the area off the beaten path. As a bonus, they’ll keep an eye out for my safety and comfort.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)--sm Mt(0.8em)--sm" type="text" content="Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:" data-reactid="50">Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:

  • 7 tips to help you travel safely with your dog or cat this holiday season
  • Travel blogger poses in front of moving train to get the perfect shot and people are confused and concerned
  • Here’s what you need to know about your rights in the air

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