As some of you regular readers may know, I just took my first solo trip to San Francisco!

Leading up to the trip, I was comfortably nervous. My only real fear was that I would be too nervous to do and try all the things I wanted to because I would be alone. Luckily, this wasn’t the case!

In fact, once I got to San Francisco, I was completely in my element. I started conversations with friendly strangers, asked probably at least 30 people to take pictures for me, and felt completely safe walking around by myself.

I thought I was going to have this big “ah gotcha!” learning moment, but it never happened. Traveling alone felt so natural to me. I never once felt unprepared or unsafe, which is especially important as a young female.

Here are some tips that will help you prepare for your big solo trip:

  • Research your destination – Months before leaving, I knew which parts of San Francisco to avoid. I looked at things I would be interested in doing and seeing which areas I could walk to and which ones would be safer to Lyft to.
  • Phone a friend – Let at least one person know what your plans are for the day and have them on call in case you find yourself in a sticky situation. I never found myself in any kind of trouble, but it’s important to have a plan in place.
  • Follow the crowd – This might be the only time I say “follow the crowd”, but when you’re walking alone, try to walk near others. Not only will you feel safer, you are being safer too.
  • Avoid walking long distances at night – I walked around the Wharf at night, but it was brightly lit and crowded. If you are planning on going farther than a mile, I would recommend using Lyft.
  • Pay attention – Before going anywhere, I looked at my Maps app and remembered the streets where I needed to turn. This helped me avoid staring at my phone while walking. I have a pretty good sense of direction, so I used that to my advantage. If you need more guidance, try using Maps on an Apple Watch or only glancing at your phone every so often.
  • Don’t worry too much – See the places you want without fear. There will be someone there if you run into trouble. There will be someone there to take your picture next to that attraction. There will be other people traveling by themselves. Don’t let fear paralyze you and affect your ability to have the best trip of your life.

Traveling alone is the best! You get to pick everything you want to do, and you can go at your own pace. I recommend that you try it at least once. Once you try it, you’ll want to travel alone all the time!

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