Most of us would agree – It’s safer for men to travel than it is for women. And because it’s safer for men to travel alone, it gives a lot more options on their solo trip.
However, this freedom of choice can also lead them to make poor decisions, some of which could ruin their trip. So here, I want to share some solo travel tips for men that will make your journey as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible.
1. Avoid being too cocky.
Men are guilty of being overly confident when they travel.
You might ignore your surroundings and take things casually when overconfident. This can make you a perfect target for criminals, who are often looking for easy prey.
One of the closest people I know had their wallet stolen while on a crowded bus. They were advised to take a cab and avoid public transport, especially on that route. But they dismissed the advice and paid a hefty price for it.
Fortunately, they had some money back at their hotel, which saved their solo trip from being a complete disaster.
2. Keep yourself safe.
Risk-taking is ingrained in the DNA of men. Many get a kick from doing dangerous things. In some instances, I have been guilty of that too 🙂
Like I remember traveling on a lonely road, at the end of which was a dog.
I was cycling and went all the way near it, knowing that it wasn’t a threat. After inspecting the road a little, I decided to return.
The dog started to bark and even chase me when my back turned. And at that moment, I instinctively got off my cycle and screamed at the dog. At the same time, I held the cycle firmly like a weapon in my hand, signaling that I was ready for a battle.
Fortunately, the dog was a smaller breed, and with my massive figure and aggression, it stopped in its tracks.
Slowly I broke contact and walked away.
But who knows what could have happened had the dog chased me? I could avoid all this if I didn’t underestimate the possibility of it chasing after me.
3. Be mindful of your gestures, especially towards the opposite sex.
Your gestures have a different meaning in every country. Shaking hands with women might seem like a normal thing to do in the West. But in some Southeast Asian countries, this might be seen as a sign of advancement.
4. Be approachable. Don’t be intimidating.
Men often look intimidating with their large frames. Some even smile less. This could intimidate others even if you have no intentions to harm them.
Instead, be approachable. A simple hack for this is to smile. It does wonders!
5. Don’t drink too much.
I am not a drinker, so that keeps me out of trouble on this one. But I’ve seen many fights erupt when someone had too much alcohol.
At the same time, it numbs your sense which in my opinion, is not the best way to enjoy a solo trip.
Also, drinking can make you vulnerable to some scams.
6. Be careful of scams, especially near bars and pubs.
Imagine sitting at a bar when an attractive lady comes and sits next to you. You talk for a while and order a round of drinks. She orders in the local language.
You continue the conversation and enjoy a few more rounds. Then when it’s time to leave, you see the crazy high amount on the bill. Now you must pay the bill. And if you don’t have the necessary cash, you might be forced to walk into an ATM to withdraw money, accompanied by 2-3 bouncers.
This is just one of the ways of getting scammed. There are many others that have been covered in this article. I suggest you go through them and become aware so that you don’t fall prey to it.
7. Avoid getting into fights.
Fighting on a far away land, where you have few or no connections, tips the battle in favor of the locals.
So if you fight with the locals, the authorities will side with them. It doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong.
It’s in your best interests not to provoke a fight and stay as far away from it as possible.
8. You are the ambassador of your country.
When I played the World University Championship in Brazil, I met many curious folks who asked me many questions about the Indian culture.
They asked me the number of cows I see daily on the road, how many days an Indian wedding lasts, how close is Taj Mahal from my city, etc.
I was happy to break many of their misconceptions. In return, they also told me some amazing things about Brazil that I would’ve never known if I hadn’t been there.
When traveling abroad, you are your country’s ambassador. People will form an impression of your country based on you. So make sure to put your best foot forward.
9. Call your family back home.
I make it a point to call my family whenever I visit a popular tourist destination.
I have called my family from the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Christ The Redeemer Statue in Rio and many other destinations. It’s my way of sharing joy with them.
10. Document your journey
Many people I know (myself included) forget to click pictures or record videos. Some forget, while for others, it’s never a priority. The large majority are men.
But with time, I’ve realized that my journey is unique. In the future, I would love to revisit these moments, share them with my loved ones and relive them!
11. Sometimes, you’ll face ‘hidden’ discrimination.
Once I was at a hostel in India. 2 men were having Mango in the Kitchen, while a woman was sitting nearby. I took food out from the fridge and sat near them.
The men offered a mango to the woman while completely ignoring me. Ouch! This is just one of the many instances where being a male was a disadvantage. Though now, I have gotten used to it and think of it as usual.
You can’t necessarily do much to prevent it because of its ‘hidden’ nature. So just be mentally prepared for it and don’t let it affect you.
12. Keep your ‘miscellaneous’ expenses in check.
Men are generally bad planners. Because we love to take risks and do dangerous things, we often rely on spontaneity than an organized plan. This leads to unplanned purchases and costly decisions.
One of my friends told me his painful short story – He met a girl at the bar. She smiled. He walked closer to her. They had a conversation and ordered a round of drinks.
And the moment she had the drink in her hand, she ignored him and smiled at another man. I felt sad for my friend 🙁
Full disclaimer, this is a real story and my aim is to be as transparent as possible to give you an idea of what happens in the real world.
My aim is not to offend female readers(if they’re reading). If you’re a girl reading this, let me tell you that you are awesome 🙂
And as for guys, I suggest you think a little before making impulsive decisions. You’ll save so much time and money in the process.
13. Know when to use your unfair ‘male’ advantage.
Because you’re a man, it’s easier to travel alone at night, carry heavier bags and sometimes get out of danger quickly.
Also, a long concentrated gaze into someone’s eyes is enough to let them know they shouldn’t mess with you.
Use these advantages at the right time!
I hope this article makes your solo trip more enjoyable! Cheers!