Notify your family and friends of your plans.
Tell these persons of interest where you’re headed and when you’re headed. Give them a copy of your itinerary and do please call, email, contact them from time to time. As a bonus, you can leave them the keys to your home and make sure they feed your fish and water your plants while you’re away.
Don’t try to look like a tourist too much.
That bright shirt that says “Somebody loves me and got me this shirt from (insert place)”? Forget it.
Attracting too much attention can make you more susceptible to scams, schemes, and people with not so noble intentions, so walk straight and purposefully. Check your itinerary and maps before leaving the hotel, and don’t go around with your nose buried in a guidebook. Avoid wearing flashy jewelry, especially in crowded places.
As an added tip, do not let anybody know you are traveling alone. Instead of just asking for directions, say that you need to meet up with friends in that area. Ladies, you may even opt to wear a fake or actual wedding ring to deter unsavory men.
Learn to say NO.
Aside from learning the most important phrases in the local language — directions to the restrooms and other places of interest — learn to say no in a polite manner. Traveling alone in some places can be a bit uncomfortable so learn to refuse offers from locals in an inoffensive manner.
Important numbers in your phone.
You know, the tourist police, your travel agency, the embassy, international health insurance — just in case you need them. Hopefully, you won’t, but it will be a lot easier on your peace of mind if you have them on hand.
Mind your identification papers, because they might be required of you in certain places or when you use your credit cards. Always bring multiple forms of identification, and keep them in different areas like one in your pocket, another in your bag, and so on.
Be adventurous and try all those other things you’ve only seen in magazines or the Internet. Never tried surfing? Go ahead and meet the waves. Or try out that zip line your acrophobic friend or significant other would not touch with a ten-meter pole. Meet new people and discover exciting places and cultures. Going solo will open your eyes to a lot of things you might have never realized with a travel buddy or a travel group.
Traveling alone can be the ultimate treat you give yourself. Just because you have to look out for yourself on your own does not mean you cannot have fun while you’re at it.