What are your biggest concerns about travelling alone? Do you fear being alone in a place you completely don’t know? One of the most common topics I discuss with people is safety, which is why I try to share a lot of safety tips on my blog. Another is the fear of getting lost somewhere alone, especially in a big city.
In this article, we will provide you with a practical guide, a real discussion, and tips on how to overcome the fear of getting lost while travelling alone.
1. You need to accept the possibility of getting lost
This is a psychological tip, and I believe you can’t avoid them when discussing fears. Accepting that you will get lost while travelling alone is the first step toward overcoming your fear.
Take it out of the ‘what if’ category and accept it as a fact. You’re exploring new places, so you’ll get lost from time to time.
Accepting it as reality removes some of the power from the fear because you are more in control. Instead of waiting for the ‘what if’ moment, you can prepare for it and be confident that you can handle it when it occurs.
2. What are your real fears about getting lost while travelling alone?
Another thinking pattern tip is to determine what you are truly afraid of. Don’t worry if you get lost, taxis are always there to help you. It’s not usually a difficult situation.
Maybe you’re just afraid of something deeper that getting lost reveals. Are you afraid of being vulnerable and embarrassed? Is it a loss of control because you’re usually in command of everything? Are you afraid of having to ask for help?
3. Always plan ahead of time
When travelling, regardless of how close or far your destination is, it should be an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure). Planning ahead of time allows you to save time and enjoy your trip more. It can also keep you from getting lost on the road. How can this be accomplished? You can simply research travel blogs, travel websites, or even read books about the destination. Use the internet to its full potential! Planning ahead also includes booking a spot like LAX luggage storage that is open for business and ready to store your luggage so that you can visit many neighborhoods and explore as many areas of this metropolis as possible and seek the most authentic experiences.
It’s a good idea to learn the language or key phrases of the places you’ll be visiting. You can Google common phrases if you’re travelling for an extended period of time.
4. Download an offline map
One way to overcome the fear of getting lost while travelling alone is to prepare yourself with an offline map to help you navigate the destination.
Google Maps and Maps.me are two well-known apps.
I use offline maps in Google Maps when travelling, and this is how I do it.
Overall, you want to avoid appearing lost or vulnerable. Staring at the map definitely works against you in this situation. What I like to do is quickly glance at the map to see which way to turn next. Then I keep my phone in my pocket with my hand on it, and it vibrates when it’s time to make the turn.
I can take another quick glance after the turn to see which way to turn at the next one, and the cycle continues. This way, instead of staring at my phone, I can pay attention to my surroundings.
5. Keep the hotel’s phone number handy
Save the phone number for your hotel accommodation in the same way you save emergency numbers on your phone.
This way, if you are not in an emergency but become lost or require assistance, you will have someone to call.
It’s also a good idea to photograph or screenshot the address.
6. Save local emergency phone numbers on your phone
Look, if you use common sense when it comes to your safety, you should be fine and have a great trip.
However, just in case you are in an emergency and need to call for assistance, save the local emergency number on your phone.
It may seem obvious, but I believe we overlook it because we believe, “Oh, we can always Google it.”
In the worst-case scenario, you most likely don’t have time to google. There is also no guarantee that you will have internet access.
It’s better to save the local emergency number on your phone. You may never need it, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. It can also reassure your brain because you know you’re a little prepared.
7. Ask for direction
I think we all know this! When you’re lost, one of the most convenient things to do is ask for directions. Locals are the best people to ask because they are familiar with the area. They might even know the best places to eat and drink in town! It is unavoidable to bump into other travellers. Make the most of the situation by asking for directions and making new friends. Who can say? You might meet an instant travel companion along the way! They may also share their findings with you.
When asking for directions, be polite and use your charm if necessary. It’s also fine to have minor trust issues. Choose the best person to ask.
8. Be a keen observer
Most travelers should have this characteristic. Keep a close eye on your surroundings, not only for safety but also for navigation. When I travel to unfamiliar places, I read every sign I can find just to figure out where I am. If you’re going to a city, I recommend looking for banks because they list their branch locations.
When visiting a province, look for places like grocery stores and hardware stores. They provide their address on their shop signs. Road signs are the best to check because they tell you where you are and how far you are from your destination. These may alleviate some of your concerns.
9. Inform someone of your travel plans
You should inform someone about my itinerary. We recommend that you leave a hard copy at home for your family, a copy on your phone in Dropbox, and a printed copy in my hotel room (worst-case scenario).
10. Familiarize yourself with the embassy’s location
Understand the location of the embassy to which you are travelling. Because anything can happen. Whether you’ve misplaced your passport, there’s a natural disaster, or there’s civil unrest.