5 Steps to Solo Travel: Step Four

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I’ve been traveling independently for decades and soon to release a second guidebook: 5 Steps to Solo Travel on Amazon and I hope you buy it May 8, Mother's Day. Please share this with your parents, loved ones and future travelers, so you make their trips the very best. Why did I start being Dr Mary Travelbest nearly 30 years ago? I identified that there was no formal way to learn how to travel safely by yourself. When I was looking for this information, there was none available. Now, there is information, but not for the older woman, so this is for you! If you are mid-life or older, I hope you pay attention here, because we are going places. Here is a recap of the earlier steps……briefly, Step One is your first solo trip, nearby overnight. Step 2 is state to state travel, Step 3 is to a far away state or nearby country, Step 4, now, is to a far country and Step 5 is to a country where you don’t speak the language.

What is Step Four?

Step 4: You’re already taken several independent trips, but not yet in a far away country or a foreign language environment. Maybe you dream about going to Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK, Germany (as most speak English there) or internally within Mexico, here’s to your next step out to experience a new local culture. Only this is by yourself solo, or with a friend, independently, but not on a guided tour.

Step 4 is the second to last step of Solo Travel. It will be the final step for many readers, and it’s a big accomplishment getting here. Congratulations to you if you made it this far. I’d love to hear from you. If you travel to a far foreign country, such as Australia, New Zealand, or even Germany, this would be breaking into Step 4. You may be wondering why Germany is on this list. This is because you can travel to many counties in Europe without speaking the local tongue. Most of the people there speak English as a second language. Step 4 is for the solo traveler who wants to explore new countries but is not proficient in the countries’ languages. Like Germany, you may discover several European countries which don’t require you to speak their local language to travel independently.

You may set a goal for yourself to complete the journey to Step 4. This is experienced travel. In this stage, you are confident because you have already mastered the art of going places with your own itinerary, even if it’s just for part of the trip. You’ve learned from making your own travel mistakes, and how to recover from them. Just listen to some of my lessons and mistakes in every episode. It may be hard, but it’s not something to complain about. During this training stage, just try not to repeat the same mistakes. Step 4 will still require courage and some planning, but you can plan a more spontaneous trip—perhaps, just a few days ahead, instead of weeks or even months into the future. Step 4 might be a trip to Ireland. Here, you’ll be driving on the left side of the road. Most people speak English and have similar customs and heritage with other European countries and America. Gaelic or Irish is the traditional language, but most people also speak English here. Finding your way around is increasingly fun and full of surprises in Step 4. As for currency, you can count your change and pay with the local currency, by doing the conversion in your head or using your smartphone apps. Step 4 includes these other aspects of staying in foreign countries. Most people speak English. This will allow you to read maps, ride buses and trains and purchase things you need, such as food and shelter easily, though learning some of the local pleasantries “hello,” “please,” and “thank you” can go a long way in building mutual respect.

Here’s two sample step four tips from the book:

Extra hydration matters

Do you hydrate enough? I repeat this message about water, because when you don’t have your normal daily habits, it’s easy to forget to hydrate. Make a conscious effort to drink a lot of water. Drinking water increases energy. It sharpens your thinking and focus, flushes out toxins and regulates body temperature. So, drink up. Water, juices, or other liquids will improve your life and your skin tone, too.

If you enjoyed these short tips, let me know. Several of you listeners are not in the USA now, so your step 4 will be about travel to a country far away from your home country, but mostly in the same language you currently speak.

Cooking on the road tips for Step 4

When I visit a new city, my first stop is usually a grocery store or bodega to find out what the cultural tastes are. This can be on the way to anywhere, as you find food stores from roadstands to shopping in stores where anything is sold. For Step Four food and drinks, you can stock up for your trip and cook in your AirBNB or snack your meals in your car when you take a break.

Now back to learning about Step 4 particulars.

Step 4 is challenging for the solo or independent traveler. Step 4 means you have completed several independent trips already and used your passport multiple times. Step 4 is the second to last step of the independent travel steps. It will be the final step for most of those listening, because it’s a big step getting here.

Germany is on this list because you can travel to Germany without speaking German. Most of the people there speak English as a second language. All these trips will require a passport, and some will need a visa. If you have less than six months left on your passport, you should apply for a new one soon.

Send me your travel tip. You can send it to my website, Facebook page, group, or Instagram. You can send to my Twitter, blog, and maybe you’ll see your tips in Dr Travelbest’s 5 Steps to Solo Travel.

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