This post was inspired by a single comment left below one of our Facebook posts recently.
Solo traveling is hot right now, people are eager to enjoy the company of themselves and take a leap of faith jump on an airplane and visit a place they've never visited before - solo! I don't count myself as a solo female traveler per se but I feel proud to say I've done it once, back in my college days, and it was a truly liberating experience that made me connect more to myself and boosted my self-appreciation.
So, if you are thinking of visiting Greece solo and figuring out the whys and the hows keep reading.
1)Fist things first: Safety matters!
Greece is in general a safe country, one of the safest in Europe. Especially Athens, among other European capitals is considered a very safe city. I am not saying you don't have to watch out for pocket pickers or purse snatching at the Metro, but as a general rule Athens is a great choice for solo travelers. That doesn't mean you don't need travel insurance or you have to trust anyone. There's a fine balance between trusting anyone and trusting no one.
2) Keep it low key
Now is not the time to flash your sparkly jewels or carry your designer bag. Blend with the locals and try to not draw a lot of attention. Cross body bags are perfect!
3) Copycats do it better
That's what I did! I copied and certified my I.D and my passport and kept the real ones at the hotel. Those are your valuables when traveling and nothing will spoil your journey than a lost passport. As for money I carried on my wallet rupees. Indian rupees that's right! So if it got stolen I wouldn't care less while my actual money were on a safer pocket.
4) Have your phone charged all the time
It's goοd to inform a friend or relative on your whereabouts. Invest on a power bank before your trip. Social media sharing is also good. Unless you are on a digital detox, use them!
5) Practice your selfie skills
Don't trust your phone on some stranger's hands for pictures. I know you want a good pic to remind you of your experience but a good selfie would do the trick too.
6) Don't underestimate the power of a smile
Greeks are friendly people, famous for their hospitality. Smile, talk, ask for directions and recommendations don't just google and yelp everything.
7) Don't be afraid of loneliness
Repeat after me: table for one please!
It's ok to feel lonely at some point but it will only last a few minutes before you are overwhelmed again. Another trick is to carry a book with you and read a few pages when you feel a little lonesome.
8) Learn a little of the local language
You won't find a single Greek not willing to teach you how to say Good morning in Greek! Before your trip it's great to know a few useful expressions that will spark some conversation and help you navigate better.
9) Drink responsibly
When it comes to drinking don't let your guard down. There's no need for silly risks whatsoever. Take it from Carrie, she only had one glass of wine alone!
10) Book a shared tour
Loneliness kicks in? Nothing a shared tour can't fix! Mingle with other travelers, find the things that connect you, talk about the reasons you chose to travel to Greece, what you enjoyed the most so far or what your plans for the next days are.
11) Nail a new skill
What could be better than returning home having mastered a new skill? You can do a cooking class, a pottery class, a jewelry class whatever pops in your mind!
Always remember to have fun with yourself and don't really bother with what people are saying - to your face or behind your back. Choose to let go. When I chose to go from London to Paris on my own my mom thought I made no friends, I hated London and the best choice for me was to come back if I was unhappy! Truth is I still have the same friends from college even though they live all around Europe, I loved London so much I ended up staying another year after my graduation and going solo to Paris was a blast! I cherish every moment of this solo trip.
Just go for it!
P.S: If you go for it we would love to publish your solo travel story!