Strategies That Could Fail In Nevada Corporations

Many businessmen are attracted to set up their businesses in Nevada for the benefit it offers that may at a glance be definite advantages. Business in Nevada can enjoy the following:

– Corporations in Nevada may sell, transfer, hold or purchase shares of its own stock

– Directors do not have to be Stockholders

– Directors of Corporations in Nevada has the final decision in determining transactions involving issuance stocks for capital, real estate, personal property and services

– Minimal Reporting and Disclosure Requirements

– No Franchise Tax

– No Information Sharing Agreement with the IRS

– No Personal Income Tax

– No Taxes on Corporate Shares

– Stockholders are not Public Record

– Stockholders, directors and officers do not have to be U.S. citizens or are they required holding meetings or living in Nevada

– There are Nominal Annual Fees in Nevada

– There is No State Corporation Income tax

– When the acts of the Corporation are lawful its officers and directors can be protected from personal liability.

These factors are some of the reasons why in the last few years, doing business in Nevada has attracted many businesses. The main reason is the savings of taxes when forming a Nevada corporation, whether it is a limited partnership or limited liability company. Many states do not like this especially when their citizens, still living in their states create a Nevada corporation because Nevada corporations, as we know, will file their tax through a Nevada bank and not the states where they reside.

But creating a Nevada Corporation, for the purpose of saving on taxes may eventually cause legal implications resulting to being taxed by their mother states just the same. It is in the interest of other states to review procedures to make sure that taxes due to them are being collected. This will result in having most of Nevada corporations not being able to take advantage of the tax benefits that attracted the businesses in the first place. Business people who thought that they are earning by the taxes saved in a Nevada corporation could be audited for improper procedures that have been done over the years. Note that it is very seldom that audits happen during the first year. Usually it will take two to three years before an audit is initiated. The Interest accumulated during those years can mean large in terms of back taxes and penalties. It does not mean therefore that because no audit has happened, the Nevada Corporation that was put up had been properly structured. The increase of companies that flocked to Nevada, especially when done through the profit motive alone in terms of taxes saved can suffer legal consequences.

It is always critical to do good homework when setting up businesses because of the consequences that could result. Policies that do not already work for a government is being changed or amended from time to time and that include its revenue-collecting effort.

Some strategies adopted by Nevada Corporations that could be penalized include

– Operating a Nevada corporation without a business license

– Fringe benefits that are entitled to employees go to independent contractors.

– Nevada Corporations that do not have an employee.

– Not being able to substantiate the establishing of business based in Nevada.

– Nevada Corporations that do not issue stocks

– Nevada Corporations that relies on bearer shares

– Nevada Corporations that relies on privacy as its asset protection strategy.

– Corporation that uses Nevada as an asset protection tool

Nevada Corporations

Nevada corporation provides its customers with a wide range of benefits, such as legal benefits, financial benefits, asset protection and reduction of tax exposure. It is because of these services that individuals choose Nevada corporations. Corporate owners are protected from lawsuits and creditors very effectively by Nevada corporation law. It has mainly established to reduce home state taxes and to protect assets.

As it has become a need of every individual to protect his assets from mounting regulations and tax liabilities, Nevada provides it with the perfect solution. Nevada corporations have the right information and used it to build up prudent strategies to protect the customer’s assets. They create a legal fortress around by using the right information and the law. Assets are shown as if it is leased from the Nevada corporation. The corporation files the assets in the home state and thereby avoiding the state taxes.

The tax structure provided by Nevada is desirable for individuals and businesses. Nevada’s tax benefits consist of no personal income tax, no corporate tax, and no franchise tax on income. They also include no inheritance, gift and unitary tax in their tax structure. Since it does not have corporate taxes or personal income tax, the bills paid through a Nevada corporation are tax-deductible and no home state tax will be levied.

Contracts can be signed with the corporation for any legitimate business purpose and the income can be obtained through Nevada, which is not taxable, thereby getting a better margin of profit. Huge amount of profits has reaped since many multinational companies such as Porsche North America, Citibank have moved their headquarters to Nevada.

In order to be a shareholder in Nevada it’s not mandatory to be a U.S citizen. The identities of these shareholders are not disclosed at any cost. This is done to ensure privacy and it’s a part of the strategy to protect assets. The corporation may consist of any number of individuals. The legislation passed in Nevada protects the directors and officers from personal liability for acts committed on behalf of the corporation r by the corporation. The corporations meetings can be held anywhere at anytime, even outside the state.

The directors of Nevada corporations need neither U.S citizens nor stock holders. The corporation can issue stock for capital, real estate, services, personal property, including leases and options. The purchase, hold, selling and transfer of shares of its own stock is decided by the corporation and these decisions cannot be affected by any other means.

An Accountant Talks About The Many Benefits Of Living In Nevada

Living in the state of Nevada may not seem special, but it is a big deal as far as taxes are concerned. Nevada is one of five states that do not have a personal income tax. As an accountant who works with individuals and businesses in Nevada, I wanted to discuss the tax benefits of living here.

No Make-Up Taxes

If a state does not have a personal income tax, they tend to make up for it with another tax. For example, the state of Texas does not have a personal income tax, but property taxes are substantially higher than in other parts of the country. Nevada is the best of both worlds because there is no state income tax, there are really no hidden taxes, and our sales tax is not outrageous.

Where Does Nevada Get the Money?

Historically Nevada gets the needed tax revenue from the mining, casino, and construction industry. The state needs the money to fund emergency services and other state services, so in this state that is how they make up for not having an income tax.

What Does It Mean?

If you compare our taxes to our neighbor to the west, California, we have huge benefits. The first is the income tax benefit, because California has income taxes of up to 9.3% at the individual level. In addition, the utility cost, and other costs to run a business are substantially lower in Nevada. Because of the lower taxes, Nevada is known to be great place to relocate your business to.

Other Reasons to Move to Nevada

The other major benefits for moving to Nevada are related to energy efficiency. Nevada is a state that sees a lot of sun and wind. Because of the surplus of sun and wind, companies who are exploring alternative energy may choose to relocate to Nevada. We also are an attractive state to geo-thermal companies with the numerous hot springs we have. As an accountant, I think that Nevada has many benefits and if you are thinking about relocating your business, it might be the right place.

Why Do Some Businesses Not Move To Nevada?

Although I think there are some great financial benefits and energy benefits to moving to Nevada, there is one thing that restricts some companies-water. When I worked for a division of Dole, we considered moving our frozen fruit operation into the state of Nevada for all the reasons that I talked about before. We could save a lot and it looked like a good decision until we realized that water is not abundant in Nevada. The reason that we did not move to Nevada was that we required a large volume of water.

If you are considering moving your company to Nevada, you should contact an experienced accountant and discuss the benefits. You will also want to consider the cost to move your company. Sometimes the cost to move will be so large that the savings will never make up for it.

Nevada Incorporation – Make Sure You Do It Right!

So you want to have Nevada incorporation? Well, it may be just what you want and need, or it could be a nightmare. It may very well be that Nevada incorporation is the right step for one company, and a misstep for the next. Besides the low cost for a Nevada incorporation, it provides owners with beneficial and unparalleled asset privacy. The filing fee for Nevada incorporation is $125, and is more affordable than most states. Another advantage of Nevada incorporation is privacy of ownership and the absence of a state income tax.

Most companies do NOT qualify to take advantage of Nevada incorporation’s benefits, so be sure that you check out the various requirements. Your resident corporation can maximize profits by taking advantage of the tax laws, and members of an LLC (owners) pay taxes on the income, yet have the advantage of limited liability as the shareholders of a corporation do. You can get every advantage used by big corporations at low cost which is one of the benefits of tax savings by a Nevada incorporation.

The state of Nevada has issued requirements for incorporation, primarily a residency test. In order to properly form a substantiated Nexus base in Nevada the following requirements should be met: (1) a compliant Nevada formed Corporation or LLC; (2) A Nevada office* (leased or owned) with physical and mailing address; (3) Nevada staff working in Nevada; (4) Nevada bank account; (5) Nevada phone number; (6) Nevada Business Registration; (7) Continuously maintain appropriate records, filings, and accountability. Anything less is a facade that requires home state registration and may negatively affect protection, privacy and tax advantages. A non-resident can have Nevada incorporation as long as he/she registers in their home state as well. This will generate additional filing fees; however, if you want total privacy, it might be worth it.

The benefits of Nevada incorporation are amazing! Numerous benefits are offered to existing and new businesses that incorporate in Nevada and they enjoy many benefits just not available anywhere else. For one, no taxation upon shares of stock held by non-residents and no inheritance tax upon non-resident holders. Pro-business Nevada, unlike almost every other state, has taken a stand! No Corporate Income Tax.
No Taxes on Corporate Shares

No Franchise Tax

No Personal income tax

No IRS Information Sharing Agreement

Nevada’s corporate statutes started with those of Delaware and then went even further, establishing a corporate entity that allows investors and owners of Nevada corporations to remain off the public record – an advantage that is unique throughout the world. Since these statutes took effect in 1991, the number of new incorporations in Nevada has exploded. The bullet-proof protection inherent in Nevada corporations, however, takes it to a new level, making it virtually impossible for creditors and litigants to get at your hard-earned assets. That just might be the main reason there were over 40,000 incorporations in Nevada last year alone. It looks like more and more business-savvy people are discovering the tremendous advantages that complete protection offers! Unlike most other states, there has never been a case in which the corporate veil was pierced in Nevada, except in the instance of fraudulent activity. This means your personal assets receive maximum protection when separated from business activities by a Nevada corporation. Nevada’s Supreme Court consistently stands strong on preserving this protection, even when a corporation fails to maintain basic corporate formalities (though we strongly recommend you do so).

Some other important benefits are a Nevada incorporation can be organized with very little capital, if desired. Many states require that a corporation have at least $1,000 in capital. One person can hold the offices of President, Secretary, Treasurer, and be the sole Director. Many states require at least 3 officers and/or directors. Thus, there is no need to bring other persons into a Nevada corporation if the owner does not desire it. A corporation can be formed by mail, fax, or phone and the person incorporating in Nevada never has to visit the state, even to conduct annual meetings. Meetings can be held anywhere in the world at the option of the director(s).

No reciprocity with the IRS. Nevada is the only state in the union that does not share information with the Internal Revenue Service. Many tax professionals also believe that this reduces your chances of an audit because less matching of tax return information means fewer chances of something standing out.

We trust that this information on forming a Nevada incorporation has been helpful. We cannot stress enough…get all of the facts and requirements for a Nevada incorporation, and contact a professional for advice in your particular situation. The purpose of this article is not to give you legal advice or recommendations, but to point out to you some of the requirements and caveats.

Stand Back Rick Perry, Nevada Is Closer Than Texas

There has been a lot of hoopla in the media recently about Rick Perry the Governor of Texas making public appeals for California businesses to relocate to his state. And while the land of 10 gallon hats does have a very favorable business climate, the state of Nevada is even more welcoming to businesses and entrepreneurs. The next upward leg of price increases for Incline Village and Crystal Bay real estate will be fueled by a combination of purchases by vacation homeowners and high income California residents looking to relocate to our community for the economic benefits and quality-of-life advantages.

The Tax Foundation which is a nonpartisan institute based in Washington DC that ranks all 50 states in regard to personal and business taxation along with other parameters provides us with some interesting information. According to the Tax Foundation the state of Nevada has the 3rd most favorable business climate in America while Texas ranks 9th. Nevada has the second lowest tax burden in the nation while Texas comes in 5th. So, even though Texas does provide a very favorable tax situation and business climate compared to California, it still lags behind the Silver State.

The cost of moving a business and its employees from California to Texas in most instances would far exceed the cost of relocating to Nevada. Also, the rent for commercial space especially in northern Nevada is a fraction of what businesses are paying in the metropolitan areas in California. And high income residents of California are subjected to a new state income tax rate of over 13% after the passage of Proposition 30 last November. What this means for the Incline Village and Crystal Bay real estate market is that many business people will start to consider whether or not they should remain in California or contemplate relocating to another state that could provide greater economic benefits.

Nevada is at the top of the list for anyone considering moving out of a state with a high tax burden and a complex regulatory environment. The Reno/Tahoe area is in close proximity to the major urban centers in California. It is only natural that businesses ranging from a salesperson working at home to Apple Computer are moving some or all of their operations to northern Nevada. Part of what makes northern Nevada attractive to businesses relocating from California is the relatively inexpensive cost of electricity, total labor costs and housing.

Employers can pay wages that are slightly above market for the Reno / Tahoe area but still save on labor costs when compared to Sacramento or the Bay Area. Housing is much more affordable in northern Nevada than in most parts of the Bay Area and then there is the Tahoe lifestyle. One of the most attractive things for a business owner to consider is the health and well-being of their employees. If a move to the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe make sense both economically and psychologically for a particular employer it makes relocating a lot easier for everyone involved.

With real estate sales in units jumping dramatically during the past 12 months a good part of this growth was fueled by pent up demand from buyers who held back during the recession and California residents looking for a great place to live along with a reduced tax burden. As more people realize that relocating to the Nevada side of North Lake Tahoe has significant benefits, demand for homes and condos will increase and there will be further upward pressure on prices. This phenomenon has already begun and will likely accelerate as high earning individuals in California are confronted with the latest state income tax increase. Properties in traditionally high demand locations such as lower to moderate elevation lakeview homes and houses and condos below Highway 28 will probably see the greatest percentage price increases. With the demand for quality properties in good locations having ratcheted up during the past year, sellers who do the proper staging and cosmetic work will have a leg up on the competition.

It’s unlikely that we will see a feeding frenzy in the real estate market like we did during the first half of the previous decade. However, buyers can expect to encounter multiple offer situations from time to time especially if a very desirable property is priced aggressively to sell. So, while the governor of Texas would like to see a mass migration of California businesses to the Lone Star State, the moving vans can make a much shorter trip up Interstate 80 to the friendly environs of northern Nevada and the unique quality of life that only property owners in Incline Village and Crystal Bay enjoy.

The Nevada Myth: Rethinking the Nevada Corporation

After you have decided that incorporating is beneficial for your business, some people consider incorporating in states outside of their home state. Most notably, Nevada has been promoted by many “incorporating services” as having incredible benefits as opposed to the client’s home state. Other states such as Delaware and more recently Wyoming have also received consideration for incorporating. In some cases, depending on the facts of your business, there are some benefits in forming an out-of-the-home-state corporation in states such as Nevada. However, in the majority of cases the benefits of forming a Nevada corporation is simply a myth and will often be more expensive and troublesome than filing in the company’s home state.

Law of the Land: Foreign Entities

This may be a surprise to many, typically, corporations will be governed under California law despite being incorporated in Nevada. Let’s assume you do file a Nevada, yet you operate all of your business in California. Under this scenario, you are deemed to be a “pseudo foreign” corporation. If the corporation is a pseudo foreign corporation, California law in many areas will supersede the law of the state where the company was incorporated in. (See California Corporation Code §2115(b)). Therefore, for companies entirely based in California and doing business in California, practically all of the claimed benefits of incorporating in Nevada are out the window. It should be noted that if a Nevada corporation operating in California fails to qualify as foreign corporation, it may be subject to a number of sanctions. (See California Corporation Code §§2203, 2258, 2259).

Nevada v. California

The benefits typically touted by a Nevada corporation are the following: lower costs; tax savings; and greater privacy. But is any of it true? Below we will discuss some of these issues.

Expense: Contrary to what many people believe, it is more expensive to file in Nevada than in California. Here are some of the additional expenses: the initial filing fee is more; the Statement of Information is much more; you will be required to file a Statement and Designation of Foreign Corporation in California; and you will be required to hire a Nevada Agent for Service of Process each year. For large clients, the additional cost (of approximately $500 more) is not a big consideration, but for smaller businesses every dollar counts.

Taxes: The tax ramifications is usually one of the most important reasons for deciding whether to incorporate and where. Nevada’s secretary of state website says that Nevada has none of the following: (1) corporate income tax; (2) taxes on corporate shares; (3) franchise tax; and (4) no personal income tax. So how does this actually play out? The bottom line is if you are doing business anywhere other than Nevada, you will still be required to pay taxes in the state where you are conducting business. So if you are operating and generating business in Nevada, this can be a huge benefit, otherwise if you are generating money in California, you are required to pay California’s taxes. Furthermore, any income earned by a Nevada business and paid out to a resident of another state will be subjected to the taxation of that state. Therefore, the income passed on to the shareholders of an S-Corporation in Nevada will be taxed at both the federal level and in the state where the shareholder lives (this also applies to other pass-through entities such as LLCs).

Thus, as indicated in the paragraph above, you will not be able to legally gain the Nevada tax benefits if you form a Nevada pass-through entity such as a S-corporation or LLC. However, a Nevada C-corporation can avoid the state taxes (remember that a C-corporation is subjected to double taxation at the federal level). The way a Nevada C-corporation operating in California could be structured to minimize its taxes is as follows: As a C-corporation, your company will be stuck with double taxation at the federal level. Rather than withdrawing the profits from the corporation, keeping the profits within the Nevada C-corporation will allow it to grow free of any state taxes.

Limited Liability Protection: Whether your company has greater limited liability protection in Nevada versus other states is debatable. Many believe that Nevada state precedence makes piercing the corporate veil much more difficult. Whether this is true will depend on the facts of your case and how good your lawyer is, since the test for piercing the corporate veil in both states are substantially similar (both California and Nevada require a showing that a substantial injustice or perpetuation of a fraud occurred). However, in regards to directors and officer liability, Nevada law provides that directors and officers are not liable for any damages resulting from a breach of fiduciary duty unless the breach involved intentional misconduct, fraud, or a knowing violation of the law. (See Nevada Rev. Stat. §78.138(7)).

Jurisdiction: This can be good or bad for your company. If you are operating in California but are a Nevada corporation, the question is which state law takes precedence? As indicated above, in most circumstances, your corporation will be deemed a pseudo foreign corporation and thus be subjected to California’s laws. So if you are sued, the lawsuit would likely occur in the California. However, if the plaintiff attempts to pierce the corporate veil, the lawsuit may occur in Nevada, thus the plaintiff would have to face additional expenses to travel to Nevada to try the case. Likewise, you as the defendant would be required to go to Nevada as well. However, if you enter into contracts with others, your contract can include “choice of law jurisdiction” provisions, which require that the contract falls under the laws of Nevada. Similarly, “choice of forum” provisions in your contracts will require your case to be heard in Nevada.

Privacy: Nevada is generally more restrictive than most states in sharing information about its corporations with other states and the government. As such, many celebrities and high profile individuals seeking anonymity often end up incorporating in Nevada. However, both California and Nevada do not require its stockholders to be listed in public records. Further, Nevada does not share information with the IRS unlike California. But if a Nevada corporation conducts business as a pseudo foreign corporation in California, it would be required to disclose the information to the IRS.

Crazy Taxes Paid by Americans Around the Country

11 states in this country, including North Carolina and Nevada, tax citizens on possession of illegal drugs. After acquiring an illegal substance in North Carolina you are supposed to go to the Department of Revenue and pay a tax on it. In exchange, you will receive a stamp to affix to your drug which serves as evidence that a tax was paid.

Profit from Illegal Drug Dealing

In addition to taxes on illegal drugs by many state governments, anyone who profits from the sale of illegal substances must claim the money as income on their federal tax returns. According to the IRS, “illegal income, such as money from dealing illegal drugs, must be included in your income on Form 1040, line 21, or on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040) if from your self-employment activity.”

Nudity Tax

In the State of Utah, taxpayers that own businesses where “nude or partially nude individuals perform any service” have to pay a 10% sales and use tax. It applies to all revenue from admission fees as well as the sales of merchandise, food, drink and services. These expenses are paid by the business owners who likely pass along the additional costs to their customers.

Bribe Taxes

According to Page 87 of the IRS code, “if you receive a bribe, {you must} include it in your income.” But what are the odds that some one who accepts a bribe will be willing to pay taxes on it?

Card Tax

Anyone who purchases a deck of cards in the state of Alabama must pay a ten-cent “card tax.” However, the state law claims that the tax must be levied on the purchase of any deck containing “no more than 54 cards”. So if you want to avoid the tax you can look for a deck with an extra joker.

Jock Taxes

Multiple states and local governments assess a specific tax on the income earned by athletes, and the wages they pay to non-athletic employees such as personal assistants. California was the first state to levy a jock tax in 1991, but today most states with a professional sports team impose a jock tax.

Stolen Property Taxes

Page 90 – “If you steal property, you must report its fair market value in your income in the year you steal unless in the same year, you return it to its rightful owner.” Are there actually criminals out there stupid enough to go for this?

Blueberry Tax

If you live in Maine and love blueberries, you might be surprised to know that the state levies a tax on the blueberry industry. According to the law, anyone who grows, purchases, sells, handles or processes blueberries is subject to a $0.75 tax per pound.

Possible Nevada State Tax

We are now at 2018. Even though it is going to be a pretty tough year for many people in our country and around the world, we can still all hope for the best. We are all in it together. That said, as a Nevada resident, I need to let you in on what is happening in our state. As you might imagine, people are not traveling to and spending in Las Vegas, which means the state of Nevada’s take on gaming taxes is way down. The state faces severe loss of revenue.

So what are some legislators proposing to do about it?

Believe it or not, they want us to put in a state tax on individual and corporate income. Nevada, a tax free state, has been a magnet for all sorts of business owners and out of state people wishing to incorporate for asset protection and no extra taxes. But some in the legislature (which convenes in February) want to end all of this with new state taxes.

We will certainly keep you informed of what will happen in Nevada’s 2009 legislative session. But for those of you who are worried even by the talk of new Nevada taxes, you may want to set up your corporations and LLCs in Wyoming. Wyoming has no state taxes and is sitting on a billion dollar state surplus. They are not likely to put in a tax anytime soon, if ever. For now, the safer choice is to set up in Wyoming and see what happens in Nevada.

Nevada Limited Liability Corporations

The general tax structure and the simplicity in forming the limited liability protection in Nevada is the major cause for various people or many businesses opting for Limited Liability Companies (LLC). Forming an LLC in Nevada makes very reasonable in your tax structure. The taxes are generally passed through to each of the members and the LLC itself not get taxed.

The major advantages that are considered in forming the LLC are the liability protection of a corporation is offered to its members, the members are state tax-free only in Nevada and as a corporation or a partnership, the LLC can elect to be taxed.

The LLC can have only one member in most of the states. In few cases if there is more than a member, then the taxes vary from these LLC.

Creating a LLC in Nevada is a simple process which has few legal procedures. The various procedures involve the filing articles of corporation, with the Secretary of State. Then drafting of an Operation’s Agreement is done either before filing or soon after the filing has been done. The LLCs have just members and not the shareholders like the other corporations. The members may not select for a manager, which allows them directly involve in the running of the company. In few cases, these members also elect to a manager who entirely manages the corporation or the company.

The major advantages of forming an LLC in Nevada have no corporate income taxes are generated in Nevada, taxes are not for corporate shares, no franchise tax in Nevada, personal income taxes are avoided, nominal annual fees, minimal reporting and disclosure requirements.

Incorporation will be the only option for you if the company is well established one. If your company is newly established, there are more benefits such as it is very easy to change from an LLC to corporation than changing from corporation to an LLC. Personal Income tax return benefits if the company incurs any losses in the first year. Incorporation is done immediately as soon as the profit is shown on your company and can avail more low tax rates that are affordable to the various corporations.

Nevada Corporations [http://www.e-nevadacorporations.com] provides detailed information on Forming Nevada Corporations, Nevada Corporation Advantages, Nevada Corporation Commission, Nevada Corporation Law and more. Nevada Corporations is affiliated with How to Start an LLC in Nevada [http://www.e-NevadaLLC.com].

5 Ways to Travel Solo Without Going It Alone

Solo travel has become a hot topic. Unlike “single(s)” travel, it is a broader group. It can include those who are single, married or have a partner/significant other. It may be a business person looking to add a leisure weekend or extension to a trip for work. Two stumbling blocks to solo travel can be: I. whether it is lonely to vacation as a “party of one” and ii.whether eating alone, especially dinner, is really uncomfortable.

Now having visited 68 countries and all 50 states, I have found 5 good ways to go alone without feeling you are “going it alone”.

1. River Cruise and Small Ship Cruises

I highly recommend river cruises and small ships. They are especially a good fit for a first time solo traveler. However, they are also great for well-traveled solos in two cases. That is where destinations like Cambodian boat villages are not otherwise easy to reach. Secondly, they work well in places where security is an issue.

Here are the key advantages of such river and small ships for solo travelers, they:

  • Give you time alone but a group for tours and meals
  • Can be competitively priced when compared to a piecemeal approach
  • Make unpacking a one-time chore
  • Work well with land packages
  • Often have discounted package pricing including flights

2. Select your own lodging, and take day trips.

Here are the key advantages of this independent approach:

  • Affords you the opportunity to select your own interests and travel style.
  • Provides more opportunity to interact with local residents.
  • Gives you a “day-off” when you need it.
  • Works with a range of budgets.

3. Combine both of the above approaches.

I really favor this approach when I travel. On solo travel for 17 days at New Year’s, I toured Southeast Asia. I started with a private taxi tour in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I then joined a top Mekong River Cruise on to Vietnam. On the last leg, I had five days in a 5-star hotel in Bangkok. In my last stop, I tried all 3 ways of sightseeing: 1. A large bus tour 2. A private guide and 3. Self-directed subway tour.

This blended approach puts you in the driver’s seat and:

  • Will let you set your own course while being free to pick and choose
  • Gives you a part-time group of travel mates but also time alone
  • Makes it possible to follow a budget (or splurges) tailored to what works for you

4. Sign up ahead for a class abroad.

This has become very popular now for cooking classes in France and Italy. However, for decades, language classes abroad have lured students for short-term or full summer programs. Add to that options for photography classes, skiing and scuba diving.

Here are the key benefits to this approach:

  • Provides you with a ready-made group
  • Gives you a local contact to hear what not to miss off the tourist path
  • Make it possible to connect with classmates for meals or sightseeing
  • Results in providing local contacts in an emergency

5. Join a volunteer group or exchange program.

I have done this twice. My first trip out of the US was at 18 joining 5 other girls on a summer YMCA project in Trinidad and Tobago. It was the best way to learn about day-to-day life in another country and participate in community activities.

The benefits were endless. They included:

  • Meeting local residents outside of the typical tourist path
  • Seeing distant and often more unusual destinations
  • Providing volunteer efforts to communities than may have experienced natural disasters or other hardships.

If you are new to solo travel, take a look at each of these options. You will be surprised how fast solo travel gives you the chance to make new life-long friends from around the world so that you feel you are solo to more.