Travelling is an incredibly fun and rewarding way to spend your time. It offers the chance for you to try new things, see new places, meet new people, and learn about the amazing world around us. The only downside to it is that it’s something that you can’t do alone… Right? Thankfully, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Solo travel, while a little daunting at first, is the perfect solution when you want to see the world unescorted and unburdened by companions. It can be exciting and safe for people of all ages and genders and is an option whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. If you want to get the most out of your solo travels, here are twelve useful tips.
- Start To Plan Early
Whether you’re going to Amsterdam or Africa, planning a trip abroad is a huge task, and, as such, is one that takes up a lot of time. Since you’re going away alone, you can afford to wing your plans a little more, but that doesn’t mean that you should get to the week before you leave and have absolutely nothing sorted. This will stress you out and could affect your time away. Because of this, you should start making arrangements early, just for peace of mind.
- Stay Where You’re Comfortable
On your first solo journey, you should be as kind to yourself as possible and find yourself accommodation way before you jet off. However, don’t think that, just because you’re alone, you have to stay at a hostel. Although they are cheap and ideal for solo travellers, they’re not the only option, and might not be the best one for you. There’s nothing wrong with booking yourself a hotel or renting a room in an apartment. All that matters is that you’re comfortable.
- Go With The Flow
One of the best parts about solo travel is that you are the only person you need to worry about. Because of this you can go with the flow and do the things you want to do. Of course, if you were staying in Amsterdam, for example, you should look up things to do in Amsterdam so that you have an idea of what’s around, but you don’t need to plan when to do these things or stick to a schedule. All you need to do is wake up in the morning and go where the mood takes you.
- Stick To Your Budget
Running out of money on holiday is stressful under any circumstances, but when you’re alone, it can be an absolute nightmare. After all, you don’t have any friends or family around you to lend you some extra cash. Because of this, it’s crucial that you write out a budget for attractions, accommodation, food, and whatever else, and stick to it as much as you can. You should also keep some extra money hidden somewhere, just in case there’s an emergency, and you need it.
- Learn A Little Language
When you travel as a couple or group, you tend to ignore those around you and only interact with one another. Unfortunately, this isn’t an option when you’re alone. Unless you want to avoid people completely, you’re going to have to speak to strangers, and some of these will be locals. Because of this, you should try to learn at least a few basic phrases of the native language. It might not be really necessary, but the locals will appreciate that you made the effort.
- Ensure You Pack Light
The last thing you want when travelling alone is to be weighed down, physically and mentally, by suitcases full of stuff. When you’re going away with other people, you can often ask them to keep an eye on your stuff or give you a hand carrying it when needed. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible when you’re on your own. Because of this, you should pack light and restrict yourself to one bag only. This means you won’t exhaust yourself with carrying or stressing about watching bags.
- Get An Early Start
Understandably, most people don’t fancy bar-hopping alone at night. Although you can do it safely, some would rather not take the risk. If you’re one of those people, then you should adjust your day and wake up a little earlier instead. This way, you are still spending the same number of hours exploring but can be ready for bed when the sun starts to set. Being an early riser also means you can enjoy your destination before everyone wakes up and it gets really crowded.
- Know Your Alcohol Limits
If you don’t mind hitting up the bars alone, you need to make sure that you’re sensible. Getting really drunk, as fun as it may be in the moment, can put you in a lot of danger. It also won’t feel too good when you wake up in the morning. To avoid this, you need to know your limits with alcohol and learn the difference between tipsy and blackout drunk. You should also watch your drinks at all time and make sure that you sip water throughout the night to avoid dehydration.
- Allow Yourself To Relax
When you’re alone, it might feel like you always have to be up and doing something, but this is far from the case. It is okay to spend the morning in bed watching tv or go back to your accommodation at lunchtime to Skype with your family. After all, you don’t spend every day out at home, so why would you need to abroad? All this will do is exhaust you, making your trip less enjoyable. It’s important that you have a break and relax now and then to charge your batteries.
- Eat Properly Every Day
While traveling solo, it can be tempting to order fast food to your accommodation and eat it in bed alone. After all, this saves you from any awkward restaurant experiences. However, it’s important that you eat right if you want to keep your energy levels up. Because of this, you should go to as many fancy restaurants as you can find and eat whatever you want. If you want someone to talk to, then you could eat at the bar or invite another solo traveller to your table.
- Watch Out For Pickpockets
Pickpockets aren’t nice people, but they are incredibly clever, and, as such, they makes their job a lot easier by targeting travellers who are on their own. Because of this, you need to be vigilant, especially in particularly busy areas. Keep your belongings close to you and always keep an eye on your stuff when talking to strangers. If safe to do so, you should leave anything particularly expensive back at your accommodation, so you don’t have to worry about it while you’re out.
- Keep Loved Ones Updated
You need to make sure that you regularly check in with friends and family back home. Although you’re having fun, make time to keep them updated on where you are and let them know when you’ll next be making contact. This way, if anything were to happen to you, they’d figure it out and would be able to give local authorities a bit of information on what you’ve been up to. You should also leave a note at your hotel or hostel when you go out, so they know when you’ll be back too.
If you want to make the most out of your solo travel experiences, make sure you remember the advice above.