For many, travelling alone can be very intimidating, but don’t let that fear hold you back from following your travel dreams. We have compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you travel like the solo boss that you are.
Meeting other travellers is a great way to break up the monotony of solo travel and if you’re lucky, you may even meet your new best friend for life! Talking to other travellers can lead you to some great insights on places to go and see. Find it hard to talk to new people? Offering to take pictures for people is an easy lead into a potentially great conversation.
Not only do locals really appreciate it when tourist make an attempt to learn the local language, but it is also a great way to learn about local hot-spots and cool under-the-radar places to visit. Not good with languages? No shame there! Take advantage of Google Translate. Learn how to ask and say the small, but essential things like how to say “hi,” “Please” and “thank you”; how to order food and drink items; ask where the bathroom is. Basically, all of the essentials.
Many hotels and cruise lines require two people to share a property. These single supplements should and can be avoided. Most of these fees should be disclosed before you book, but just be sure that you aren’t paying for these unnecessary fees. Some solo-friendly accommodations can be found on Air BnB, hostels and most bed and breakfasts.
Staying at places that encourage talking is very important to help break the loneliness of travel. Hostels are great for meeting other single travellers, who are more or less in the same boat as you! Bed and breakfasts are also good spots to have a friendly conversation with interesting people.
Now on to the boring stuff that you probably don’t want to hear... Something you’ve heard from your parents many times before. Drink responsibly! Unfortunately, when you are travelling alone, you are automatically more vulnerable. It’s important to drink responsibly and keep your wits about you. Travelling alone at night is not advised for any traveller no matter your age, size or gender; however, if you choose to do so always be aware of your surroundings.
Sending your family a copy of your itinerary, including hotel bookings, accommodations and flights, can help put everyone at ease. This is super important to ensure your own safety and helps your family and friends to easily stay in contact with you in case of at-home emergencies.
Travelling alone has many befits, it can help you break out of your shell and even find yourself. One of the best things about travelling by yourself is the opportunity to meet new people, but it definitely makes you a lot more vulnerable. It’s great meeting new people, but don’t trust them with your valuables or give out much of your personal information, especially if you’re just meeting for the first time.
ALWAYS pat attention to the location of your valuables and ensure they are stored safely. It is important to keep things like your money, ID and credit cards close to you and hidden, so they are not vulnerable to others.
For many, eating alone can be SUPER awkward, but there are ways to make this less uncomfortable. Some great places to dine alone are cafes and outdoor dining areas. Bring a book! This will not only keep you busy, but it also signals to others that you are alone - and totally cool with it.
Day tours not only provide you with some great views and experiences, but they also lead you to meet fellow travellers. Some places around the world even offer free city tours, which is amazing! Make sure to do your research before you leave.
If you plan on spending lots of time at night in your hotel, hostel, bed and breakfast or wherever it might be, find a place with good WiFi. This is a useful tool for keeping in contact with your friends and family at home.
If you aren’t planning on hitting up the nightclubs and want to spend your time sightseeing, get an early start. By doing this, you not only avoid traffic at busy tourist places, but it also allows you to see more throughout the day.
When travelling solo, it can be hard to break the cycle and try new things, especially when you don’t have another person to push you. But this is the perfect time to do the things that you otherwise never have before. Go skydiving, jump off that cliff into teal-blue waters, just make sure you are safe.
Sometimes when you are travelling solo, you may find that it can be overwhelming and a little more intense at times. Learning how to say, “No, thank you” in the local language can save you when you are in an uncomfortable position. You will have to learn to be more aggressive because solo travellers tend to get pushed around more than those travelling n a group.
Don’t forget to capture the moment! Taking pictures helps you share memories with your friends and family, or even a wonderful keepsake for yourself. Some pictures are worth 1000 words. There truly is no better way to remember a story, person or place.
Written by Amy Schimpf