If taking a solo trip and going travelling alone does not appeal to you, then I know where you’re coming from. I was of the exact same opinion as you only a couple of months ago, however when I went on my Round The World adventure back in September, it opened my eyes to just how many people do travel alone and that it really isn’t such a big deal after all; in fact, after having just taken my first solo trip it’s actually extremely rewarding and fun!
I’m ashamed to admit that my previous misconceptions of solo travel included thinking that people who go away on their own must have a) no friends; b) be really weird; c) absolutely crazy for not wanting someone to go with. In reality, I was wrong on all counts. Solo travel is a really incredible experience and actually opens your eyes and ears to the world in a way that going with a group or friend can’t do. It’s not actually weird at all, in fact thousands of people do it for a multitude of reasons. These include:
- wanting to go somewhere really badly and finding no-one else is interested/has the time/ has the money
- being at a stage in life where you want/need to get away for a while, but no one else is.
- craving a bit of time out for personal reflection
- being interested in certain activities that others aren’t
- Simply wanting to go somewhere without having to make compromises.
Whatever your reasons may be for planning a solo trip; they are all valid. You might find you end up justifying why you are travelling solo to friends, family or people you meet but don’t be ashamed! You’ll mostly be met with admiration and respect for having the confidence to go it alone.
Tips For Travelling Alone
Have your first night’s accommodation and your journey from the airport/station planned in advance. Having this peace of mind will ease many stresses of travelling alone and will help you to settle in to your destination. It’s also a great idea if you’re arriving jet lagged in a different time zone, as the last thing you want to do on your own is haggle with taxis and schlep from hostel to hostel looking for a bed.
Even if you don’t feel it, act like it. You don’t want to appear vulnerable by looking lost or scared, but having confidence is also key to meeting people and making friends! A smile goes a long way, especially when there is a language barrier.
Share Your Plans
Let friends/family know your whereabouts and immediate travel plans. Not only will this give them peace of mind, but is much safer for you too. It’s easy to do as local sim cards with 3G service are widely available – just make sure you travel with an unlocked phone. If not, grab wifi at a cafe/hostel to share your itinerary.
Take A Tripod
If you want to take awesome travel pictures for Instagram and don’t trust passer-bys to not chop your feet/head off, then taking a tripod along with you is a great travel hack! I bought mine for only £24.99 from Jessops and am able to take photos remotely (and do as many retakes as I please without feeling guilty about it!).
Keep Your Hotel’s Address On You
A really important tip for any solo trip is to keep your hotel address and phone number on you in case you get lost. Have it written in English and in the native language so that you can easily ask for directions.
Relax and Have Fun!
Although it’s good to be aware of your surroundings and think of your safety, don’t forget to relax and enjoy your trip! There’s no point going away on your own if you’re just going to hole up in your hotel room, so get out and explore, meet people and soak up your surroundings.
Come and join the adventure…
Instagram – cotton.tales