Tips for travelling alone
When you’re at home planning your next trip away the idea of taking yourself off to explore the world on your own can seem scary. But it doesn’t have to be. Travelling alone can be really rewarding, and a great way to experience something totally unique.
Plan your accommodation
Whether you’re planning on booking up all of your accommodation before you depart or want to go with the flow when you arrive at your destination, solo travellers can benefit from thinking about the types of places they stay. Renting a room in someone’s home has become very popular through sites like Airbnb, which can give you an instant connection to the other people in the house. If you’d rather go for a traditional hotel setting, then hostels or guest houses can be a great opportunity to mix with other solo travellers. Plus, you can spend some time in the common rooms or hostel bars to meet other travellers.
As with all travels around the world, it’s important to think about being safe. Although travelling on your own can be a really rewarding experience, you need to make sure that you look after yourself and don’t put yourself at any unnecessary risk. Stick to well-lit areas at night, don’t leave your drinks unattended if you’re at a bar, and make sure that you keep your valuables safe at all times - with important documents and money in something like a secure money belt. It can be a good idea to keep a photocopy of all of your important documents in your suitcase, separate from the original documents, just in case.
Pack your own entertainment
Although you’re likely to be pretty entertained by your gorgeous surroundings, there might be little moments where you feel a bit lonely or bored. Carry a book, a journal, a magazine or even just some postcards with you at all times, so that you have something to do if you’re feeling a bit exposed when you stop for a meal or when you take an hour out to chill.
Get involved with the culture
Just because you’re travelling alone doesn’t mean that you should spend the whole trip without having a conversation. Putting yourself out there and getting to know the locals and the culture of the country you’re visiting is a great way to experience a true taste of your destination. Make the effort to learn some of the language, and work on making conversation with people you don’t know if you’re usually quite shy.
If you’re in a country for a longer period of time then you can make some more permanent decisions, like signing up for a local language short course to meet people and broaden your vocabulary. You could also visit the same cafe or shop regularly in order to build a relationship with the people that are there.
Make the most of it
Although some people have a tendency to worry about the negatives when it comes to travelling alone, the positives greatly outweigh them. When you’re on your own the whole trip can be exactly how you want it to be; no worrying about whether the person you’re with hates museums, or that you want to get up early, or that they don’t like anything on the menu at the restaurant you chose. You get to be wonderfully selfish, and it will feel amazing.