Solo travel can be one of the most exciting, life changing things you can do. Whether you haven’t met that special someone, your friends are all too tied up with work or you simply don’t have anyone who shares your wanderlust, travelling solo needn’t be daunting. So, let’s throw caution to the wind and plan the adventure of a lifetime.
Follow these eight tips for travelling solo and it’ll be a piece of cake.
You got this
Been dreaming about a certain destination but haven’t found anyone to accompany you? What’s stopping you? You got this! Whether you’re in need of a confidence boost or you just need information on the first steps, planning a solo trip is achievable. You can even make the whole journey a little easier by using a baggage delivery service.
A simple hello is all it takes
Saying hello is a simple, easy way to make friends. It could be at the hostel breakfast table, onboard the plane or even on a connecting bus. Striking up a conversation is easy and there will be so many other solo travellers in your position doing the same thing. Believe me! You won’t know unless you try, so a simple smile and hello is all it takes.
Have a ten second intro
You’ll be meeting so many new people so it’s best to have a prepared introduction. It’s likely the first question you’ll be asked is where you’re from and where you are going. After you’ve covered the basics it’s good to have a ten second conversation starter that will let them know more about you and what makes you tick.
Of course, don’t have a memorised speech! Just a few things about you and your interests, maybe something you’d like to visit in the area and if they’d like to visit it to. It’s little things like this that help keep the conversation flowing and let you learn about each other’s interests.
Do something you normally would never try at home
Now is your time to open yourself up to new and exciting experiences. In Lima, why not try your hand at paragliding? Stopping off in Havana, get some lessons on Salsa dancing! You’ll not only broaden your horizons, but you’ll undoubtedly make new friends as you bond over these amazing experiences.
Every new, exciting activity you sign up for, you will meet new people. The truth is that when you travel solo, you’re never really alone!
Know your limits
Waking up with a hangover in a hostel is not ideal. Understand your alcohol limits and take it easy on the drinking. There’ll be plenty of excuses to party, but no one likes a messy drunk, and hangovers with high humidity are the WORST, trust me.
Not only will you get the dreaded hangover fear, but you will waste valuable adventure time nursing your head in a hostel dorm. Enjoy a good night out but try to be responsible and as for drugs, just don’t go there. We’ve all heard the horror stories about backpackers in foreign jails. Not only is it dangerous to misuse drugs, it could also land you in a very sticky situation with local law officials, it just isn’t worth it.
Research your destination
It’s important to be aware of your surroundings, especially when travelling alone. Check out the current economic or political situation, be aware of the inner-city crime rates and read up on some well-known scams that might operate in the area. Crime is rare and can happen to anyone, but it is better to be prepared and to know what to expect. This simple research will not only set your mind at ease but will keep you one step ahead.
Hostels are the most reliable way to make new friends and to be in a social atmosphere. Unlike hotels they will also offer a cheaper alternative than having to stay in a room dedicated to two.
Many hostels have friendly, fun dorms with likeminded travellers who will be up for socialising, exploring and trying new things. It’s important to check into a hostel that is right for you. Some are quiet, some are party central, some are family run etc. Also remember to read the reviews. Do you want to be kept up all night after a 12-hour bus journey?
There are also basics to remember. Will this hostel provide towels, a breakfast, free Wifi? Ask yourself these questions before you book and believe me, you’ll thank yourself later
Check in with family and friends
When you are having the time of your life it’s easy to forget about friends and family at home but remember to check in with them and let them know how you are getting on. It would be a good idea to send them a copy of your itinerary including any flights, hostel reservations or even a rough idea of your travel plans.
With the wonders of technology, it isn’t hard to contact your family anymore, so do them a solid and update them on your travels, if not only to make them incredibly jealous, it will let them know you’re safe.
Consider the country you are visiting. It’s good to note that internet access is limited in China, Cuba and many other countries so research what service you can use beforehand.
Travelling alone can be a daunting task, but if you follow our tips then you’ll be a travel pro in no time. Remember us when you’re having the time of your life!