For some people, travelling alone is the ultimate adventure, for others it is terrifying! But it doesn’t need to be. Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll have, and with a few handy tips you can ensure your own trip away is a positive experience.
- Pack Light – When travelling alone there’s no point adding unnecessary weight to your load. The lighter you pack, the less you have to carry which you’ll appreciate later! This is especially important, as you generally won’t have anyone to share the weight-bearing load.
- Consider your dress carefully – The aim is to avoid looking too much like a tourist and to not offend the locals. Avoid clothing that is immodest or offensive, and leave the flashy jewellery behind. The same goes for anything that contains swear words or religious imagery. By blending in with the local culture you will not only gain respect from the locals, you will help to prevent tourist-targeted crimes such as theft and pickpocketing.
- Always Stay Safe – When travelling alone, make sure somebody always knows what you are doing and give copies of your important documents and itinerary to somebody at home. Once away, keep in open, public places (especially at night) and out on the street avoid telling people you’re travelling alone – use phrases like ‘can you give me directions to the restaurant? I need to meet a friend there,’ to thwart opportunists.
- Aim to Arrive in the Daytime – If you can avoid late-night arrivals, then do. Travelling alone is safer and easier by the light of day, and you have more transport options for getting around.
- Find Other Travelers – Traveling alone gives you enormous opportunities to meet others. You may be surprised just how many solo travellers are out there in the world. From all cultural backgrounds, situations and age brackets, travelling alone is becoming more and more popular. Thanks to modern technology you can now use Facebook, Twitter and other online groups to meet new friends who are also travelling alone.
- Learn Some of the Local Language – It doesn’t take long to learn a few simple words and phrases before you go, and it can make all the difference! Being able to order a meal or count to ten will not only help you navigate the destination, but will impress locals who love to know you’re doing your best to interact.
- Write Down Everything – Try writing in a travel journal each day, even if it’s just a few words to sum up your day. If journals aren’t your thing, try a blog or start jotting down your memories on postcards! Whatever the medium, you’ll be surprised how quickly those precious memories slip away, and how much you’ll appreciate the memento years down the line.
Travelling alone can be an exciting and liberating experience, or a necessity due to work or family obligations. For whatever reason you are travelling alone, make the most of the opportunity and enjoy every moment.