It is often said that travelling alone is a life-changing experience and one which will make you learn more about yourself, rather than about the world. Think about it – nobody knows where you are, and you have the freedom and opportunity to go and do whatever you want. Whether you’re planning your first solo trip or simply just flirting with the idea, here are a few tips which should help along the way.
1. Bring a journal
Even if you aren’t a big fan of jotting down your every move, it would be great to look back and see the emotions you felt during the entire trip. We’re aren’t suggesting you write the manuscript for your book, but even write places to visit for next time if you see yourself returning to this destination again.
Probably the worst part about travelling alone is the idea of safety, since there is no other friend coming along and watching your back. This means being on your guard a bit more, and making wise decisions since you can only take care of yourself. But also since you’re travelling alone, you can blend in with the rest of the population a bit better. It is important to know a few things however, and this includes the cost of getting into a taxi and a bit of the local customs and lingo so nobody takes advantage of you.
3. Look confident
Don’t walk around the main parts of town in a flashy t-shirt with your face in a guide-book. The key to travelling on your own is to look confident, even if you don’t feel that way at all. Do all your research at the hotel or hostel the night before, and don’t be afraid to wander around and lose yourself in the newfound city or country-life.
4. Trust everyone and no one
The entire trip doesn’t have to be completely solo, make friends with locals and other travellers who will be passing by just like you. Trust your instinct, if something or somebody doesn’t feel right, don’t stick around for something bad to happen.
5. Be selfish
Travelling alone gives you the power to go and do exactly as you please without waiting on anyone else. Sightsee, eat, drink and do whatever you want as many times as you please, since there is nobody to count on but yourself.
6. Stay connected
Don’t completely alienate yourself from friends and family back home, they might think that something’s happened to you! Consider bringing an inexpensive unlocked phone and buy a SIM card in every country you travel through. This will be cheaper to maintain and save lots of money. If you do plan to bring your smart phone, download Skype or Viber so friends and family can easily reach you.
7. Save your money
Try and save your money where possible, since there won’t be anyone else you can rely on to share a meal or split a cab. Make sure to have more than enough money on your trip, since this could easily turn things sour. Many tours still require a single supplement – which is a fee if you’re travelling alone, so be aware of how much money you will need before the trip.
Image via Tierra India