Need to get away but got no one to go with? Why not set off solo? It can be done! We asked eight SheSaid readers to spill their top globetrotting tips.
“I always travel on my own and my only 2 tips are one, pre-book the first night you arrive in some weird country fresh off the plane so you know where you’re going. And two, scope out a nice bar during the day to hang at in the evening while you lurk for unsuspecting English-speakers!” Jenny.
“Only take clothes you really know you will wear. Be ruthless. Nothing is more exhausting than lugging around bags full of things you wish you’d left at home! Limit yourself to what you can carry by yourself: a suitcase (preferably a wheely type), a shoulder bag or backpack, and some kind of money belt.” Caroline.
“Safety for the solo woman traveler is an important issue. It’s really important to be aware of everything that’s going on around you – and I don’t mean just taking in the sights! Try to walk with a purpose and be sure to keep an eye on your surrounds as you go. If you look like you know what you’re doing and where you’re going, you’re less likely to be targeted as a victim.” Julia.
“We’ve all seen the news headlines about girls who have stuff planted in their luggage only to become unwitting ‘mules’ for drug couriers and other scumbags. Keep an eye on your bags at all times and don’t leave your luggage unattended, especially not with the nice young man who just befriended you in the departure lounge!” Christine.
“Travelling solo can lead to some great moments of introspection and reflection. Try keeping a travel journal of your trip, recording not only the sights, sounds and smells of your travels, but also your inner thoughts. Solitude can conjure up all sorts of surprising revelations and a journal is a great memory aid for future years!” Sally.
“Emailing family and friends throughout your journey is a great way of keeping your family and friends up to date with your travel plans. Before you head off, set up a free web based email address that you will use just for your travel emails. You’ll find internet cafes almost everywhere and they are a relatively cheap was to stay in touch (and a lots more reliable than some phone services!) You can research the location of internet cafes around the world at www.cybercafe.com .” Jess.
“Don’t stress about having to write individual emails to all your mates. No one will expect you to write personalised emails every time. It’s a good idea to set up a group email address of friends and maybe a separate one for family so you can send a single email to each group – a no-holds-barred account for your friends and a g-rated version for your folks!” Melonie.
“With no one else to consider, travelling solo means that you can indulge in any daggy activity you desire. Immerse yourself in the culture of your destination by attending at least one event whether it’s a ballet, football, opera, bullfight or sumo wrestling match – whatever! If you can, find out what the locals do for fun, get yourself a ticket and enjoy!” Helen.
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