Travelling solo can be both a daunting and a liberating experience. It’s a chance to take a journey not only to a given destination but a journey that we will take into ourself. Whether you have chosen to travel alone or whether it’s circumstances, we can all feel a little nervous about being alone. Here are five tips for making that solo travelling adventure a little easier.
1. Dining Alone
The thought of dining alone terrifies some people and treat it as something to be avoided at all costs. If you are travelling solo then you have no choice in the matter but it needn’t be uncomfortable. Once you have done it a few times it becomes rather easy. For first timers, bring a book, some paper work, your iPad and choose outdoor dining, all these provide a distraction from your ‘aloneness’. In fact the world has caught up with the solo travel phenomenon and you will find communal tables in the trendiest restaurants, where you can chat to other diners that maybe in a similar circumstance.
2. Staying Safe
When travelling solo, your safety is something that will be in the forefront of your mind. Travelling to countries with different cultures that are significantly different to our own will require some research prior to leaving. You do not want to breach any laws, offend the locals or walk around in isolated areas in an attempt to get off the beaten path. It’s not worth risking your safety. Know what areas of the city to avoid and stick to well lit, busy tourist areas at night.
3. Have a purpose
Fill your itinerary with planned activities that keep you busy throughout the day. It will help to keep your mind off loneliness. Join a day tour, buy yourself that camera you have always wanted and make the focal point of the trip photography. Once you are back to your room at night, catch up with social media - organise photo albums of your trip ready to be posted. Keep a journal that you can spend your time on at night or plan the next days activities.
4. Be prepared
Research, research research! I can’t say this enough. Before you even land in a foreign country, have your accommodation and transport organised prior to travelling. Find out how much a taxi will cost from the airport to your hotel. If at all possible arrange to get to your accommodation in daylight hours. There is nothing more stressful than trying to navigate your way to a hotel in the dark of night, on your own and with a suitcase in tow. If your budget allows, arrange with your hotel for a meet and greet service - saves you looking for a cab, bus or train.
5. Keeping in touch
Keeping in touch with family members regularly whilst you are away is very important for the solo traveler. With apps like Skype, Viber and FaceTime, it’s easy to speak in ‘real time’ with loved ones. Have an arrangement as to how often you keep in touch. Updating your social media each day will also give family members peace of mind that you are safe. Wi-Fi can be found in many cafes for free when you are out and about, especially if your hotel does not offer free Wi-Fi. Some cities have public areas that also offer free Wi-Fi.
Solo travel offers you the freedom to completely please yourself on how you spend your holiday. You choose what to see, when you will see it and how long you intend to stay. If you wish to stand and look at the Eiffel Tower for 3 hours you can. - All without having to consider anybody else's wishes. Travelling solo truly shows you what freedom really looks like.
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