Travel tips: 10 ways to perfect the art of travelling solo
Travel is great fun isn’t it? The feeling of exploring a new country, taking in all that it has to offer – it’s all quite exciting, really. What’s not so exciting is the fear that comes with travelling alone. Like, who are you going to talk to? Who are you going to eat with? Who is going to stop you from buying that massive straw hat that you will never wear and costs just about as much as entire three course meal?! These are all important questions and actual fears…
So, in an attempt to tame your fears of travelling alone, we asked the good folk at Skyscanner for some tips on how to perfect the art of travelling solo.
Here’s what they had to say:
1. Keep within your budget
If you’re worried that you’ll overspend, it’s important to keep to a budget from the outset. Flying off somewhere exotic such as the Caribbean might be tempting but there’s no point overspending before you even take off, so it might be wiser to choose somewhere closer to home. Once you land be sure to ask the locals about where they shop and also bargain. When it comes to local tours, look around. Don’t just settle for the first company that you find. Pre-planning is key.
2. Consider alternative accommodation
While hotels are ideal for most, if you’re traveling solo you should consider a hostel, B&B or guest houses. For the latter, you might find the home comforts and friendly face very welcoming when you come “home” after a day exploring; for the former, lots of faces means lots of conversation and new people to meet. That's dinner and who you are going to talk to, sorted.
3. Keep things simple
If you’re new to traveling alone, keep your itinerary simple. Book a return week in Rome or Croatia rather than a European adventure from one to the other. Or if you do want to visit more than one place, use the Skyscanner multi-city search to book your flights in advance so you know exactly where you’re going to be and when. When it comes to the sights, know that it may take you a while to get from one to the other. So, make a list of the things that you REALLY want to see. Or, just pick area of the city and wing it. You never know, you might just stumble upon a hidden gem.
4. Consider an all-inclusive
If you’re keen on a solo trip but don’t feel brave enough for the whole experience, why not try an all-inclusive first? It means you won't have to fuss about where to dine every night or battle a foreign-language public transport schedule alone. It may not be as adventurous but at least you’ll know what you are getting yourself into.
5. Talk to and listen to locals
If a local tells you not to go somewhere at night or even during the day, then don’t go there. Chances are they know what they’re talking about and it’s not worth putting yourself at risk. The same goes for restaurant recommendations and sights – locals always know best and in most cases make for perfect tour guides.
You’ll be on your own for some if not most of your journey so, it’s up to you to make sure that you keep healthy and fit. Drink lots of water, regardless of where you are going and give your body enough time to adjust and rest.
7. Take a book with you
If you opt to stay in a B&B, a good book will keep you plenty company during your time alone. They are also great at keeping you entertained in between flights and unlike phones, do not need charging – the following tip does not apply to Kindle readers, obviously.
8. Invest in comfy shoes
It applies to all travel. You’re not going to see anything if the thought of putting on your trainers and walking is met with a sigh and cry for help. So, invest in a good pair of kicks and save on having to buy new ones when you’re there.
9. Learn a few local key words
Communication is important (VERY important) and sometimes Google Translate does let you down – nothing asking for the restroom and being met with a blank stare, so be sure to learn a few key words before setting off on your journey.
10. Give it an actual try
Travelling alone takes time so, give it an actual, fair go chance before packing up and vowing to never do it again.