Planning Solo Travel? Here are 5 (+1!) Tips to Help You Turn it into the Greatest Experience of Your Life.
Travelling solo is the ultimate self-indulgence. There’s been a major trend over the last few years towards travelling alone, and the rise of social media has only influenced more people to take up solo travel.
Understandably, many people are reluctant to get started travelling solo, sometimes because they simply prefer company, or because they worry about how to deal with an unknown place and unknown people by themselves.
However, it’s a great thing to take a chance on yourself and explore brand new places on your own. Whether it’s somewhere in the country of your residence or a foreign country you’ve always wanted to visit, here are a few tips to follow when you take that solo plunge!
1. Hotels aren’t the only accommodation option
Over the past decade or so, with the rise in solo and budget travellers, many backpackers’ hostels have sprung up in travel destinations across the world. While they may not rank up there with the hotels in terms of comfort – and forget about luxury – they make up through the unique people you meet.
Staying in hostels is a great way to get to meet new people from different corners of the globe. You get to hear all sorts of stories, learn about new places and new cultures, and for all you know, you might meet someone travelling onward to the same destination as yours! So even if you arrive alone, you may not necessarily leave alone. The thrill of making new friends is one like no other, and it’s not as easily possible when you travel with others.
2. Keep an open mind
People who travel solo, especially those on their first expedition, are usually anxious about the possibilities, likely or unlikely – particularly negative possibilities. There’s always a remote chance of bad things happening to you, whether or not you have company on your travels. It’s important to keep an open mind when you travel. Don’t get bogged down by your anxieties. You might meet all sorts of people and experience unexpected things and see unexpected places.
After all, if there’s a small change of bad things happening, there’s an even higher possibility of great things happening.
3. Keep your guard up, yet let your guard down
When you’re in a place that you’ve never been before, it’s natural to keep your guard up and make sure you don’t look too vulnerable and easy to target. It’s a matter of personal safety.
However, there will be times, especially when you meet new people, where you will realize that you need to let your guard down to connect with them.
There are plenty of good people out there, and when you have conversations with those you connect with, you will realize that in order to have a better connection, you need to let your guard down.
4. Keep a copy of all your documents on your person
When travelling, especially in a foreign country, there is a risk of losing your belongings, and some of the most important ones include your passport. With passports, visas and other important documents, make sure that you always have a copy in your bag just in case of emergencies. In fact, this is true of group travel as well. Always prepare copies and carry them with you wherever you go.
5. Try on-the-fly travelling
This is the most underrated piece of advice! Not many people take spontaneity into account, planning a bachelor’s trip with as much care as one which involves transporting an infant and an invalid.
We call it underrated because, if you can adapt to this style of travelling, your life can change.
Most travellers are obsessed with the thought of planning and making sure they know where they’re going and what they’re doing at all times. When you try impromptu travel, you figure things out as you go.
Doesn’t sound tempting? It’s not for everyone! Spontaneity gives you the opportunity to experience things that you never would have otherwise, and you simply don’t know what you could experience with such a relaxed schedule.
+1. Take a chance on yourself
This gives travel more of a philosophical bent. Travel is about more than just leisure and enjoyment. It’s about experiences – not just discovering places but discovering yourself. The more you throw yourself out there, the more people you meet, the more places you see, the more you tend to discover your own capabilities, and build your own sense of self-confidence.
It doesn’t matter how old you are when you start, because starting alone is progress. Go out there and explore the world. By yourself!