You and your bestie have finally saved up enough money to go on the trip of a lifetime. All that hard work, sacrificing nights out and takeaways have finally paid off.
Then at the last minute, disaster. Your friend pulls out.
What do you do? Do you cancel a once in a lifetime adventure? Or do you book those flights and go it alone?
The prospect of travelling solo can be scary for many of us:
“Will I be lonely?”
“Will I have enough money?”
“Will it be weird eating in a restaurant on my own?”
The truth is travelling alone can be one of the most exciting, liberating and life-changing choices you will ever make. You are in control of where you go, what you do and how you do it.
So if you are about to jet off all by yourself, or you aren't quite sure if it's for you, here are 5 tips on how to travel alone to make the most of your adventure.
1. Meet other travellers
Travelling alone can open the door to meeting other like-minded people and to integrating with locals. On Showaround, you can search for a local to find hidden gems in the area you are staying.
Interactive travel forums such as these generate speedy results on the top places to visit. Be wary however, sometimes the never-ending stream of conflicting reviews can make decision making a time consuming ordeal when trying to decide on that perfect place to eat or stay.
2. Plan in advance
Before you travel, make sure you plan out your trip and read up on where you are going, where is best to visit and what are the places that travellers would do better to avoid. Booking a guided tour when you arrive can be a great way of familiarising yourself with an area. It's also useful to hear advice from a local or a professional guide. Both can provide useful insights and will base them on your interests as well as show you the fun places to go.
3. Stay safe
If you are travelling alone, it’s good practice to keep a friend or family member updated on what you’re up to and where you are, in case of an emergency.
Keep essential information on you! This includes where you are staying, and your emergency contacts. I would recommend purchasing a money bag for keeping your valuables close to you.
Also, keep your phone charged. You never know when you might need it. In the likely event that you run out of power (it happens more often when travelling, I find), battery packs are a great gadget to have while out and about.
Take care when out at night and listen to your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it, (unless it’s a salsa class). Make sure you arrive at a new destination when it’s daylight.
4. Dine alone
Okay, it’s one we all worry about. But if you sit in your hotel room with a takeaway every night, you may as well be at home.
Find out where the best restaurants are for solo travellers. It is also a great way to meet people as well as engaging with locals and trying the cuisine.
“Table for one?”
“You know it”!
5. Travel light
If you are able to pack light, this will make it a lot easier for you to carry your own luggage. It also gives you more flexibility when you are exploring new cities. If you have a massive bag to carry around everywhere, it can get quite uncomfortable on the old shoulders.
Do you really need all those shorts and tops? It’s likely that you don't. Laundromats are easy to find and hostels have washing machines. If it is likely that you will buy things when you are out there, you will want to leave a bit of space.
Travelling by yourself can be daunting. But if you are up for a new adventure, these 5 tips on how to travel alone should help you make the most of your experience.
And remember...Enjoy yourself and have a safe journey!