Travelling is undoubtedly a great deal of fun. Sometimes, by choice or by chance, some of us will wind up travelling on our own. This is a great opportunity to learn more about yourself and be more independent. Personally, I have travelled alone to Moscow and Nice and they were both good experiences for me. However, it definitely helps to keep these ten tips in mind.
- Choose to stay in a backpacker’s hostel
Part of the fun of travelling alone is meeting people from everywhere. Backpacker’s hostels are usually perfect places, because you will meet people who like yourself, are travelling alone and have great stories and travel tips to share.
- Do your research
Travelling on your own, it’s always handy to learn about the destination before hand. Bring a good travel guide. In Moscow, I depended on my Lonely Planet for travel tips, information on key sights and directions.
- Stay in safe places
For me, dangerous countries are a definite no-go, but even safe countries sometimes have bad neighbourhoods. I would advise keeping away from such areas. Besides, there’s usually not much for the average tourist there anyway.
- Be open to new experiences
A different country has loads to offer. All sorts of food, sights and sounds. Try something that you usually wouldn’t do. For me, that was doing a seven-hour hike! Pretty gruelling, but fun nevertheless! And the view was worth every step.
- Learn to deal with unnecessary attention
A friend and I were sharing how travelling on your own sometimes attract unwanted, male attention. Be polite, but firm. Pull out the “I have a boyfriend/ husband” card (real or imaginary) and that usually does the trick.
- Plan your finances well
I sometimes read about people running out of money in the middle of trips. I honestly do not know how anyone would go on a trip without ensuring they had sufficient funds, but this is even more important when you are on your own without a travel companion to lend you some cash to tide you through.
- Bring entertainment material
One of the down sides of travelling alone is the lack of a travel companion to chat with. Bring novels and put some music on your iPod to keep you company on those long train, bus or plane trips.
- Pack light
As much as we’d love to have our entire wardrobe and make-up collection at our beck and call, the best thing you can do for yourself is to bring only what is essential. It’s no fun lugging huge luggage up a flight of stairs at the train station. Consider paring down your make-up routine while on vacation. Bring shoes that are comfortable enough to walk in, yet presentable enough for an evening out.
- Combat loneliness
Perhaps the worst part of travelling alone is that loneliness can sometimes sink in. Combat this by packing your schedule with lots of fun activities so you don’t spend too much time feeling lonely. I find that buying thoughtful souvenirs for loved ones also helps fight loneliness.
- Trust yourself
Travelling alone can be a scary experience. But have faith in yourself and have fun! Trust your gut instincts. Studies have shown that women have stronger intuition than men do. That’s a powerful advantage for any traveller!