Travelling can be a daunting experience wherever you go, but it becomes even scarier if you take the brave step to journey alone. Whether you are just going for a few days or an extended trip of several months, it is an experience you will never forget. Without having a safety net of familiar faces to fall back on, you will end up getting yourself into totally different situations and speaking to people who you may never have got the chance to meet before. If you are thinking of taking the plunge and travelling by yourself, here is some useful advice to get you started.
Find the Right Places to Stay
Whether you are a naturally sociable person or not, staying in a hostel is a great way to meet people. Everyone has their own story to tell and it is very easy to strike up conversations. You may even end up making a friend who you travel with or go to visit in the future. Many hostels also organize different activities which make it even easier to form new connections. If you don’t like the idea of sharing a room with strangers, they also have private rooms so you can get your alone time.
Make Sure You Are Fully Prepared
As you will be relying on yourself, it is important that you are as prepared as you can be. Research your destination before you get there so you have a general overview of what to expect. Make sure you do an online travel insurance comparison to give yourself peace of mind that you are fully protected, and also plan out your budget. Download some useful apps on your smartphone; a city guide, translation service and offline maps are a good starting point.
Be Ready to be Flexible
While it is a good idea to be fully prepared, you don’t want to be so rigid in your plans that you can’t move off from the beaten path. When you start talking to fellow travellers, you may find that you get some inside tips telling you to go to places that you had never thought of before. You may get invitations to go on different trips or even just out to dinner. Keeping your plans flexible will allow you make the most of the solo travelling experience.
Stop Yourself Getting Homesick
One of the main barriers to solo travel is the feeling of homesickness. Before you go, set out means of contact for your family and friends. A simple phone call or Skype conversation can make all the difference. Remember that it is okay to indulge in a little escapism from time to time like bingeing on your favourite TV show or burying your head in a book. Travelling can be an immensely rewarding, but also draining experience, so you should take the time to recharge your batteries whenever you feel you need to.
Solo travel is a fantastic and a life-changing adventure so make sure to fully embrace every minute of it.