A mini guide to mastering solo travel
Few experiences will be more liberating than traveling to one or more destinations on your own. After all, you will not be forced to wait for your friends to make backpacking plans and no-one can dictate when and where you can travel.
While the world will be your oyster, it is also possible that you might make some mistakes when traveling alone or you could succumb to loneliness. To ensure you tick every destination off your bucket list, read this mini guide to mastering solo travel.
1. Create an itinerary
While solo travel will provide you with more freedom than ever before, it is important to create an itinerary for when you are on the road. If you know where and when you are going to travel, you can book a hotel or hostel in advance to ensure you will always have a safe place to sleep each night. The last thing you want is to arrive at a destination only to frantically be searching for suitable accommodation, which could make you want to jump on the first flight home.
2. Find ways to stay busy
While solo travel will undoubtedly provide you with greater freedom when venturing to different corners of the world, it can be a little lonely at times. The more time you spend twiddling your thumbs, the more you will miss your loved ones. As a result, you might be tempted to cut your adventure short and could miss out on superb experiences.
It is, therefore, essential to find ways to keep yourself occupied during lulls in your visit to a destination. For example, you could read a good book or go for a brisk walk. If you have access to internet, there are plenty of ways to remain busy, as you could join an online course or write a travel blog to share your experiences.
You could even enjoy a little escapism on a device, such as reading travel guides for inspiration on your next adventure, using platforms like Paddy Power to play poker, or even watching a movie or TV show on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.
3. Research every destination
It is an intelligent idea to thoroughly research a destination prior to a solo trip. For instance, you should familiarize yourself with your surroundings by visiting a town or city on Google Maps, which will allow you to get a sense of the streets, activities and restaurants there, as well as any potential safety issues.
Plus, it could prevent you from becoming lost when making your way from A to B. Once you arrive at a destination, ask your hostel or hotel for a map and to highlight safe areas to explore when on your own.
4. Regularly contact your loved ones
It is crucial to regularly keep in touch with your loved ones back home when embarking on a solo adventure. If you have a travel itinerary, send your loved ones a copy back home, so they will know where you are in the world. Staying in contact with your nearest and dearest could also stop you from feeling homesick, as you can stay up-to-date on their lives while sharing your stories.
There are a variety of ways to remain in contact with those close to you when on the road, as you could:
Call them on your smartphone
Organize a video call
Send regular emails
Update relatives and friends with a postcard
Share photos of your travels on social media
5. Pick an English-speaking destination
This point is valid only if English is your mother tongue or you are fluent in it 🙂
Solo travel can be rather daunting and traveling to a non-English speaking country could make the experience much harder. If locals don’t speak English as their first or second language, you could have trouble communicating when asking for directions, ordering off a menu or booking train tickets. If you are a first-time solo traveler, stick with English-speaking countries, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, or the US.
So, if you are planning to embark on a solo adventure in the near future, you should bear the above tips in mind.
TIP: Here’s more about 5 best solo travel destinations 🙂