Solo Travel! Sounds unnerving and daunting and it feels that way the very first time you travel all by yourself. But it doesn’t have to be. With the right kind of research and preparation, Solo Travel can be ultimate fun and Addictive. Once a solo traveller, everything else starts to seem ordinary and binding. So here are a few tips to make your trip an absolute blast.
Research, Research Research:
It is important to choose a destination, which in general is popular for its safety and security standards. Most large cities in the first world countries, are safe enough women to travel by themselves but the larger metros in the developing and third world countries aren’t too far behind either. But the first step is to understand why you want to visit a certain place. is it because it has been on your bucket list forever, Is it Art, culture, food, Shopping, or because you want to escape the Hustle and Bustle. Whatever may be your reason and destination, a good travel agent will be able to provide you with all the right advice and make all arrangements, for your travel.
Transport from Airport to Hotel:
A lot of international flights, reach late night or early in the morning. Though the safest thing would be to find a flight that would reach during the day, the options may not always be easily available to suit your budget. In such cases, it is imperative to find a taxi service, that is reliable. Most countries these days have women driven cabs or of course the other way would be to find a cab-services that has good users reviews especially those given by women. Either way pre-arranging transfers from the airport is essential when one is travelling alone at odd hours. Transfers from the airport are however usually part if a fixed itinerary is arranged with an agent.
Locale and Living space:
As a solo traveller ease of travel and proximity to important tourist spots, eateries, cafe and shopping centres is very essential. The distance should never be a cause of restriction for how late you can stay out. Hotels located far from the city will demand early return which will cause you a loss of freedom. If you are booking with a travel agent, most of them have well-researched hotels in terms of safety and distance. However, if you are on your own tips from sites like trip advisor where you will get genuine advice from tourists who have actually stayed in those locations and properties will definitely help.
Decide on an Itinerary:
If you have a planned itinerary with your travel agent then you are all set for your trip, but if you are travelling on your own schedule, it would be a good idea to make a list of where you would go and what you would like to see. Spontaneous is great, but the chances are that the routing may go haywire and while at it you will miss out on key locations. Another way to stay safe would be to share the itinerary with friends and family so that they always know your whereabouts.
Be a Roman while in Rome:
A good read on your destination would be an unexpected gift you would give yourself on vacation. Local customs, a few words in the local language like hello, Thank you and asking for directions, An idea on what the local delicacy is and Etiquettes would take you a long way and also make your vacation fun by saving you a lot of time. Another totally in thing right now, which counts for an amazing experience is learning to cook the local cuisine. Even more fun thing to do? Then don’t forget the hop on hop off
Be Tech Savvy:
Well, downloading Apps cost money. Most Apps are free, but while you are roaming it’s still not great to download anything on your home service. So well before you trip ensure you have all Apps such as Uber, Lyft, Beck or whatever may be the Hi-Tech taxi service available on call, for to ferry yourself around. There are also Tons of Apps which are localised to particular cities to give you the right perspective in where to go or eat and so on. Mobile phone carrier companies also have kiosks in Airports which are low in cost meant for short tourist stay. Having something like this would be most beneficial especially because Accessing google maps is almost a must these
Keep a check on your pocket:
When in a foreign country or anywhere outside of our own city its easy to lose track of what and how much you are spending, because you are constantly telling yourself you are there only once. There are various categories that you would spend on like accommodation, food, Transport, sights, Shopping etc. But unless there is an allocation, you would definitely find a big hole in your pocket upon return or even worse fall short of money while on the trip. With an Agent booking there is usually a clear picture on factors such as stay, food and transfers, However, the rest still needs to be planned and accounted for.
Safety of Valuables:
There is always a debate on whether or not it is secure to put your valuables in the hotel Safe. If you are staying in a property that is of good standards it is definitely advisable to leave your passport, any extra cash or light jewellery in the hotel safe. If you don’t trust the hotel or if the hotel doesn’t have a safe, the best thing would carry it with you, in your sling bag, wrapped tightly around you, or maybe in the bottom most part of your backpack. Always keep in mind to only withdraw the right amount of cash that you need for that day, and yes is always a good idea to keep tiny cash with you in a place outside of just your wallet. But never withdraw excess cash on day 1 to cover your whole trip.
Don’t Attract Attention:
On a solo travel its always a good idea to have minimalistic jewellery and to be dressed very conveniently. Wearing comfortable clothes in neutral colours, with comfortable shoes, will help avoid bad attention and also lets you blend in. Carry items like a scarf and based on the weather carrying a light sweater is also a good idea. If it is a religious place or a place that has a certain dress code, please research in advance on what to wear.
The first day of the solo trip always feels a bit lonely, especially if it’s your very first time. But once you are onto the schedule and doing things you really want to do, you’ll wish you stayed in your vacation destination forever. Travelling alone is great and liberating. So the key is to plan the spots perfectly and ensure that you are checking the items off your list doing everything that makes you happy. If it is a vacation to just spend time with yourself lying on a beach, then ensure that you carry things that keep you entertained, whether its a book or large pair of sunglasses to cover your eyes so could sleep it away on the warm sand.
Live Life King Sized:
Remember that you are doing this because you want to and not because you don’t have a choice. You might at times find yourself shy and unable to talk to people or maybe do things that make you a little less confident. In any foreign country especially the ones that are very different our own, we often fear that we may look stupid doing something or make a fool out of ourselves asking a question that you ought not to. But people are more kind than we realise. It’s only a matter of starting it and once you do you will realise that you get more and more confident every time. Once you return from a trip not only will you think of all the fun you’ve had but the positive change in you will stay with you forever.
Be a smart Traveller:
Once you are confident, there are times you will feel anything is ok and everyone is the same. It’s a great feeling but it also good to exercise a certain amount of caution. It’s good not to be too trusting and especially do not give details on your whereabouts to strangers and most importantly do not leave any belongings with strangers. If you are sharing a drink with someone you don’t know, always remember to stay within limits and go back to your place of accommodation by yourself. Trust your instincts and stay ahead of things.
Well, we got a lot of things to say and you got a lot of things to do… But be who are and live life to the fullest. Solo Travel is a gift. It makes you more confident and makes you a total BADASS chick. And most importantly have FUN. Like that’s exactly what you are born to do. A lot of us had butterflies and jitters too when we picked up our bags the very first time. But once you do it there is no stopping you, there is no going back and you will never ever settle for anything lesser. There is a big beautiful world out there waiting just for you to be discovered.