As liberating as setting off on your own adventure is, it can also be daunting. If it's your first time travelling alone, these tips for solo travel can help you navigate the world and make the most of your holiday, your way.
Do Your Research
Sure, it’s fun to go with the flow with only your whim as a guide, but you should have at least some kind of plan – even if it’s just for your first day. Always book the first night’s accommodation, try to arrive in daylight and know the approximate cab fare to town.
Make Copies Of Everything
Photocopy your travel documents (think passport, plane tickets, travel insurance policy, etc) and stash them in your suitcase; email copies to yourself; and take photos of everything on your camera. It pays to be over-prepared in this instance, in the rare case that anything goes missing.
Shunning technology to get out into the wide world sounds dreamy, but you really shouldn’t go totally off the grid. Tell someone back home your movements if you’re backpacking, or pass on the itinerary if you’re on a guided holiday.
Don’t make things harder than they need to be. SIM cards are an inexpensive way to navigate a new city. They’re cheap to buy and often come with plenty of data, allowing you to easily make sense of foreign public transport and directions. A solo traveller pouring over a foldout map is like a beacon for unwanted attention.
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Bring An Icebreaker
Whether it’s a national delicacy (Vegemite, anyone?) or a deck of cards, nothing brings people together like sharing food, drinks and games.
Speaking of getting from A to B, wandering down dingy alleyways in the middle of the night isn’t the best idea – whether you’re female or male. Stick to main streets and opt for a seat on public transport near the driver or a guard’s cabin.
Trivial white lies are one of your best defences abroad. If you need to ask for directions on the street, subtly let on you’re running late to meet a friend, husband or wife. The fictitious spouse comes in handy, whether you’re looking for the Colosseum or fending off overzealous venders in a Southeast Asian market.
Plan Your Meals
Eating alone at a restaurant is a surreal experience the first time around. But, the best seat in the house is at the bar. Here, you can chat with others and the bartenders. They’re often full of great local insights that you likely won’t find in a guidebook.
The Single Supplement
If you’re not keen on sharing a room on a tour, some operators offer last-minute deals with no single supplement. But if you don’t mind sharing, you may even meet your new best friend!
Relish The Alone Time
Loneliness is a guarantee, especially when you’re surrounded by loved-up couples and groups taking selfies in front of [insert tourist attraction here]. Use your time alone to jot down your experiences in a journal or simply watch the world go by.