Travelling will always be fun, more so if the destination is an interesting one. The experience will be a lot of fun and very memorable when travelling in groups, but what if for some reason you decide to go on the journey alone?
In this article, we will tackle ten useful tips for travelling alone. Travelling alone will of course be a lot different to travelling in groups. You might be wondering what the perks and downsides for going solo are, so before we get on with the tips for solo travelling, let us take a good look at the pros and cons of travelling alone.
- You will own your time. You can plan your activities on your own! If you want to go to a place, no one will stop you. If you want to sleep all day, no problem!
- You will have the entire travel budget to yourself! You can have more purchasing power since there is no sharing to be considered.
- You can create and follow your own itinerary. You can choose the date of departure and return, and of course you can control the whole flow of your journey.
- You will have no one to spend time with and share those happy moments.
- You will carry your heavy baggage alone.
- Overall safety will be compromised. If you are lost or in danger, you will be alone in the predicament unless you reach out to foreigners.
Once you have weighed the pros and cons and decided that you would rather travel alone, here are ten valuable tips you should consider in your travel.
1. Know your Journey and Don’t Over-pack
This tip will be very useful if you are going on a backpacking trip as you will carry all of your stuff on your back; and travelling with a sore or injured back will be no fun at all. First of all is to know where and for how long your trip will be. For those short trips, consider bringing only a few clothes. For long trips, always consider doing your laundry on the trip to have the privilege of bringing only a few clothes. Remember, lightly packed baggage is key to getting around easily.
2. Plan ahead, but be spontaneous
It is a good idea to know where you will stay once you arrive at your destination. Also, having a pre-made itinerary will also be helpful to avoid the hassle of planning your every move once there. But being spontaneous may be helpful too as it may give you a sense of adventure! Ask people around where to go and stay, as residents in that area may know the best places and the best things to do there!
3. Consider “Organized” tours
You might think that these group based “organized” tours are no fun as they are too formal, but some of them may be like you too, independent backpackers or travellers that may have the same goals as you! They may be good friends for you to have during or even after your travel!
4. Use Public Transportation
Once you are in the country that you chose to land in, you will of course roam the area right? The best method of exploration will always be via public transportation. So anticipate the language barrier gap for you to be able to read and understand information regarding going around the area.
5. Think About Bringing your Laptop
Besides a mobile phone, bringing a laptop may be handy too! You can take note of interesting things, upload pictures, and make that online journal if you cannot wait until you come back home. Also, a laptop computer can be your portable guide if you are lost. Simply use Google Maps or perhaps Google anything that concerns you during the trip.
6. Bring an International Credit Card
To avoid the hassle of monetary conversion, bring with you a credit card as it is most probably usable internationally. If you see things you want or need to purchase, simply bring out your card and swipe away!
7. Talk to other Travellers
If planning ahead is really impossible, don’t fret as chances are you will meet fellow travellers along the way. Fellow travellers may some times be more helpful than residents as your fellow backpackers may share common tastes, goals or interests as you and they can refer you to places that are worth your time.
8. Follow Local Dress and Behavior Customs
This is not for your enjoyment, but most probably for your safety. Avoid offending people and embarrassing yourself by knowing how to dress and act appropriately in the foreign land. As you are all alone, being in trouble in a foreign land will be very unpleasant.
9. Consider Staying in Hostels
Hotels as we all know are quite expensive, so consider a cheaper alternative in hostels. Hostels provide budget oriented and sociable accommodation where guests can stay. Chances are you will meet fellow backpackers there which you can hangout with. Private rooms will also be available so it is up to you!
10. Keep Common Sense in Tact
This tip is like a summary for your entire trip, especially for safety. Always keep in mind that safety is a first, so stay away from dark solitary places, do not trust unauthorized personnel, stay active and learn to hone your instincts to quickly detect fishy scenarios. Ensure to take care of your personal belongings especially your passport and IDs, as you will need them for your journey and as you go back home.
So there you go! Follow these ten tips and you will surely have a safe and fun journey. Needless to say, be emotionally prepared too as travelling with no companions is not so easy, but still worth the experience. Good luck on your solo trip!
Jessica Francisco is a cheerful 25-year-old with an odd sense of fun. The least of her broad range of hobbies include swimming, hiking and listening to the music of Michael Jackson. Jessica is also one of the editors of Mr. Roxas.