Thursday 16 January 2014

AD | Tips I Have Gathered from my Solo Adventures

Many people associate solo trips with loneliness, anxiety, and insecurity. While this might be true to some extent, the benefits far outweigh the cons.

In fact, I experienced my best moments when I started travelling alone. I realised that I had time to take pictures for longer durations, explore wherever I wanted at will, and connect with myself at a deeper level.

In that case, here are some solo travel tips I have gathered over the years:

Financial Tips

Tricky financial situations are usually inevitable on solo trips, no matter how careful a planner you might be. It’s therefore helpful to have a backup plan. For instance, you can have an emergency fund or someone you can call for instant financial help.

Having all your money together is like putting all your eggs in one basket. The risk is too high. Split the cash. You can have some on you while the rest is in another backpack.

While the internet and cellular signals are available in many tourist destinations, roaming attracts high mobile carrier charges. Assuming you want to play Lottoland Bingo online on your trip, you can use a local sim card to avoid accumulating exorbitant data bills back home.

Keeping Safe

Part of being safe is letting those close to you know wherever you are at all times. Write down your itinerary, including flights, accommodations, planned routes and other important details about your journey. Send this information to close friends or relatives.

Know where your local embassy is if you are visiting another country. You never know when you might need it.

Another safety tip is blending in with the crowd. Avoid clothing or items that make you stick out like a sore thumb. I usually research my destinations and pick appropriate clothing, especially for countries with a conservative culture.

Further, ensure you always have essential travel documents like visas and vaccination documents on you everywhere you travel to. Consider putting them in a watertight bag attachable to your swimsuit if you plan to go swimming.

Battling Loneliness

I'd be lying if I said I don't sometimes feel lonely on some of my solo trips across the world. Who wouldn't when you're thousands of kilometres away from friends and family? Fortunately, I learned how to cope with it.

The first strategy for avoiding loneliness is staying in dorms or hostels. Most have common areas where you can interact with other travellers, especially during meals. Connecting with others makes you feel part of the herd and creates long-lasting relationships.

Also, I keep in touch with friends and family through video calls and social media.

Plan Ahead

One of the downsides of travelling alone is having to do everything yourself. It is always your turn to do something whenever you want to rest.

Planning ahead makes my solo travels easier and brings some peace of mind.

Have everything, including flights, accommodations, and modes of transport, booked in advance to avoid the last-minute hustle and bustle. This will give you a sense of security and confidence as well as save you a great deal of time.

Do Your Homework

Try to learn as much as possible about your destination before booking a solo trip. This will help you avoid unwanted and unpleasant surprises we encounter, especially on your first solo travels. Choosing a suitable destination guarantees you a smooth and enjoyable first solo trip.

Some factors to consider include, the language, culture, tourism infrastructure, and safety of the country you intend to visit. Knowing the culture is important to avoid culture shock, which can make your visit super unpleasant or even dangerous.

Start by learning a few words in the local dialect. This can get you help in the most unlikely of places.

What I have realised is that sometimes getting information on some remote places becomes tricky. In such cases, I usually talk to other travellers who have worn that path before. You see, social networks and online meet-up groups on platforms like Reddit are invaluable sources of information on where to travel or not travel.

Final Word

Some of the best things in life are better experienced alone. Solo trips allow you to connect with yourself more and do what you love to do in your free time. The above tips should get you started with solo travels to enjoy whatever you love to do alone and enjoy safe and sound tours in the future.

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