Tips For A Single Traveller
Solo travel is increasing in popularity and nowadays there’s certainly no stigma attached to travelling alone.
With a vast network of inter-connecting flights, the world seems like a much smaller place than it used to, so it's hardly surprising that single travel is so popular. If friends and family can’t agree on where to go, solo travelling can be the perfect option. If you are choosing to travel by yourself this year, then check out our top tips on travelling alone:
First and foremost, remember that single travellers must be careful and vigilant, but that travelling alone will be fun, exhilarating and liberating!
Daylight Check In Times
When you’re planning your trip, time your flights so that you arrive at your destination in daylight. You’ll feel safer, less threatened in your surroundings and you will be able to get your bearings easier. So, when you do venture out at night you’ll be much more comfortable in your surroundings with everything seeming more familiar.
Share Your Travel Plans
Make sure you leave full details of your travel plans with friends and family – details of where you’re going, who you’re flying with, where you’re staying etc.
Copy Travel Documents
This is something every traveller should do, not just single travellers – make copies of your travel documents and leave them with friends and/or family. This way, should you lose them, you have important details at home, easily accessible.
If your travel plans involve going off the beaten track in a more remote country, be sure to jot down details of where to find the British Embassy in the country you’re travelling in, along with the contact details for the Embassy in the UK. This isn’t to alarm you, as chances are that nothing will go wrong – it’s simply to be prepared in case something does go wrong.
Keep in Touch
Keeping in touch is easy and it’s important to stay in touch with friends and family while you’re travelling alone. Chances are you’ll be having the time of your life, but everyone at home will want to know that. Send a short text to let them know you’re safe and well, ideally every day or every other day. Nowadays, sending texts while you’re abroad won’t cost a fortune. And if you’re very organised, you can call your network provider and negotiate a short-term overseas package, which includes overseas calls, texts and even Internet access.
Regardless of whether you’re actually backpacking (in the traditional sense of the term) or not, it’s well worth considering a traveller’s rucksack. They're spacious, so you’ll be able to pack lot in there, but they are easy to carry about – much easier than a suitcase, especially if you’re visiting multiple destinations and relying on public transport. A backpack will leave your hands free for maps, money and refreshments on-route too.
First Aid Kit
Be sure to remember a few basic first aid pieces in your packing – paracetamol, plasters, antiseptic cream and insect repellent, along with something for upset tummies and diarrhoea, especially if you’re going somewhere a little more ‘exotic’.
Be sure to stay fit and healthy and avoid drinking tap water. This also includes ice in drinks, and if you want to be especially careful (more so if you’re in a remote country) wash fresh fruit and vegetables in bottled water too.
Learn the Local Customs
Respecting the local culture and customs will not only enhance your trip, it will also ensure you don’t upset the locals.
Table for One
Don’t worry about sitting alone, plenty of people enjoy a ‘table for one’. However, if you’re not comfortable then choose a restaurant or café where you can eat up at the bar. Or ask for a table that’s on the edge rather than slap bang in the middle of the dining area.
Don’t Look Like a Tourist
It can be difficult, but make the effort to avoid looking like a tourist – for example, try planning ahead to avoid getting huge maps out on the streets. Consider making notes that will help you get around. Alternatively, when you do need to reference your map, move over to the side of the street.
Leave Valuables at Home
You don’t need your most expensive jewellery and watch whilst travelling, so leave anything of value at home. Buy a cheap watch and avoid shiny costume jewellery when in remote countries, or out and about off the beaten track.
Be bold, be brave and carry yourself with confidence. Even if you feel a tad nervous you won’t look it – you’ll be amazed at how much better it makes you feel too.