Travelling Solo Can Be Both Daunting & Invigorating
Do you hesitate at the thought of travelling by yourself? Are you stalling your travel dreams because you don’t want to do it alone? Here are some tips for making solo travel an invigorating experience rather than a daunting one.
Why travel alone?
You are ultimately the captain of your own ship! Travelling solo allows you to avoid the drama of decisions on what to and not to see or the need to eat at a particular joint because of the tastes or needs of your travelling companion. You call the shots here and design your own itinerary. You could also streamline your budget to suit your requirements and not necessarily splurge. You do what you want, when you want and how you want.
Many avid travellers claim travelling alone gives them a less prejudiced perspective and offers one of the best ways to see the world. The experience can definitely be more rewarding, when done right, than needing to compromise potentially restrictive fellow travellers; it may also be a way to get some “me time”. When you travel alone, you are more likely to be on a journey of self discovery.
Picking A Solo-friendly Travel Destination
You don’t always have to travel internationally on a solo travel expedition. You could travel solo outside your city or even explore a new weekend getaway – a staycation. Of course, there are plenty of options available online which are safe for single travellers. Some precautions worth taking before travelling alone include:
Checking your Government’s website for travel warnings and advisories.
Finding other solo travellers’ perspective on Twitter, Facebook or other social media websites.
Making contact with the local tourist board of your intended destination.
Avoiding times of bad weather
The Road Less Travelled
Don’t always travel by taxi; why not try blending in with the locals and utilise the local public transport. There are also other ways to get about and enjoy your destination like walking, hiking or biking. you could also consider joining a group of like-minded trekkers on a Himalayan hike or do a local hop-on-hop-off bus tour in Europe. If you do decide to drive in a new city, do make sure you have necessary documents in place to get you going.
Get Some Knowledge
Out and about alone in a new city can be daunting, but it really is really the experience that counts. Instead of doing up a detailed itinerary from a Google search of what to do where and when, try doing some background reading first about your destination - its history, culture, food, language, and local customs. This way you may find new things to do or things you may want to see which are not always on the ‘tourist routes’. Knowing a little more will definitely enhance the experience even if you do just end up doing the ‘top attractions’ list you found on Google.
Outside Your Comfort Zone
Try a local dish, learn a new skill, enroll in a cooking class or just do something you’ve never done before or couldn’t do, now that no one’s there to judge you! These are all great ways to make new friends. Try also going easy on those serial Snapchats and selfies and just live the moment – the world will wait for you to update it later.
Other Suggestions To Enhance Your Solo Trip
Writing a journal and penning down your thoughts and experiences can help you convert them into a blog for fellow travellers, it will definitely help you remember at a minimum.
Try lodging at a homestay rather than a hotel.
If you feel a little conscious about eating alone why not try Voulezvousdiner.com, a website where you can dine with locals at select international destinations.
For easy sightseeing, there are programs known as “Greeter programs” where you can have a free local guide show you around. Check out Global Greeter Network.
Before going home you are likely to want to shop. Instead of the clichéd classic “I ♥ NY” mugs or t-shirts, try taking home a memory that you would remember the place by. If you have to get a souvenir for friends and family, buy something that would tell a story in itself; something that might inspire them to visit this place you've been so vividly talking about.