Travelling solo is a growing trend among modern-day youth in particular. The reasons to go it alone can be many, but it is important to be armed with the helpful knowledge that ensures a smooth passage through the trip and safe return. Here are some valuable tips we have collated for solo traveller holidays to work as a confidence booster and guide you through the exercise.
Most hotels and cruise lines assume that two people will always share a room or cabin. But, when you are going it alone and want that room/cabin for yourself, you may be required to pay what is known as a single supplement to make up the loss that the hotel/cruise line suffers. While the details will be known when you make a booking, never be shy to ask how you are being charged.
Choose hotels/other accommodation with several positive ratings
In unfamiliar places, you could perhaps feel more vulnerability. Therefore, before booking an accommodation, spend focused time researching your option and choose only places that have several positive reviews. Always take a balanced view of the reviews and even speak to some of the reviewers if you can to get a close-up picture.
Find places with free Wi-Fi
We are now in the digital age and being connected at all times is important. If your hotel/other accommodation offers free Wi-Fi, you could save a neat little pile of cash by the time you complete your trip. After all, you want to keep in touch with people back at home, share your experience, some photos and videos regularly. If you are using your data package in a far-off location, most packages you have loaded before leaving home would be exhausted in just a few days if you don’t have access to free Wi-Fi.
Pick up a conversation with co-travellers
Picking up a conversation with co-travellers, single or couple/family is a good idea to break your monotony. You can even find locals who are happy to host you, and that could be a huge help, particularly when you are in a different country. Check out Meetup to keep yourself informed of local activities and events in town. This way, you may identify local events and festivals that do not figure in most guidebooks. Every city offers a series of opportunities and being informed of these before arriving there can be a huge help in planning your time.
Use mealtime to relax
You can use your mealtime to unwind. Try picking up some conversation with the bartender or waiter, or merely sit reflecting on your experiences. This is also a good time to plan for the next few hours or even the next day. Remember, you are alone, and there is no one assisting you with planning things out. Remember the importance of free Wi-Fi and try to pick restaurants that offer a free Wi-Fi since that would also help you catch up with your emails and social media or even read a book.
Advantages of travelling solo
- Enjoy the freedom of doing things that you want to and doing it on your own schedule
- No arguments with partners/partner
- More freedom chatting with locals or other tourists
- You are the master of your time and can, therefore, spend as much time at a place you want irrespective of what others feel
- You can determine your itinerary
- Go around places by night and sleep during the day if you choose to
- Ability to change your itinerary
- Ability to determine where and what to eat
- Grow in confidence meeting new people, learning a few words from several languages, discovering mass transit systems in highly developed cities, make mistakes going in the wrong direction, get help to correct the error and head towards the right place, and gain rich experience in the process.
Disadvantages of travelling solo
- You may have to drag your luggage along into the bathroom at an airport (no one to keep an eye on)
- Relatively more expensive
- Need to keep yourself informed on safety issues
- Self-conscious in many circumstances, though it can be used to your advantage
- No one to give company on a chill night
- Preparing to meet the challenge
With the advent of the digital world, preparing to travel alone has perhaps become a no-brainer. But, you should plan ahead, scour through a plethora of websites, check your social media accounts, start conversations, check back to ensure that information provided by online friends are accurate and make notes. This part of the exercise can be time-consuming unless you are an ardent devotee of freewheeling. Even granting that attitude, you still have to work with your tickets, accommodation, cost comparison, choosing places to eat, what not to do, ways to find help in unknown locations etc.
Concerns about your health
While travelling solo is loaded with a host of advantages, if you have pre-existing health conditions like diabetes, hypertension or coronary issues, you should think twice before embarking on a solo trip. After careful consideration, if you still decide to proceed with your solo trip, you should always keep your medical information and contact information back home, including details of your primary healthcare provider handy so that someone can reach out and provide assistance if you experience a problem while you are still travelling.
Designing your itinerary
Designing your itinerary can be a challenge, particularly when you are travelling alone for the first time. Although you are about to embark on experiencing the world outside and go it alone, never shy away from getting valuable advice from elders, friends and other people with travel experience. The digital world can also be of significant help in providing most of the input you need. But, nothing can match the experience of people who have done some travel alone, or in company with others. The social media is another place you can get valuable help in terms of places to see, things to do, affordable boarding and lodging etc. We have appended some useful resources for you to scour before you draw up your itinerary:-