Travelling alone can conjure up images of twenty-something singletons slowly rocking in their hostel beds while trying to banish the thoughts of homesickness from their mind. While there may be fleeting moments when you may be missing home if you haven’t had your particular brand of coffee for a couple of months, the chances are that your solo travel adventure will be a voyage of self-discovery while immersing yourself in a new and vibrant culture. As with most jaunts overseas, it pays to be prepared. That isn’t to say that you can’t afford to be spontaneous while on your travels, but you need to clue yourself up about the destination you are hot-footing it too, and you need to show off your responsible traveller credentials.
Embarking on at least one travel adventure in your lifetime is a right of passage and will be one of the most memorable experiences you’ll ever have the joy of undertaking. You never know, you may be hit by the travel bug and turn into one of life’s perpetual travellers, traversing the globe and being the envy of many back home. Take a look at these tips that will help make your solo travel adventure as successful as possible.
Don’t Pack Your Entire Wardrobe
It doesn’t matter whether you are heading off for a month or a year, the amount you take with you in terms of clothing, toiletries and kit should be more or less the same. Ensure that you have clothing for around five days (seven if that makes you have a mild panic attack) and try to plan laundry days before you head abroad.
If possible, pick up a front-loading backpack rather than a top loading rucksack or a suitcase on wheels. Even if you aren’t slumming it around hostels or backpacking across some foreign wilderness, a backpack will still be the most practical way to go. With no more than a 50 litre capacity on your shoulders, you’ll be able to carry your luggage onto a plane and have everything easily accessible. You can hop on all modes of transport with ease, and you won’t ever have to worry about lugging a ridiculously heavy and awkward suitcase around with you.
Check Out The Weather Updates
While packing for every eventuality sounds great in practical terms, realistically you could find yourself lumbered with kit you don’t need. If you’re heading to the sunny climes of Costa Rica at the height of summer, you don’t need that fleece. Ensure that you check out forums and research your destination to within an inch of its life. Ask fellow travellers questions about their experiences and heed their advice. There may be some quality of life saving tips out there for you to take on board. Who knew mosquitos hated mint?
It’s All About The Feet
It’s very easy to consider clothing and makeup when heading off on an adventure. You don’t want to forego your fashionista status, and you still want to look good after a twelve-hour flight. However, you should never neglect your feet. If you pack the wrong shoes or your footwear doesn’t fit well causing cuts, bunions and corns, your trip could soon turn into a nightmare. If you are heading to the white sands of the coast, you need to acquire the perfect beachwear including some well-fitted sandals or thongs. Try some on before you buy them and ensure that you can cope with them for an extended period. Don’t scrimp on quality. You don’t want to be whipping out your flipflops only for them to break after a quick jaunt over a rock pool.
If you’re trekking or doing some extended hiking, don’t rely on your cross trainers. You need to invest in a pair of high-quality waterproof walking shoes that will support your ankles and lessen the chances of injury.
Keep Your Wits About You
When travelling alone, it’s vital that you learn to listen to your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. If someone is trying to beckon you into their restaurant to try the local cuisine, but a little voice is telling you that you risk catching salmonella, listen to that voice. There will be plenty of opportunities to sample the local delights. Trusting your instinct will become a vital part of your travels and will enable you to grow in confidence when out and about in new and interesting places.
Solo travelling is exciting, thrilling and terrifying all at the same time. By overcoming your trepidation and butterflies, you’ll be embarking on the greatest adventure of your life and creating memories that you will cherish forever.