Solo travelling is an experience of a lifetime. It teaches you new things about yourself, and the world around you. There are many reasons why we’d recommend all girls to take up an opportunity like this at least once in their life. Getting to explore a dream destination without being dependent on anyone, or have any one rely on you, is terrifying and liberating all at the same time. It’s a taste of true freedom and adventure. But let’s be real, heading to a country full of strangers all on your own, without any guidance, isn’t exactly going to be smooth sailing. That’s also the point though, in a way. You’re likely going to face a number of challenges that will make you rethink your decision to go in the first place. But if you’re prepared for them, then you have very little to worry about. If you’re planning a solo trip for the first time, keep the following pieces of advice in mind and watch your worries melt away.
1. Safety First – Then Comfort
As fun as travelling alone can be, the very first time can be intimidating for anyone. As a first timer, you should choose your spot based more so on logic and practicality than just interest. Make sure to prioritise your safety and comfort while selecting your destination, because you don’t want to head anywhere you might encounter unnecessary trouble. It’ll make your family at home feel more at ease too. Go through articles about the safest countries, check for reviews about your hotels, and follow the local news to stay updated with the latest happenings of the destination.
2. Carry Your Cash Discretely
A basic rule to follow while travelling: always carry more money than you think you’re going to need. You never know what might happen. Plan for emergencies – you might run out of cash, misplace it, or be pick pocketed. Another thing to remember is to split your cash and cards into different places. Even if you lose your wallet, you’ll still have something left to navigate your way through the city with without getting stuck.
3. Book Hotels In Advance
Hotels can be very fussy if they aren’t looked into and planned for in advance. Check in timings vary, and the last thing you want after a long flight is to have to wait for your room. It’s also important to book your hotel in the heart of the city. It might be more expensive in some cases, but the upside is not having to pay more for transport, and you’ll be closer to major shopping centres and landmarks. Finding hotels is one of the most stressful parts of travelling, because there’s no room for error. Booking them well beforehand takes away a lot of the stress, especially when you’re travelling alone.
4. Pack Light
Over-packing while travelling is never a good idea, but when you’re headed for a solo trip, it’s even worse. There’s no one here to help you with your bags! You alone are responsible for your luggage and belongings. When leaving, keep your bag as light as possible. This won’t just help you travel easily, but will also save you space for all the souvenirs and goodies you’re sure to want to bring back from your first ever solo trip. Try planning your outfits per day, and sticking to them once you get there. Pack two alternate outfits in case, and you’re good to go.
5. Arrive In The Day
When visiting a new destination, it’s always better to arrive during the day. Navigating the routes of a new place all on your own is daunting, and it gets even more difficult if it is in the dark. Schedule your arrival during the day so you understand the city better. There will likely be more locals bustling around to help you as well.
6. Make Copies Of Important Documents
Your parents must have already told you this a million times – but we’re saying it just one more time. From your passport to flight tickets and hotel reservations, make sure you have multiple copies of all the important documents. The pressure of running from one place to could lead to any number of accidents, and lead to you losing one of these necessary documents. As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
7. Get Familiar With The Locals
The best way you can learn authentically about a country is through the locals. Talk to people in buses, at cafes, stores and markets. Interact as much as you can with the locals. They will give you coveted tips and insights about the place, which you’ll likely never be able to find yourself.
8. Carry Some Books
When you’re alone, a good book can be your best companion. This is the perfect time to get in touch with your inner reader. Whether on a long haul flight, a café where you feel uncomfortable having a solo meal, or after a long, tiring day of exploring a city — you can always rely on your favourite book to give you company.