My month-long adventure was my first experience travelling solo, and I was really nervous going alone. I thought it was going to be scary, lonely, not fun, and overwhelming. However, I actually really enjoyed travelling by myself and I have compiled a list of tips for those wanting to go abroad solo also.
- Download helpful apps- There are a couple of smartphone apps that I found really helpful. I used ‘Currency Conversion’ all the time, and also google translator (which can be used offline if you pre-download the languages).
- Smile- A smile means the same thing in every language- make sure you smile at people as much as you can, particularly staff in cafes and restaurants.
- Pay to get airport transfers– Transportation can be really stressful, particularly after getting off a flight. I think it is worth paying to pre-book transport from the airport.
- You don’t have to be alone the whole time– you can book tours (I had two contiki tours which basically force you to make friends), or you could book hostels or day tours. All of which are the perfect opportunity to meet people.
- Start by eating lunch out then move to dinners- Eating by yourself can be really daunting. I found that eating out for lunch is less scary, and therefore good practice for dinners (eventually you wont mind eating anywhere by yourself)
- Uber eats-For the nights you don’t feel like eating out, uber eats is a great option. Particularly as in some countries the uber eats app translates the menu into English.
- Do things that scare you a little- Each day do something new that scares you a little (whether that be riding a bike, joining a day tour, flirting with the cute barista, or driving a snow buggy). Trust me, you wont regret making the most of every single day of your adventure.
- Listen to your body- If you are tired, sleep a little longer. If you are hungry, eat. If you are getting run down, drink lemon tea. Be kind to your body- travelling takes its toll.
- Use maps offline- Hot tip-You can use your smart phone maps offline, as long as you pre-load the area whilst you are in wifi.
- Don’t get caught up on the tourist vs traveller debate- You hear this debate a lot, that ‘real travellers’ don’t wear a camera around their neck and don’t see the must see sights. Do whatever you want to. Normally the ‘must see’ sights, are must see for a reason. And I don’t think you will regret taking photos (they are the best souvenirs).
- Get travel insurance- I know, more than most, the importance of getting travel insurance. If you can’t afford it, you can’t afford to travel.
- Keep your wits about you- Above all, be safe. Don’t take unnecessary risks, be prepared, have back up bank cards, keep your passport safe, and do all the other things your parents nag you about.
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