20 tips for solo travellers
Veselin Peev - 28/11/2019
Solo travel is one of life’s most inspiring adventures. No matter where you do it or how, it seems to bring a renewed passion for and understanding of the world around you. It can be a bit of a daunting undertaking, so here are 20 tips for solo travellers:
Do some advance planning, that’s one of the best tips for solo travellers. You don’t need a detailed plan but you should know, for the first night at least, where you’re going to stay. Book your hostel before you leave.
Pack light so that you can manage your luggage by yourself with ease. One carry-on, a suitcase or backpack, should suffice whether you’re out for one week or three.
Plan to arrive during daylight so you’re not trying to find your way through an unfamiliar city in the dark, especially while traveling alone.
Connect with other travellers. The common rooms and lounges of hostels are great places meet short-term friends as well as pick up excellent tips for traveling alone.
Connect with locals. Many cities have free local tour guides but you can also connect with a local through sites like Meetup.com and 5W – Women Welcoming Women World Wide.
Take the time to observe how people interact, and how things work. While sitting at a sidewalk cafe, on a park bench, or just killing time you can learn how to use public transit, whether to pay your bill at your table or at the counter, how to tip or how to hail a cab and much more.
Learn how to talk to strangers. Smile and start a conversation. Be curious and ask open-ended questions and follow-up questions.
Go out in the evenings. Go to pubs and bars and grab a seat at the bar. Go to concerts and the theatre. It’s all possible solo.
Enjoy dining alone. Go to restaurants with communal tables or counters. Ask a local to order for you to start a conversation.
Definitely one of the top 10 tips for solo travellers: If you’re in one place for a while, connect with others by taking language or cooking classes. Whatever interests you. Also, visit the same café, fruit stall…every day and get to know the people.
If you want to meet other travelers, go off the beaten path. Travelers that find each other where there are few tourists are more inclined to talk to each other. Plus, you will likely have something in common.
Break up long trips with organized tours. If you’re travelling alone, you’ll enjoy the company and a chance to let someone else take care of all the details.
Carry the essentials with you when you head out for the day. Have the name of the place you’re staying on a piece of paper in the local language. Have a copy of your emergency contacts and your documents on you.
Always keep your most important items in the same place and have a simple check. For me it’s passport, wallet, camera and phone. Those are the items I check when I feel the need.
Learn to take your own photo. Your friends will be far more interested in your photos when you return if there are pictures of you amongst them.
Consider buying an unlocked cell phone so that you can buy a SIM card for your phone in each country as you travel. This will save you lots of money.
Load Skype onto your phone so that you can connect with friends and family for free when you have access to the Internet.
While learning how to travel alone, you’re find it handy to download useful apps to your phone such as a GPS, a translator, a currency converter and some travel guides.
Know the value of being seen. A public place is always safer than a private place.
Be aware of your surroundings and listen to your gut. If something doesn’t seem right, leave.