Top 10 Tips for Solo Travel – I Heart Cosmetics
Travelling alone can be daunting the first time. I’d never considered it before but I got to the point where a much needed escape my daily life. What initially scared me turned out to be the best thing I could have done for my confidence. You can do exactly what you want without having to deal with someone else’s ideas of your trip. There is plenty of time to sit and think about things in your life that you need to deal with. Everyone needs space to deal with these issues but it’s hard if you’re not alone at any time.
It’s obviously different and has different highs and lows from travelling with a partner or in a group. But it can be equally rewarding and often even better, bringing a massive sense of freedom, so I hope these tips help you.
Download apps to help you out, my top ones are citymapper for cities where it’s available as it helps with transport information and maps and Uber – because you can ensure the taxi driver has GPS (many other local taxis in even developed countries don’t have GPS or drivers that can either speak your language and many have no clue where they are going) – for someone who is used to London black cabs this is sometimes a bit of a surprise!
Pack as light as possible, you can always buy things when you reach your destination and you’re the one that is going to be lugging that bag around. My packing list post is here > packing list. or you can download your own packing list and edit it to your specifications using my free editable downloadable packing list.
If you forget a magazine or book when dining alone most restaurants keep some or at least a newspaper for solo diners, no shame in asking. Or you could pop a headphone in and watch some YouTube videos or a film on your phone.
Invest in a cheap selfie stick from eBay, there’s no point spending a lot of money on one and my ebay one works perfectly and cost around £4.
Treat yourself to one of the ‘special’ meals on the plane as your meal will be dished out first and contain less salt which makes you bloated on a flight or pick up a sandwich or some nice snacks at a coffee shop in duty free to snack on during the flight, it’ll likely be much healthier and tastier than what you’re provided with by the airline.
Use a zip top beach bag and take a spare lock or use your suitcase/backpack lock to lock your bag shut or lock it to something if you want to swim and you are not sure if your bag is safe, you can easily hide the key or attach it to a bracelet or necklace. This isn’t fool proof by any means but it should hopefully be more of a deterrent than an open bag if there isn’t a locker to put your things in.
Avoid potentially awkward situations by wearing headphones (even if not listening to anything). If you are walking about somewhere you think you might be hassled whether it’s because of your solo status or your gender. Make
sure the fact that your ears are plugged is visible! Either they won’t pester you or you won’t be able to hear them.
Contact everyone you know who you think might live where you’re visiting. Put a message on your Facebook saying the dates you are there and would anyone like to catch up. Even if you don’t know someone directly they might have a friend or family member living where you are travelling. On my recent trip I stayed with a friend and her husband. I then met up with an old work colleague for a night out which was hilarious!
Research where you are going before you leave and print off the addresses and phone numbers of places you want to visit. If you get lost or need to get a cab where you don’t speak each other’s language you can give them the printout.
If you want to meet people it’s not that hard to strike up conversation in a bar or at a beach. You could stay in a hostel which have lots of people that you could hang out with. I met a great bunch of girls in a hotel bars and had a fun night of drinks with them. So don’t think you can’t go out and have a drink or a party if you are a solo traveller. As long as you know how to get home safely at the end of the night.
Safety should be your top priority when travelling and not just when alone. Make sure you research the area you are staying, what is suitable to wear, say, do. Use your judgement as to whether taxis or public transport seem safer.
Stay in a hotel with security rather than a hostel if they don’t look secure enough. Make sure a friend or family member has a colour scan of your passport and credit cards. If you have iPhones you can link to them using ‘find my friend’ so they have your location.
Email someone with the address where you are staying so someone knows where you are. Don’t draw attention to yourself with things that might make you a target of theft. Use a regular zip top handbag or camera rucksack to carry your camera rather than a specific camera bag.
I hope this was helpful, if you have any other tips please share them!