5 Tips for the Solo Traveller
Things to Think About Before You Jet Off
For those who have never done it, the thought of solo travel can be a daunting one. Before my three month adventure around Australia and SE Asia last summer, I was often doubtful and anxious about my decision to book my flights and fly over 10,000 miles alone. However, it was one of the best things I have ever done and I will 100 percent do it again.
There are a few pieces of advice that I would give any first time single backpacker to make the most of their trip.
1. First of all, be bold or get used to your own company. If you didn't read this here, or hear it from someone else, you would very quickly find this out. As much as your fellow travellers will be lovely people, it can often be up to you to make the first move and start up the conversation. Don't be shy about doing this!
2. The second point is one that I never thought I would say EVER, but don't be organised. My entire month in Australia and first two weeks in Asia were planned out to the minute. Not a good thing, particularly when you make friends and can't travel with them because of a strict itinerary, or when someone else offers you advice about where (or where not) to go. Everyone fantasises about "buying a plane ticket and just going somewhere" and to be honest, that really is the best way to do it.
3. Okay so we've covered not being organised, but it is a good idea to try and keep busy in the instance that you don't always "click" with people or find yourself in an empty dorm. If you have no clue what to do, speak to the staff in your hostel. They'll be able to point you in the direction of fun (and sometimes free!) stuff that you can fill your days with.
4. Get rid of your highly irrational "table for one" fear! Maybe it's a bit blunt of me to refer to this issue as "irrational" because I know eating alone is some people's worst nightmare. But you know, there's a lot of amazing food and dining experiences out there that you can sample on your travels, and if you always visit fast food places or stay within your hostel you will really miss out.
5. This can be used for anyone visiting any foreign country at any point in time. You should research the culture and customs. Personally, I find this a very interesting thing to do anyway but it is important for when you are visiting a country that is vastly different from your home.
Not only will this avoid you looking like an awkward and ignorant tourist, it could also save you from getting into bother. For example, if you drop some Baht in Thailand and step on it, then you are breaking the law. Definitely handy to know things like that.
I hope that if you're taking the plunge to travel solo that this advice is useful, and that your trip is wonderful.