Solo travel can often sound like a daunting feat, but many who have embarked on solo journey will agree that it can be be the window to your happiness. Whether it was a lifelong ambition, or a spur of the moment idea, there’s a lot of care and detail that goes into planning a solo trip.
To ensure you have a safe and prosperous journey, we’ve put together a guide filled with top tips in how to make the best out of solo travel
Have an itinerary
Whilst the idea of freedom to roam and go wherever the day takes you is certainly appealing, let’s face it, it’s not always practical…is it? Even if it’s just a rough plan, it’s still better than no plan at all. If you’re travelling by train then check if you’ll need to book in advance or if you can just hop on anytime.
Alternatively, if you’re flying then check your connecting flights. If you’re going to be somewhere for more than 15 hours or even overnight, it can be worth booking a hotel near the airport. Sleeping on airport benches isn’t always the most comfortable way to start your next trip.
Learn the language
No, we don’t expect you to become fluent in Spanish or Portuguese overnight. But it is helpful to know a few phrases in order to get around and communicate with locals! The chances are you’ll have a smartphone with you whilst travelling, why not download a language translation app in preparation for those tricky interactions? Otherwise, bring the language book with you. Brushing up on your skills can also be a good way to pass time on your longer journeys.
It’s often said that the road of a solo traveller can be a lonely one. Whilst it can be good to get away from it all and take time out for yourself, you may find that you could do with a little company.
Don’t be afraid to make new friends, especially if you spot another fellow solo traveller. There are plenty of great websites to link up with other people travelling in the country. You may surprise yourself and make a friend for life!
There is something that every solo traveller will agree on and that’s that there are times during your trip where you will feel homesick. It’s important to make sure that you bring along some home comforts, whether that’s your favourite snack, a comforter or your favourite book. These items can help to alleviate the stress and homesickness.
Travelling can be uncomfortable, carrying a backpack, sleeping in dorms and uncomfortable living quarters. Although the experience is definitely worth it, it’s always a good idea to invest in things such as a travelling pillow, a comforter and even a mosquito net. These will help to keep you well-rested and happier throughout the trip.
Perhaps the biggest part of backpacking is that feeling of finally “finding yourself”. It’s no cliché, travelling alone can be seriously beneficial for self-growth and your mental wellbeing. A good way to keep on top of an overwhelming experience like solo travelling is to practice meditation.
Find yourself a quiet place; this could be in your room, a park or even whilst on a train and reflect on the good times you’ve had and the adventures to come.
When it comes to self-growth, it doesn’t have to be a revolutionary discovery. Even picking up a new skill will give you a great sense of achievement. You might find that you take up a new hobby that you’d never considered before, and you never know, it could even help you with realising your life goals.