Solo travel is a very unique way to see the world. The act of taking in your surroundings by yourself, without having to worry about the wants and needs of anyone else, is magical. You can go exactly where you want, when you want, without having to worry about a travel companion. Solo travel can also be pretty troublesome to get used to, however. Many people considering setting off on adventures alone for the first time worry about loneliness, safety and the frankly extremely unfair single supplement. Have a read through of our top tips to help you acclimatise to solo travel and see if we can convince you that it’s right for you.
This is perhaps the primary concern of every traveller who has set off on a solo trip. There is something to be said for having a travelling companion as an extra pair of eyes when in crowded areas or to help out in the case of an emergency. There is also an argument, however, that solo travel could well be safer, at least when it comes to convincing would-be criminals that you are not a tourist. It is easier, for instance, to blend into a crowd when you are travelling solo and to shake off that tourist image which often marks travellers out as easy victims. Really take advantage of this by ditching everything that could cause you to stand out, whether it’s a t-shirt from the nearby fun-park or the guidebook. There are plenty of things that you can do to keep yourself safe when travelling alone. Mostly, it’s all about trusting your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
2. Avoid the supplement
The single supplement is extremely unfair and could well make your holiday more expensive than travellers with a companion. With supplements ranging from anything from 25% to 100%, they really can add a significant amount to your break. Let’s face it, when you are travelling alone, you need to save all the money on the essentials that you can to make the most out of the fact that you are free to do whatever you want. You don’t want a lack of funds to be the thing holding you back. You can avoid the single supplement, sometimes, if you book at the last minute. Tour operators are usually desperate to sell approaching dates and so often the supplement can be negotiated down. You could also consider staying in a hostel. These charge for a bed, not for a room. They are often extremely secure and you never know who you might meet – maybe a potential life-long friend.
3. Plan for emergencies
One of the best things that you can do before you set off is to really think about what you would do in an emergency situation. Perhaps try running through some scenarios with a friend or family member so that you can really think through what the best course of action would be. It could really help you decide what to do, should you find yourself in a similar situation while you are travelling, and it could also really put your mind at rest because you know there are options. You should also think carefully about what you pack. TUI, for instance, advise that anyone with a medical condition should ensure they pack something that highlights this – and carry it with them wherever they go. You might not be able to talk to a medical professional in an emergency situation, so having some sort of marker could well save your life.
4. Dining alone
Dining alone is probably one of the most difficult things that solo travellers have to do. There are ways that you can make it a little more palatable, however. For instance, you could try chatting with the waiting staff. Not only will you occupy yourself during your meal but you might pick up some great tips about places to visit in your destination. Maybe you could try outdoor dining as an option too. Sitting outside, with a good book, is so peaceful and appears less unusual than it does when it happens during the traditional indoor dining experience. Whatever you do, don’t take away the experience of eating great food while you are travelling from yourself, just because you don’t fancy eating alone. Instead, find ways to make it more enjoyable.