10 essential tips for solo travellers
Travelling alone is a very different experience when compared to travelling with other people. And it can sometimes seem like a daunting task when you’re navigating a foreign place on your own. But it’s also an incredibly rewarding and empowering experience. So take a deep breath and read these 10 must-know solo travel tips.
Pssst. There’s also a bonus list of 7 recommended places for a solo travel trip.
1. Do your research
Before you start planning your solo travel trip, take some time to consider what you want to get out of this experience. Research your potential destinations and create a rough itinerary – even if it’s just a bulleted list of attractions and activities. The internet has plenty of handy itineraries for popular and off-the-grid destinations around the world.
2. Learn the local language
Learning a few key phrases can make a big difference when you embark on your solo travel adventure. Of course – this depends on where you’re traveling to. Knowing how to order food, being able to introduce yourself, and starting a basic conversation can help you make new friends and navigate unfamiliar places.
3. Choose your accommodation carefully
When travelling alone, it’s important to pick a safe and comfortable place to stay. Before booking, read reviews from previous guests to get an idea of their experiences. Make sure to choose accommodation that offers free Wi-Fi, so you can stay connected with your loved ones, check your emails, or surf the web.
4. Keep emergency contact information handy
Make sure you have easy access to your emergency contact information, including your personal contact details, the name of an emergency contact in your home country, and other important phone numbers and information. Include the toll-free phone number for your credit card company and insurance company’s information in case of emergencies.
5. Make sure you have back-up
It’s essential to have duplicates of all your travel documents when travelling alone. You don’t want to be stranded without a visa or passport. So, make copies of your passport, visa, travel insurance information, and booking confirmations. Email yourself copies and keep a few printed copies in your luggage.
6. Share your itinerary with loved ones
Give your family and friends a copy of your travel itinerary – at least everyone will know when you’ll be flying or “off-the-air”. This should include details like flight information, hotel reservations, and your planned activities.
7. Enquire about single supplement lodging
Keep in mind that some hotels and cruises require double occupancy and charge a single supplement fee if you want to stay alone. Make sure to ask about this before you make your booking – it could end up saving you a pretty penny. That’s more spending money for your solo trip.
8. Enjoy it to the fullest
Even if you feel lonely, don’t forget about the incredible benefits of solo travel. Some of these advantages are small, like being able to change your mind as much as you want, without having to worry about what anyone else wants. But the most significant advantage is pure freedom. This is your chance to travel the way you want to, meet new people, and find out who you are when you’re away from everyone and everything.
9. Try something different
You may be hesitant to try new things when you’re alone, afraid that things may not go as planned, or because you don’t have someone with you. However, this is an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. It may sound cliché, but getting out of your comfort zone will be one of the most rewarding things you can do on this solo journey and in life.
10. Avoid over-planning
With solo travel, you have the luxury of extra time, so you can take your time at museums, enjoy a leisurely coffee at a corner café, or take an impromptu trip to the mountains that you hadn’t previously considered. So leave some room for you to do exactly what you feel like in the moment – you won’t regret it.
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7 most popular solo travel destinations:
If you’re searching for the perfect destination for your first solo trip, of course the options are endless. But here’s a list of a few places that many solo travellers flock to.
- Iceland: A great choice for travellers searching for solitude and introspection. The otherworldly atmosphere and friendly locals make it an ideal destination for solo travel, not to mention it’s one of the safest countries in the world.
- Portugal: This country is made for solo adventurers. Whether you backpack through Lisbon or explore Porto, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to discover new sights and experiences.
- Guatemala: Often considered the most accessible country in Central America for solo travellers, Guatemala is known for its tight-knit community of explorers. You’ll have no trouble finding helpful information and friendly faces wherever you go.
- Slovenia: This country offers a range of activities, from skiing in the Alps to soaking up the sunsets in Piran. The capital city, Ljubljana, is full of friendly locals eager to share their culture with you.
- Ireland: With its stunning landscapes, lively cities, and hospitable people, Ireland is one of the best places for a solo trip. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet new people and create lasting memories.
- New Zealand: Renowned for its safety, natural beauty, and cultural experiences, New Zealand is a great choice for solo backpackers or those seeking adventure.
- Japan: While language barriers may seem daunting, Japan’s efficient transport and friendly locals make it a great destination for solo travel. Don’t miss the chance to explore this fascinating country on your own!
From South America to Asia, there are many incredible destinations that are perfect for exploring on your own. There’s nothing more magical that having a solo adventure just your own. All travel experiences set things into perspective one way or another, but solo travel experiences really give you a chance to explore the world and yourself in a way that little else does.
What are some of your favourite solo destinations? Feel free to share your solo travel experiences or advice for solo travellers in the comments.
Efrat Sagi-Ofir is CRO & Founder of Air Doctor. Air Doctor is a startup that connects travelers to a global network of 20,000 local medical doctors through an easy-to-use app, to receive appropriate medical care from anywhere in the world.
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