how to travel on your own

How to Travel on Your Own

Travelling alone is incredibly liberating and exciting. It is transformative, too and can give you a new, fresh perspective and outlook on life. In fact, we think it is one of the best things you can do for yourself, and we highly encourage those who can travel solo at least once in their lives. However, if you are a little nervous and want a bit of reassurance and guidance, we’ve put together this list of helpful tips and advice so that you can travel safely while having lots of fun.

How to Travel on Your Own

1. Pick a solo-friendly destination

If it is your first time travelling alone and you want to dip your toe in the water, so to speak, pick a destination that has a reputation for being great for solo travellers. It is a good idea to pick a place where you speak the language, just till you build your confidence being on the road alone. Our favourite places include New Zealand, Australia, Scandinavia and South East Asia.

2. Plan to arrive when it is daylight

Plan your arrival for daylight hours. It is safer and easier to travel during the daytime than at night. By arriving at your destination in the morning or at lunchtime, you allow yourself plenty of time to adjust your plans if things don’t go exactly to plan. For example, if you arrive at your accommodation and it isn’t suitable for your needs, you have plenty of time to find somewhere new.

3. Chat with fellow travellers

Initiating conversations with strangers can be daunting, especially if you are shy or introverted. However, many conversations you have whilst travelling can be trip-changing and even life-changing. You could meet your new road trip buddy who tunes into a lifelong friend, or you can find out tips for places and things to do from someone who has already been there and done them. Chatting with fellow travellers allows you to share worries or concerns and ask for advice and help. Chatting with strangers can also help alleviate any loneliness that you might be experiencing, even if it only is temporary.

how to travel on your own

4. Stay in hostels

If you don’t meet fellow travellers on the road or in hotels, consider staying in a hostel for a night or two. Many hostels have private rooms you can book if you don’t want to share a room with strangers. You can then use the common areas to mix, mingle, and make new mates. You will most likely meet other solo travellers and exchange information and even plan to travel with each other for a time. Hostels are also great places to find out about local events, and they are great places to arrange group tours of popular attractions. This is very important if you are travelling during the off-season, as many tours need a minimum number of participants for trips to run.

5. Be flexible

Go with the flow as much as you can, and if you are travelling for an extended period of time, allow a little wiggle room in your itinerary for new adventures and changes of plans. For example, don’t book your accommodation too far in advance because you might meet someone in the hostel you click with and decide to travel with them. When suggestions or opportunities arise from these chance encounters, the best thing you can do to really get the most out of your trip is to be flexible and act on them. Allow your schedule to become a suggestion, and learn to adapt to the new opportunities that come your way.

how to travel on your own

6. Eat where the locals eat

This tip usually appears on lists about travelling on a budget because local food will always be cheaper. However, when it comes to learning how to travel on your own, one of the best things you can do to get the most from your adventure is to eat where the locals eat because it will immerse you in the culture. At the local food markets, you’ll get to see what the locals eat and observe how they interact with each other. Food markets are a great way to understand the culture and landscape of a country. When you eat at a market, you are rarely eating alone. Usually, you sit at a counter or at a communal table with lots of other people, travellers and locals alike, so it is a great way not to feel alone.

7. Take part in group activities

Okay, so we know that many people love the idea of a solo trip, but sometimes it is worthwhile to break up the solo part with group trips, classes and activities. City tours, cooking classes, and day trips are great ways to experience a destination and socialise with local tour guides and other tourists. It will really enhance your trip to hear how other people are enjoying a place and how they are enjoying their trip.

how to travel on your own

Melanie May

Melanie is an intrepid solo traveller, endlessly curious about people, places and food. She is a fan of slow travel and loves exploring the world by mouth, discovering a culture through its food. Having backpacked her way around the world she turned her wanderlust into a career and is now a full-time travel writer.

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