Five Do’s And Don’ts For Travelling Solo
There can be few things more exhilarating, exciting and nerve wracking in life than plucking up the courage to pack your passport, clean clothes and essential items then jet off alone. In recent years solo travelling has become big business, with more of us than ever taking the plunge and exploring the wonders of the world all alone. Still, before you go typing ‘one person travel tours’ into Google we thought we’d let you know some of the do’s and don’ts to follow for a successful adventure.
Do Actually Talk To People
Everyone has a story but the only way you’re going to learn the person’s who’s sitting across from you on the bus, eating at the next table, or sleeping next door is by talking to them. We know that you’ve been told since you were little ‘don’t talk to strangers’ but while travelling some of the best conversations, opportunities and experiences can all stem from just a simple ‘hi, how are you?’
Try to find a good opener but don’t let the person know that you’re travelling alone just yet. You could compliment them on an item of their clothing, make it friendly but not weird, ask them what the time is, make a comment about the weather or if travelling around town ask someone what the best thing to do, places to eat or places to visit are. Once you’ve gotten comfortable with the person casually, mention you’re travelling solo, and they’ll be much more likely to invite you somewhere, share interesting stories about the local area or check that you’ve got a decent place to stay.
Don’t Compromise Your Safety For Anyone
Of all the advice we’ve given you so far if you take nothing else on board listen to this. Do not travel with, talk to or even look at anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable, just because you are alone doesn’t mean you need to put up with aggressive behaviour, creepy conversation topics, inappropriate comments or threatening body language. Listen carefully to your instincts and avoid travelling through dangerous neighbourhoods, especially at night and never leave your rucksack unattended even if you feel it’s safe. The best way to stay safe is to travel in a group, so head to Travelsphere to book an escorted tour. Make sure you know the emergency numbers, i.e. 999, 911, and 112 and if you fear for your safety at any point please pick up the phone.
Do Let Technology Be Your Friend
When travelling alone, your phone is not only your map, tour guide and translator but also a lifeline back home. There are now plenty apps aimed at the solo traveller such as Tripr, which will tell you who’s going to be in town, letting you start conversations, and swap travel tips before your flight even lands. Make sure you check your data service terms and conditions as you’ll definitely be needing Google Maps, CityMapper and even Instagram to find your way around if you’re not part of a group. Not sure what a sign says or you’d like to chat to someone in their own language? Then check out BabelFish who’ll instantly translate sentences into the language of your choice. You’ll love not having to flick through a dictionary while trying to balance a cup of coffee, keep your hat on your head and keep an eye on your rucksack all while sat on a narrow bench.
Don’t Be Too Scared To Leave The Airport
Yes it’s pretty scary to head out into the big, wide world on your own but it could also change your life, let you meet your future partner or even see you starting a new job. It’s perfectly normal to be a little nervous but remember that so many people have done this before, and they’re continuing to do it so there must be a reason why!
Do Keep The Folks Back Home Updated
Because you’re by yourself your family will automatically worry more so even if it seems a bit of a hassle it’s critical that you check in regularly. Schedule Skype calls, and send them short texts or photos every few days as well as making sure they have the details of where you’re staying in case anything happens. If you plan on staying in just one country it may be worth you registering at the local embassy, giving staff the ability to contact you quickly if there are problems that could affect travellers such as natural disasters, political unrest and even localised issues like power cuts or water shortages. It’ll also mean that in an emergency if you are unable to they’ll also be able to notify your next of kin.