So you have finally decided to take the step and travel solo, maybe even for the first time. Congratulations!
I have previously written about this topic here and the importance of doing it at least a few times in your life.Solo travel can be highly rewarding, liberating and a lot of fun. You learn to grow as an individual, experience things you can only experience on your own and get to know yourself like never before. You are your own boss and can do whatever you want. Also, you learn to be on your own with yourself. Still there are a few things that could make travelling much more comfortable, and if I knew them before, I would’ve probably saved myself from a lot of worry.
- You won’t need even half of the clothes you brought with you.
Except for the warm hoodie. There might always come that moment when you regretfully remember that soft, ugly piece of clothing which is also excellent at keeping you warm.
I have made the mistake of taking too many things with me, which I ended up carrying without actually using it. While, depending on the duration of your travel you might need some extra clothing, unless you’re a fashion blogger, you will probably anyways focus on being comfortable and exploring your surroundings.
Taking too much clothing will not only slow you down but also take away the precious space you could use for bringing back local treats, beautiful local clothing, food or souvenirs. Or help you to simply carry less weight.
- Always have your document copies uploaded in a cloud or email. Bad things happen, and while them happening on a family cruise vacation might be half as bad, as you will still have your family around to take care of you, should they happen while you are in a foreign country at night after someone stole your bag and you have no documents to identify yourself – that’s way worse. Keeping a copy online somewhere will make sure you will always have access to it- no matter what. Talking about robbery…
- Take care of your belongings.
And with that, I mean not only keeping your back in good view. After I was dragged across the asphalt in Barcelona in plain sight at Plaza Catalunya by my cross shoulder bag, as a guy was trying to rip it off my body, I learned better as to keep on carrying bags visibly.Sometimes backpacks are inevitable, but when walking around, especially at night or in very touristy places, leave your valuables in a hotel or apartment and keep your important things under the clothes or in a special bag.
- Do not get drunk alone.
I repeat, do not get drunk. No matter what good of a drinker you are, no matter how familiar you might be with the language, just don’t.
This also goes for other drugs, except maybe coffee. Bad things, especially to women, happen mostly when they are most vulnerable – alone and under influence of drugs or alcohol.
Still feel like trying that nice bottle of French Chardonnay? Take it home, grab some glasses and enjoy on your terrasse.
- Visit Couchsurfer or MeetUp for local events.
Travelling solo, especially for long periods can become a lonely business, especially when you’re not too sociable of a person. Couchsurfer, apart from offering free accommodation and contacts has a very useful event section, where you can find many different activities such as sport, social and culture. There you can meet fellow travellers as well as locals in a relaxed atmosphere. Same goes for MeetUp.
- Do your research!
Even if you are a very spontaneous and adventurous traveller, I always recommend doing some basic research of the location before arriving. This can help prevent uncomfortable surprises, as well as give you better ideas on how to spend your time.
This is especially useful when travelling for a few days only. If you are travelling to a big city, it can quickly happen that you spend several hours wandering through a residential neighbourhood looking for a coffee place without success, or end up in a rather dangerous area.
If you are interested in sustainable travel options, you should check out this article I wrote on this topic here.What are your biggest challenges while on the road solo?
I would love to hear your stories!
Let’s get in touch!