Essential Tips to Travel Solo and Love It.
News flash: Travelling solo doesn’t always mean going it alone.
For the ultimate sense of freedom and self-discovery, solo travel is your go-to and way simpler than you actually think!
Ask anyone who's travelled solo, and they’ll tell you what a one-of-a-kind experience it was. Sure it comes with its downfalls - you can feel like you’re on top of the world one minute, and the next can remind you that you’re a tiny speck swallowed up in it all. But, that’s why we’ve put together our essential tips for all you solo sightseers out there!
Research everything, plan nothing
Not nothing, obviously. Don’t pencil in every single minute but map out a rough plan. This means you’ll be on top of weather conditions, events, cool attractions and places to eat. Make a big list of things you can tick off, but don’t plan every detail. You might organise a whole week in a city that you wind up hating or only plan a day in a quaint little town you love and find yourself wanting to linger for longer. The best part of a solo trek is that you can change what you want to do at any time!
Pack light, and then try and pack even lighter
Navigating a new environment is hard enough, now imagine doing it with 3 suitcases and a backpack. If you’re not 100% sure you’ll need it, ditch it. A general rule of thumb is to only bring what you're comfortable carrying for at least half an hour. Remember, no one is keeping track of your outfit repeating…
Minimise Culture Shock
Don’t stick to your comfort zone, but take it easy at the same time. If you’re worried about adapting to some environments, choose a destination where your native language is spoken. Determining the right location for you will alleviate the stress of travelling solo. This brings us to our most important step…
We mean this both quite literally and figuratively. Social, Global’s latest and most exclusive feature, is a private social network within gWorld where you can talk, share & meet up with other Global Travellers while abroad. So chat & interact with other solo sightseers like yourself, grab a drink, share travel trips and go explore a new part of the world together!
Join Free City Tours
Many cities offer local walking tours that operate on a pay-as-much-as-you-feel-like basis. The guide’s earnings are based on their performance, so the tours are usually well prepared, funny and super informative. What a way to get an introduction to your new city and meet other travellers.
Be friendly with the locals
You were probably told throughout your whole childhood “don’t talk to strangers”, and now we’re telling you to throw that advice out the door. Confusing. But being alone gives you the opportunity to strike up conversations with random strangers, and you never know who you will get to meet or the language skills you with pick up along the way.
Choose Social Accommodation
Making pals is a lot easier if you’re staying in a place with social activities. Whether or not you like staying in hostels - don’t worry if you despise dorms (guilty), you can snag a private room, or even just tap into the local ones for activities and a built-in community.
Related: How to Make New Friends Abroad
Attempt to learn the lingo
Learning a new language can be frustrating, stressful and challenging, we get it. But, not having anyone around that speaks your language will force you to dive in, even if it’s just a few phrases to start with. Getting to know the locals can be one of the best ways to learn a new language. The next best thing you ask? Global Academy, located within the gWorld app, gives travellers access to an ever-growing range of skills & language courses to learn before & while you travel.
Avoid getting lost
Easier said than done, right? Getting a little lost in a city is okay but getting a lot lost is not a good idea. The best thing to do is have a backup plan ready for action. Over-preparing with a map, some phrase cards you’ve prepared earlier and a few extra dollars to tip whoever is helping should do the trick.
Top tip #1: While you’re checking in to your accommodation, pick up a card or pamphlet with the name and address (and hopefully even a map) on it. If you get lost, you can flash it at the driver or when you’re asking for directions.
Top tip #2: If someone asks you if you’re travelling by yourself, always tell them a friend, a parent or a partner is waiting for you back at the hotel. Most people don’t have bad intentions but to be safe, don’t tell strangers you’re flying solo.
Research the common tourist scams
Research the typical tourist trips before you go, different countries tend to have different patterns. Read up on the standard scams that tourists fall prey to, and you’ll be alert and know exactly what shady behaviour to keep an eye out for.
Just in case, download these safety apps
Download Panic Button (Android) or Send Help (iOS) and program it to instantly send your location via email or text to your emergency contacts. TripWhistle Global SOS (iOS) will solve the challenge of finding the triple-0 equivalent for 196 countries around the world. It will call the local emergency number for you and share your location if need be. Although, 000 or 911 will usually still work in most countries anyway. RedZone Map (iOS) will find you the safest route from A to B, based on crime and social data. It can even track incidents happening around you in real time and route you around them.
While you may be by yourself when you first set off, you’re never really alone when you travel with Global. Book from any of our trips and enjoy the 24/7 support, access to an exclusive Social network & a dedicated Trip Coordinator all to ensure you have the best time abroad.
So now that you know all the ways to stay safe and connected while solo travelling, the only question left to answer is…where should you go?