Saturday, 6 July 2019

Travelling Alone - Made Easy

Traveling on your own can be a great adventure. If you travel alone, you will get to know yourself better and you’ll be able to follow your own schedule.

If you've been holding back, these great tips will make it easier for you to head out alone.


When you travel alone you'll learn how to deal with three of the most common concerns.

Coping with Loneliness and Boredom


You may wonder about whether you'll get lonely if you travel alone. The truth is that learning to enjoy your own company makes solitude very rewarding indeed. But what most people that travel alone discover is that on their journey they will find some form of companionship if they want it.


So our key tips for everyone that travels alone are:


1. Engage fully. Be mindful of your surroundings. Most people travel alone to allow them to experience new things for the first time, so get caught up in these new experiences as you travel, don’t say “no”, don’t put things off, and you’ll quickly find that it will leave very little time for boredom.


2. Take a tour. A day tour is ideal for meeting new acquaintances and see things you might not ever see. It's easy to strike up a conversation when you share the same interests with others and you're away from your usual routine. Lone travellers do like to meet up with other lone travellers often, but still keep their own itinerary.


3. Dine out. Look for places with communal tables or ask your hotel to recommend somewhere. Eat at the bar if you feel conspicuous at a table.


4. Stay at a bed and breakfast. The owners of a bed and breakfast are usually very hospitable and love helping travellers; many will be very be happy to talk about local attractions. Hostels are another very good choice. There will likely be other guests and maybe even others travelling alone at these types of places.


5. Frequent local businesses. Visiting the same fruit stall every day will quickly turn you into a regular. Exchange greetings and let them know you appreciate any advice on what to see, you’ll get brilliant local advice this way.


6. Talk with new people. Approach your fellow travellers or locals who seem friendly and helpful. Trains, coffee shops and accommodation are two good places to start.

7. Do volunteer work. Sign up with a non-profit organisation and perform group volunteer work. For example, travel to exciting places while building new homes through Habitat for Humanity.

8. Pursue solitary activities. Whilst it is nice to meet up with others to share experiences you are travelling alone for a reason, visit an art museum or lie on the beach with a good book. Enjoy the peace and relaxation you get from being alone.

Protecting Your Safety


Security is an important concern for any traveller. Some basic precautions will reduce your risks.


1. Blend in. Looking like a tourist may leave you vulnerable. Walk with confidence and step inside a hotel to check your map.

2. Be alert. Observe what's going on around you. Ask your hotel to advise you about where it's safe to walk. If you're near an unsafe area, avoid unnecessary risks by taking a cab to your destination.

3. Watch your money. You may want to wear a shoulder bag strapped across your body or under a coat. Consider using a money belt or clip. Solo travellers are often the perfect target for pickpockets.

4. Watch your smartphone. As a lone traveller, this is probably one of your most important processions, but also one of your most vulnerable. Don’t check it out in the open if at all possible and always keep it in a secure location.

5. Assess your fluency. Language skills also matter. Ask yourself if you can communicate clearly in case of a medical emergency.


6. Gather your documents. Put a copy of your identification and health insurance in your pocket. Leave a second copy with loved ones at home.


7. Check in at home. Speaking of home, give your full itinerary to at least one person. Call or text them every few days to let them know you're okay. There have been too many instances of travellers disappearing on a trip and nobody realising for quite some time.


8. Pack light. Leave your valuables at home. Traveling with minimal baggage increases your comfort and your ability to move quickly. Consider getting an Anti Theft Backpack

Sticking to Your Budget


You may run into what's called "single supplements" on cruises and tours. This is when the venue charges single travellers extra to try and make up for the lack of a second customer. Still, there are plenty of ways to vacation affordably on your own.


1. Save up in advance. Put money aside gradually. Small amounts add up over time.


2. Be flexible about timing. You'll tend to find the best deals at the last minute or several months before your departure. Be open to traveling during the off-season for further monetary savings.


3. Look for special bargains. Check discount travel sites and look for deals. Some venues may even be willing to waive the single supplement.


4. Accept roommates. Contact travel companies who specialise in people travelling alone. Ask to be paired up with another single traveller who is headed to your same destination.

Travelling alone will create memories you'll treasure for life.

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