Ultimate Guide: 12 Tips On Solo Travelling
Travelling alone doesn’t always mean lonely. Instead, it can be fun! You don’t have to compromise on anyone’s wishes and you’re free to decide where you will go.
For those who have never tried the thrill of travelling solo on their own, there must be feelings of fear and anxiety; fear when you are the only one who you can count on in the middle of nowhere. It’s human, but don’t obey either. Don’t let that fear keep you from going on an adventure.
So, to keep your travelling activities safe and comfortable, consider the following knowledge and safety tips for travelling alone!
Do your research beforehand about everything: ticket prices to your destination, accommodation, prices and operating hours of public transportation there, routes and entrance ticket prices for tourist attractions and everything. Thanks to internet technology, browsing traveller blogs to find references is much easier.
You can also post questions in relevant forums, for example on backpacker forums. Or, if you have friends who have visited your vacation destination, don’t hesitate to ask them.
2. Make a budget and travel plan as complete as possible
Budget and travel plans are your guide during the trip. Remember, you know, you are alone, so there is no way you can ask, “After this, where are we going?”
In your guide, make sure you have detailed your travel plans from the start of getting up early until you return to the inn. Plan, what do you want to ride to move from one tourist destination to another? How much money should be set aside for food?
The name is a guide, of course, you don’t have to live one hundred per cent. Isn’t it fun if you find unexpected exciting things while on the road, or are invited by a local to visit his house?
But at least, if you already have a guide where you want to go that day, you will always have the choice of where to go after you have explored one tourist destination
3. Learn how to pack as lightly as possible
As a solo backpacker, like it or not you have to carry all of your belongings alone, especially when moving to and from places to stay or moving cities.
Practice to carry the load as light as possible is indeed tricky. Often you are tempted to bring things that you don’t really need, so you end up with a lot of luggage.
Light loads make it easy for you to manoeuvre from one place to another. The amount of luggage depends on the length of your trip but avoid carrying a stock of clothes for more than a week.
After all, you can wash it, right? Carrying a light burden also makes you look less like a tourist who is easily the target of fraud.
4. While alone, it’s time to try Couchsurfing-style travel and expand your network by hitching a ride in other people’s places
Couchsurfing is a networking site where you can find fellow travellers from various parts of the world who provide their home as a stopover for other travellers.
Through Couchsurfing, you can interact directly with locals as well as get free places to stay. In fact, if the host is not busy anymore, you will have the opportunity to be invited to hang out with a trusted tour guide, namely themselves.
Don’t worry, Couchsurfing is very safe. Before determining where you want to stay, you can check the testimonies of other people who have stopped by their house. You can also use Couchsurfing for holidays anywhere, you don’t have to go abroad. There are also many fellow Indonesian Couch surfers who will be willing to accommodate you.
When travelling alone, this Couchsurfing style network can be a mainstay. Besides you don’t eat the place because you are alone, you can also interact more intimately. If you come in a group, you may not be accepted to stop at someone’s house, you can miss the host. Apart from Couchsurfing, some members of the local backpacker community forum also usually want to provide a place to stop for you.
5. If you don’t want to ride in someone’s place, find hostel-style lodgings that have common rooms.
You will find it difficult to find fellow solo travellers if you stay in a private hotel. Just try to choose a hostel that provides dormitories, homogeneous or mixed, complete with communal spaces such as kitchens and recreation rooms.
That’s where you will find fellow travellers whom you can make acquaintances with and share stories with. Who knows, you might find a friend who has the same destination so that you can be your travel partner for a while?
6. Try to get to your destination city during the day
By arriving on a bright day, hassles that are sometimes unnecessary can be avoided. For example, you don’t bother looking for public transportation to get to where you are staying.
The inn receptionist is also definitely open, so you don’t need to be forced to sleep at the station or terminal. Or, if you get picked up and hitchhiked at someone else’s place, at least you can avoid feeling bad like if you arrive late at night or early morning.
In addition, you can also outsmart the inn by sleeping during the trip at night and until the next day. The foreign city you are visiting for the first time also looks safer during the day.
7. Before arriving at the destination city, make a small map containing the road to the inn so you don’t look around in a strange place.
Arriving at the destination city, avoid looking around like a tourist in a foreign place. Act like local who already know the terrain.
The map application on your smartphone can be used as a direction. Or, prepare some simple small maps on a piece of notebook paper, each of which shows the direction to the inn and the tourist spots you are going to go to. This makes you less conspicuous, especially if you are walking.
8. Separate your cash and ATM card. Provide softcopy and hardcopy of your important documents.
During a trip, keep cash and debit or credit cards — if you have more than one — in different places, such as hiding them in your belt or socks. Also, leave some cash and a spare ATM card in the bag that you stay at the inn locker. If you lose your wallet or get picked up, you won’t panic too much because you have a spare.
It is also important to have softcopy and hardcopy of important documents, such as passports, ID cards and other identification. Save some hardcopy and upload the softcopy to the cloud so you can access it from anywhere.
For tips to hide cash, check out: 8 clever ways to hide your cash while travelling
9. Write down the important telephone numbers of the city you visit. Also, save the telephone numbers of the closest people as emergency contacts.
It is very important to record the important telephone numbers of the city you are visiting, especially the place to stay, the police and the hospital. And don’t just write it down on your cellphone, also write it down on a piece of paper.
Also, note down the phone numbers of the closest people and keep them in your wallet, purse and pocket. This piece of paper can be very useful if something happens to you, for example, you suddenly faint or have an accident so that the people who help you can immediately notify them.
Yes, I hope you never experience something like that. But there is no harm in anticipating before the incident, right?
10. Social Media Update
Do a live tweet or update the status on social networks of all your activities while travelling solo, if necessary, include the location. Not to show off, but if anything happens to you or suddenly you can’t be contacted, the people closest to you know where they should start looking. Again, that doesn’t mean travelling alone is dangerous; this is anticipation for the convenience of you travelling alone.
If you think that method is too flashy, at least let them know via text. In fact, you are also advised to send them the details of your trip itinerary. So, your position can always be monitored.
11. Don’t just take scenic photos, fight your sense of pride and take selfies every now and then.
Your family and friends will prefer to see vacation photos that look like you. So, apart from taking lots of photos of sights, landmarks, and tourist spots, there’s nothing wrong with taking selfies occasionally. After all, no one would take a photo of you if you weren’t alone, right?
12. Follow instinct – stay careful.
Travelling alone has many meanings. If you used to rely on other people while travelling, this is the time to try it on your own. Apart from learning to conquer yourself, you also learn to listen to your instincts.
Most of the people naturally have good intentions for you. But, don’t easily trust other people. The only thing you can trust is yourself. Hence, listening to your instincts is important. When something doesn’t feel right, it’s best to get away and get out of there.
So, by following the tips above, you can travel alone safely and comfortably. There is nothing to be afraid of travelling alone. Once you try it, you will be addicted.