Solo travelling on your mind? Answers to these five questions will help you out in planning your first solo trip
Tough, challenging, and exhausting, but absolutely brilliant. If you ever have the possibility to head off and explore a piece of the world without anyone else’s input, I’d undoubtedly suggest it. Solo travel can appear to be unnerving—yet don’t allow that forestall you from trying it! It is certainly incomparable to any other travel experience you can ever have.
Solo travel is a wonderful way to find out who you are by giving you worthwhile experiences and teaching you things that can be hard to encounter otherwise. To travel alone in any part of the world or in your own country is a big step outside the comfort zone. You are in a new place, which is totally impressive in the light of the fact that you are travelling alone, yet daunting, and you have just yourself to rely upon.
The solo travel lifestyle appears to be charismatic and without a doubt it is. You’re able to devour and relocate at any second and explore new places with no strings attached. As incredible as it is to travel on your own, there are a couple of realities that are vital to be known.
Where do you want to go?
Read blogs and reviews or reach out to experienced solo travellers who have firsthand experience of the place where you want to travel. If you are a rookie to solo travel, I recommend starting somewhere “easy”, somewhere comfortable. Choose a destination where the language you are comfortable with is widely spoken.
How much can you spend?
Be it solo travelling or it’s a group travel plan with your friends, knowing the budget is very important. In solo travelling one can compromise with the choices of stay, meals, and transport. It’s better to plan according to your affordability. Though the actual spending is mostly more than what we calculate, still it gives a rough idea as to how much will go out of the pocket.
How will you be safe while travelling solo?
Make a copy of your passport and travel insurance documents either on paper or on cloud; so in the worst case, you’ll always have important information backed up. Jot down the serial numbers of any electronics if you are carrying with you.
Keep local emergency contact numbers handy, such as the police, as well as local medical assistance.
Share your trip itinerary with your friends and family before going on a trip and keep them updated with your location of stay.
Buy travel insurance.
Book your stay in advance at least for the 1st night.
Try reaching your destination place during daytime.
How should you pack light when travelling solo?
Choose a 40-60 L rucksack if planning to travel for overnight journeys.
Choose 60-75 L rucksack if planning to travel for more multiday journeys. A 60-75L Rucksack and a small 10-35L daypack are enough when travelling solo for 7 days. While a 50L backpack will mostly be at the place you are staying, 10-35L daypack will serve all your purposes when travelling around the city or going for a hike.
Choose a 75- 125 L rucksack if planning to go for expeditions.
Clothing occupies most of the packing space and hence it is the deciding factor if you would be able to pack light or not. Factors like durability, minimum space, and weight, wrinkle-free should be kept in mind while packing.
Lay out everything you plan to take on the floor. Pick one by one and ask yourself a question “What if I don’t take this with me?” If it’s making a huge difference, only then keep it otherwise save the space for something more important.
Try to keep wearable that can perform a double duty. Keeping reversible shirts, tees, jackets can help you a lot in packing light. You see, if you are only taking one of each you are actually taking sic pieces of clothing, which serve two purposes: help you pack light and offers more variety.
Packing cubes and compression bags help a lot in segregating your packed stuff.
For cold weather, choose one great outer-layer (down-jacket) that will keep everything dry underneath.
Pack no more than two pairs of shoes/footwear. The primary one that you will wear almost everywhere and the petty one (light rubber slip-on) which serve the purpose of slippers too.
Keep power bank for charging your phones and electronic devices.
Keep toiletries beforehand or buy them after reaching the destination, your call.
One of the best advantages of travelling solo is that you meet new people every day and you would never come to know when they will turn into friends. The best way to meet like-minded travellers is to find a social hostel and be social.
Another add-on benefit of staying in hostels is that they are cheap and also spare a great deal of cash in terms of food. Thinking How? It’s because most hostels have communal kitchens where occupants cook together, share the meal and that gives you multiple opportunities to connect.
Learning a few words/phrases in the local language can go a long way, both for communication and helps from getting exploited, and shows respect for your destination’s culture
It’s always better to have backup references before you head out to somewhere. But many a time, an itinerary doesn’t work. Having a backup plan if things go south is a good practice in general, but an even better when traveling alone. Also when you are on your own, you learn how to come out of a situation by yourself.
Solo travel is not everyone’s cup of tea. Not everyone likes the taste of the firsthand experience. In any case, you’ll never discover if it’s for you or not until you try it even once. So next time throw yourself out of your comfort zone. Find out how other people live and realize that the world is a much bigger place than the town you live in. And when you come home, the home may still be the same, and yes, you may go back to the same old job, but something in your mind will have shifted. And trust me, that changes everything.