Is Travelling Solo Worth It? Embarking on solo adventures offers a unique perspective, pushing boundaries and embracing the thrill of the unknown. Solo travel is more than a journey; it’s a profound exploration of self-discovery and empowerment. Dive into solo escapades, where every step unravels new possibilities and challenges.
I am a passionate supporter of solo travel. Through the years, my solo journeys have deepened my affection for this way of exploration. Numerous fellow travellers, particularly those eager to delve into solo adventures, often grapple with questions and hesitations before taking that initial plunge.
In this post, I aim to address those concerns and provide valuable tips to empower travellers, particularly females, to embark on solo travel journeys. The prospect of solo travel, especially for the first time, can be daunting. Each time I set out on a solo expedition, a mix of nerves and excitement accompanies me, highlighting the anticipation and apprehension that often precede such ventures.
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Solo Travel Definition
Solo travel entails an individual journeying alone, regardless of their life stage. It’s a voluntary choice driven by the desire for independent exploration.
I’m often approached with inquiries about solo travel and how individuals can initiate their solo journeys. The concept of solo travel is sometimes viewed as a courageous feat, particularly for women. However, I argue that it doesn’t have to be. Allow me to elaborate! Solo travel can be a straightforward and fulfilling experience with proper precautions and careful destination selection.
How Do You Decide a Place for Your First Solo Travel?
To initiate your solo travel journey, I recommend considering two approaches to ease into the solo travel experience.
Firstly, start by choosing a destination closer to your home base. Conduct thorough research about the place before finalizing bookings and planning. Assess the safety and friendliness towards tourists and gather insights from previously visited individuals, including friends, family, and travel bloggers. Understanding the ease of travel in the chosen location is crucial.
My solo travel journey began in Australia. Living in Melbourne without a travel companion, I decided to take the plunge and explore a nearby destination. My passion for travel triumphed over waiting for company, leading me to an enriching weekend in Port Fairy.
It’s essential to prioritize your comfort. If a place doesn’t resonate well with you, it’s perfectly fine to reconsider. I’ve personally cancelled trips at the last minute when I didn’t feel comfortable travelling alone to a particular location. Always opt for refundable tickets; while they may be slightly more expensive, they provide a safety net in case of unexpected changes.
Another strategy is to choose a destination where you have acquaintances – friends, family, or anyone familiar. This allows for a balance between solo exploration and the comfort of company in a new place. Whether you embark on solo adventures or incorporate one-day solo trips within the company, it’s a valuable way to test your affinity for solo travel.
Ultimately, the key is prioritising your comfort and tailoring your solo travel experience to suit your preferences.
What are the Things You do Before Heading off on Your First Solo Travel?
Through my years of solo travel, I’ve honed a few practices to address potential challenges and minimize risks preemptively.
- Always call and confirm your bookings, especially for the initial activities, hotels, or hostels, even if you’ve received confirmation emails. I’ve encountered situations where confirmation emails were misleading, and on arriving, I discovered that the providers had not received any notification.
- While it is unnecessary to plan every detail meticulously, having a draft itinerary outlining your high-level activities provides a sense of security. Include crucial information like hostel contact details, and share a copy of your itinerary with at least two friends or family members in case of emergencies.
- For Australian residents, it’s advisable to register your travel details on the government-owned Smart Traveller website.
- Keep soft copies of essential documents, such as your passport, itinerary, and credit/debit cards, accessible through your emails and phone to mitigate the impact of potential losses during your travels.
- After grappling with heavy backpacks during my Norway and New Zealand trips, I’ve embraced the wisdom of travelling light. Efforts to pack only what’s essential and occasionally reusing clothes can significantly enhance your travel experience.
- For finances, avoid carrying excessive cash and distribute it across multiple locations for added security. These precautionary measures contribute to a smoother and more secure solo travel experience.
What Precautions Do You Take in the New Place or a Country?
- Opt for accommodations in hostels or well-established hotels, prioritizing safety over isolated or poorly reviewed locations. Central Business Districts (CBD) or city accommodations not only enhance safety but also offer convenience.
- Exercise caution when venturing out at night, aiming to return to your hostel or hotel before darkness falls, particularly in areas prone to isolation, especially during winter. Avoid going out alone after dark to ensure your safety.
- Refuse drinks or food from strangers to eliminate potential risks associated with unknown substances.
- Prioritize day trip providers with positive reviews, ensuring authenticity and reliability in your travel experiences.
- Keep your friends and family informed about your whereabouts, either through direct communication or occasional check-ins on social media.
- Always carry a padlock to secure your backpack or belongings, especially when using lockers in accommodations.
- Opt for public transport or reputable taxi services like Uber or Ola to ensure safe and reliable transportation.
A crucial note: refrain from carrying items like pepper spray, as it may lead to detention at airports, and in some countries, like Australia, possession is illegal.
How Do You Travel on a Budget?
Believe me, embarking on well-planned travels doesn’t have to break the bank. A few years back, I shared insights on how I secure funds for my journeys and adeptly save money while on the road. With thoughtful budgeting, travelling becomes not only accessible but entirely achievable with minimal expenses when strategically planned.
How To Take Pictures During Solo Travels?
I’m a firm believer in the power of capturing moments through photography. I cherish the idea of seizing every moment, although truth be told, I only end up sharing about 10% of the numerous pictures I take. The sheer volume of my captured moments might be hard to fathom, especially when solo travelling. However, through experimentation and trial, I’ve discovered effective methods to navigate the challenge of capturing memorable solo travel moments.
Does Solo Travel Get Lonely?
I often encounter a common question from those contemplating solo travel: “Do you feel lonely?” The answer, for the most part, is no. I genuinely relish solo journeys and find immense joy in them. However, it’s only fair to admit that there are instances, particularly during extended solo travels, where a sense of loneliness may creep in, and I miss my family and friends. Yet, the beauty of solo travel lies in the fact that it doesn’t mandate doing everything alone or precluding making new connections.
Here are some strategies I employ to meet like-minded individuals when exploring new destinations:
- Participate in walking or day tours, fostering connections with fellow solo travellers. I’ve found lasting friendships on these excursions, sometimes even forming bonds with older couples who treat you like their own.
- Opt for hostels as accommodations, where mingling with diverse travellers is commonplace. While the dynamics may change post-COVID, the camaraderie found in hostels often results in lifelong friendships.
- Engage in conversations with locals at restaurants, bars, or cafes. Striking up chats with people provides valuable insights and fosters connections with the community.
- RSVP for local meetups using Meetup and attend events aligned with your interests. I gravitate towards activity-based meetups such as hiking, creating opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals.
- Reach out to acquaintances, friends, or anyone residing in the area you’re visiting. This familiarity contributes to a sense of security and comfort.
- Connect with people during various activities, such as scuba diving. Many individuals I’ve met during such pursuits have become enduring connections.
- When all else fails and homesickness strikes, leverage technology to bridge the gap. A simple video call with family or friends can provide the comfort and connection needed during solo travels.
What are the Best Apps for Solo Travellers?
Solo travellers can enhance their journey with various apps that offer convenience, safety, and valuable information. Here are some of the best apps for solo travellers:
- Google Maps: An essential navigation tool offering detailed maps, real-time traffic updates, and offline access.
- XE Currency: Stay updated on currency exchange rates, especially useful for managing expenses in different countries.
- Hostelworld: Ideal for finding budget-friendly accommodations, especially hostels, and reading reviews from fellow travellers.
- Meetup: Connect with locals and fellow travellers by attending events and meetups based on shared interests.
- Duolingo: Learn basic phrases in the local language with this language-learning app, facilitating better communication.
- Google Translate: Translate text or speech into various languages, aiding communication in areas with different languages.
- Citymapper: Navigate public transportation systems seamlessly in various cities, providing real-time transit information.
- Couchsurfing: Connect with locals who offer accessible accommodations, advice, or even a chance to meet for coffee.
- SoloTraveller: This app specifically caters to solo travellers, offering safety tips, destination recommendations, and a community forum.
- Trail Wallet: Manage your travel budget by tracking expenses and setting daily spending limits.
- WhatsApp: Stay in touch with family and friends through messaging, calls, and video chats, using Wi-Fi to avoid roaming charges.
- SafetyWing: Access travel insurance designed for digital nomads and long-term travellers, providing coverage for various situations.
- WiFox: Find and access Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide, ensuring you stay connected during your travels.
- Hopper: Predicts future flight prices, helping you decide the best time to book your flights and save money.
Embarking on solo travel is an enjoyable experience. I encourage everyone to try it at least once before deciding whether it suits their preferences. Over the years, I’ve addressed many questions and provided clarifications based on the inquiries I’ve received. Feel free to explore the world solo and reach out if you have any doubts or concerns.
Is Travelling Solo Worth It? Beyond a doubt. It’s a dynamic expedition that transcends the ordinary, leaving an indelible mark on the adventurer’s soul. Step into the world of solo travel, where every moment is an opportunity for growth, self-reflection, and unparalleled experiences.
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