I’m often asked by people what are my top tips for solo travellers. What’s the safest way to go about it? and how do you meet people along the way? I have compiled a list on what I think are the most important top tips for solo travel and my advice that goes with them.
Top Tips for solo travellers
1. Nearly always book a hostel: This is definitely my number one for my top tips for solo travellers. For those that have never been in a hostel before, you’re probably thinking that they are all disgusting, party hostels. But I’m telling you the world of hostels has changed, you can even grab a private room in most of them. But sharing a room in a 4, 6, 10 or even 12-bed dorm invites a group of strangers into your life. Of course, you’re not going to get on with everyone.. but there will at least be one person you click with.
2. Another hostel related tip: Attend the social nights that hostels organise. Nearly all the hostels have social nights whether it’s beer pong, pizza night or Mario Kart. Going out of your comfort zone and attending these evenings will definitely make your experience a memorable one and you will meet lots of people on these nights.
3. Bring a power bank with you: There are so many times when I’ve been lost on my own in a non-speaking English country looking for my accommodation. I always use google maps to find out where i’m going, but the amount of times my phone has run out of charge is laughable. Bring a power bank and charge your phone before it runs out of juice. Asos have a cute one here. Oh and don’t forget the charger.
4. Always bring a book: It can at times be a bit of a lonely trip, solo travel. But bring a book out with you wherever you go and you won’t be lonely for long. If you feel awkward about eating alone, then a book can help fight those nerves. Or if you want to rest your feet on a bench for half an hour a book can keep you company.
5. Join the walking tours: Most of the places I have been had free walking tours. Sometimes the hostel offers this service or there are companies out there that do a pay as you feel tour. This is a great way of meeting people and to start getting comfortable in a foreign city.
6. Have your wits about you: An obvious one, but sometimes people and places are not what they seem. Always have your wits about you and follow your gut if you feel that something is wrong. The hostel staff or the tourist office will always be able to help. Have fun, but above all be vigilant.
7. Split your money: I always do this. Never take all of your money with you when adventuring out. Keep some behind locked away in your dorm. There is a lot of petty theft that happens in countries, so don’t take all your money out. If you lose it, it’s all gone.
8. Plan/research: I’m not saying produce an itinerary for your trip, but have an idea on some of the places you want to go. Find the route out from the airport to the hostel. Find out how far some of the attractions are that you want to visit. See whether you want to do any tours so you can plan how much money to spend. Find the nearest place to eat if you know you’re landing late. lots of things to think about, it’s easier to pre-plan some of these things.
9. Ask for recommendations: Ask friends who have been to the same place, your roommates at the hostel or the staff on the top places to eat, see and do. My Top Tips for solo travellers is to always go where the locals go and ask for those recommendations.
10. Carry a business card from your hostel or hotel: If you’re in a situation and can’t remember where you live, you can hand the card to the taxi driver. It’s also ideal if you can’t pronounce the name of the place you’re staying, therefore the communication between the driver and yourself can be a smooth one. Most importantly always store the number in your phone, just in case.
11. Finally, my favourite Top Tips for solo travellers, is just letting go: Get lost in a city (make sure you have enough charge to find your way back). Ask for directions. Talk to local people and find the local hotspots. Order a local dish from the menu. Ask out your roommate for dinner. Try the local alcohol. Offer to take someone’s photo. Rent a bike. Learn about the culture. Drop the inhibitions and step out of your comfort zone. To really travel is doing just that.
If you have any more Top Tips for solo travellers, add them in the comments below. Looking for some inspiration for your next solo travels, check out Great places to see before they disappear.