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Going Solo? Expert advice for the first time solo traveller
Fantastically liberating for some, scary as hell for others – solo travel is a unique experience.
Two of the top concerns about going alone relate to feeling lonely and personal safety. A recent Tripadvisor survey found safety was a top priority for women from Southeast Asia.
If it’s your first solo trip then be prepared for friends and colleagues to comment. Some may tease that you have no friends or you’re looking for romantic attachment, while others will just be envious you have the confidence to get out there!
Tips for the solo traveller
There are loads of online tips and websites for first time solos. The travel team at Budget Direct insurance has pulled together the best advice, for those of you who want to get straight out of the blocks!
Pick an easy country to start with, like New Zealand for example; no language barrier, transport is easy, locals are friendly and there’s lots of other solo travellers.
Go on a specialised holiday which involves a hobby like walking, photography, cooking or try volunteering where you get to meet like-minded people. This will get you in a group straight away. Staying at sociable places like the YMCA and YWCA, homestays or local farms may also help you meet others, if you want to!
Do your homework
Land with some local knowledge and currency, investigate taxis at the airport before you go and have a hotel reservation, at least for the first night.
Check if your room door has a chain or locks internally, it may help you sleep more soundly.
Stay at smaller places where you get to know the staff and ask them if it’s safe to walk around at night.
Get reception to call you a taxi or tuk tuk – they will often know the company or the driver.
Split your money on your person and carry ID (not your passport).
Give your itinerary to a friend and make arrangements to call someone regularly. Or, if you prefer, check out websites where you can download your route and check in regularly. If you fail to call in they will alert your friends and family or even contact the local authorities.
And remember; on vacation we do things we have never done before and go places we are unfamiliar with. We lose things, we get sick and things happen to us.