Travelling alone can be the most rewarding and liberating experience – one you’ll want to repeat again and again. But for many people embarking on their first solo adventure, they often lack professional advice on what to do and what not to do when traveling abroad.
Elle Voyage is a female-led tour operator providing unforgettable group tours for women who harbour ambitions to see the world. With years of combined travel experience at hand, today, they’re sharing with us 5 tips for first-time solo travellers.
1. Make sure solo travel is for you, by starting small
Don’t do your first solo trip thousands of miles away from home. Instead, start small. Do a solo overnight trip to a city in your own country. Eat in a restaurant alone. Go to the movies. Ensure you’re comfortable in your own company. You’ll probably still feel nervous when you do a bigger trip abroad but at least you’ll have prepared as best you can.
2. Plan the first couple of nights’ accommodation
Even if you thrive on spontaneity, or the thought of imitating Cheryl Strayed’s Wild fills you with sheer exhilaration, book the first few nights’ accommodation so you know where you are. Literally. This will give you time to acclimatise in a comfortable and safe environment. You can go ‘wild’ thereafter, when your confidence has had a boost.
3. Book some organised day trips
Going on some organised day trips is a great way to connect with other travellers – solo or otherwise – and it will also enable you to experience places you might not have thought to visit or felt confident doing so. Other travellers are great for sharing their stories and tips, too!
4. Keep your money safe and in several places
Never carry more money around than you need for that day’s general spending. As a safeguard, hide cash in several places and always carry two forms of plastic with you – a credit AND a debit card – in case one gets rejected, damaged, lost or stolen.
5. Present a confident appearance
Walk with an air of confidence everywhere you go. You’ll give off a self-assured vibe, rather than a vulnerable one, and be less likely to attract unwelcome attention. Never look like a tourist with a visible guide book on display; you’ll be prey for pick-pocketers or locals who want to take you to their cousin’s ‘shop’. If you find yourself lost, go into a busy local bar or restaurant. Never worry about coming across as dismissive if you reject a seemingly kind local’s offers; your safety always comes first, and your instincts are your best defence