Travelling solo is fun and exciting. You get to live the adventure, just like on TV travel shows. Experience a different culture and language, taste foreign cuisine, get lost and meet exotic strangers. It almost sounds like it could be a plot of a movie doesn’t it? But there are other solo travel stories as well; ones that start with: “I had the worst trip of my life.”
Once you’ve sorted out your budget and picked a destination, here are 5 things you should consider before you embark on your first solo adventure:
Who doesn’t travel with a smart device these days? Not many, especially since they serve as your currency converter, weather forecaster, translator, library, theatre, music player, public transport guide, map, camera, flashlight… you get the idea. To get the most of them, load up on apps before you leave. Like a Local collates reviews and experiences from locals so that you can avoid packed tourist traps, and experience something unique. Need to quickly learn a few foreign phrases? Quizlet allows you to study anywhere off other user’s shared notes – luckily plenty of them are learning another language. Chances are you’re going to be spending a lot of time in transit. Let LoungeBuddy find you the most comfortable and affordable lounge in more than 500 airports worldwide.
Today, shared economy services like Airbnb offer home-style alternatives to the traditional hostel and hotel options. But how do you know if you’re getting a decent place? Always contact your host before you book, the way they respond to you can tell you a lot about them. As will their reviews. If they don’t have many reviews, you might want to avoid picking that place. Also, if they ask for money in advance and not through the Airbnb site you should give them a miss too. Many Airbnb renters are just offering a room, so your live-in host can provide a local’s perspective of the city you’re visiting. A guide and room in one transaction! But if it’s all about price, try HovelStay where nothing is over Rp 1,323,333 a night.
You can spend days comparing flights to find the cheapest option. Even when you settle on a price, a cheaper deal is bound to pop up. Global airfare shopping engine, CheapAir, recently analysed over 4 million airline flights to track price fluctuations. They determined that prices are at their lowest 54 days before take-off. So start counting back days on your calendar. Speaking of days, travel search engine, Kayak has found that the cheapest day for domestic travel is Friday, while Tuesday or Wednesday is the cheapest for international travels. To make sure you get the best deal, use an airline comparison site which finds the cheapest price for you.
Travelling alone also means being prepared for any kind of emergency. Baggage lost, stolen wallet, accidents, hospitalisation are all emergencies that you need to protect yourself against. This is where travel insurance plays an important role. Find the insurance that fits your travel plan, so you may enjoy your break in peace.
Travelling light is a lot more comfortable. It makes getting from A to B simple, doesn’t slow you down and is easier to monitor. It just takes self-control to only pack what you need. What no one ever suggests though, is choosing a bag that’s easy to recognise. You’ll be able to spot it easily as it rolls off the baggage carousel and be out of the airport promptly to enjoy your trip.
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