The firs time I ever traveled alone was on my twelfth birthday. I was flying from Halifax to Ottawa after visiting a friend. I remember how fun that flight was! I was seated next to an older woman and a girl my age. We had so much fun goofing around together.
Most of my flights have been alone, but flying from LA to Melbourne, Australia was by far the furthest I have ever traveled on my own.
This was my first big solo adventure.
I traveled alone around Sydney, explored a bit of Melbourne by myself, flew to Cairns for a week of adventures, and a week on the North island of New Zealand. But you know what? I never once felt alone whilst traveling solo.
I made friends my first day in Cairns, and was always either out with friends or I’d get back to my hostel, only to leave again immediately to go somewhere with my hostel mates.
I rented a car to drive around the North island of New Zealand on my own. I thought I would be lonely, but it was the most fun week of my entire life! As soon as I arrived at each hostel I immediately made friends, some of who I still speak to.
Solo travel is such a great way to get out of your shell and discover not only a new place, but yourself as well.
But as fun as solo travel is, there are some tips that everyone needs to remember.
- Are you anxious like me? If so, planning out your itinerary and having things booked ahead of time can help with this.
- Always carry your hotel/hostel card with the address on it. Helps prevent getting lost.
- Carry a safety whistle, because you never know.
- Get travel insurance!
- Be confident, or at least act it.
- When you arrive at your accommodation, ask for an marked map of which areas are safe or unsafe to walk alone.
- Make sure any gear you bring with you is insured, i.e camera gear.
- Keep valuables at home or hidden in a safe place.
- Look for hostels/hotels with common areas, as well as planned outings, to meet other people.
- Be open minded and flexible.
- Try to arrive to your destination during the day to avoid being alone in any sketchy areas.
- Enjoy at least one new experience each day.
- Don’t tell strangers that you are alone.
- Allow yourself to grow and learn.
- Eliminate doubt from your mind.
- If you carry a bag, keep it in front of you.
- Before leaving for your trip make copies of EVERYTHING – visas, passport, ID’s, debit card, credit card, EVERYTHING.
- Enjoy your freedom!
- Be mindful of your surroundings. This relates to watching for thieves, taking care of your belongings, keeping the space your using tidy.
- Know that your hostel/hotel/airbnb isn’t completely safe. Make use of the safe’s.
- Talk to locals.
- If you venture out alone, let someone know.
- Learn a few words of the local language.
- Explore as much as you can.
- Say “yes” to as many experiences as you can.
- Don’t get too drunk. You are in unfamiliar territory with strangers. Keep your head straight.
- Be curious.
- Listen to your gut instinct.
I loved solo travel so much, and can’t wait to do it again. But it is so important to keep these tips in mind!
Have you ever traveled solo? Would you?