Travelling alone for the first time can be daunting to many, but once you do it the way that works well for you, I guarantee you’ll absolutely love it. My first solo trip was about 10 years ago, and it has changed my life wholeheartedly. If you’ve never done it, you might not know where to start as a first-time solo traveller.
Type of Travel
There are various types of travel that are great for single travellers. Tours like Contiki, GAP Adventures cater to individuals. Booking your own flight and accommodations is a good option as well. Cruises and all-inclusives often cost less for double or multiple occupancies, so when you travel alone you might pay just as much as it would cost for two.
When I first started, I stayed in hostels. Keep in mind it’s far from luxurious, but my memories in hostels remain one of the best experiences I’ve had in solo travel. Do research on the hostels within the destination you are planning to stay – usually there is a rating for cleanliness, environment, safety and location. I’m an extrovert, so I usually strike up a conversation with perfect strangers. If you are an introvert but want to meet others, hostels are great because you’ll end up usually meeting other people who are actively looking to meet others. Great hostels also organize small events, or encourage a very social environment. If you are not comfortable rooming with strangers, book a private room and hang out in the common area. People who stay in hostels are open to meeting others and often end up spending a lot of time exploring and trying new food together. When you are considering a guesthouse or a room in at a place like AirBNB, check to make sure there is a lock to your room and ask questions before you book. Even though it’s usually safe to book without a lock on your door, as a first time traveller, you may want this and feel more comfortable going to sleep.
Do not dress like you’re a tourist. Understand the dress code of where you’re going and don’t walk around with a city map out in the open all the time.
Stay in Touch
Most hotels and accommodations have wifi, so it’s a good idea to send a message and let your closest friend or family member know what your plans are.
Identification & Money
When you travel alone, always pay close attention to your surroundings, especially when you are walking at night. Do not bring expensive handbags or accessories on your trip. Keep your bag close to your body and in front of you at all times. I tend to have a habit of hooking a card wallet within my purse as well since I know so many people who have been pick-pocketed. Check to ensure the destinations your visiting take credit card. Japan still remains to predominantly be a cash society and many people I know try to visit Japan with credit cards and scramble trying to figure out how to get cash.
Look up briefly what areas to stay away from so you don’t accidentally stumble upon a place you wish you didn’t end up in. Make sure to keep emergency contact information and a copy of your travel insurance information on you.
Dining & Drinking
Always ere on the safer side and have your beverage on you from the very start to finish. If you plan to go to the bathroom, get a new drink. Enjoy your time, but avoid temptation and stay sober no matter how much others around you drink. Better safe than sorry.
If you’re going to a foreign place, Google Translate, Tripadvisor, Google Maps are all good apps to download onto your phone. If you don’t have a long distance phone plane, check to see if there’s pocket wifi – a rental unit with pre-paid wifi unit you can take with you around while you travel to ensure you’re always connected and never lost.
Connecting via Social Media
A great way to meet others when you travel is through social media. I have been lucky enough to be visiting the hometown of some of my favourite instagrammers and not only have they been incredibly kind, but they’ve shared a wealth of information about their cities.
SHOP THE OUTFIT
My shirt dress is sold out, but I’ve linked many great maxi shirt dresses below. You can unbutton it to achieve this look. I’ve included some in various patterns featuring some of the biggest Fall trends. Happy shopping!
Photo credit to my one and only, Rise Again BJJ