If you’ve never been travelling alone before then you may be thinking it’s a daunting task. However, this can actually be an exciting, new and somewhat refreshing experience if you know what to do and where to look. Here are some tips to make travelling alone much more fun and affordable.
The first thing you need to do is determine your budget. Solo travellers often find that travelling alone is more expensive than splitting expenses with a partner, but there are certainly ways to save money. For one thing, most cruise ships and hotels charge on a per person double occupancy rate, which means they charge an additional fee for every single member of a pair staying in a cabin or room. This alone can add up to considerable savings, especially if you have a good local language and are able to communicate with the locals. Many people assume they can’t speak the local language, but this isn’t the case – just approach your new surroundings with an open mind and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you pick up the basics.
Once you have an accurate idea about how much you can afford to spend, you’re ready to start shopping around. Try to find the best deal you possibly can on everything from travel insurance and local language lessons to entertainment and practical life skills. In general, the higher your comfort zone, the more expensive things you’ll pay. However, remember your goal – living like a local for a significant part of your life! By paying slightly more for these essentials you can save yourself thousands.
The second thing you can do when travelling alone is to approach the journey as a challenge. Often, solo travellers get caught up in the excitement and forget to plan ahead. It’s important to think about where you want to go, what you’ll be doing there and how long you’ll be there. If you can help it, plan to include a few days for getting to know your new local area and making sure you have a few opportunities to practice your new skills. Your local area will be a great source of recommendations and you can always check out the internet for more ideas.
Another way to make your trip more memorable is by including some people you meet along the way. When travelling alone, you have plenty of time to strike up conversations with local people. You can practise your new skills, talk about the places you’re visiting and try out your new language. When you get back home, you can even organise a night out and enjoy all the benefits together. It’s unlikely that anyone will complain that you’ve taken up their time, so you can enjoy your trip thoroughly as a traveller with a friend or two.
If you really want to improve your life skills whilst travelling alone, you may be surprised by how much better you feel being with someone else. When you’re with someone else, you have someone to talk to and share your experiences. They can provide advice, emotional support and simply just act as another pair of eyes and ears. A lot of travelling can become lonely, so having another person to talk to can be an amazing boost to your travels. Try not to miss out on opportunities to practice your new speaking, listening and writing skills, as you learn to communicate better in your new environment.
Although solo travelling can be daunting at first, it doesn’t have to ruin your experience. Just keep in mind the tips above, plan well and don’t put yourself too close to the problem that’s going to be causing you stress. For example, if you’re worried about getting lost, take along a hiking stick, a compass and a map. If you have children, try to ensure they’re accompanied, as they can help to identify certain trail signs.
The key to solo travelling is to have fun. You will meet more new people and perhaps even make some friends. The most important thing to remember is to have fun. If you find yourself dreading an outing or thinking you’re being overwhelmed by your travel plans, take a day to rest and reflect. In this way, your trip will go much smoother and you’ll be ready for the next adventure when you get back into your life.