Solo travel is a great way to get to know yourself and the world around you. If you’re planning a solo trip, follow these tips for the best time ever.
1. Take plenty of photos
Bring a good camera and use it to take photos of everything. Don’t be shy in asking others to take photos of you, you’ll miss not having your own face in your photos. Also, invest in a selfie stick. It seems very silly at first but they’re compact and a great way to snap a photo of yourself without the help of another person. Be warned that they’re only acceptable in some places — throughout Croatia I carried it with me but would have looked crazy if I whipped it out in the middle of Scotland.
2. Get to know the people around you
3. Say yes to (almost) anything
4. Pack light
It’s cheaper, and way more convenient. I’d definitely try to limit to one backpack, as lugging around my backpack and mini carry-on suitcase sucked. For one, many buses have hidden fees and will charge you to check bags in certain countries. Also, dragging a suitcase through public subways and across uneven sidewalks is never fun.
5. Try to stay healthy
Illness, food poisoning and falling out of a generally healthy routine is a part of travel and I can personally raise my hand for all three. Although being unhealthy abroad is sometimes unavoidable, there are some preventative steps that you can take. While teaching in Italy, I had a student pass a stomach bug onto me, gross! Wash your hands often and bring along some emergency medicine from home, because sometimes the drugs you need can be hard to find or decipher. I also suffered from food poisoning in Croatia from some bad gelato. My rule for this is that if you have a gut feeling the food is bad, it probably is. Food that’s been sitting out for a day or days could wreak havoc and my gelato that seemed oddly warm in some places was bad news that made it hard for me to fully enjoy Croatian food. Follow your gut, literally! You’re better off safe than sorry.
6. Take some down time, but not too much
After go go going for some time, well, you get tired. It happens. Maybe you have a few busy days in a row and are getting a bit homesick. Breathe. You can take a few hours or even a day to yourself and it’ll be okay. However, don’t rest for too long because time flies and you don’t want all of your stories from seeing the world to be seeing the insides of various hostels. Get out of your comfort zone and into the unknown.
Safe travels, Collegiettes!