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First-Hand Guide to Solo-Travelling

Date Published 12.08.2019
Topic Travel Insurance

First-Hand Guide to Solo-Travelling

Solo travel is more popular than ever right now and with better technology and information available it’s also a lot safer than years gone by. If you’re new to the idea of travelling alone it can seem like there’s lots to consider - and there is! Use our practical guide to prepare plan the trip of a lifetime. 

 

1. Complete research and choose your destination

Before you do anything else it’s time to choose your solo travel destination. What’s your travel bucket list? A common misconception is that to complete a solo trip you need to travel halfway across the world for it to count. This is far from the truth. When travelling solo it’s best to choose a location that you’re comfortable with, especially if it’s your first time.

 

Things to consider when choosing your solo travel destination 

  • Length of the trip
  • Your budget 
  • What kind of weather do you prefer?
  • What travel experience are you looking for
  • Tourist safety
  • Read reliable online travel blogs and reviews for the location
  • Purchase the available literature on the area

 

Travel Preparation
For your first trip go shorter distances but either way, always have a plan.

2. Practice elements of solo travel at home first

It’s important that you get used to travelling alone before you book your trip. Consider going to the cinema, eating out or touring a museum by yourself to get a feel for it. It’s at this stage where you’ll discover if solo travel is for you. Listen to your mind and decide if you’re comfortable with completing these elements abroad.

 

3. Have an itinerary prepared for your trip

Arriving at a new destination can be a little daunting, especially if you have no plans. One of the top tips for solo travel is to have few elements of your trip planned. You can pre book hotels, tours and other attractions and use Google Maps to figure out your commute too. 

You might like to pre book these aspects for the initial days and then figure the rest out yourself while you’re over there. Do what best suits you. There’s no doubt about it, having an itinerary for when you arrive will take a lot of pressure off the ‘solo’ aspect of your trip.

 

Travel Notebook
An itinerary will help in those early days of travel.

4. Take part in group tours

You’re mistaken if you think that you’re the only person travelling solo. Lots of people opt to travel alone knowing that they’ll make companions along the way. A good way to do this is by joining group tours. This is your chance to soak up the local culture and history with likeminded people - even if it’s just to ask someone else to take your photo! 

Other solo travellers can share honest, hands on experience with you and provide you with tips and recommendations that you can’t find online. 

Tip: Another great way to meet people is to stay in a shared dorm in a hostel. 

 

5. Travel light

Whether you’re travelling alone or not, chances are you’re packing way too much. Nearly all of us cram our suitcases full of stuff until it reaches the airline baggage weight limits and then use only half the items packed. We also rarely consider the weight of carrying this case around by ourselves. 

Make things easier on yourself and pack lightly. Take only the essentials and pack layer able outfits that you can mix and match. Save space for a local phrase book - this you will definitely use!

Tip: New to travelling? Here’s what you should pack for backpacking.

 

Backpack
Try your best to travel light

6. Carry different types of payment methods

This step is a precautionary method that could save you a lot of stress. It’s good to carry cash as not all places will accept card payment when you’re away. It’s also recommended to bring more than one card with you in case one becomes blocked, lost or stolen. When travelling by yourself it’s important to always have a plan B. 

Tip: Sign up for a prepaid card that you can top up as you like and use to pay in the local currency. 

 

7. Travel Safely

Here are some tips to stay safe while travelling:

  • Research and study your destination and specifically the location you’ll be staying in
  • Be aware of any travel scams in circulation 
  • Consult a map and pre-plan your initial journeys
  • Trust your gut
  • Walk in public areas with other people around 
  • Try to do most of your outdoor activities in daylight
  • Lock any important items such as travel documents in your hotel / hostel safe
  • Keep your valuables such as phone, camera etc on your person at all times - a bum bag is great for this
  • Always carry a map and the address of where you’re staying
  • Stay safe on public transport
  • Keep your wits about you when it comes to drinking
  • Don’t over-trust people too soon
  • Share your itinerary with your friends and family and always let them know where you are
  • Make sure you have travel insurance

Tip: These are the risks you’re taking by travelling without travel insurance.

 

Drinking while travelling solo
It's important to be sensible when drinking and travelling alone.

8. Stay in touch 

Now days Data packages are reasonably priced and WIFI is available in almost every café, bar, hostel and hotel. Take advantage of this and keep your loved ones updated on your location and your plans so someone else is aware of where you are and looking out for you. Check in with your friends and family often - even if it’s just to let them know what an amazing time you’re having!

 

9. Enjoy the experience 

Having the thirst for travel and the self-assurance to do it solo is an amazing thing. Try to enjoy every moment of it. 

 

Tick one thing off your checklist with a  travel insurance from AIG. Choose from single trip or annual options and buy a travel insurance policy online in just minutes. 

 

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