Solo-Travel can be a scary prospect or thought. But I can honestly tell you… once you get into the swing of it… it is probably one of the most exhilarating experiences ever. And it is one of the deepest ways to get to know your own soul. A you that is away from what your culture or society expects from you. It is something everyone should try at least once. Whether it is just a short mini-break away from your hometown… or a big adventure to a foreign land… or even a long-term adventure as a digital nomad.
So let’s dig deep on any objections you may have about solo-travel first…
Make sure you know the visa requirements of wherever you’re going, and get that sorted BEFORE you book your flight! However, you can SOMETIMES get a visa in the airport on arrival, but it’s more fuss and can take hours. Plus there is no guarantee as every country has its own rules and you might not even be able to get on the plane without meeting the full requirements. Not ideal and be safe rather than sorry.
Also, if you lose your passport what you’ll need to do is go online and tell your government straight away. They will most likely issue you a temporary one in 24-48 hours which you can pick up from your nearest embassy (probably in the capital city of the country you are staying). It might take a valuable day away from fun or work, but that’s life. C’est la vie!
The first thing I can say is… 40% of travellers have been there and mistakes happen so don’t beat yourself up about it! Just chill and buy yourself the next available flight or the next cheapest flight if you have time. It’s a story to share, so take it for what it is!
Accidents happen everywhere. You can honestly have an accident or something bad happen just around the corner from your house, but you leave your house everyday to get on with life. So don’t let it get in the way of solo-travel adventures.
There is a fully functioning hospital in every big town/city in the world. All of which are full of trained staff ready to help you so you’ll be fine. I have met people who have been in scooter accidents and come out recovering as you would expect. Just make sure you have insurance or money ready for any possibilities.
Off-beaten tracks and adventures are a little harder to get to hospitals, but if you are unhappy with that… maybe stick to cities and towns or places where you feel more safe. At the end of the day, your happiness is important so make sure you make that a priority.
This one is so much easier these days! Honestly, sometimes it’s harder to get time by yourself than it is to make friends. So the best way to make friends as a traveller is:
Stay in hostels… this is simply the easiest. You will most likely share a room with 4-8 other travellers who are all ready and willing to make friends. If you hate the idea of sharing your room then some hostels offer private rooms, so you can still mingle and have your space. If you do your research on hostelworld.com, you are likely to find the perfect thing.
Facebook Groups - There are so many Facebook groups online. If you simply introduce yourself and tell people where you are going, chances are someone in the group(s) is going too! Here are some of my favourites:
Girls Love Travel (for women)
One of the biggest groups for women who love travel and want to discuss travel.
My personal group is gender neutral and focuses on travel, work, mindset and collaborations.
A female community group where women across the world help each other.
A gender neutral place to find jobs as a nomad.
Led by the founders of Nomad Cruise, this is a great gender neutral place to connect with nomads and learn about working as a nomad.
Exercise or sports classes - This is a great way to make friends with people who have common ground with you, and it’s a great way to share experiences with new people.
If you want to keep things a bit more chilled and you like your independence, an Airbnb with or without a host could be more up your street. For keeping costs down couch surfing is a great option, and you get to meet the locals and maybe experience a different side to your destination.
Make friends with hotel or hostel owners by offering a skill on workaway.org for a place to stay and food. So if you have a skill like photography or marketing or teaching yoga,why not reach out and see if you can swap your skill for a room?
Have a look at local meet-up groups on meetup.com to see who’s doing what. It’s great way to meet the locals and do something that interests you.
If you want your own space…
Hotels can be lovely and relaxing if you prefer a little luxury- see if you can find smaller, boutique hotels for a more personal touch.
Make days for just you. Go for a walk, hike or simply take days off. You don’t have to do something everyday. Go with your flow… you are travelling solo after all!
If you do have any fears or anxieties, the best thing you can do is….
Talk to people who have done it… either in person, friends or make friends online (Facebook groups or instagram).
Mindfulness and meditations can help to train the mind to be calmer.
Speak to a coach about it! I am always happy to help if you need me: Book here.
Or simply… book the ticket and just do it! The worry will disappear as soon as you get to your destination. I’m sure you’ll be buzzing from the new sensations, sites and possibilities surrounding you.
Another thing that always helps sooth nerves: Get your info sorted a few days before the flight. So pack your bags, print any paper work and prepare a plan or itinerary. That way you have full control!
Take the leap out of your comfort zone and explore what this beautiful world has to offer. At the end of the day, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, if it doesn’t feel right you can easily book a flight on to the next adventure. So why not try it and see..?