The secrets to traveling the world alone fearlessly
It’s scary, going on an adventure alone. I was so nervous for my first solo adventure. I ate 3 Reese's peanut butter cup chocolate bars, before I even boarded my flight!
"The most common reasons why people do not travel solo is because they're scared to be alone."
When people say just do it! I know preciously what you’re thinking, "Easier said than done."
These are my insider tips for traveling the world solo, how you will combat loneliness, while staying safe along the way.
Pick a destination and be certain about it
Often I hear people want to go on a trip by themselves but they’re not even sure where they want to go!
Pick a destination and start planning! The finances you need to save for each trip will always be different depending on the destination. Once you book a flight you can buckle down and start planning.
Save an extra 1000$ on top of whatever budget you had in mind.
Emergencies happen. It’s inevitable you will always spend over your budget. Quite frankly it would suck to travel and feel like you’re holding back, come prepared with extra $$$$.
Buy travel Insurance
Holy shit guys if you didn’t already hear what happened to me in Cambodia, learn from my mistake by reading my post here.
I hope you never must use it, but, when you’re traveling and doing things you wouldn’t normally do. I can’t stress enough how important it is to cover your back. Buy insurance, it sucks giving your money away like that but it’s worth it if you need it.
Research how to get to where you're staying from the airport
No need to be stressing out once you get to your destination. Always copy the address, route to destination, and your hosts contact details.
Claim your free travel planner here it will help with all tedious components when organizing your trip.
Keep your belongings minimal. If you’re a one-man army, you will want to make sure you can move quickly and stress-free. The more stuff you have the harder it will be on yourself. Make transporting, packing and fitting in as seamless as possible.
Tip: The lighter you travel the less of a target you become for crimes of theft
Find your people in Hostels
I’m not sure why hostels have such a bad rap. If you are traveling alone and you don’t want to be lonely… stay in a hostel. Hell, I’m not sure why you might not want too! There’s organized activities, you meet other travellers, and create memories with people you wouldn’t have met otherwise.
Tip: Pick a hostel on Hostel World with excellent reviews! If you can’t find any vacancy on their website, try booking through the hostel directly online or by calling. Hostels usually fill up quick. Especially if it’s high season. If you know you’re going to a city book your pick ASAP.
Tip: Stay in a female only dorms. There a little less social but… In my experience, ALWAYS cleaner, smell fresher (seriously) and minimize your chances of getting stuck with a snorer (sorry boys, but it’s very true!)
How to make friends when you’re traveling solo?
It’s going to be a little nerve racking trying to spark conversations with strangers. The good news is, it’s only uncomfortable the first few times, after that, meeting new people will be something of second nature to you.
My advice for meeting peeps in hostels
Join in on the group activities. Hostels usually entertain at night taking everyone out to a backpacker bar. Even if you’re not a huge drinker – just go! This is your time to mingle and make some mates!
Become friends with the staff at the place you’re staying at. Get to know their story. They’ll give you so many helpful tips for the area and often already have relationships with most people staying at the hostel, they can introduce you.
Sit at a communal table
Dinner is a busy time in a hostel. People will be cooking and making conversation. It’s the perfect time to put yourself out there, make some food, and ask to join a table that looks most enjoyable to you … YOU CAN DO IT! Don’t be shy.
One thing to remember. Everyone is just like you. Left their home in search of brand new adventures!
Never tell strangers you are traveling alone
If the taxi driver asks you if you’re alone never say yes. The story is you’re with a group and they’re waiting for you at the address you’re headed to.
Join in on a few great communities that offer support who traveling the world. There's so many opportunities to connect, ask for advice or recommendations. My favourite is Girls Love Travel
Stay in touch
Make new friends but also remember to get their contact details when you say goodbye. It’s such a shame to meet someone and share a fun time together only to never communicate again.
Learn a little of the local language
A respectful gesture is to learn a few words. Hello, goodbye, thank you, please and how much. Are useful worlds you should start memorizing.
Always keep your most valuable possession on you
This doesn’t apply so much once you can unload your stuff somewhere safe, but in between moving locations never leave your valuables unattended, no matter what!
Keep a copy of your passport
Save an album on your phone, and online somewhere safe that has all your important copied travel documents attached to it.
When an idea is presented that makes you feel uncomfortable, that usually means you should do it! No one knows who you are – who cares! Bungee jump naked, or don’t, but I still think you should!
Walk a lot!
If you’re alone and want to explore get on your own two feet. Spend the day sight-seeing, taking pictures. There’s something special in spending time alone. Embrace it.
If you want a picture somewhere, ask a stranger
Why not?! You’ll never see them ever again anyways! The way I see it is, you got an opportunity to get a wicked picture somewhere you may never be again. Get the damn picture. You’ll regret it if you don’t.
Click here to see how you can look like a luxury traveller when you're on a budget and traveling solo.
Tip: Always ask if the person taking the picture can hold down the burst button. hold a few different poses within the time the pictures are being snapped. Then, when you look at your pictures you have about 20 different ones to choose from. (I think we can all agree how annoying it is when someone takes only one picture of you, and you don’t like it!
Don’t bring a backpack unless you absolutely must
Are you going trekking through a jungle? No? then don’t.
I can’t stress enough how much easier it is on yourself if you travel with a suitcase. Rolling your belongings is 100 times easier than carrying it on your back. You also blend in a lot better. People won’t discriminate against you (I’ve personally experienced this in Australia when I spent a year there with a backpack.) “Backpacking” doesn’t always have the best reputation, some people will view it as ‘low income traveling’.
Start a daily routine
You need to make yourself feel at home the best way possible. Get up earlier and take some time to yourself. Walk around the block a few times till you are familiar with your surroundings.
Stay in each place for a little while longer
Jumping from place to place without any cool down time to enjoy your surroundings is just going to drain you. Not only that but it won’t give you enough time to make connections with people either. The most memorable experiences for myself have been in places that I stayed in for 4 days or longer.
Google events, concerts or parties that might be happening
When I was in Sydney by myself, I was told there was a music festival going, I spontaneously decided to go BY MYSELF! Of course, I made friends in the crowd, it was so much fun!
Booking tours with large groups is a fantastic way to meet people! I’ve done countless group tours and made friends that I currently still keep in touch with.
If it’s your first trip alone maybe you will consider booking a pre-planned tour all together? There’s many options for South East Asia and European tours; Contiki tour company is a popular one amongst backpackers.
Travel with snacks
Always have a little something stashed away. If you stay at a hostel remember to label your food bag with your name if you keep it in the kitchen area.
Tip: Stash your food in the back of the communal fridge. Making it difficult to access means the thieves won’t find it easily.
Avoid going into debt
Therefore, why saving the correct amount of money before you go is so crucial. Coming home can be stressful if you know financially you’re in a rut. Be smart with your money when you’re traveling. If it’s not a hell yes – it’s a hell no.
Are you ready for your first adventure alone?
Click here to read about how I started traveling and the life lessons I learned.