I’ve frequently travelled to countries by myself but I usually meet up with someone in the country I’m visiting, however, I recently spent two weeks travelling around Vietnam completely on my own. My inbox has been flooded since my return by both men and women praising me for travelling on my own and asking me to share my tips for solo travel. I 100% recommending travelling alone, even if it’s simply a weekend away because as scary as it may seem, it has made me; even more comfortable in my own company, braver, more independent, more sociable, and more adventurous!
Some people like to explore new countries with no set itinerary and simply see what happens when they arrive. I personally think having had a set itinerary, with all my accommodation and internal flights booked, prior to leaving removed a lot of the anxiety that I had about travelling on my own. I also made sure to organise airport pick-up’s in advance so that there was always someone waiting in arrivals to take me to my next destination – although they were strangers, it was comforting to have someone to meet!
Book onto group tours.
Booking onto group tours and excursions is a great way to meet people. I went on a boat trip with 10 strangers and it ended up being one of the absolute highlights of my trip. I made a couple of really good friends from all over the world and they gave me tips on where to visit and what to see. I think it is really important in life to immerse yourself in new experiences and spend time with people from all walks of life.
Bring some entertainment.
You’re inevitably going to be spending a lot of time travelling, and a lot of time on your own, and if you don’t have the company of someone else it can get a little lonely. Make sure to bring a couple of books, or download audiobooks and podcasts, to have in your backpack whenever you have a few hours to kill.
Location, Location, Location.
Choose accommodation that is located close to where you want to be/explore. It is much easier walking or cycling back in the evenings rather than flagging down a taxi to get you home – it also means you save money on transport too!
Choosing hostels, homestays, or Air BnB’s is not only a really great way to meet new people but also the local people who tend to run this type of accommodation. They will be well used to people travelling on their own and they can give you advice on how to get around, where to go, what to see, and where to eat!
Be physically prepared for any eventuality – always carry snacks, water, some cash, and portable chargers! However, make sure you’re mentally prepared for obstacles and how to deal with them. So many things went wrong on my travels that were completely out of my hands – I mean a bloody Typhoon hit Vietnam when I had just arrived! This meant a lot of my plans, including my flights, had been disrupted. I had to act fast and think up a plan but I could have easily gone into panic mode, aborted mission, and went home.
Last, but not least, ENJOY IT!! This is your me time for ultimate soul searching. You have no one to answer to but you. Do what you love to do, and what sets your soul on fire, whether that is spending hours browsing the local markets, or sleeping on a hammock on the beach listening to your favourite podcast, or dancing until the sun comes up in some exotic bar!