Today, the opportunities for travel are endless- from lavish cruises to backpacking adventures, there are countless of offers travellers can choose from to satisfy their need for exploration.
Solo traveling has become an increasingly popular trend- statistics reveal that there has been a 143% increase in ‘solo travel’ online searches over the past 3 years. This trend has been observed predominantly amongst Millennials, 25% of which are planning on taking a solo trip within the next 24 months.
Solo travel is an exciting way of experiencing new cultures and places. While it can also be an overwhelming experience for many, especially first-time travelers. What to pack? How to plan? What is the best way to research the local culture? We are offering the top tips on how to be prepared and make the most out of your solo travels.
Choose a destination that matches your character
Choosing a solo travel destination should depend on the type of experience you are after. Determining your goals and the outcomes you would like to take from your trip are essential. You should definitely do that before dropping that red pin anywhere on the map.
If you are looking for a good solo backpacking destination, then places such as Thailand, Costa Rica and Vietnam are some good options to consider. These areas have turned into hubs for adventurers from all over the world. They combine urban areas with rich forests and amazing beaches. From hiking to swimming and rock climbing- these destinations are ideal for every adventurous spirit.
However, if rest and relaxation is what you are after, then you could research some of the areas known for such things. Some places with their amazing hot springs, restorative spas, and peaceful beaches. Such areas include Seychelles, Bay of Islands in New Zealand, the Scared Valley in Peru.
Bay of Islands, New Zealand
One of the main benefits of solo traveling is that you have the opportunity of exploring the places that reflect your inner state. As well as those that respond to your personal needs and interests. Choosing a destination should involve some preplanning. Thinking of such aspects as the area’s costs of living, flights, accommodation, the language, and local currency. Remember not to get carried away with the trivialism of traveling! After all, the focus of most solo trips is the travel itself, rather than the goal.
Prepare for the language barrier
Few are the places around the world where you won’t be able to communicate in English. Remember that locals love it when tourists make the effort to research and learn a bit about the native language. Even if you only know how to say “Thank you” and “Hello”, being respectful to the language and making an effort to communicate will be well perceived.
However, if you are anxious about the language barrier you are going to encounter during your travels, then it is worth researching some online translation solutions or purchasing a common phrase book. Nowadays, there is a variety of mobile applications! These enable travelers to easily interpret foreign phrases. That will help you easily connect with the locals. Whym, for example, is an application that acts as a professional interpreter. It can offer support in more than 13 languages. This app can definitely alleviate some of the pressure that comes with traveling by yourself. Even at the most unknown destinations it will help you better connect with the locals!
Make new friendships
Just because you are traveling solo doesn’t mean you have to spend your trip in complete solitude. Nowadays, there are various options for connectivity you can take advantage of, in order to make new connections and enhance your travel experience.
If want to take a break from traditional social media channels, there are other ways of making connections while traveling. The Alpacr app, for example, enables travelers to join a social network specifically designed for travel and adventure. In this network, they can share about their adventures and meet fellow travelers along the way. Wherever your adventure spirit has taken you, you will be sure to find another adventurer in the area. Who knows? You can share a snowboarding trip, a visit to the local beach or a surfing session. The beauty of a social network specifically designed for travelers is that it enables people to experience the local culture to the fullest. Also helps getting useful recommendations from others who have previously visited the area.
Have a packing strategy
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it is of extreme importance, especially when traveling solo. There is no one else with you that could bring a bug-repellent spray or a spare toothbrush- so definitely start thinking about what you are going to pack early in advance.
When you are packing for your getaway, ask yourself: do I really need this, or am I just used to having it? Sure, it is nice to have the option to choose between different heels, flats and boots, but, in reality, you only need one good pair of walking shoes to make the most out of your adventures.
Do your research on the area you are going to be staying in- is there something you will be able to buy for cheap when you arrive? Are there any pharmacies or convenience stores nearby? If not, you might have to consider taking some medication with you. Furthermore, what’s the weather going to be like? Always check the weather forecast so that your clothing items are appropriate for the activities you have planned.
As a solo traveler, you are the only person who is responsible for the things that go into your suitcase. While it is essential that you avoid over packing, make sure you are well prepared for potential issues involving bad weather, lost luggage or elongated stay.
Just for You and Your Solo Travel!
It is important to be prepared and organized for your solo travel adventures. However, try not to get caught up in the little details that might end up causing you stress and negative emotions. Learn to appreciate the time you spend alone, especially nowadays, when technology and online communication have got us all wrapped up in a cloud of our own worries and anxieties. Use this experience as an opportunity to disconnect from the trivial and listen to what your inner self really craves- that is how you are truly going to make the most out of your trip.
Yana Milcheva is a Journalism student who is also passionate about Marketing, Travel and Technology. She likes exploring new places that give her inspiration for writing and is interested in the cultural and technological developments across the world.