I’ve been traveling and reviewing hotels, restaurants & spas alone for some time now and I love my own company.
Some people ask me if I find it tricky traveling alone and dining on my own in restaurants?
My answer? No, I love my own company and some self-love every once in a while really is what the doctor ordered, I enjoy doing my own thing, in my own time, making my own rules and doing what I want to do without answering to anyone else.
Selfish? Yes, perhaps ever so slightly, but we should all do the things we want in life from time to time, without having to please everyone else around us… and, for me, this is how I do it.
I’m making no exceptions this year, having started my traveling plans slowly, I’ve decided to head out to Florida for my very first long-haul holiday, where I will be meeting people on the other side for so many exciting plans, I can’t even begin to tell you – you’ll just have to wait & see what I have planned!
But first, to experience a long journey completely on my own (and coming back too – eek) and I’ve decided to embrace this experience, making the most of the adventure I’m about to have before I even get to my very exciting destination. This is going to be my very first epic travel adventure, one worthy of blogging about for my “Around The World In #80Stays” Challenge… I cannot wait and am now in full holiday mode!
So, after lots of researching, I’ve decided to share my top tips found to help you enjoy the experience of traveling alone and will put these to the test when I do this very soon… I will feed back if any don’t work for me, but I am hoping they will!
Pack less than you think you need and buy the toiletries/every day stuff at your destination to save lugging heavy suitcases and bags up and down stairs and through terminals on your travels. I’m planning to buy my sun hat, more sun cream if I need it, etc at the other end to avoid any such issues.
Glow with confidence – don’t run around with a map in your hand and a worried look on your face, you’ll be spotted as that hopeless/lost tourist before you know it and may put yourself into awkward situations if spotted being so. Even when panicked, remain calm, assert yourself and you’ll get through it.
Keep hydrated & freshen up where you can – drink water before a flight or long journey and keep topped up regularly where possible. Buy the biggest bottle of water you can before boarding a plane and moisturise/deodorise on longer journeys to keep fresh. Get plenty of sleep and keep some healthy snacks on standby in case you don’t get a meal for hours at a time. Also on this note, don’t get drunk when traveling alone, for your safety if nothing else!
Ordering a special/vegetarian meal on a plane gets you fed first – thanks to Brooke at World of Wanderlust for this tip – noted for next time! She also advises to pop in a set of headphones and even if you aren’t playing anything through them, you are less likely to be bothered if you need to be left alone for a while.
Treat yourself – pick your favourite books, films, games, blogs, food, drink and even podcasts… get yourself everything you need to pamper and enjoy some “me time”. I’m going to be painting my nails, enjoying the in-flight films and tapping away on my ipad with some blog post ideas as I travel – I cannot wait to be in my own little world before a hectic & sun-drenched schedule ahead of me.
Offer a friendly face and people will want to chat to you. If the opportunity arises, chat to the solo travellers around you and find out more about them – you just never know who you will meet. Of course, keep it safe, don’t give away too much about yourself or your plans to complete strangers, but heading on holiday is exciting and you really shouldn’t sit back with a scowl on your face as you go…
Make sure you “people watch”… we’ve all seen the opening scene in “Love Actually” and Hugh Grant was right… watching people arrive and leave in an airport is an emotional experience and I for one cannot wait to watch this as I get ready to fly away. This makes for one of the best elements of traveling for me, I love watching people come & go and listening in (subtly!) to conversations, it’s fantastic fun!
Don’t take chances, let people know where you are going and that you are safe at all times between trips and even keeping zips to your bags facing your body, rather than away from you will help to avoid being mugged/pick pocketed.
Wear lots of layers so that if you get too hot, you can strip down and if you get cold then you can keep warm.
Social media is a great tool for keeping people posted of your travels, but remember that everything you post advertises your plans and whereabouts… if you are staying in a hotel alone and you make this known to the world… well, who knows who might decided to pop down and join you, so be careful. Best advice is to post this sort of information once you have left a location and moved onto another, be safe at all times.
Most importantly, have fun and remember you aren’t going to be alone forever, so enjoy it whilst you can!
What are your top tips for traveling alone? What do you like most about solo travel?
Do leave a comment below and share your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you!
To find out more about my “Around The World In #80 Stays” challenge, click here.