Traveling alone is my favourite way to travel. It’s freedom, independancy and courage.
It isn’t for everyone but it’s sure one heck of an experience.
Exploring the Tomb Raider Jungle Temple at Ankor Wat
1.Stay in big mixed dorms
First thing first, they’re always cheaper. Large mixed dorms are normally filled with a diverse load of backpackers. It pushes you to meet other people and an easy way to start a conversation, after all, you are sleeping in the same room.
I find the types of people who book these types of room are more on the same trip as me so it’s great to meet people doing the exact same as you.
Privacy is low and it’s not for everyone but the best way to meet people!
I normally opt for the biggest mixed dorms. There are many places that also provide female rooms.
As daft as that may sound, make genuine friends. I don’t mean small talk and just having company around hostels.
Spend time with people, go out on adventures with others and actually keep in contact. These guys will become some of your closest friends, and sometimes the most helpful. Some of the people you meet are sharing once in a lifetime experiences. These people are important.
3. Do things on your own
Traveling on your own means you have the freedom to do what the f**k you want. Make the most of it. I enjoy my own company and really don’t mind spending time alone
Spend time doing what you want to do. Trust yourself and learn about yourself.
Magnetic Island / Australia
5km weekly run through the banana paddocks / Queensland
4. Don’t be afraid to tag along
Don’t be too shy to just tag along. There’s millions of times you’ll have to ask and theres so many people in the same boat. Get over it.
Backpackers are always keen for getting together a good group. There’s other solo travelers looking to hang out together.
5. Eating alone is absolutely fine
When traveling on your own there will countless times you will eat out alone. Maybe start going out for some lunch by yourself. This is one of my favourite things to do.
Tons of travelers are out solo. Go places you enjoy. You’ll meet people who enjoy the same thing.
6. Keep something comforting with you
Have something with you that may remind you of home or have some sort of comforting belonging.
A pillow, photo, blanket are great. Any belonging is great, aslong as you can travel with it. Sorry guys, your pet probably wont work.
I have Grumpy. My favourite, old, dirty, funny looking Grumpy from Snow white and the seven drwarfs. Anyone who know’s me will know of him. He has traveled over 33 countries with me.
7. Let someone know where you are
There will be times when you’re on your own, you’ll go off radar a tad. It happens however it’s important to send over details over long journeys, and places you’re staying. Even just keeping up to date with facebook and contacting with family & friends is great for everyones benefit.
8. Self timer is genius
I get so many comments on my photos and I really couldn’t get so many of them if it wasn’t for self timer. I have to grab some of these amazing moments and there isn’t a person in sight.
I use GoPro Hero3+ for my timed images.
Not a fan of them myself but selfie sticks are great to use when on your own. Others don’t mind taking a few photos for you, if you say please of course.
9. Listen to your gut
You have to listen to yourself. This is the time in your life when you can actually learn about yourself. Simple as. Trust yourself, you need too.
10. Stay in sociable hostels
Pai Circus Hostel / North Thailand
If you need to a push to mingle, head to sociable places. Get ideas of places to stay when talking to other travelers. See what the reviews are. I’m not a massive boozer wanting to go out every night, I prefer chilling in hammocks and jamming any day however they are an ideal place to get chatting. They don’t all mean its constant partying, but give some busier places a go.
Sometimes smaller hostels are easier to meet people as there are less people to approach.
11. Take responsibility
I am not going to sit here and tell you to take responsibility, but I’m going to remind you that you’ll have to make decisions that will carry large responsibility, just for yourself. Things may not be the same then at back home.
12. Tours on your own are fine
I tend to avoid tours when away. A lot of tours are things you can do yourself, that just save the hassle of the research and resources you may need for an extra financial cost. Saying that, there are numerous trips that are totally worth it.
Someone double booked and ended up giving me a day out in Queenlands rainforest, I joined a big group and loved every second!
13. Have some sort of back up map
Remember you won’t get internet everywhere. Even if its a drawing, noted down address or directions. A screen shot maybe, have some back up if you’re arriving somewhere completely new.
Even having an adress in the local language can help you if lost.
14. Know the place of where you’re staying.
When you’re alone you don’t have many looking out for you. Like mentioned earlier, you need to take responsibility so therefore it’s best to know where you’re staying. In any situation, if you get lost or really don’t know where you are, at least you know where you need to get back too!
15. Leave details at home
I always leave a copy of my passport, any insurance details and random bits like my visa documents, National insurance numbers and even important passwords and personal files I may need. It’s helpful to keep copies back with people you trust.
16. Be respectful to the locals
Wherever you travel its important to be respectful to the locals. You’re entering there local towns and communities. Immerse yourself into there traditions and live within there cultures. It helps to meet people and can really keep you out of trouble.
17. Not everyone needs to know you’re alone
One tip my mum mentioned to me once, not everyone needs to know. If you’re uncomfortable, occasionally mention a boyfriend. family member thats traveling with you. Don’t always draw too much attention that you literally don’t know anyone, because sometimes, you don’t.
18.Drink in moderation
Im 22 and really not trying to sound like a Grandma, for those who know me, I love going out. I’ve partied, a lot, worked three seasons abroad and worked in the nightlife of Leeds city centre since I was 16 and work within cocktail bars however, I rarely drink.
When traveling on your own, you just need to be a little more aware of where you are when drinking.
I get other enjoyments from the places I go and things I can go and do!