The first time I traveled internationally was to London when I was twenty-one. Sure, I had previous traveling experiences with friends and family but this time I was alone and on exchange with my university.
I have since travelled around the world as a solo traveller and have never looked back! Here are some tips that may help you out with your solo travelling experiences:
7. Stay in Hostels (or go camping). Go online, have a look, find a reasonably priced snazzy place and go for it. Two great webpages to check out are hostelworld.com and hostelbookers.com. Hostels aren’t like the hostels your parents stayed in. There are some amazing ones out there. (One in Washington DC had a hot tub in the room!) From, sleeping in pretty snazzy airplanes to staying in an actual indoor caravan park – there’s all different shapes, sizes and experiences. Sure, you’re going there to shower and sleep – but hostels are so much more. They’re little communities of likeminded people!
Whilst camping – just be sure you’re safe about it. Meet the camp host, have a chat – ask if there are any trouble areas or people to be aware of.
6. Eat like a local. We all know this. Normal is boring. Go out there and try the local food, but be smart about it. Don’t drink the water (or ask if it’s safe to drink) unless you want to be confined to a small windowless room with your face and butt exploding for three days. Believe me, it’s not fun.. and when the parasites make themselves known after a few weeks is even less fun..
5. Keep your wits. If you lose your shit – like if something truly bad happens… you need to absolutely keep a level head… If you don’t, then how can you get yourself out of a bad situation into a good. Deep breath and go with the flow… trust your gut and fix whatever needs fixing.
4. Take risks. You’re already out of your comfort zone, so why not push yourself to the edge (within reason – be safe about it).
3. Give Trinkets. This is probably one of the best things I’ve done while solo travelling. Before you leave on your adventure, be sure to grab a bunch of trinkets from your home country. Then, if ever need to ask for directions, or want to make someone’s day give them something in return!
When I was in New York City, I had the best cabbie ever! He was an Indian man with a heart of gold! At the end of the trip, I gave him a koala. He was absolutely over the moon! He said that he’d give it to his daughter as she loves everything Australia – I have never forgotten that man!
2. Trust your judgement. This may seem like a no brainer for most, but you need to go with your gut when you travel. If you think you’re in a dodgy area, you probably are. Find a place where you are more comfortable. And if you’re hitchhiking, just be smart about it.
1. Talk. I know this one might be a bit strange, but you’ll soon realise that there are a lot of other solo travellers too. So, why not enjoy the journey!
When I was on a very long flight from Los Angeles to Sydney, the person I was sitting next to me (after fourteen hours) offered me a job in Australia! You never know what could happen!
A girl gone walkabout in the great big world!