Travelling alone is one of the best ways to travel. You have the freedom to do what you want when you want, eat wherever you choose and meet some amazing people along the way. But it doesn’t come without it’s challenges and there can be times when you just need an extra helping hand.
Here’s our tips that every solo woman traveller should know before they travel…
Before You Travel
- Subscribe to cheap fare alerts to get the best flight prices.
- Sign up for self defence lessons.
- When planning your itinerary visit the most expensive countries first then you’ll have enough money left for the cheaper ones.
- You only need enough clothes for a week, then you can wash them.
- Mini toiletries are great – n.b. a small hotel size shampoo will last for about 3 washes.
- Book your first night’s accommodation and transfer from the airport before you go.
- Roll everything up as tightly as you can to make extra packing space.
- Always pack some earplugs!!
- When crossing the roads, cross when the locals do.
- If there are lots of locals eating in a restaurant then it’s going to be good.
- Carry breakfast bars for when you get peckish.
- Take vitamins and supplements with you as fruit may not be easy to come across.
- Remember to build rest days into your itinerary. You may think you can do 3 overnight train journeys in a row but your body may think otherwise. You’ll be thankful of a day to recover.
- Some hotels may keep your luggage if you are going away on a small trip – you can always book back into the hotel afterwards. Make sure you lock your bags and get a baggage receipt. Some train stations also have a luggage facility (especially in Europe).
- Only take what you really need – if travelling in a hot climate you don’t need a hair dryer.
- Take old clothes or hand wash your nice ones – you can’t guarantee that they will come back in the same state you handed them in in. You can then throw them away along the way and make room for souvenirs.
- Take a carrier bag or shoe bag to keep your dirty washing separate.
- Jogging bottoms are great to wear in bed as pyjamas in cold weather.
- Use your clothes inside a sleeping bag cover as an extra pillow.
- Need to communicate but can’t speak the local language? Make sure your phone has a translation app like Google Translate, so you can say what you really want to say (great for tricky situations in a bank).
Those Girly Things
- Hair needs washing or going camping? Just use a bandana.
- A sarong has many uses: as a sheet for sleeping, a towel to dry yourself with, a cover up for the beach and a mat to sit on.
- Use leave-in conditioner when you’re away and come back with luscious locks.
- Dye your hair darker so it will cover any roots if away for a long time.
- Can’t survive without your mascara but don’t want to go without? Dying your eyelashes before you go can last up to six weeks.
- Never say you are on your own or give out your address to anyone.
- Wear a fake engagement ring and say that your fiancé is meeting you the other end if travelling by bus or train.
- Walk the opposite way to the traffic (so that a car can’t pull up alongside you).
- Carry a mobile and get a sim card for the country you’re in. Put in emergency numbers.
- Be careful when drunk. You still need your wits about you when meeting people and travelling home.
- Never take out more money than you need.
For Those Moments of Doubt
- Plan your next day and make the most of every minute because you will never experience this day again.
- Keep a diary of how you feeling – if you hate today, write it down including everything you don’t like. Once your feelings have an outlet, they will disperse and you will feel happier.
- Write down everything you achieved today.
- Ask a friend to be your solo buddy and whenever you feel down you can contact them for them to remind you why you are on this trip.
- Have ‘feel good’ remedies like a favourite song, a souvenir from home, a photograph or lose yourself in an inspiring book.