Solo travel – is it a good idea?
Going on holiday by yourself is something that a lot of people do but is it safe? Why would you do it? What will other people think of you? Having experienced solo travel a few times myself I thought I would compile a few tips and pointers to help you decide if its for you.
- Ignore those who say you can’t
I’m lucky that my family and friends understand me and my independent nature. Going away by myself isn’t an issue, I often do things by myself. You might hear “you’ll get bored” “wont you feel lonely” or “is it safe?”. In answer no you wont and yes it is if you go to places that are either deemed safe by the government or you have been there before with family. You CAN do it alone and you WILL have a good time.
- Go with intention
I mean have some sort of plan or wish list of things to do/places to go. I am quite an organised person and forever making lists. My guide books have post it notes on pages where I am going and what I want to do. (Its my thing let it go) So I make a list of places I would like to go/see, research how to get there, entrance prices etc and compile a rough itinerary. Weather changes, things change so be flexible you don’t have to rigidly stick to it but I think it gives you purpose and saves a lot of time once you are there. And because you are on your own you can be totally selfish and go where you want to!
- Take some comforts
I debated whether to take my tablet with me or not on a recent trip, its extra weight, extra charger. But as my accommodation had WiFi I thought it might come in handy in the evening. As it turned out I used it once to upload a blog post and I didn’t touch it again! I promised myself I would switch off from social media during the day and just check emails once in the afternoon and again in the evening. I did a lot of writing, emails and blog stuff whilst on the three hour train journey which was good as it was out the way before I got there. I also took a book with me (again did not need) but a handy prop when dining out alone. I took some food treats with me as well like popcorn, fancy coffees and chocolate.
Obviously exploring new places is the whole purpose of travelling. However if you have never travelled solo before for any amount of time I recommend going back to somewhere you have been before and just for a couple of nights. If you hate it then its only a couple of days to endure. Stay in a hotel or a B&B as it might make you feel safer and not so alone. I did this before when I did a two week trip around the Devon and Cornwall coast. Having a cooked breakfast is a very welcome thing as it really sets you up for the day and you get it done for you! On my recent trip I stayed in a self catering chalet on a holiday site. I have stayed on the site before with family and know the area well so felt safe and happy there. Being able to come and go as you please is a godsend. If you want to sleep in you can without worrying about missing breakfast or having the cleaner turn up. You can pop back during the day to change or cook. This wont be for everyone but I really enjoyed getting up for a early swim then cooking a breakfast before heading out for the day.
- Take photos – including selfies!
Love them or hate them selfies are here to stay and when going away on your own its the only way of snapping yourself anywhere. Don’t be shy take that photo of you eating ice cream on the beach or posing at a castle. Ask a trust worthy tourist or member of staff to take one of you. Photos are long lasting captures of the memories you have stored in your brain. I love taking photos so just do it!
- Talk to people
You will find that a smile will encourage people to talk to you. I chatted to staff in coffee shops/places of interest, a random walker and an old lady who had had her ice cream stolen by a seagull. Its nice to have some human interaction or you could go the whole week without saying a word to anyone.
Most importantly enjoy yourself. Unwind, look up, turn off your phone, breath in that sea air and just embrace your life!
Happy travels everyone. Let me know if you have been away on your own or if its something you want to do.