Top 3 Tips for Solo Travel.
(This is a small selection from an e-book I am currently putting together with 30 travel tips for solo travellers)
For the past probably 6 years I have predominantly travelled solo, or alone.
Whilst I set off to the airport alone, stay in my hotel room alone, I am rarely alone. As you will notice there are a lot of people out there in the world.
My best experiences of travelling alone have been vast and plentiful, and the time alone is sometimes a welcome guest as it gives you the time to think about your life, business, work, family and friends, or even the big question, Why?
So why do I travel solo?
Well for me, I don’t at this stage have a significant other, I work for myself, and plan to take a few trips per year, and the timings don’t always work out for my friends to come along, or take two, three or four weeks off from their lives, or jobs etc.
I want to travel, I enjoy seeing new places, and meeting new people, and sometimes I feel that if you are with a group, or with someone else, you may not talk to a new person, or try something out of your comfort zone.
This is why I enjoy it.
Solo travel is great for all the reasons above, but I thought a few tips for the uninitiated may be useful. These are things I’ve thought about or picked up in the past, and hopefully they help you in some way too.
1: Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Put simply, sometimes Shit Happens! And when you are on the other side of the world, and you lose a bag, or your flight gets diverted to another city, state or even country, you’ve got two choices to make. Let it affect your whole holiday you’ve been planning for ages, or roll with it.
I personally have had all of the above things happen to me and many more, and one of the best tips I have ever heard was “It’s not what happens to you, but how you deal with it”
Things can and will sometimes go wrong, but remember, you can always buy more clothes, if you have to use your credit card and rent a car and drive to where you’ve got to go, or re-book a flight, just take a moment when something bad happens, and assess your options. These events always give you good stories to tell too.
2: Sit at the bar for dinner.
When I am travelling alone, and want to go out for dinner, I will often sit at the bar.
The first reason is generally you don’t have to wait to be seated, and secondly a lot of restaurants don’t like solo travellers taking up a table they could get 2 or even 4 people sitting at, which in turn brings in more money for them (however most restaurants are cool if you want to sit at a table).
The other main reason is, there are sometimes other solo travellers doing exactly the same thing, and its an opportunity to talk to them.
I am from New Zealand, and according the most people I meet from around the world we have a weird/cool accent (we kind of sound like Australians).
Many times when I have been at a bar and order a drink or something, someone near me will ask where I am from, this opens up some general chat, and then you can decide whether you want to keep talking to that person or not.
some of the coolest people I have met have been at bars around the world, and some of the funniest and funnest nights out I have had have been from talking with people at the bar.
The last reason, is even if there is no-one to talk to, or no-one likeable to talk to, you can strike up conversation with the bar people, hospitality workers are usually friendly types, and you can ask them for good suggestions of other places to visit when you are in their town.
3: Join Social Media Groups.
Often there is a social media group on something that you are interested in, for example, I go on a lot of cruises, and there is always a cruise group page set up on Facebook, where people can join the group, and you are able to introduce yourself and see who else may be on the cruise you are going on, often there are solo traveller groups where you can go and meet like minded individuals as well, I have one for this website the link is : https://www.facebook.com/groups/280314969353840/ This is the official Travel With Mat Facebook Group.
Our group is all about sharing stories of travels, plans for upcoming travels, or sharing blog posts, or tips as well.
Alongside social media groups, you can see if your friends are travelling in a similar area too, and arrange to meet up with them.
I hope these few tips have helped you out, and if you have any questions, please send a comment.