Already planning your holiday for this year? Want to spend some relaxing time at the beach, but feel like no matter where you look, travelling alone always seems so much more expensive? You’re right, and the reason is pretty simple: Most hotels charge additional fees and supplements if you’re spending your holiday in a single room. So, a holiday by yourself can be an expensive journey costing double the price you’d normally pay when travelling in a group.
But don’t give up! There are many other options for you if you are interested in travelling alone. And I know solo travel isn’t necessarily about getting to know other people – or even meeting the man/woman of your dreams. But still, a holiday on your own will do you good. It’s still the perfect way to forget all about the stress and worries you might have at home. And, as cliché as it does sound, you end up learning so much about yourself that you won’t discover from a holiday with bae or your mates. If you’re worrying about how to travel alone and stay safe, fret not. Today I want to share some useful tips and tricks with you about how to enjoy a relaxing and cheap solo holiday, so you can travel alone and love it!
More often than not, cruise liners, hotels and tour operators will base their rates on double occupancy. So, for solo travel you would often need to pay what’s known as a “single supplement”. You would often need to pay the price of the full room or tour just for yourself, thereby making it much more expensive than travelling in a group. Not only do you need to pay extra for your room, but the cost of taxis, travel tickets or car rental can add up too for lone traveller holidays. Luckily, there are lots of ways to make travelling alone a little more affordable.
Benefits to travelling alone
There’s simply no denying that solo travel has lots of benefits. Sometimes the best thing about a trip is heading off, on your tod, with not a thing to worry about. Perhaps the best thing about travelling on your own is that it totally pushes you out of your comfort zone immensely, as cliché as it sounds. As you’re on your own, you get talking to people you never thought you would talk to. You could surely meet your new best friend while you’re on your travels – or perhaps meet the love of your life! ;)
Another upside to travelling on your own is that you can be just a little bit selfish. You can live by your own schedule, whether that means sleeping in late or rolling into bed as the sun comes up. You can see as much or as little of the local sights as you want, and you can go out to eat or go for a drink as much or as little as takes your fancy. You don’t need to worry about dragging someone along who isn’t going to be as interested in art museums as you are, and conversely you don’t have to go and see anything you wouldn’t have had at the top of your own list.
A surprising positive to travelling alone is how fantastic it will look on your CV. Travelling alone massively improves your communication skills, as you often need to learn the basics of the local language to get by. It does wonders for your budgeting and money management skills. And, it shows that you are able to adapt and make crucial decisions independently. What more could a manager look for!
Downsides to travelling alone
As with everything, solo travel does have its negative parts too. The biggest downside, apart from the cost as I’ve already mentioned, is definitely the loneliness. No matter how much you might sometimes joke that you hate people, we humans are naturally social animals. If you’re heading off on a six month trek around the world, you might find it very difficult to last without talking to someone. Mix homesickness in on top and travelling can get quite lonely quite quickly. Just the smallest thing can sometimes remind you that you’re in a foreign country on your own.
Another downside is that it can be quite unsafe to travel around on your own. You really do need to be careful with your personal belongings, as living with no access to your cash is difficult. It can also be a bit of a nightmare to replace your passport from abroad. You may also need to be wary of the people you meet – just remember you don’t really know much about them.
Of course, boredom is inevitable. You might be standing in the most beautiful place in the world, but there are only so many waterfalls you can see, new foods you can try, and books you can read to pass the time. It can a little underwhelming when there’s no one there to enjoy the experience with you because you’re travelling on your own.
Best places to travel alone
So, time to give you some solo travel ideas! Not surprisingly, the big cities of the world are the best place to travel solo. Amsterdam in the Netherlands is well known for being particularly safe for solo traveller holidays. Melbourne in Australia is also a very popular destination for lone traveller holidays, and Bali in Indonesia is pretty much filled with solo travellers, so there’s lots of opportunity to make new mates from across the globe. There are so many ideal places for you to try out.
Our Top Tips for Solo Travel
There are some little things you can do to make solo travel just that little bit easier. The first and most important is to make sure you are safe. Be contactable by everyone back home at all times. It’s good for your family’s peace of mind, as it’s just natural they will get worried while you’re far from home. Give a copy of your itinerary, or a rough outline of what you’re planning to do, so everyone at home has an idea of how to find you in the emergency case that you can’t be contacted. Try not to show off too much, and be mindful of your belongings. Don’t take too much cash out with you, always have some stored away safely as a back up that you can easily access. Be extra careful with your phone.
It pays to know a bit about your new surroundings. If possible, learn the basics of the language. This will make things a lot easier, from getting around to ordering a drink in the bar. Bring some maps with you in case your phone data runs out or you can’t find WiFi so that you can get your bearings easily. Why not chat to the locals a little too, try and see if they have any suggestions on places that you can visit?
Of course, as I’ve said, travelling on your own can get a little boring, so be sure that you bring along enough to keep you entertained throughout your trip. Bring as many books as you can carry – or bring a Kindle to make carrying them a little easier on your back. You’ll thank me for this tip when your backpack starts getting heavier by the minute! Download some movies to your tablet – Netflix gives you the option to do this now, so make the most of any free WiFi available and load up on some movies or series. This could be the time you finally watch that show everyone is talking about.
So there you have it, some of the top ideas for solo travel across the world. If this sounds like just the thing for you then why not take a look at some of the wonderful solo travel deals I’ve found, or build your own solo travel itinerary?