Travelling alone: the ultimate guide to solo travel
Aug 22, 2022
There’s something special about solo travel. The feeling of autonomy and independence, the ability to move at your own pace — it’s all incredibly liberating.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re considering embarking on a solo trip, or you’re already in the midst of one. You might be feeling a mix of excitement and nerves.
And that’s normal! After all, solo travel can be daunting, especially if you’ve never done it.
But don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from having the time of your life. In this blog post, we’ll give tips on making the most of your solo travel adventures.
Planning your solo trip
Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. This is especially true when it comes to solo travel.
Before you set off on your journey, take some time to do your research and map out your itinerary. This will help ensure you make the most of your trip and don’t miss anything important.
Here are things to keep in mind when planning your trip:
Determine how much you can afford to spend on accommodation, food, activities, etc. These details will help you narrow down your destination options or activities.
It’s always better to overestimate your expenses and have some extra cash than to run out of money halfway through your trip.
Your destination and activities
Think about the type of trip you want to have. Are you looking for a relaxing beach holiday? An action-packed city break? Once you know what kind of trip you want, research destinations and activities that fit your interests.
When booking your accommodation, think about your needs and comfort levels. Are you looking for a hotel room? Or would you prefer a more private rental apartment?
Hotels tend to be more expensive, but solo travellers may feel more comfy and safe with staff close by in case of emergencies.
What you pack will depend on your destination, weather, and activities. But there are a few essentials that every solo traveller should bring:
Backpack or suitcase that’s easy to carry around;
Jacket or coat for colder weather;
Day bag for carrying your essentials while exploring;
Power adapter if you’re travelling to a different country;
Power bank to keep your devices charged;
How will you get around once you’re at your destination? Will you take public transportation, rent a car, or rely on ride-hailing?
All of these options come with different price tags, levels of convenience, and safety considerations. Choose the one that makes the most sense for you and your trip.
Enjoying your solo trip
Now that you’ve planned and packed for your trip, it’s time to enjoy the experience! That’s why you went on a solo trip in the first place, right? No matter where you are in the world, there are plenty of ways to have fun and make the most of travelling alone.
Explore at your own pace
No waiting, no rush, no pressure — when travelling alone, you can explore at your own pace. Take time to wander off the beaten path, linger in cafes and shops, and enjoy every minute of your trip.
Talk to people
One of the best ways to learn about a destination is to talk to people who live there. So strike up a conversation with locals, whether you’re buying coffee, waiting in line for an attraction, or getting a ride.
This is also a great way to make new friends and get recommendations on things to see and do.
Pro tip: Learn a few words in the local language — this shows locals that you’re trying to connect with the culture and will help break the ice.
Take a free walking tour
Paris, Tokyo, Buenos Aires — no matter where you are in the world, chances are there’s a free walking tour you can take.
This is a great way to see popular sights, meet other travellers, and make new friends.
Most tours last around 2–3 hours, and some even include free food and drink samples or discounts at local businesses. And if you enjoyed the tour, don’t forget to tip your guide.
Get off the beaten path
It’s not always about the popular tourist attractions. When travelling solo, you have the freedom to explore all sorts of different places — both well-known and off-the-radar.
Sometimes the best restaurants, shops, and landmarks are the ones that are a little harder to find. So ask a local for their recommendations or do some research online. You never know what hidden gems you’ll find!
Safety tips while travelling alone
Despite all the fun and adventure that comes with solo travel, you should always be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to keep yourself safe when travelling alone.
Do your research
Every country’s different. That’s why we love to travel; to experience different cultures, sights and sounds. But these aren’t the only things that vary from place to place.
Local laws, social norms, and levels of safety can all differ from one destination to the next.
Do in-depth research on your chosen destination(s) before you depart. This will help you avoid any potential misunderstandings or run-ins with the law.
Let someone know where you’re going
Before you embark on your adventure, tell a family member or friend about your solo travel plans. This includes your itinerary, accommodation details, and contact information.
Check in with this person regularly, especially if your plans change. That way, someone will always know where you are and can reach out to you if something goes wrong.
Use ride-hailing for safe transportation
Ride-hailing services like Bolt are an excellent option for solo travellers. No need to negotiate fares with a local taxi driver or worry about getting lost. Just open the app and request a ride.
You get all the details like price, driver photo, vehicle details, and driver rating upfront before you even get in the car.
For extra safety, you can even share your ride status with a friend or family member so they can track your journey in real-time.
Set up a medical ID
Medical identification is anything from a bracelet or necklace with your medical information to an app on your phone.
It provides first responders with critical details about your health if you cannot communicate. This can be especially important for solo travellers with chronic health conditions or allergies.
Some important details to include are:
Your full name;
Any allergies (food, medication, etc.);
Chronic health conditions (diabetes, asthma, etc.);
Medications you’re taking;
Some phones offer a built-in medical ID feature. If your phone doesn’t have this, there are third-party apps that provide medical ID capabilities.
Get the most out of your solo travel adventures!
How did the song go? Something like, “Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone.”
Travelling alone can be a gratifying experience. You get to call the shots, go at your own pace, and get to know a place — and yourself — in a whole new way.
See if Bolt services are available at your next destination so you can focus on enjoying your trip while we take care of getting you safely from A to B.