The last couple of decades has seen an increase in solo women travellers who seek to travel and try new experiences. They are ready to unleash their dreams to go and explore them for real. The idea behind “Only Me” in travel stems from their desire to embrace freedom, impulsivity and offers a great avenue to meet new people. With the rising income of women professionals, the ladies are more in charge of their finances. They know what they want. Women continue to be interested in luxury vacations, fancy hotels and spa holidays and many more are tilting towards active adventures. They choose their destination based on what they seek – whether she is the fearless, intrepid traveller, the luxury lover or one who wants to be away from the world for some JOMO time.
Important Notes Found In Solo Travel Diaries
1. Research in detail before deciding the destination
Since the last decade travel companies have shown an increased interest in catering to female travellers who seek to travel solo and try new experiences. They explore all the places they ever wanted to and bond with other women during their adventures. Whether you choose a travel company or make an itinerary of your own, ensure you have thoroughly read about the place, its people, the culture, the interesting things you want to see, weather, food and local etiquettes. Research everything. It will be a great idea to ask friends for their feedback if they have travelled to the destination earlier.
2. A thorough check on your place of stay
Many solo travellers book “Women Only” tours and clubs for travels. Though they provide convenience and avoid the hassle of crafting an itinerary, it is important to research your place of stay. The internet is full of stories of travel clubs who promise something but deliver sub-standard rooms and awful experiences. Even if you are planning the whole trip, narrow down your hotel and lodging after a thorough check-up. Compare the rates in different websites and pay special attention to customer reviews. These checks will give you insight about what to expect when you reach the destination and also whether what you pay is worth what is offered. Plan well in advance to avoid last-minute escalation in prices.
3. Pack light, solo traveller
Since you are responsible for yourself and your belongings, it will be a good idea to travel light. After all, you will be holding your bags and tugging your luggage during the trip. Remember one-time, one-purpose use clothing is out. Instead, pack those items that go with many things. Pack dark colours and those that work around one colour palette. This gives scope for using them a number of times. Save travel information on your dropbox as well. Don’t forget to carry some extra cash.
4. Stay safe
Always keep a card of your hotel with you. This is especially true when you do not know the language of the country. Feed important phone numbers and location in your mobile. Download the city maps and the rapid transit system on your smartphone so you have important information about the metros, police station and Embassy of your country at all times with you. While at a restaurant or bar drink sensibly. You are responsible for yourself.
5. Learn a little of the local language
Memorize a few words and phrases before you go travelling. Learn how to introduce yourself, start a basic conversation, order from a restaurant, names of a few basic essentials and counting from 1–10 would help a lot. People appreciate it when you converse in their mother tongue and it makes no difference if you sound a tad rusty. ‘Hello, thank you, excuse me, sorry and please’ opens up so many doors for a traveller. A few phrases in the local language such “No, thank you” and “Absolutely not” – plus the local nonverbal gesture for “no”, is useful when you want to put your foot down.
6. Safeguard your travel documents
Nothing can mess with your solo trip more than misplaced documents. Always carry your passport with some extra cash in a safe, well-concealed spot with you. Once in the hotel keep the documents safe in the hotel room. Also, carry a copy of them with you at all times and leave another copy with a trusted contact back home. Since you will be going alone travel insurance is a must.
7. Trust your gut instinct
If you feel uncomfortable around a person or find yourself in an unfamiliar situation, trust your instinct and walk away from there as soon as possible. You don’t owe explanations to anyone since your safety and well being is a priority. Never let your body language give in that you are unsure and keep the confident look on always.
8. Find your tribe
Use Facebook and Twitter to make connections where you’re travelling. Join various clubs of your interest on these platforms and get connected with like-mind people in the host country. There are food and travel walks organised everywhere. Not only are these great experiences for learning but also provide an opportunity to meet like-minded travellers like yourself.
9. Embrace technology and pack your gadgets
For those days when you don’t want to venture out or for the early evenings back to your lodging, take out your smartphone or tablet and lie back and enjoy an occasional movie. For this don’t forget to download a few movies before you leave for your travel. There’s almost everywhere. If you’re feeling lonely you can connect at home, watch the news or listen to podcasts. A kindle is a boon for readers and is a must for your travel.
10. Experience it all
When Airbnb introduced experiences and diverse local-led activities in cities all over the globe, it redefined the travel industry. Now, solo travellers from everywhere can be involved in innumerable unique experiences, while meeting new people. No matter where I travel I am always on the lookout for unique experiences that Airbnb offers for its visitors.
Use this opportunity to explore and appreciate new cultures, chat up with the locals, relish local food and learn local cuisines and dances. Don’t waste it.
12. Enjoy your freedom
Lastly, enjoy your freedom. Brush aside your anxieties and ignite your wanderlust. Fulfil all those dreams of visiting the amazing places you saw virtually. Take photos. Create memories. Savour every moment.
Travelling alone is a fabulous way to discover yourself and make friends around the world. Don’t let the “fear of the unknown” pull you back. There you go! Now pack your bags and make that dream of yours come true.
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