As you travel solo, being totally responsible for yourself. It’s inevitable to discover just how capable you are! Jump into the wild with me with the first part to this amazing Solo Travelling journey. A guide to planning your first adventure in rediscovering yourself down the labyrinth of your soul. Are you ready to fall in love with yourself again? Are you ready to find out your most favourite place to be, one which you didn’t even know you were fond of? Then grab a cuppa along with a notebook because we are going to pen down the soul’s map to a road of possibilities and self awareness. Come get lost with me!
Leave the road, take the trails. It can definitely be so tricky to plan a whole trip by yourself. Because so many options and variables are out there to be considered. It can also happens that you easily give up the idea halfway through. Solo travelling can leave you an exhilarating freedom as well as a great boost of confidence. Whatever the good, bad or ugly , you will come out with a broader perspective to everything surrounding you. The fear will always be present but the positive aspect out of all those anxiety and fear based thoughts, will be a very rewarding growth. Solo travelling is is all about you!
I am going to break down TEN guidelines for you to be able to start planning your first trip alone.
1.Decide your Destination – Go where your heart takes you!
Sometimes your heart knows things that your mind can’t explain. This is when you are strongly advised more than anything to go fully with your heart vibrations. For me, London has always been the very first choice since ages I made a promise to. The land has always been calling me strongly. A love affair that I could make happen twice! I was sure most of the answers I have always been looking within, will be revealed to me only if I make this bold step.
If London has always been the City you wanted to make the first jump as well. Be not afraid! Welcome the City life you have always wanted to experience even if it will be completely new, threatening at first and filled with cultural diversity. You never know the revelations a City life can brings to you. Accept the call and roll in!If you feel that being an Island girl, tropical destinations such as Rodrigues, Seychelles or Bali amongst many others, has always been tempting you.
Then do not worry whether it will be just for a few days stay or how far in distance is far enough for you to enjoy. A moment is enough to stir you into a new direction in life.In order for you to be able to choose better your destination, one very good address would certainly be Visit a City to start with. You just need to enter the destination of your choice or browse from the list of the most visited countries around the world and let you seduced by the wonders of newness.
2.Plan your budget in advance so that you can save accordingly
The number one factor upon which almost everything depends on, before you can travel anywhere (maybe it be long or short distance) is no doubt about CAPITAL! Yes unfortunately, that’s the very basic that you will have to sort out first before initiating anything. Therefore just to be on the safe side with your budget, always start off by listing all the very basics and most important activities first.
(a) An example would be to start off by saving for your accommodation (either hostels or Airbnb’s), daily transport fares as well as some groceries at the very beginning of your planning. Be Realistic on your expenditures!
(b) Know and understand the currencies you are about to start using on your trip including the Exchange rates , Bank and ATM fees too.
(c) Pay for as much as you can before you go! It always take the pressure off you knowing that most of the costs have been covered.
3.Sort the Flight Deals – Peak/Off Peak seasons
I normally fly with Air Mauritius for all my recent trips. I find direct flights to be less stressful compared to a joint/connecting one. It is true with a connecting flight stopping at a different country other than your destination, makes the trip even more exciting. But for long hours flight such as London which is a 13 hours flight journey. I feel more relaxed knowing that I can make myself comfortable and only prepare for the final destination.If you want to book with other airlines directly or from travel agencies, where you can have more perspectives in terms of flight deals. I would advise to always keep track of deals so that you can pre book your flights. There are Peak & Off Peak seasons flights’ deals always happening.So far I understood that the peak periods normally happen between the interval of mid June through September. And less packed flights seasons are around November through March. It also very much depend on the weather/season time of the desired country of your choice. So always have a good estimate of the weather there before flying. Summer has always been the most booked season of the year for most of the common destinations out there. I personally like the cold weather compared to a hot summer sun for a holiday trip.You can browse this link for some more insights about peak and off peak flights season.
4.Choose your accommodation : Airbnb’s or Hotels?
The toughest decision during all travels I guess! Where to stay? Will it be comfortable enough? Am I choosing the right neighbourhood for my stay ? Will it be safe to walk at night on my own ? Will you be able to get along by sharing a room with 4 people ? The list goes on and on and you are stuck on decisions and decisions to be made. No so evident if you are travelling for the first time on your own to be able to know the outcome of these decisions based purely on reviews and pictures.I find AirBnb’s to be the most convenient and cheapest options over hotels when travelling abroad. You get to choose the right comfort for yourself at your own pace. It does come with advantages and disadvantages too. However it also helps you to decide the experience you want to have during your trip as freely as possible. More amenities, space and activities too at a very reasonable price.If not you can always start by browsing TripAdvisor to select from a list of hotel deals available at the destination country of your choice. There is always something available at the comfort and pricing for anyone looking.
Always be aware of your safety first no matter where you are travelling! And one way to have your mind at peace will be knowing that at least most of your trip can be covered if any misfortune happens. One of the most reliable Travel Insurance I have registered myself recently after having been robbed my purse in London is World Nomads. The latter can cover you at more than 150 countries including different activities and also helps you travel smarter.
6.Research – Make a List of things to start
Have a tentative itinerary already planned before you get there. What is it that passionates you more about that particular destination choice of yours. Food markets? Sight -Seeing? Art places? Or simply shopping? Start by making a list of places that you want to hit the moment you reach there.I love how Pinterest helps you to organise boards and find a lot of inspirations about places you plan to visit during your trip. So let you be guided by the list of things you can find on there and make your own dazzling list of things to do.
7.Minimize Culture Shock – Make a few friends before going
It is always very much comforting to know a few people before you go on adventure in a foreign land. Because there will definitely be time where you will be faced with homesickness. Some great consolation advices would be to make use of social media to connect with the local communities there or simply find some groups/tour guides along which you can make new friends upon arrival.If not there are facebook groups that you can try to look out where a lot of travellers share their insights or do not mind to meet for a coffee or lunch. You will always be surrounded by one or two friendly people where ever you go. Just make sure you remain confident and open minded to what is coming.One amazing link that I came across recently that help your solo travelling experience better is IntrepidTravel. This website is great to book some tours as well as finding a small group of friends to hang out.
8.Pack Light always
One thing that I have learned the hard way while travelling solo was LESS , LESS and LESS! Honestly, the less you bring the more it will leave room for better experiences along the way. When you pack light the journey gets more enjoyable because you must not forget that after long hours of flight, it can get a toll on you to have so much to carry and find your way with.You have so many YouTube videos on how to pack light. Maybe you can start by watching this one ! It really provided me with some great insights on how to begin with sorting out my clothes and toiletries.
9.Leave room for serendipity
Embrace uncertainty! I know you will be filled with doubts at time whether to take the call or not. But learn to trust yourself and allow room for the unimaginable to occur. Sometimes the best moments in life take place when you just flow without having to control the outcome always. In either case, you grow beautifully into your own self and it helps you to be stronger more and more.
Be confident and just go for it! Struggles are required in order to survive in life. Because in order to stand up, you got to know what it is like to fall down a few times. This is a perfect start to own who you are and be the girl who decided to go for it!
Escape! Breathe the air of new places. You will not regret it!