Living on your own can be challenging, but travelling alone can be even more overwhelming, especially when it comes to safety. However, there are also certain advantages, like not having to compromise on how to spend your time or the places you want to visit, and being more independent. Solo travelling can give you more confidence, self-reliance, and courage.
Although it’s tempting to always eat out when you travel, sometimes it won’t be possible. Maybe you’ve chosen to do a camping trip, or you want to give your wallet a rest. Being able to cook your own food (we’re not just talking about a simple sandwich) will always come in handy when you’re doing more adventurous trips.
We all know that travelling can be hard on the wallet. Instead of buying a bunch of souvenirs, invest in one small memento. Choose to cook at home, or instead of splurging on breakfast, lunch and dinner, make sandwiches so that you can eat on the go.Instead of living in five-star hotel, choose CouchSurfing or a youth hostel. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll come to realise how much money you can save!
Travelling for extended periods of time can mean your clothes see the inside of a washing machine less often, and the options of doing laundry can be very limited. Sometimes you’ll have to improvise and hand wash in a sink, bath or even a bucket. Do not forget to take a laundry bag, so you can separate clean clothes from the unwashed ones.
What better is there to do when you’re in a different country and don’t know anyone, than to make friends with the locals or fellow travellers? New friendships can be formed in the most unexpected of places. A good way to meet people is by joining day-long excursions or staying in hostels. Travelling is not a time to be shy. There are many people who are in the same situation as you – all you need is to talk to them. Sometimes even a simple smile can break the ice.
Every time you need to pack it’s always the same – you want to take as much stuff as possible in a suitcase that only fits half of your planned ‘necessities’. Why not opt to take a kindle instead of those five books? The same can be said about toiletries, buy travel-sized toiletries instead of regular ones. When you travel a lot you get a hang of how to save space.
No one can teach more about other cultures than travelling. It’s easy to see the world from our own perspective, but immersing yourself in situations and a pace of life that is unfamiliar to your own helps you develop an open mind, one of the best gifts that travelling can give you.
Getting around in a different city or country can be stressful, especially when you don’t know the language. That may cause all sorts of trouble. Sometimes the wrong word can earn you weird looks or get you into a tricky predicament. But for seasoned travellers, the language barrier is one of the milestones that can be achieved. You just have to get creative when you do not know the language, like using hand signals or drawing pictures to show what you mean.
We always try to plan every detail of our trip: where we go, where we want to stay, what we want to see. But not every trip goes according to plan. Usually, there are some unexpected experiences and detours, whether it involves your car breaking down, valuables getting stolen – those things can spoil the mood. The important thing to remember is that even the worst of surprises can be learned from.
Safety is paramount when travelling, and part of this includes keeping your valuables safe. Pickpockets can be clever, but outsmart them by being aware of your belongings when stuck in a crowded place, and limiting the amount of valuable items you bring along with you. Always make sure that identification papers are kept in a secure spot, and clip a small padlock onto any suitcases that may be stored out of your line of sight for long periods of time. If possible, try not to take large amounts of money around during the day – you don’t want all your funds stolen before you’ve even begun the trip!
Snow, heat, rain. You have to be prepared for unforeseen weather on your travels. It’s always a good idea to take a sweater even if you travel to a tropical country, just as it’s recommended to take a set of lighter clothing when going to somewhere with a cooler climate.
No book can teach you more about new places than those who live there. Grab a drink and get chatting to a local, and you’re guaranteed to learn about the best places to eat, drink and discover. It also provides the perfect opportunity for you to learn more of the language, and even make new friends.
There is more to the world than just your hometown. One of the greatest milestones you can achieve in life is understanding that the world does not end at your doorstep. Every experience – good or bad – will help you to improve yourself and better understand other cultures, ideas, and people.