Tour operator Elle Voyage, which specialises in group tours for women, shares five tips for first-time solo travellers.
- Make sure solo travel is for you by starting small – don’t do your first solo trip thousands of miles away from home. Do a solo overnight trip to a city in your own country. Eat in a restaurant alone. Go to the movies. Make sure you’re comfortable in your own company. You’ll probably still feel nervous when you do a bigger trip abroad but at least you’ll have prepared as best you can.
- Plan the first couple of nights’ accommodation – even if you thrive on spontaneity – so you know where you are. This will give you time to acclimatise in a comfortable and safe environment. You can go ‘wild’ thereafter, when your confidence has had a boost.
- Book some organised day trips for a great way to connect with other travellers. It will also enable you to experience places you might not have thought to visit or felt confident doing so. Other travellers are great for sharing their stories and tips, too!
- Keep your money safe and never carry more money around than you need for that day’s general spending. As a safeguard, hide cash in several places and always carry two forms of plastic with you – a credit AND a debit card – in case one gets rejected, damaged, lost or stolen.
- Present a confident appearance – walk with an air of confidence everywhere you go. You’ll give off a self-assured vibe, rather than a vulnerable one, and be less likely to attract unwelcome attention. Never look like a tourist with a visible guide book on display; you’ll be prey for pick-pocketers or locals who want to take you to their cousin’s ‘shop’. If you find yourself lost, go into a busy local bar or restaurant. Never worry about coming across as dismissive if you reject a seemingly kind local’s offers; your safety always comes first, and your instincts are your best defence.
Did you know?
Holidaying alone is becoming more and more popular, with ABTA reporting that one in six people (15%) took a solo holiday in 2018, compared to 12% in 2017. According to the team at travel money and pre-paid currency card WeSwap, 75% of women are planning a solo travel trip, with three in five stating that it’s essential to their health and wellbeing.