Travelling Solo? How to Make Your Holiday Less Taxing and More Relaxing
Leaving your spouse at home for an independent, international getaway? Treating yourself to a solo summer holiday? Or perhaps you’re secretly looking for an overseas romance (you never know!). Whatever your motivations, travelling alone is a great way to explore the world without anyone slowing you down.
As discussed in a previous blog post, travelling solo isn’t as daunting as it might seem. But there are also things you can do – before and during your tour – to make your journey more relaxing. Here are our top tips for solo travellers.
Choose a ‘Foreign’ Correspondent
Today’s technology is marvellous. You could be standing alone in an unfamiliar town square in the Italian countryside, and yet your family and friends are only a few buttons away. Take advantage of this convenience and give yourself a safety net back home.
Select a close friend or relative and decide on a time that you’ll check in with them digitally each day during your trip. This could be via:
- An SMS each morning
- A Facebook message at every lunch
- Or a video call each evening.
To make it more interesting for both you and your chosen person, you might even use your favourite photo from the previous day as your way of checking in.
Leave a copy of your planned itinerary with your contact so they’ll know where you should be if they don’t hear from you as scheduled. This will help you feel safer while you travel, knowing that somebody is keeping track with you and that you’re not really alone – even when you’re thousands of kilometres away.
One benefit of travelling solo is you get to make all your own choices. What attractions to visit, how to spend each evening, which local restaurant to try for dinner – it’s all up to you. The downside of this is you don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off; there’s nobody to ask for a second opinion before you choose one museum over another or order waffles instead of apple strudel.
The solution? Get online and research, research, research. With useful sites (and apps) including TripAdviser, Yelp and Google reviews, the internet is full of first-hand information and opinions from the countless travellers that have gone before you. Use these resources to guide your choices – the more details you put into the itinerary, the more certain you’ll be of every choice you make while overseas. Our destination pages are also great places to start your research.
Of course, there’s also a much easier and less time-consuming way to get good advice during an overseas adventure:
Embark on an Escorted Tour
On an escorted tour, you’ll be led by an itinerary prepared by experts and the in-depth knowledge of experienced tour guides. This means you know every stop and site has been carefully selected – but you didn’t have to do any of the hard work and research!
A tour also takes a lot of the taxing, stressful steps out of preparing for a holiday abroad. Accommodation? Covered. Transport between destinations? Handled for you. Entrance fees and meals? Taken care of. With a guided tour, you get to truly relax instead of wasting precious holiday time making plans for the next day or worrying about how to get from one place to the next.
As an added bonus, being part of a small tour group can also chase away those feelings of loneliness or homesickness that can arise when you’re in a foreign place with nobody you know.
When you don’t have a travel companion, you might feel a bit more vulnerable to pickpockets, street scams and other tourist traps. Having these tips up your sleeve will help you stay safe and secure during your journey abroad:
- Check the cost of a taxi from the airport to your hotel in advance, or book your arrival and departure taxi directly through your hotel management.
- Unscrupulous drivers sometimes consider single travellers easy targets for inflated prices.
- Keep your ID on you (and secure) whenever you go out.
- Stick to public places and avoid empty alleys, particularly after dark.
- Walk confidently (even when you’re a little bit lost!).
- Don’t dress like a tourist or openly use a guidebook (or anything else that reveals you’re not a local).
- Read up on your daytrip before you leave your hotel room instead. Travelling solo can be an enriching, invigorating experience.
What better way is there to explore a beautiful foreign country while also discovering new things about yourself? For more information about how we make independent travel stress-free and wonderful for our tour guests, please get in touch.