You're halfway to knowing all of my tips and tricks to traveling solo. By the time you finish this article, you will be an expert on how to travel alone. Get ready to pack your bags!
This one is for tactical purposes. Let’s face it. You are going to be spending money one way or another while you are traveling. There is no point in bringing heaps of cash when you can use an ATM or swipe your debit or credit card. (Unless you are going to a country where there are no ATMs and you need to bring cash….research this before you go!)
There is also no point in having to pay a fee every time you use your card. It isn’t fun having to find your bank when you are in a different place. Make it easy on yourself, and get a card that has no fees wherever you go.
I use Charles Schwab, and I am in love with this card. First of all, there is no foreign transaction fee or ATM fee, and then on top of it, they pay me back if an ATM charges its own fee. So, I don’t worry about any ATM fees at all. As a sometimes overindulgent worry-wart, this is one less thing to fret about.
Also, this is a reminder to tell your bank you are traveling. The last thing you want is to be at a fancy dinner about to pay the bill and your card doesn’t work. Again, not from personal experience or anything.
When I say pay for comfort, I am not saying stay at a 5-star hotel that is way out of your budget. What I am saying is, sometimes there is no price tag on feeling safe and comfortable. If I am going the low-budget route, I will pay extra for a place that looks cleaner and has more amenities than a super cheap place with a simple bed and pillow. Your safety and sanity is worth it.
This tip extends well beyond accommodations.
When I was sightseeing for my first two days in Bali, I had the option to Gojek (like Uber and Lyft) alone everywhere from site to site or take a private driver around with me all day.
As you can imagine, the private driver was the more expensive option; however, while I was still getting my bearings, the private driver was the safer route and allowed me to travel around worry-free!
Even though this option was more expensive, my peace of mind exponentially increased. Annndddd, I became the best of buds with my driver (see our lovely selfie together). So, it was a win-win for sure.
If something is going to help make you less stressed and enjoy your trip more, wouldn’t that be worth it?
There is a fine balance between planning and going with the flow. There is something to be said about getting to the place and wandering about willy-nilly. However, some research and planning can be helpful and save you headaches later on.
For starters, in order to know what to pack and where to stay, you have to do some research. What is the weather like during the time you are going? What neighborhoods are close to the heart of the city? Are there cheaper neighborhoods that are still great areas to stay?
In order to truly know what to pack and where to stay, you need to first know what it is you want to do there. What are you looking to get out of your travel? Is it a hiking trip? Is it a beach getaway? Once you decide what you are trying to get out of your travel, then you can start researching what you want to do. After gathering a list of your top activities, then you have a jumping off point of what to wear and where to stay.
You don’t have to have every moment of your trip down to a science; however, you should know if you need to get tickets in advance and how you will get to and from the location.
For example, when I visited Seattle, I knew I wanted to go to the Space Needle. However, I didn’t know for sure when I would go and I didn’t want to be stuck going at a certain time if my plans changed during the day.
I found out that it’s better to buy tickets in advance, and it’s okay to buy them the day before. This eased my mind because then I didn’t have to plan weeks out.
I always plan my trips by creating a list of things I want to see and potential places I want to eat, and then I craft my days like an experiment….”Okay, let’s start at Activity A and then squeeze in Activity F if I have time because it’s close to Activity A and then rest at the nearby beach for a few hours and go to Restaurant C if it’s open and there is no wait.”
What things need to be booked in advance? What things can you wing? How can you craft the perfect mixture of both?
What happens if you don’t plan too much and you just let it happen? It all somehow works out when you stay open and have tentative plans that allow you to go with the flow.
It can be easy to want to overdo it. Sometimes, you only have a short amount of time in a city. I know that I always used to over-schedule myself in an effort to see everything I could.
However, sometimes you might be exhausted from a full day of traveling or an excessively taxing activity, and that’s okay!
When I first moved to Indonesia, I got advice from a woman who had already been traveling for five months on her own. She told me, “make sure you give yourself days to rest, and do not feel bad about it!”
This sticks with me to this day.
Whether it’s a 12-hour day trip or a year-long adventure, give yourself some time to breathe.
If you are rushing from place to place, you may miss out on reveling in the beauty and the magic that the site or experience has to offer.
Figuring everything out on your own can be exhausting. Traveling can be exhausting. In fact, life itself can be exhausting if you aren’t giving yourself what you need.
Cut yourself a break and relaaaaax for a bit.
Whether that’s in bed, on a sun lounger or at a local cafe…. Well that’s your decision. :)
Ah, yes. We have finally made it to solo travel tip number 10. To all the people who are still reading, thank you! Now you are a solo-traveling pro.
Every blog I read about solo traveling emphasized packing “efficiently and effectively.” This included packing as little as possible and making sure everything you pack has a purpose. When you are traveling around a lot, it’s easiest to have as little luggage as possible. Makes total sense. I was so focused on this that I packed bland clothes that were practical and good for layering.
Great, yay! I have condensed my luggage and I’m good to go for any situation!
Noooooope. It wasn’t until I had a date that I realized I packed all wrong. Why?
Well, I had no clothes that made me feel fabulous. All I had were plain dresses that were good for walking around in, but not useful in making one feel sexy.
A majority of my wardrobe consists of comfy clothes. I wear yoga clothes and pajamas 85% of the time. However, there is always the other 15%. When I want to look fresh and fierce, I deserve to go out into the world and feel my best. So, I need to have the clothes for this.
Don’t skimp on what makes you feel good!
Pack clothes that make you strut down the street thinking you are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Pack the sweatpants and practical clothes too, of course. Yet, do not skip over the patterned dress that doesn’t go with anything, but it makes you feel like you could date any celebrity you wanted.
Feeling good while traveling is important! You’ll send good vibes out into the world and the law of attraction will work for you.
Traveling is the time I take the most photos…don’t ya want to be looking good in your best clothes when you post on social media?
Thank you so much for reading about my top ten solo travel tips! I hope you enjoyed this article. If you follow these tips, you will be a solo traveling warrior! I believe in you. Did any of these tips particularly resonate with you?
To relieve stress and clear your mind before your big trip, roll on over to my yoga page for free yoga and meditation videos. Any level is welcome.