Last summer, as a result of an unexpected end to a relationship and money burning a hole in my pocket I decided to travel alone in Australia for the summer. It was extremely spur of the moment and from the end of the relationship to booking the flight was around 12 hours. I was on the plane within another 24h.
I can say that this is one of the best things I’ve ever done. I won’t bore you through the details of my trip, but thought I would share some of the things I learnt about travelling alone.
- Don’t be scared
Loads of people told me I was crazy going somewhere I’d never been alone, but it was one of my best travelling experiences. It meant doing everything I wanted to do without having to take anyone else into consideration
2. Do choose your location wisely
Australia had never been very high on my travel list, but I wanted to go somewhere where I could speak the language. I would suggest to anyone travelling alone that they go somewhere they will feel comfortable. I actually fell in love with Oz whilst I was there, I mean how could you not?!
3. Do your research
Just taking a little time to plan your trip, check out the best hostels and understand more about the places your going to visit is always a good idea. I looked for hostels best for solo travelers and found the gem that is the Blue Parrot in Sydney. I had the absolute best time there so I recommend it if you’re heading in that direction.
4. Don’t be shy
Travelling alone is not for you if you can’t imagine introducing yourself to new people. Just going up to someone and saying ‘hey, my name is..’ can make you a new friend for the day/week. Especially in hostels, people are generally very friendly and want you to be apart of their adventure.
5. Do try things you’ve never done before
As above, putting yourself out there is a huge part of travelling alone. I honestly believe that I had such a great time because I said yes to things I would normally say no to.
6. Don’t be scared to eat alone
One of the most frequent comments I had when I told people I was going travelling alone was ‘but you’re going to have to eat dinner by yourself! In a restaurant!’. You will meet loads of people who you will share meals with. However it is inevitable you will have at least one dinner or lunch alone. It’s really not that scary. I just found a nice restaurant and took my kindle, or used it as an opportunity to get in touch with people back home (as most places had wifi). I actually captured this incredible (non-edited!) sunset when I headed down to the beach, grabbed some fish and chips and read a book. If this is what is stopping you, please don’t let it
6. Do always have back ups
I think this is a general travel rule, but make sure that you have photocopies and digital copies of all your documents including passport, flight details, moneycard details etc. It’s just sensible!
7. Don’t go social media crazy
This is a common crime by travelers. Obviously you want to share all the amazing things you’re doing and seeing with everyone, but sometimes it can go overboard. I recommend sharing the highlights and keeping everything else just for you. Plus, looking at a country through your camera screen is never as good as the real thing.