Travelling always inspires me. It is my go-to activity when I burn out at work and want to get away from my everyday life. It is not always possible for a friend or family member to accompany you, so do you give up on travelling? No, you do it yourself.
Right from the planning stage, execution to the eventual experience of the place it transports you into a world of possibilities.
Some basic tips on solo travelling:
- Choose a destination that you have read, heard about and do some research.
Look up online guides that inform you of places to see, things to do, distances you need to travel to give you a vague sense of what you will do there. You can firm up what you want to do when you reach.
- Decide on places to stay by reading reviews
I prefer booking my stays before I reach any place and believe that the accommodations you stay in make a world of a difference to your experience of the place. Whether they are hostels, homestays, rented apartments or hotels, accommodations that imbibe the local culture and the uniqueness of the location coupled with the interactions with the local staff who help you plan your site-seeing takes your travel experience to another level. Reviews of real people who have rated accommodations is your starting point to choose such places.
- Take a map and venture out
Remember the journey is as important as the destination. Yes, the actual monument or museum or market is the destination but the walk to it, the smells and sounds along the way, the interaction with the local people, the coffee and snack pitstops in local cafes and restaurants are all part of soaking the experience of the place in.
- Use local transport
While it's great to travel in the comfort of one's own or a rented car and it does have the advantage of being able to cover more ground; going deeper into the countryside, especially where local transport is not that frequent, experiencing the city, village or town via local transport with local people has a different charm. I prefer staying in accommodations closer to public transport stops.
- Stop to have conversations
If you are a shy person like me and have reservations in talking to total strangers, asking for directions is the best way to start interacting with local people. These simple asks find a way to morph into meaningful and memorable conversations.
- Always have your emergency contacts on paper with you
Phones have the knack to lose charge or shut down when you need it the most. In case of such eventualities, always have your family contacts on you that you can call them if required from another person's mobile phone.
- Take pictures and share it with friends
Pictures capture the beauty that you have seen and bottles it up for cheer on rainy days when stuck in routine life. And you never know, it may inspire your friends to take up the challenge and travel solo too.