Advice for Solo Travellers

In the Blue Mountains, April 2015. 

I think that Solo Travel is one of the best thing you will ever do. It's the best way to get to know yourself, and to self develop. But before jumping in at the deep end, here is some advice on a smooth transit and to get the most out of your trip!

  • Firstly, book your first few nights accommodation before you arrive. Make sure you know the address before you leave, so it's a smooth transition between arriving and getting to your new "home" for a few nights. After that, have more freedom, don't book too far in advance- go with it and see what gets recommended etc.

  • When arriving in a completely new country, I prefer to book the first few nights in a slightly nicer hostel/ hotel that I intend to spend the rest of my trip. Don't push yourself too much- you'll probably turn up tired, flustered and sweaty. 

  • Don’t eat at international restaurants. Explore! Go and find the local places with local food and local prices! Make sure it's cooked fresh though. In Ubud, the highstreet is full with expensive eateries but if you head back into the side streets you find many little "warungs" selling exactly the same food, just cheaper with mostly friendly staff (or families running their family warring!) Eating local food is one of the most amazing parts of travelling!

  • I find eating a largely vegetarian diet whilst travelling especially useful. It's cheaper, it's safer from tummy upsets/ often meats are of unconfirmed origin but (especially in Asia) it's also amazing to see how tasty vegetables can be! Eating veggie is particularly useful if jumping between cooking your own meals at hostels and you don't need to worry about keeping them cold. 

  • Dress properly- everywhere. In Malaysia for example on the East Coast it's a must to cover up completely whilst in Bali not so much. However, I think it’s respectful and safer to wear longer trousers, no cleavage, and covered shoulders in much of Asia. It looks far more stylish anyway.

  • Pack light and pack natural. You really don’t need much. I’m queen of overpacking and like to be prepared for everything but bitterly regretted taking so much stuff when I was paying per kilo of check in luggage on Air Asia and then carrying three heavy bags in heat and humidity. Trust me- it’s not worth it. Toiletries are easily overpacked- if you see essentials as Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Shampoo and Sanitary products this puts everything else you pack into perspective. I once took 7 lipsticks travelling. I’m so ashamed! That has since changed and I have a big piece of Minimalist packing!

  • Pack a proper medicine bag. You should ALWAYS have medication you require, but I always carry around basics such as ibuprofen, paracetamol, diarrhoea relief and allergy relief. You don’t want to be stuck somewhere, under the weather with no medicine you can trust. 

  • Try to communicate in the native language. In Bali, I said thank-you (Suksma) In Indonesian instead of the more commonly used tourist Bahasa thank-you of Terima Kasih, and I got a loud cheer and a pat on the back. A small thing that makes a huge difference to you and the local communities! It may also come in handy one day, if you need to communicate in an emergency.

Good Luck!



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