Until 2015 I’d never travelled anywhere alone. I’d been on plenty of planes, trips, holidays but always with another person, a boyfriend, family or friends. And while I’ve still never taken a full on back packing solo travel ‘find myself’ adventure I have done a lot of travelling alone these past two years. I was so scared the first time I walked into an airport alone and sat in that plane seat, but now hopping on a plane is as normal as jumping in my car and nipping to Sainsburys.
Over the past two years I’ve picked up a lot of tips for travelling alone and I thought some of them might be useful for you if you’re heading out on your first solo travel experience, whether that be a holiday, a work trip or even a 6 month adventure with just a backpack in tow!
- Prep All The Documents You need Before You Go – Print out flights, transfers, hotel bookings, everything you could possibly need just in case wifi is down or you need to double check anything. Better still print out two and keep them accesible in your backpack to refer to easily! I also like to take photos or screenshots of it all too so it’s in my camera roll and again, easy to access.
- Split Some Clothes Between Your Hand Luggage and Your Suitcase – If your suitcase gets lost you don’t want to be left without a clean pair of pants or a fresh t-shirt! Stuff a spare outfit in your hand luggage just to be safe. Also, watch my top 10 packing tips here for more useful ideas on how to pack that case!
- Take a Good Book and A Pair of Headphones – Noisy passengers seem to be even more annoying when you don’t have anyone to rant to about it! A pair of noise-cancelling headphones is a must along with a good book or fully loaded kindle. Waiting between flights can be a laborious process when you’re on your own but sticking your nose in a good book can make even the longest wait seem like minutes.
- Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Staff For Help Or Directions – Often when travelling alone it can seem a little daunting if you’re not sure which gate or exit you need to go to. Don’t be afraid of asking staff members for help – that’s what they’re there for and it will help keep you calm and your mind at ease. Also if you’re a nervous flyer or get poorly on planes don’t be afraid to tell a member of the cabin crew who can then keep an eye on you to make sure you’re ok during your flight.
- Don’t Drink Too Much – A pretty solid rule for travelling with others and for general life as well but watch your alcohol intake when travelling alone. Not only could you miss your flight or transfer but you also put yourself at risk. I’m all for a glass of fizz before a flight and a G&T on the plane but without sounding like your mother it’s always good to stay alert when travelling alone, regardless of age or gender.
- Plan Transfers, Taxis and Transport In Advance – The internet is a wonderful thing and these days you can do everything you need before you get anywhere. Suss out bus times, taxi costs and reputable transport companies before you go to stay safe and keep yourself from getting lost, ripped off or feeling overwhelmed when away.
- Take Your Creature Comforts – Favourite PJs, a portable speaker for your best playlist, nice smelling aromatherapy beauty products and whatever you need to make things comfortable. A pair of comfy joggers to change into on the plane or even just your toothbrush to freshen up, these things seem silly but are important and can calm you down in minutes if you’re feeling a little anxious.
- Just Go For It – You might get yourself all worked up but I guarantee it will all be for nothing. Once you’re out there you’ll have an amazing time and who knows, you might even prefer travelling alone! I find it quite relaxing and stress-free only having one passport and myself to worry about!
What are your top tips for travelling alone?