Traveling can be an insane amount of fun no matter where you go or what age you are. Today’s world is so incredibly accessible and full of information that our natural curiosity takes over and makes us want to find out and see so much more than before. For those of us who are brave enough and bold enough to go traveling alone, there are always things to bear in mind like safety and self sustainability.
Here are my top five pro travel tips for us lone adventurers:
1. Bring a travel adapter and extension cord
You never know how many of your electrical items you’re going to want or need to charge at once so, rather than having to wait for each item to charge individually (which is time consuming and seriously boring) or buying five individual adapters, do it all at once! Just be careful to remember that in some older locations, overloading the socket might blow a fuse so maybe ask first if there are any problems with the electrics before you wipe out the electricity of an entire village…
2. When you travel to a new spot let someone at home know where you are
This might feel like you’re having to check in with Mammy and Daddy every five minutes but for your own peace of mind and for those that care about you, it can be helpful. Drop your best friend a one liner on Facebook, Whatsapp or Viber saying you’ve arrived in Kathmandu, it’s as beautiful as you imagined and the obligatory, ‘Wish you were here!’. Not only are you letting them know you’re alive and well, you’re feeding their mild jealousy of your epic adventure!
3. Take a tour bus
Instead of hiring a car and heading off like No-Mates-Michael, get on a bus! In places like New Zealand and Australia, there are tour experience buses that allow you to travel the entire country over the course of a year for a reasonable price. You’ll get to add destinations to your travels, sleep while your driver does the driving and meet people you wouldn’t meet if you were alone. People love to travel and meet other people doing the same so you’re likely to meet some really interesting folk with their own stories and a similar, or different, zest for life. You’ll be surprised at what meeting these people can lead to and how your stories will grow for getting to know them so get socializing!
4. Do your research before you go but keep an open mind
You can find pretty much anything you need or want to know online so chances are, you’ll have spent more than a few hours Googling all of your planned destinations before you depart. Having hotels, hostels and tours booked in advance is a good way to plan ahead and keep the budget strictly on track but don’t forget to allow yourself some lee way along the track. A couple of days without plans here and there could lead to finding local gems while taking time out to explore some of the lesser well known parts of your newly discovered country. Those people that you met on the tour bus? They’re taking a detour to go hiking through a rain forest and camping overnight with a local guide so go with them! It’s supposed to be an adventure after all!
5. Put down the smart phone and let the world keep turning
You’re out here because you want to satisfy that sense of adventure, learn new things about yourself and the world and test your own resilience and abilities – not to keep track of what’s happening on Facebook! Tony from next door will still be dishing out regular updates on his cats when you come back after five weeks and it’s unlikely that Collette will be over that break up in six months so forget about social media and go and create your own story! If you really want to show off to your friends when you get back, you can upload the best photos of your travels and maybe keep a blog but seriously, forget about Facebook and Twitter. If something really important happens, you’ll hear about it from the bus driver, your new friends or through smoke signals!
Life is an adventure and traveling is a perfect way to set that journey in motion. Enjoy yourself, smile lots, take all of the photos and say yes to everything – within reason! If someone asks you to go deep sea diving without oxygen, they might be someone to avoid and something to say no to, but for everything else, just go for it!