When you want things done the right way, sometimes it’s best you do them yourself. The same goes for globetrotting. #Travel is trending and we’re here to keep you in the know about how to ace the solo jet-setting thing. As daunting as it may seem, it’s actually fun. Whether you’re planning an adventurous excursion or last-minute getaway for some well-needed R&R, GTS has the tea on how to make sure your solitary vacay is smooth sailing. Safety first. Fun after. In that order.
1. SAFETY FIRST
We’re all for living life on the edge, but you’ve got to make sure you do it as safe as possible. Here are a few tips to keep you and your valuables out of harms way:
Check in every day on Facebook or any other social media accounts you use frequently. This way your family and friends know exactly where you are while you brag before a bodacious backdrop about your awesome travels.
When booking your hotel room, remember to choose one with a safe. Unfortunately, you can’t bring that iPad with you while you water ski in the Mediterranean Sea, so lock all your valuables away in your safe and keep them away from sticky fingers.
It can never hurt to invest in travel insurance especially when you’re facing the world alone. Accidents happen, shop around for travel insurance that covers both your international and domestic travels.
2. APPY TRAVELER
No, that wasn’t a typo. We want you to be a happy traveler at all times, but it’s the age of technology and you’ve got to step your apps up! We did our research and came up with the three best iOS & Android friendly apps you need while globetrotting.
PackPoint, is a packing checklist app that’s being celebrated across the web as one of the best travel apps out. There are so many packing apps to choose from, but this one develops a customized list for your special needs, which is ideal for a lengthy solo voyage.
Onavo, is a new innovative app that everyone can appreciate. One of the biggest problems we have after spending all our money planning a trip, is finding a way to save a few coins while actually on the trip. Data roaming charges will be one less thing for you to worry about after uploading this app. Onavo’s cutting-edge technology reduces the need for data while performing tasks like social network posting and retrieving an email. The best part? It’s free!
Travelzoo, is a great app for saving money on travel of all sorts. Whether it be a night out on the town or a journey across seas, Travelzoo always has a bunch of cool deals to choose from. An ideal feature is that all vouchers get sent straight to your phone, nixing the need for a printer. We’re here for it (you should be too).
We decided to switch things up a bit and ask our Head-Heel-In-Charge for her views on Solo Travel, this time around. She’s lived abroad not one, not two, but three times! Keep reading for intel from the pro herself.
Blaire: Typically, travel destinations are known to cater to family oriented fun or romance for couples. Where’s the ideal place for someone traveling solo to get their balanced dosage of relaxation and fun?
Metanoya: Girlfriend getaways and co-ed group travel is definitely on the rise! The industry is taking heed of this and destinations, domestic and abroad, are catering their offerings to the new age globetrotter.
It’s tough to identify ‘the ideal’ place to get a balanced dosage of relaxation and fun. Adventure is out there, you just have to be willing to seek it. If you’re traveling solo, my number one recommendation would be to identify your personal travel style. Are you globetrotting on a dime? Willing and able to splurge? Why do you want to travel? Consider the impact seasons have on what you can and cannot do. You’ll waste a ton of cash if you don’t get the timing right. If you despise planning, an all-inclusive resort or cruise may be the thing for you. Traveling is about being true to yourself, solo or not.
I personally like coastal destinations, it’s no secret that I’m an island girl, but that doesn’t mean I want to lay around nursing pina colada’s on the beach all day. I need adventure, authentic cultural encounters, archeological and museum crawls, craft markets, dubbing with locals, food! Street food, fine dining, farm to table, I like it all!
And since I feel compelled to single out a few destinations, I’ll go with the places sitting at the top of 2015 Travel List: Cambodia, Thailand, Argentina, Bali, Sydney, The Mother Land, there are so many countries I want to visit on the continent, I’ll take whichever comes my way first.
Blaire: A little “me time” is always necessary, but being alone can get boring at times. What’s your take on a key item to tote while globetrotting alone?
Metanoya: Traveling solo doesn’t mean you have to stay solo when you arrive to your destination, unless of course you want to. Be social, make new friends, and if you ever get bored, find a group activity on the resort or in close proximity that will force you to engage with other people.
Key items I tote to keep me entertained…a good novel or two, a journal, mechanical pencils and pens, but I’ll have to be completely candid with you Blaire, there’s too much to do, see, touch, taste, and indulge in while globetrotting, who the eff has time be bored?! If relaxation is your singular mission, spend a weekend pampering yourself at a luxury spa retreat in the middle of a desolate rainforest or on a serene white sand beach.
Blaire: Noted! What are your 3 biggest factors in having a good time while traveling by your lonesome?
Metanoya: As much as I love to have a good time, I’m overly cautious when traveling solo. When I lived in San Pedro Belize, alone, the house I was renting got broken into. Luckily I wasn’t home at the time of the burglary, but I definitely felt like my safety was in jeopardy for the remainder of my stay. I would sleep with the kitchen table pushed against the front door, a knife under my pillow and one eye open. Seriously. It was terrifying but I learned a lot from that experience. Locals, as friendly as they may be, they are NOT your friends. So be careful and cautious, always, but not paranoid. It’s a fine line.
But if you want to have a good time:
a) Be open to trying and experiencing new things
b) Be pleasant, friendly and humble. Check elitist attitudes at the airport and leave them there for the duration of your time abroad
c) Solo Traveler, be patient and just chill, you are on vacation after all
– Blaire Dawson