Travelling solo can be daunting but if you’re prepared it can be a truly life-enhancing experience.
1. Pack light
When you’re travelling solo, packing light can be the key to a stress-free trip. Carrying heavy luggage is the last thing you should be doing alone and can have its own health risks. Pack appropriate clothing for the climate and according to the dress codes of the countries you plan to visit. Don’t forget your travel documents, a first aid kit, antibacterial wipes, and things like insect repellent and sunscreen if you’re heading somewhere exotic.
2. Flying free
Taking a flight alone can be stressful as everything is down to you. Make sure you arrive at the airport in plenty of time and don’t fall asleep in the departure lounge during a delay or layover. You could miss your flight and it’s easy for someone to walk away with your belongings if you’re napping. Stay close to your boarding gate and don’t let your bags out of your sight - even if it means taking them into the bathroom with you.
3. Stay safe
Your safety is paramount so memorise some simple safety tips. Tell someone where you’re going, especially if you’re heading out alone at night, don’t carry too much money around and make a note of some local emergency contacts. Accidents happen, though, and ill health can ruin a trip. Make sure you are fully covered and don’t just choose the cheapest option when it comes to health insurance.
4. Keep in contact
Thanks to modern devices and free Wi-Fi, it’s fairly easy to remain in contact in most parts of the world. Use social media and email to keep in touch with family and friends and to let them know where you are and what you’re doing. A tablet can also be used to book your accommodation ahead and to keep up with news around the world. Watching films, listening to podcasts and reading books on them are great boredom busters for long journeys too. Don’t forget to bring a universal adaptor for recharging and a solar charger for emergencies.
5. Watch what you eat
One of the greatest pleasures of travel is trying local cuisines. Just be cautious when it comes to street food. Make sure it’s cooked freshly on site and is served piping hot, and use your own judgement when it comes to restaurants. Avoid tap water and ice in countries with questionable water supplies.
6. Avoid infectious diseases
It’s extremely important you get all the recommended shots for your trip, so plan a detailed itinerary to identify any health risks involved. Although Travel Clinics recommends you get your vaccinations and anti-malarial eight to six weeks before you set off, the nurse advisers will also be able to help if your plans change at the last minute.