The pandemic has brought the entire world to a standstill.
Locked away in our homes for the better part of the year, we yearn for an escape from this madness. However, amidst the global crisis, work commitments and personal responsibilities, the mere idea of taking a trip seems impossible.
Travelling in your mid-30s can seem like a scary idea, especially if you are a single woman who wants to take a solo trip. Although, before you plan the trip, it is best that you do your research.
Most travel bloggers tend to also have dedicated Instagram accounts for their travels. And some travel bloggers also change their niche to fashion or photography-based content over time. Consistent posts and dedicated social media strategies can help you build a strong Instagram community.
Here are my nine tips for travelling alone:
1. Find a destination
The first thing you need is to find a good destination for your travel. Because of the pandemic, a lot of tourist-friendly places are shut down. And keeping the regulations in mind, it would be better if you choose some of the underrated destinations.
Know your destination better before you start planning. While it is thrilling to travel spontaneously, the chances of risk are high. There is no shame in researching before stepping out.
Brush through travel blogs, hotel reviews and reports to get details about your chosen place. Also, check with the local spots in and around the city. If you are a travel blogger, you can reach out to travel agencies and hotels for some profitable deals.
Travel bloggers are also often hired by prestigious hotel chains and travel platforms for endorsements. Here, you enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to exotic destinations! Optimize on the power of social media, have an Instagram travel account to document all your adventures.
2. Book your tickets
Booking your tickets is the next step when it comes to planning your trip. Again, with the COVID-19 pandemic, you have to be really careful about the transport options you pick for your travel. I would recommend you use air travel as it is quicker, safer and a lot more convenient.
Compare flight prices before you book your tickets though. Chances are, you might get a good deal because of the reduced air fares. Also, note down the local numbers and emergency contacts on your phone. There are apps likeTripWhistle which provide emergency numbers of the entire globe.
3. Sort your finances
Plan a budget. You cannot afford to splurge all your savings on a single trip! Financial planning also helps you determine the duration and facilities you choose for the trip. For instance, if you are a solo travel who’s low on funds then a homestay or travel hostel is a good choice.
You can even take up some part-time jobs to support yourself. And contrary to popular belief, there are still a lot of vacancies available for travellers who want to earn some extra pocket cash. For instance, the job market in Australia is accessible even during COVID-19 times.
As a female solo traveller in Australia, you can choose to work on a farm, run errands in a delivery service or even join the healthcare force to make masks! A little out-of-the-box thinking, and you have a job that pays decently and is a lot of fun.
These part-time job opportunities are also an enriching learning experience. It gives you a unique and authentic insight into the local communities and builds solid interpersonal relationships with people.
4. Pack your bags
Pack for the trip appropriately. This involves packing clothes that suit the climate and topography of the place. ensure that you carry your gadgets and chargers. Always have some extra food, cash and bare necessities etc.
I recommend travellers to prepare a detailed itinerary of things that they want to carry. For female solo travellers, it is best that you pack light. And if you are on a trek, ensure that your luggage is not very heavy. You have to carry it up the mountains at the end of the day.
Also have an emergency backpack ready wherein you have all the items necessary to survive in the wild if need be. This includes sanitation products, medicines, extra soap, toilet paper etc.
5. Find a reliable guide
Local experts often update the present condition and details of nearby places. Clearing queries on these platforms are reliable. Plus, you tend to see other people’s experiences who have already visited the place.
You can ask your colleagues or friends which hotels or guesthouses would be secure. Also check for the website ratings and reviews to ensure to avoid scammed places. Nobody knows the place better than people who are already living there.
In fact, homestays are a popular trend in the hospitality sector. You can find a lot of homely accommodation options and spaces available in most countries that now also welcome single aged women and solo travellers.
6. Don’t stick to your itinerary
Travelling helps you move away from loneliness. Taking yourself for a solo trip is the best decision you can make to avoid boredom. It rejuvenates your mind and gives you some space to explore the world.
For older women, a solo trip is also a great way to assert their independence. It is one of those rare instances where you finally get a breather. There are no chores, no family, no kids to keep you from actually having a good time.
I know what they say about straying from your path, but it is worthwhile to sometimes take a detour. And the best part is, because you are travelling solo, these impromptu plans actually work! You don’t have to consider anyone else’s schedule or their preferences.
However, it is always better to research and stay safe. Safety doesn’t mean you don’t get to have fun. Trust your gut instincts. So, take that extra day to explore the local sights, go on the little trek by yourself if you want to.
A solo trip is not something you get to do every other day. It is a once in a lifetime experience. So ensure that you make the most of it.
7. Save an extra copy of your documents
Always share your location with someone close to you. Don’t go off on a solo trip to an obscure location just randomly one day.
One of the best ways to stay safe is to carry your ID and documentation where you go. Ensure your phone has a network and that the GPS navigation is on. This way you can reach out to the authorities or share your location if need be.
Also carry your licence. You may have to hire a vehicle to travel and having ID helps you arrange for one faster.
8. Stay connected
Social media is a great resource for travellers who are backpacking across the world. You can connect with friends, family and all your followers in a matter of minutes. all you need is an internet connection and a phone.
Social media management tools also make things a lot easier for travellers. You can manage your posts/pictures, get in-depth insights and also engage your audience better. As the more you grow, the more popular you become on social media.
With a substantial follower base, you can even land up with lucrative brand deals to monetize on your content. Travelling under a brand’s sponsorship is also a lot safer when compared to planning the trip yourself. Of course, you have the independence to explore and enjoy your solo trip, but it will be in the luxury of the brand’s financing your trip and travel tickets! How cool is that?
9. Always trust your instincts
If something gives you an edgy sign, walking away from it would be the best option. If your belly is telling something, listen to it. Knowing yourself and emotions helps you to trust your instincts.