Thursday, 28 January 2016

Tips For Travelling Alone

So 2016 was the year for pushing comfort zones, so I said a few weeks ago. With that in mind and a solo trip to Italy looming I was anxious about biting the bullet and jetting off alone into unknown territory. I love the flexibility and freedom my degree is giving me to explore many areas of interest and truly am cherishing this time as an older student. In so many ways am I in a hurry to get my teeth into working full time again, but slowing down and soaking up every experience and taking every opportunity is, for now, brilliant. With that logic in mind, I stopped panicking and off I went to Milan. 

 It wasn't a jolly, it was for work, but nonetheless I managed some compulsory shopping and sightseeing and met some amazing ladies. I totally went with the flow, ate all the carbs, learned alot and conquered the scariness that is unfamiliarity. All quite terrifying for a control freak, but what an amazing, confidence boosting sensation. 

SO if you're crazy enough to schedule some lone adventures this year here are some tips and reassurances I wish I could have read...

1) Allow plenty of time

Look at your flight time and work back your schedule form there... Then allow an extra hour. Everything takes longer when you're on your own and the last thing you want is to feel pressured against the clock when juggling all your luggage yourself. A little extra time to browse the duty free never did anyone any harm. 

2) Be confident

You've totally go this. Just triple check you have everything you need and start your travels with a "can do" approach. A few deep breathes to calm anxiety is the best way to start, then find your confidence and get on your way. If in doubt, Google will most likely have the answer and the kindness of strangers will more often than not, get you through any unplanned circumstances. It's your trip, take control and make it the experience you want it to be. 

3) Enjoy reading

The positive side to not having a travel partner, you can relish a few hours to enjoy reading. Learning new thing or simply finding escapism for a little while to switch your brain off, it's such a good opportunity to read more.  

4) Learn a little of the language 

Undoubtedly, this will be helpful and if nothing else polite. Simple please, thank you, hello is not overwhelming to learn but it's a starting point to enjoying and embracing a new country. 

5) Be aware

Safety is important and to avoid any negative experiences try to be extra aware of your situation and your belongings. European cities especially are notorious for pick pocketing, so use common sense and keep bags zipped, close to you and watch for scams where you may be paying more than necessary. 

6) Do your research 

Plan!  What do you want to do? Where are the best restaurants, bars, sights and activities? If you're on a tight time schedule you'll want your trip to be jam packed to make the most of every second. Speaking to friends is the best form of research, word of mouth recommendations are invaluable for getting inside knowledge and often finding some hidden gems. Apps such as Yelp and Trip Advisor can also be good for some honest information and a good old Lonely Planet if you want more substantial facts on the culture and things not to miss. Being spontaneous can be great, but if you're on your own pre booking alot of accommodation and must-do's can take the stress out of any last minute panicking. Getting a heads up on the transport systems, culture and currency are so easy to do by having an hour on Google, so do this to ensure you're fully prepared to get the most out of your trip. 

Where's on your list this year? Where will you explore?

Look out for my article over on Bonafide Supernova coming soon! 

Lots Of Love

B xx 

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