Research from London Stansted revealed a fifth of all of their passengers were travelling solo in 2018, with European cities like Copenhagen, Barcelona and Faro among the most frequented hot-spots for solo adventure-seekers within recent years. To discover just how to make the most out of your solo travels, Lindsey Mutch, Global Head of Operations at Topdeck Travel, has revealed the top tips that enhanced her own solo travels.
While solo travel can be about spontaneity and freedom, sometimes having a plan in place can make you feel more at ease. "Travelling solo provides the freedom to explore new destinations at your own pace," the travel expert explains. "However, it is still important to ensure you have done your research prior to jetting off and have a plan in mind, even if you don’t stick to it completely. With a rough plan, you’re bound to feel more relaxed and able to enjoy your new experiences. It’s also a good idea to share your plan with family and friends before you leave to provide peace of mind of which destination you will be at during each stint of your journey."
BE OPEN TO MEETING NEW FRIENDS
"A huge benefit of travelling alone is meeting like-minded people along the way, which allows you to travel solo while not completely alone," Lindsey says. Perhaps use apps to connect with like-minded people, or join an organised group through a trip provider. "This allows you to take advantage of knowledgeable trip leaders, and the reduced costs that are associated with travelling, eating and staying with a group. Another way to meet similar thinking people is through your choice of accommodation, hostels can be a great way to save money by sharing rooms with other travellers."
BE AN EARLY BIRD
You know what they say about early birds catching the sunrise. "When staying in a new destination, exploring the culture alone at night can feel a little scary - instead, set your alarm early to get out and explore your new home. This way you’ll beat the business of other tourists, see the true local culture and make the most of your time travelling – you may even capture beautiful sunrise!" It's amazing what you can fit into a single day if you make a proper plan, and pledge to fill your hours with productive things as opposed to lying in.
We know it's tempting to chuck every dress you've ever owned into a rucksack and hope for the best, but you'll regret bringing your whole wardrobe when you're trekking it around in your backpack. Like the travel expert says, "Travelling between new and exciting locations can often mean you’re on the move every few days, so make sure to pack light as you’ll need to carry your luggage around with you. Pack only your necessary travel essentials and reuse and re-wear these by taking advantage of laundry facilities located in local hostels instead."
ENJOY THE TIME YOU SPEND WITH YOURSELF
While it can sometimes feel a little lonely, relish the independence solo travel brings - it's a real opportunity to ~find yourself~ and create new memories. As Lindsey advises, "Travelling alone can sometimes be a daunting experience. Remember to throw yourself into each and every experience you come across on your adventures and avoid spending time scrolling on your phone when you have downtime – this way you’re more likely to reap the rewards of you’re life changing adventures."