As many of you know I returned from my 5 week American adventure a month or 2 ago and whilst I was on the trek alone, I was part of a group of 6, however once the trip finished in San Francisco I spent 3 nights in a hostel, exploring the city alone, before flying onto Phoenix to spend time with my great aunt and uncle.In October I did a post titled ‘5 reasons why Travelling solo is amazing’. Following on from the success of that post, I decided to share my top 3 tips for travelling solo to ensure you have the best time.
Travelling solo has many perks, you can do exactly what you want when you want without feeling like you’re forcing someone to do things they don’t want to do, or rushing. However it does have a few setbacks, one of those is taking photos that actually include you. My top tip to combat this is to scout out a couple trying to take a selfie, or a family with say the mum taking the photo (so not in the family shot), offer to take the photo for them and then just ask them to take one of you too!
Security; phone, purse etc.
I am super organised, and I thought I was super prepared going into this trip. I had 2 document folders, one in the bottom of my case as a back up and one that I always kept on me in my back pack. This had all my Insurance details, the itinerary, flight details and tickets, tickets for things I had pre-booked etc. However one thing I didn’t plan for was a lost/stolen purse. In hindsight I should have kept an emergency $50 or debit card in my backup document folder in my case, but I didn’t. And after my Trek had finished and we were dropped off in San Francisco, I spent 3 nights on my own in a USA Hostel, with plans to explore the city. However on the Saturday night I left my purse/it fell out of my bag, at a bar. I then couldn’t find the said bar the next day when retracing my steps (things look so different in the day, and San Fran streets got me muddled!) This meant that I was half way across the world, on my own, with no money. I had no cash, I had no cards. I did luckily have my passport. This led me to discover the world of Western Union and Moneygram, whereby someone can pay a small fee to transfer you money which you can pick up (with a reference number and valid ID) from a machine/counter that offers these services. You could also sweet talk a fellow hostel pal and ask to transfer them money via paypal for them to then take out for you. Whilst I know of this now, I did have a very stressful and hungry 24 hours in San Fran. One lad in the hostel lent me $20 until I managed to track down a Moneygram counter that worked, and I had my emergency money from my parents. But learn from my mistakes and make sure you have an emergency/back up money plan.
Make Friends With Everyone
One of the incredible things about travelling solo is that you will make friends with people from all over the world. The hostel I stayed in was very good for organising activities, and on the Saturday night I arrived there was the Saturday night party, complete with free vodka, gin, rum, whisky – whatever you fancied. This helped people to gain some confidence and to start chatting to anyone which was nice. I met a group of boys from Denmark, an American guy who was in town from China to sort out his visa, another American in town for an exam an Australian girl and the Korean, Turkish and Brazilian girls that I shared a dorm with! I got to meet so many different and fun people with so many different stories, it was really cool. As well as being cool it was also handy when I lost my purse, as one lent me some money and the others all had really great and different tips for things to do and see in San Fran, and had some ideas that I hadn’t thought of/heard about.
Have you got any tips for travelling solo?