First time travelling alone? Here are 5 ways to make it easier

You promised yourself after organising the last group holiday that you would travel alone. You’ve just booked a plane ticket online to Spain, Kenya, or maybe even Japan. You’ve got your packing list ready. The date is getting nearer and nearer. It’s only when you take a moment that you realise this is the first time you’ll be travelling alone. Maybe your friends had prior engagements, maybe they couldn’t afford the trip, or maybe you wanted to challenge yourself. Whatever your reasons for travelling alone, here are five ways to make your first time as smooth and stress-free as possible when travelling alone.

Research enough to survive

It’s easy to forget how little you know about a country until you land in the heart of it. What are the main languages that people speak there? What are some cultural norms and etiquette that you should be aware of before going? What are the values of local goods and services there to help with travel saving? My point is that if you take the time to research your travel destination, you will be more conscious and aware of your new surroundings when you arrive, and this can help you avoid some sticky situations that could have been prevented.

Do not overpack!

It can be so easy to overpack, especially when you are travelling alone. You want to make sure that you have everything that you’ll possibly need since you won’t have any friends or family to borrow from. But you don’t want to be alone in a new country, possibly lost, tired, and hungry, and to top it all off, have to drag this sack of potatoes from hell around with you. It might make a funny story for back home, but you will certainly not be laughing at the time.

Make some contacts before travelling

With applications like ‘Hellotalk’, meeting people from your travel destination has never been easier. Join Facebook groups. Ask if your friends or family know people in that country and get acquainted. Please be aware that when approaching or talking to people online, you should do so with caution, just like you would in real life. You never know how these interactions will turn out, but you might also make a new friend.

Learn the language basics

I’m not asking you to become fluent, but even the basics can be very helpful when you’re on your own. Download helpful apps that cater to your destination’s language such as Dulingo, or purchase a phrasebook/mini dictionary. Watch YouTube creators from the country or people who have travelled there. You will have an easier time when you’re there, plus, learning the language is understanding the culture, and therefore the people of the country. Have fun with it.

Bring a comfort from home

Travelling alone is an amazing experience, but it can get lonely at times, you might even feel homesick. If your time zone is on the opposite end of the world from your loved ones, or everyone is busy, you might be on your own if things get lonely. This is where your home comforts come in – reach for your teddy bear, snacks, photographs of loved ones, or the item of clothing that reminds you of home. This could help alleviate some of the loneliness or anxiety that you may be feeling, and help you to continue enjoying the wonderful place that you are exploring.

Remember it’s you versus the world, so enjoy!

Lexus Ndiwe

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