Saturday, 2 July 2016

How to overcome your fear of solo travel

I have decided to start a new "How To" series as a way to respond to many of the questions you have asked me along the way. This is my way of sharing my tips, asking for yours in the comments below, and also a means to support your own travel dreams.

To the moon and back my fellow travelling enthusiasts!

The one question I am asked frequently is whether travelling alone is scary and how do I do it? As I have now travelled to quite a few countries, can safely say my tips are now more informed as I understand your challenges better.

But, I would like to hear from you about whether your have other tips and challenges I may not have considered.

#1. Travel with a group

Okay, let's say that you are just not ready to take on the city by yourself. Preplan a group tour that picks you up and drops you off at your home, hostel, or hotel!

Some tours even arrange for a one night stay at a hotel before your tour.

You get to meet others who may share your interests, visit the places that you would like to, and no worries about getting to and from there.

Great way to start. Just like I did!

#2. Share a room

I find that when I am in a dorm room with other active travellers, I want to explore myself.

Yes, sometimes, I seem to share rooms with travellers who prefer to stay in bed or keep to themselves. But looking outside at the sun and sky and seeing my fellow travellers staying inside is just as much a motivator for me to leave the room!

#3. Your base, your entry strategy

What's that?!!

Well, we may be all gung-ho to start our trip - we got frustrated, we know what we want to see and how, or we booked a group tour. But we are still frightened as woah!

Why? Because we aren't used to living by ourselves and knowing how to get there in a foreign city.

No worries - There are tried and true ways to find accommodation. Canada - Hosteling International; Australia - YHA; Asia - Reviewed hotels; South America - Reviewed hostels! Use or to find your accommodation, and before booking look online for negative reviews.

Make sure it has free WiFi, laundry, and a shared kitchen to save you money. And, they sometimes even help you get to their place with an airport pickup.

#4. Get frustrated

When I found it easier to depend on others rather than face my fears travelling solo, I found that my best bet was to get so bored and frustrated that I picked myself off that cozy bed and stepped out into the open.

The reason ranged from the fact that I had spent so much money to get there, or I was hungry, or noone else was available to accompany me but gave me directions to meet them somewhere at a certain time.

Whatever the reason, use your frustrations and plan an exit strategy!

#5. Plan an exit strategy and destination

My favourite exit strategies?

Google - Find which destinations you would love to visit in your tourist city. Does your city map draw you a route from one tourist attraction to another?

Arrange your transportation - Do you need a city pass that you use to pay for public transport? Do you need to get off at certain stops? Or, can you book a cheap taxi ordered straight to your door via a mobile app or your hostel or hotel.

#6. Find your biggest supporters

Who are the people (or person) in your life who support your dreams, no matter how scared they themselves are?

Sometimes it's family, sometimes friends, sometimes coworkers, and sometimes fellow travellers. These are the people who tell you - you are the champion, you got this!

In fact, they get so excited that they even research activities, destinations, and hotels for you to enjoy your trip.

One cheerleader is all you need!

#7. Ready to do it without a plan?

Once you have a bit more experience, book just one day of accommodation. You will realize flights, accommodation, and tours are cheaper found on the go. And sometimes you get the best tips from locals.

Use for hostels and reviews along the way, flights can be found by googling and choosing the best dates and airline companies, and tours can be found by asking travel desks and tour companies physically located in your vacation destination.

Sometimes friends can be a great resource if they have visited the place or live there, and sometimes Google is your best friend. I mean, I recently booked a 3-day tour the night before I had to leave for it, and I had a great time and learned a lot.

I hope these tips help you as they helped me. Please share your own tips in the comments below, and share this post with others who may find it useful.

Enjoy your trip!!!

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