Travel has always been something that I really love doing. I’ve had the good fortune of travelling to a number of places with my parents, all throughout my childhood. But as I’ve entered my twenties I’ve felt the itch to set out to new destinations on my own but I always put if off for later citing business or safety issues. Finally in 2014 I made my dreams of solo travel a reality so I thought I’d share a few tips that have helped me on the road as a solo woman traveller in India. It is possible to see the sights this country has to offer without emptying your savings account by spending on airfare or fancy hotels. While luxury can be nice too, nine out of ten times I’ll choose the backpackers way, it’s such an appreciative way to travel.
Do research on the place you’re planning to visit. Check travel websites, read reviews. If the location warrants it, get a guidebook. As I was travelling within the country I relied very heavily on Google Maps. Take note of the places you’d like to visit / eat at / stay at & don’t forget to carry a printout or at least save the most important information on your phone so that you have it at hand if the internet fails you. Carry basic medications with you. Basic cold / cough medicines, pain killers for headaches or any other minor injuries & also medication for food poisoning.
Pack the Essentials
When I first started travelling with my laptop a few years ago, I remember always forgetting to carry the travel plug I needed to fit the charger in a regular socket. Dropping your bags at the hotel & then running out to find a plug adaptor isn’t fun especially if you’re at a more remote area, so make sure you are carrying chargers & conversion plugs for all your main gadgets like your laptop & camera. I tend to use my phone a lot so I also make sure to carry a high capacity power bank, fully charged so I’ll never run out of battery charge on my phone. You don’t always know about the availability of the things you might need at the place you’re vsiting, so make sure to carry everything that is important to you. If you re a smoker, better to carry an E-Cigarette like Eon than a regular one, as it’s smokeless it won’t bother your co-travellers.
Dressing for the destination you are visiting is so very important because you do not want to look like a fish out of water or attract too much unwanted attention. It’s also important to dress for the weather, make sure that you’re dressed in comfortable clothing & always keep a sweater or cardigan handy (& possibly socks) if it gets chilly especially while travelling overnight by bus or train.
Be self reliant & brave, do not depend on anyone else unless you need to. A big part of travelling solo is having the confidence to do so, once you know you can do it the trip ahead becomes much less daunting.
Lastly, once you’ve done all of the above remind yourself of the reason you’re travelling in the first place & just go! See all the sights & sounds. Take lots of pictures, or not. Eat local food, meet interesting people. When it comes to learning about life there.
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