With the COVID-19 pandemic now slowly fading away, a new fever is taking hold of us worldwide - solo travel fever!
Sup Travellers?! Welcome to another installment of the newest segment on Trinikid, called Trinikid Travels. Trinikid is most known as an entertainment blog but as an entertainment blogger, I have been able to do a lot of traveling. I have been able to work in many amazing locations around the world and with this new lifestyle travel blogging has become quite dear to me. I have done a lot of solo traveling during the pandemic and with summer 2022 among us, many people are thinking about doing the same. Before you go on your solo adventures around the world, I have compiled a few things that you should first know. Let's get right into it.
One of the biggest mistakes I made during the early days of my solo travelling was packing too much. I would carry around a massive trolley and a full backpack. It was hard for me to let go of so many of my belongings from home that I would try to carry as much as I could. Most of the things in my bag I didn't use and eventually, I realised that I didn't need most of the things. One backpack is usually enough. You don't need to carry five different shoes or all your party outfits. It's fine to wear the same things every day as long as you wash regularly. The money you save on checking in your luggage you can spend on laundry days. You can thank me later. Right now I travel with only carry-on luggage and I'm doing quite fine.
If you're a solo traveler I highly recommend hostels. Resorts and hotels are great with family and friends but if it's only you then hostels are perfect. Hostels are dorm-styled accommodations and the best places on the planet to meet people and as a solo traveler in a hostel, you will never feel alone, trust me. There would be times you may be begging for some alone time because there will be people all around you. And not just any kind of people. Most people who stay in hostels are also solo travelers and are eager to meet people. Hostels are very social and usually organize group tours or pub crawls. You can meet some of the best people in the world in hostels, and they may just be sleeping in the bunk above you.
Some of the best travel experiences happen spontaneously with the random people you meet along the way. Whether it be a local who invites you on the adventure of a lifetime to a path less taken or a group of people you meet at the hostel who take you with them on a tour. To experience the best of travel, people must like you and it's important to smile and be friendly. Be the kind of person who attracts other people and you will never be lonely while traveling.
This should go without saying but many travelers I meet make very rookie mistakes when it comes to keeping their valuables safe. There are many countries where pickpockets run rampant on the street and it's necessary to keep your valuables safe. I would recommend owning a fanny pack or a purse. Also, using the lockers you get in hostels for your valuables goes a long way. Invest in a proper padlock. I have been traveling the world for three years and I have yet to lose anything valuable. All I've managed to lose were some socks and underwear.
This should also go without saying, but I'll say it anyway...USE COMMON SENSE! Don't walk down a dark and sketchy alley in the middle of the night or accept random pills from strangers. Yes, you want to be sociable and open to all experiences but let your common sense prevail.
There are going to be times when you will get lost and Google Maps or Maps.Me will have to come to your rescue. I recommend downloading the map of the area before you get there to be able to use the maps offline. This has come to my rescue so many times when I didn't have internet.
English will get you far in most countries so it's usually not necessary to learn the language of a country before you get there. And if no one around you speaks English, you can always use Google translate. No need to stress about languages while traveling. However, I have found that most locals love it when foreigners try to speak their language, even if you just say thank you or hello. I'd recommend just doing a few online lessons daily while you are in the country just to know a few words. It's kinda like a party trick you can use to impress the locals.
This is important. Not every country shares the same culture and values as yours. In some countries you don't shake hands or use peace signs or kiss on both cheeks when greeting. It's all different. And if you don't want to offend anyone, it's good to learn a little about the country's norms and values. Sometimes all it takes is a quick Google search.
This is a life tip, not just a solo traveling tip. But, as a solo traveler it's likely you won't be around your close friends and family. So if you get drunk and pass out in the middle of the street then it's only you to blame. In situations like that, you become a vulnerable target to robbers and they may steal your valuables like your phone and money. And with no one to bail you out, you will find yourself in a bit of a pickle. So, to avoid it, drink moderately.
Travel Insurance goes a long way. In a situation where something terrible happens while you're overseas, it's going to be a heaven-sent to have good travel insurance on your side. Accidents happen. Bags get lost. Flights get canceled. Be ready for it.
I see tourists getting fooled all the time by tourist traps. I used to as well. From taxi scams, to overpriced restaurants that bump up the prices to tourists, it's everywhere. The best way to avoid these is firstly by knowing what they are and blending in with the locals. Sometimes it's impossible to blend in though. I'm a six-foot-five black guy from the Caribbean. I stand out like a sore thumb in Mexico. But I get by by simply doing my research. Chat with locals and find out how much you should pay for stuff and where you should eat or go clubbing without getting ripped off.
Last but not least! Be spontaneous! Go with the flow and learn to say yes. Trust the universe. Don't get so caught up in your plans that you miss out on some of the greatest opportunities of your life.