Sunday, 20 April 2014

Solo Travel – 10 Tips For A Smooth Trip

Solo travel is thrilling. Whenever someone decides to travel solo, there is a sense of freedom, independence and adventure within one’s mind. I have said this before and I will say it again that solo travel is wonderful – it is more than a holiday. Solo travel is discovering a place deeply with one’s own raw perspective. If you desire to travel solo, you really care to explore a place - It means that even if you don’t have company, you still want to travel. Solo travel is a rendezvous with your destination in the truest form.

Also read Solo Travel In India – How To Choose Your Destination


For some people, the question is how to travel solo? If you are a seasoned solo traveller, you know what it is to travel alone. But on the other hand, there are many who don’t know how to go about it. Since I have travelled solo quite a few times, I know the nitty-gritties of it.

If you are planning to travel solo for the first time, the following tips are going to help you –

Managing your expenses

Yes, solo travel can be more expensive for the simple fact that there is nobody to share your expenses. However, you can still cut down on your expenses in many ways. For example, go for cheaper transport options like a bus instead of a taxi, talk to the locals to learn about budget accommodation options and affordable places to eat.

Choose a good accommodation

This one is extremely important for women solo travellers - Never ever compromise on your hotel choice when you are travelling solo. Always make it a point to stay at a good, comfortable and popular hotel even if you have to pay a little more than you thought. Take time to select your hotel and book in advance for convenience.


Don’t behave like a tourist

All the commission earners hover around tourists to get them hotel deals and tour packages. I am not saying all of them try to swindle, but it’s better not to entertain them. Don’t make it obvious that you are new to the place and you don’t know anything. Research well and look confident.

Mingle with like-minded fellow travellers

You are travelling solo but that doesn’t mean you can’t mingle with other travellers. In fact, you should! It is always helpful to befriend people on one’s travels. When I travelled to Matheran on my own, I walked along my fellow hikers in the forest. Later, we hired a common cab till the train station; that way we shared the cost and it proved to be economic for each of us.


Keep in touch

Let your people at home be aware of your whereabouts and itinerary. Make sure at least someone in your family knows where you are staying, what you are up to and other details of your trip. Never keep your phone out of battery!  

Don’t be too conscious about being ‘Solo’

Just relax and take it easy. Don’t treat your solo travel as if you are doing something abnormal. Take it as normally as possible. People are generally nice and helpful. Nobody is waiting to harm you. Just follow your heart and enjoy!


Be careful about your cash and other valuables

First of all, don’t take too many valuables on your trip – jewellery and other such stuff. Secondly, keep your money, credit cards, passport or anything of that nature very safely. I’d advise not to leave anything in the hotel room. It’s better to carry everything with you all the time.

Pack smart

I won’t suggest you to pack light, because you should pack what you want to or what you might possibly need. But I will definitely advise you to pack wisely. Don’t pack anything weighty for ‘just in case I need it’. If you end up packing anything unnecessary and cumbersome, it may ruin your joy of travelling.    

Take along a basic medical kit

It’s good to carry stuff like bandage, ointments, cotton balls and pain-killers. The idea is to be well-equipped in case you fall sick while you are alone. Keeping a small medical kit won’t take much space in your bag.

Be safe

Although I am mentioning it in the end, being safe should be your number one priority while you are travelling solo. No matter where you are travelling, make sure you know what you are doing. Never get carried away. Be careful, be smart and follow your instincts. There are certain things that you should completely avoid like wandering alone in a deserted area or staying out late at night. In short, don’t do anything obviously foolish or weird.

Have you travelled solo? Do you have a tip to add?

Also read -

Why I Like Traveling 'Solo'
5 Myths About Traveling Solo

43 comments:

  1. I have travelled solo a lot - I love it! I went away last weekend alone for the first time in years and I loved it even more after a few years of travelling with husband and kids the sense of freedom was just amazing.

    Tip wise, I think you covered it. I would also add try not to let fears get in the way of enjoying your trip. I know there are probably too many times that I played it too safe while travelling alone.

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    1. Thanks Sharon for your valuable comment. :) Yeah, one should not let fear get in the way of enjoying a trip. Solo travel is wonderful!

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  2. nice post...

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  3. Well Most of the time I travel a alone and its quiet fun actually. Not only get to see new places but most of time I get to make a lot of friends and journey companions :) Its amazing,specially on those days when there was no google maps etc :)
    Well all I do is check my purse that all :D
    thanks for the useful tips .


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    1. Yup, solo travel opens doors for new friends and companions.

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  4. Nice post and tips Renuka!!

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  5. Great Tips! Packing is important and saves money too. When I first came to India the guys are REI Were like you need a compass, a whistle... etc etc. Obviously, I got rid of most of it after realizing I wasn't going to get lost in the mountains and attacked by a panther... and if I did the whistle wasn't going to save me. lol.

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    1. Thanks Rachel :) You are right! I think solo travel is pretty normal, that's why I mentioned - treat it normally and enjoy!

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  6. Dandeli, Jodhpur, Western Ghats .. did I get the pics right ? :) .. BTW I salute your courage to travel alone, I cannot do that :(

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    1. :) You got them pretty much right. More than courage, it's the willingness and passion to travel. Solo travel is not for everyone (although everyone should try it once). This post is for those who want to travel alone, but need some guidance and encouragement to do so.

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  7. This is such great advice Renuka. I've only ever taken one trip by myself but I wish I had read this article first. I would have been a lot more confident and savvy!

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    1. Thanks Charli :) But I am sure you know a lot now and can share some tips on solo travel with others also.

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  8. Great tips - I've travelled solo many times and have used every tip especially the hotel - I'll pay a bit more to stay in a desired location (close to the metro, safe area, etc).

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    1. Thanks Marsha :) Yeah, staying in an appropriate location is so important while you are traveling solo.

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  9. Great post! I have traveled solo a lot as well, and I am nodding to all your points. i remember I tip I got once: " Always look like you know where you are going!" (even though you are lost as /&%¤#/) Ha ha - it usually works out though

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    1. So true, Eli :) Confidence is the key! Even if you are in a vulnerable state, don't show it! The basic point is that solo travel is just travel and nothing extraordinary or abnormal. All you have to do is use common sense.

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  10. HI Runuka, I loved your content as you explained it beautifully that how to plan to solo travel. But Its never easy to everybody specially for girls as their family restrict theme to go anywhere like on trip or holidays. As you're working as solo traveler. Great work!!

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    1. Thanks Seema :) By the way, my name is Renuka. I can understand your concern that most Indian families wouldn't allow their girls to travel alone, but I think as long as girls are confident and they make their parents believe in them, there is no way they wont allow. It's about confidence building. When I wanted to travel solo, my mother asked me only once that how would I manage everything and I answered her quite confidently. She was fine because she knew that I knew what I was doing.

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  11. Hi Renuka,

    Awesome article on solo travel tips. Your article is so informative for those who are planning to travel solo, You have mentioned all the things what to do and what not to do to travel solo. Hope, more solo travellers will read this post to enrich their experience.
    Thank you for these tips.

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    1. Thank you, Srimanta :) I'm glad you found the post helpful. Yeah, solo travel can be smooth with these basic points in mind.

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  12. That was helpful! good one... :)

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  13. Very well explained!! GOod one :)

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  14. I love solo travel, gives you such a sense of independence and adventure! These are some good tips for solo as well as for non-solo travel!

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    1. Thanks Sarah :) Yup, Solo Travel is so exciting! I'm glad you found the tips helpful.

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  15. This post has been selected for the Tangy Tuesday Picks this week. Thank You for an amazing post! Cheers! Keep Blogging :)

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    1. Thanks so much! :) Really humbled.

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  16. Okk. I notee every single tips u shared... Thanksss a lottt.

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  17. helpful tips, thinking of making a solo trip to Sri Lanka this year.

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    1. That would be awesome, Anshul! All the best!

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  18. That gives me courage to go ahead! I've planned my trip to Rajasthan and was worried if I did the right thing! Feels better to read your tips! More power to you!

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    1. That's so nice to hear, Shruti! :-) Take care and have a great trip! Rajasthan is amazing!

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  19. I read this article. I think You put a lot of effort to create this article. I appreciate your work..luxury bus

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