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Travelling Alone 101

UNITED KINGDOM | Monday, 24 June 2013 | Views [418]

So traveling alone is daunting, with all the preparation and excitement of a new excursion you forget that being by yourself isn’t an option once you’re there, you just have to suck it up and try to understand the jargon coming out of the waiters mouth, but don’t worry, it’s not as bad as people make out, it is the same planet remember with people not monsters and regular streets not caves, unless you’re visiting Scotland.

 

First things first, find out what language your country of choice speaks; may sounds obvious but with cities like Brussels which has two main languages, you might be a little surprised when no one understands the well rehearsed dutch introduction you prepaired. Once you know, get a pocket dictionary that has a conversation section (it saves you having to actually learn the language when you can just read out of the center when asking for something).

The second thing, find out the currency, don’t presume because it’s in Europe it’s Euros and in America it’s dollars, or you’ll spend most of your first day finding a currency exchange.

After skimming my way through an array of travel books I’ve settled on a collection of Marco Polo books. The things you want to be looking out for are pull out maps, basic phrases, food advise, top tips/destinations and a tube map if there’s a metro, that way you can do a little planning before you leave.

Id always advise staying in a hostel and never a hotel; 1. it’s the best place to meet people, 2. They give you free stuff, 3. They usually hold events/set nights where everyone is welcome and 4. They’re cheap! With the free wifi and breakfast you can’t go wrong.

With that said, don’t just look for the cheapest, because some are shit. I’ve found that the ones that look nice on the outside are usually lacking inside and vice versa, so don’t just go off google street view, get on trip advisor and read the reviews (remember to check how you’ll get there from the airport/train station to the hostel, walking alone at night with a backpack screams tourist)

Remember to take a good sized bag, not just the one with you’re clothes in but for the daytime too. Think about the fact you might be out all day so you might want to carry a coat (I realise I’m starting to sound like you’re mom, sorry about that). Make sure the bag has a zip and preferable one you can have under you’re arm as pick-pockets are common in tourist places.

A lock is another useful thing to have. Hostels will have lockers, usually with a handle you can fit a lock around. Keep a key on you, and one in each bag, just incase. Keep anything of value in there except your passport if you are sightseeing as most places have cheaper fees for under 25’s, Score!

Comfy shoes; no doubt you’ll be walking a lot. Don’t be one of those people who wears heels in Paris because you think you’ll be scouted for models 1. Flip flops wear really fast so get some good trainers.

A good book, airports are boring and it’s nice to relax in a park with iced tea and a good read. A camera, or in my case 4 with multiple memory cards. You don’t want to loose everything with a drink infused touch of a button so try switching cards each country.

Write a list of you hostels numbers with the address incase you have to get a taxi. Metro times vary from day to day and from city to city.

With all that said, I hope you have a great time walking down cobbled streets.

Tags: travel tips

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