Solotravel tips

Practice your miming

Traveling in places where you don’t speak the language is surprisingly easy, but get ready to mime a lot. You can mime eating to ask someone if they’re serving food, mime sleeping to ask someone if there are any beds available in the hostel, and I even mimed that I needed to go to a train station by saying, “choo choo!” and drawing a picture of a train in my notepad for a taxi driver in Taiwan!

Drink more water

You’re probably not drinking enough, especially if you’re traveling through hot, humid countries. If you can drink the tap water, make the most of it and get your two litres of water a day. If not, help the environment by bringing a Steripen along, rather than buying dozens of plastic bottles of water — a Steripen kills more than 99.9% of harmful microorganisms, including giardia, bacteria, viruses, and protozoa, making tap water safe to drink.

Travel in shoulder season to save money and avoid the crowds

Shoulder season is my favourite time to travel. The weather is usually mildest, everything is more affordable than in high season, and there are fewer people visiting, too.

The smaller the menu, the better the restaurant

That’s why street food is so delicious! While you’re travelling, look for places that only do a handful of dishes rather than offering 500 options. There’s a better chance of stumbling upon an amazing dish when someone only makes that one single thing all day everyday!

Don’t be shamed into not buying souvenirs

So many travellers preach that it’s all about experiences not possessions, but you know what? Sometimes possessions can offer beautiful reminders of the experiences you’ve had. I only started buying souvenirs from every country I visited in the last year, and I wish I’d been doing so from the start of my trip. And if you’re worried about space in your backpack, just mail them off to a friend or family once you’ve bought them and your pack will be none the heavier. My friend Jaime collects magnets from every place he visits and I’m so jealous of his collection!

Research the Rides Before You Get to the Parks

Disneyland Paris has a number of unique attractions you won’t find anywhere else. It is important you take the time to research what attractions Disneyland Paris has to offer and what you want to ride. The most popular attractions in Disneyland Paris include:

  • Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain (a more intense version of Space Mountain)
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Big Thunder Mountain
  • Phantom Manner
  • Indiana Jones Temple of Peril The most popular attractions in Walt Disney Studios include:
  • Crush’s Coaster
  • Tower of Terror
  • Ratatouille: The Adventure
  • Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster You’ll want to have a plan about what park you want to visit first, what attractions you must ride, what attractions you want to ride, and have a Fastpass strategy. You will waste a lot of time in the parks trying to figure out what you want to do if you don’t have a plan before you get there. It would be a shame to not make the most out of your time at Disneyland Paris so be sure to have a plan. Your plan will most likely change throughout the day as you discover what attractions you love and want to ride again, but it is important to have a general idea of what you want to do before you get to the parks. This is one of the most important Disneyland Paris tips on this list. You’ll regret it if you won’t put a little effort in before your trip and research the different attractions.

The Belize Environment

Belize knows how important its natural environment is, not just for their fishing industry, but also for tourism and protecting its bio and marine diversity.  Belize is home to the only Jaguar Reserve in the world.  Belize is also implementing sustainability and conservation efforts to protect the Belize Barrier Reef.  It works with the other governments of the countries with whom it shares the reef.  I encourage you to get out and enjoy outdoor activities Belize has to offer, but please respect what Belize is trying to protect.

Where to Stay in Belize

Belize draws tourists of all financial means.  You can either do it on the cheap with hostels (yes you can stay in a hostel over 40), to bed and breakfasts and economy hotels to posh resorts.  Belize has it all.  For me, where I want to stay depends on 3 things:  what can I afford, how will I be getting around and how often (this is also for my safety), and what amenities I want. In a recent trip to Placencia, I needed a place for two weekends only but didn’t want a rental car expense.  I wanted to be close to restaurants, bars, dive shops, and shopping, but didn’t want to risk being near any noisy, “downtown” location.  I chose a beachside hotel that was a 5-minute taxi (or 15-minute bike ride) from Placencia Village. My hotel offered free airport shuttle service and free bike rentals I could use during the day. I chose taxi services ($10 BZE = $5 USD plus a small tip) for the evenings – it’s not recommended to walk or bike at night on Placencia Road outside of the village.  With all of the amenities I needed, not to mention a basically private beach in the slower season of April, I paid $84 USD/night all fees included.  Perfect for me. In short, you can end up spending anywhere from $40-50 USD a night to over $500 USD a night.  I recommend a little research here through your favorite booking sites and definitely reading the up on others’ reviews.  That’s a no-brainer.

Belize Currency Exchange

When doing your international travel planning, one of the first things you do is try to assess your trip budget and research the exchange rate of your destination country to determine your costs, right?  I certainly do and do frequently. If you don’t, may I suggest it find its way to the top of your planning list?  How else will you know what your trip will cost? I did the same thing in my recent trip to Belize and to my wonderful surprise, I found the following:

  • The U.S. dollar (USD) is basically half of the Belizean dollar (BZE). Think 10 BZ$ = 5 US$.  It sure makes doing purchase calculations easy on the fly.
  • U.S. currency is accepted everywhere. In short, no need to do any currency exchange before you arrive in Belize. Don’t be surprised if you pay in U.S. cash, but you’re given a mix of BZE and USD back.

Belize Time

This brings me back to another top tip for Belize:  once you arrive, down shift to “chill and relax” mode.  Even if your rushed for your connection or have time to spare, you’re working on “Belize time”, as I call it.  Belizeans are laid back and friendly, but this is not to say they don’t get things done. From being under former British rule, there is still that professionalism and courtesy.  Belizeans are just calmer about it. Go with the flow and enjoy.