Solotravel tips

Accept that you won’t be able to see everything

Nobody will. Even if you travelled every single day for the rest of your life, you’d never see it all. This is a hard lesson to learn, but it makes travel easier on your heart once you accept it.

Track your spending

It’s annoying and time-consuming, but you’ll be better off financially if you’re aware of how much money you’re getting through and how it compares to the amount you budgeted for. You can make adjustments if you’re spending too much or allow yourself a small treat if you’re doing better than planned.

Take into account jetlag and travel fatigue

Let’s say you’re flying straight to Bangkok, where you’ve given yourself three days to see the main attractions. You can plan it all out, but you’ll most likely end up jetlagged and sleeping away a chunk of that time in the city. When you’re planning how long to stay in a place, take jetlag into account, as well as general travel fatigue. Remember you won’t want to be outside exploring for 12 hours a day every single day.

Practice packing before you leave

Have several trial packing runs before you head off to get the hang of fitting everything into your bag. It’ll help make finding things easier, because unpacking your entire backpack to find something every few days gets old fast.

Take advantage of your youth

If you’re under 25, there are a whole heap of student discounts you can take advantage of. You can get cheaper flights through STA Travel, cheaper train passes through Eurail, free access to museums, and more. Take advantage of your age and check if student discounts are available before booking anything.

Lose your inhibitions

The great thing about travel is that nobody knows who you are. If you do something really stupid and embarrassing in a hostel, you can just check out and move to a new place where nobody knows who you are or what your story is. It’s liberating and allows you to actually figure out who you want to be.

Embrace your nerves

Because they’ll never go away. Those nerves you get the night before leaving? I still experience them, five years on. Whenever I’m visiting a brand new place, I get nervous. Whenever I’m trying something new, I’m nervous. I even get nervous when I’m returning to a place I love! Embrace these travel nerves and accept them as normal — even experienced travellers get them!

Make a playlist for memories

One of my favourite things to do is create a Spotify playlist for the music I listened to most in each country I visited. Now all I have to do is listen to one and it takes me back to a specific place and time, along with all the emotions I was feeling then.

Take a class

Travel is the perfect opportunity to try something new. I loved taking a cooking class in Seoul, a surf lesson in Bali, and both a paddleboarding and fishing lesson in New Zealand. It’s a fun way to learn a new skill while pushing yourself out of your comfort zone!

Find photogenic spots with Instagram

Follow local instagrammers in the places you’ll be visiting to find the best spots for taking photos. I also search through hashtags relating to the place I’m heading to to check out the popular photos and see where they were taken.