Solotravel tips

Be skeptical of TripAdvisor reviews

If you’re looking at reviews on TripAdvisor and every five star review is from someone who has only ever left one review, they’re probably fake. Take TripAdvisor reviews with a grain of salt and look at the person who’s leaving the review before you trust them.

A dry bag is more useful than you think

Dry bags are amazing for keeping your valuables safe on boat trips and for protecting any electronics you have in your daypack when it starts to rain. I even take mine to the beach when I’m travelling solo so that I can take my stuff in the ocean with me and not have to worry someone’s going to steal everything.

A power strip will making charging easy

It’s still common to turn up to a dorm room and find you only have a couple of power sockets to share between eight laptop-toting backpackers. Bring a power strip to ensure you can charge what you need to, while allowing everyone else to charge their tech, too.

Mark your luggage so it stands out

You don’t want to accidentally take someone else’s luggage or have someone run off with yours at the baggage reclaim. Stick some stickers on it, put some duct tap along one side, tie some ribbons to the handle — make sure it stands out from a sea of similar backpacks!

Use a pill bottle instead of blister packs

When I first set out, I had six months’ worth of anti-malarials that took up a ridiculous amount of space in their blister packs. I popped the pills out into a bottle and stuck my prescription onto the outside. It freed up so much room in my bag! Pro tip: stuff some cotton wool into the top so you don’t rattle while you walk.

McDonald’s and Starbucks nearly always have Wi-Fi

If you need to check emails, get directions, or do anything online, you’ll find a McDonald’s or Starbucks in practically every city around the world. They’re almost guaranteed to have free usable internet.

Don’t put anything in your back pockets

You’re basically asking to be pickpocketed.

Use Skyscanner to find cheap flights

I book all of my flights through Skyscanner, because it consistently finds cheapest deals. The key here is to keep things flexible: I look at flights to an entire country (or search for “everywhere” if I’m not sure where to head next) and look at prices over a whole month. I don’t collect points and miles, but I still rarely spend more than $500 on a long-haul flight.

Pack a Vapur water bottle

Vapur water bottles collapse down so they take up barely any room in your bag, making them perfect for travel.

Make the most of your layovers

I love getting to explore a new place during a layover, and will almost always extend my travel day so that I can spend three or four days in a new city. Some of my layover highlights from the past five years include 48 hours exploring the Golden Circle in Iceland, spending a few days getting lost in Muscat, and when I spent 24 hours in Abu Dhabi just so I could take photos of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.