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Solo travelling

Going alone on a trip? There is an ultimate guide to help put you at ease.

 

Worried about travelling alone? Lonely Planet has released an ultimate guide for solo travellers. In a recent survey of travellers in Lonely Planet’s community, 80 percent of respondents reported having taken a solo trip in the past, and another 80 percent have plans to take one in the future.

However, the survey shared that one in three responded that they have felt disadvantaged when travelling on their own, citing higher costs (almost 20 percent on travel insurance and over 50 percent on accommodation), safety issues and tour options that only cater to two or more people.

Despite these challenges, solo travel is on the rise. To help those planning on going solo, Lonely Planet has compiled the top tips and advice from its experts in the 168-page “The Solo Travel Handbook” from once-in-a-lifetime adventures to weekend getaways. The guide gives seasoned and beginner travellers the confidence and know-how to embark on a solo trip, helping them to overcome any fears or concerns they might have, while preparing them for the journey ahead.

Written by Lonely Planet’s solo travel pros, the book is packed with pearls of wisdom, inspiration and real-life tales from the road – and covers everything from preparation such as booking, budgeting and packing, to practical advice for meeting people, staying safe and healthy, working remotely and staying connected abroad.

“The Solo Travel Handbook” also features 10 of the best places around the world including for food (Vietnam), culture (Rome, Italy), and self-reflection (Ubud, Bali). Other chapters include:

  • Why go solo?
  • 10 lessons you learn while travelling solo.
  • The solo travel quiz.
  • How to arrive in any new destination like a boss.
  • 10 travel hacks every solo traveller should know.
  • 10 non-awkward ways to meet people on the road.
  • 11 ways to overcome loneliness.
  • Top 20 ways to stay safe on the road.

Lonely Planet writers also reflect on their own solo travel experiences, revealing how these times shaped them and changed their lives for the better.

“The Solo Travel Handbook” costs US$17.99 (S$23.96) and is available locally at MPH, Kinokuniya and Times bookstores.

 

6 TIPS ON GOING SOLO (courtesy of “The Solo Travel Handbook”)

  1. Arriving somewhere new is often the most stressful part of travelling solo. For a smooth start, always make sure you have your essentials – like money, bankcards and maps – close at hand before you disembark your train or plane. Rummaging conspicuously in your suitcase (or your wallet) in the arrivals hall will make you feel exposed.
  2. As soon as you arrive at your hotel or hostel, grab a business card from the reception desk with the hotel’s address and phone number. If you get lost, you can jump in a taxi and give the card to your driver to ensure you get back to your hotel safely. If a business card isn’t available, ask a member of reception staff if they could write down the address in the local language for you. Make sure to then keep the information somewhere handy when you head out to explore.
  3. Most cities have free walking tours, and these tend to attract other solo travellers. Solos usually stick together once the tour is over and go for drinks or dinner together, so it’s a great opportunity to meet like-minded travellers while simultaneously avoiding the anxiety of dining alone on your first night in town.
  4. Choosing to eat at a restaurant’s bar not only allows you to bypass a potentially awkward ‘table for one’ dining scenario, but it also gives you an opportunity to chat with diners either side of you (who may very well be solo), or with the bartender – staff often make an extra effort to chat to solo patrons.
  5. Break out of your shell by making an effort to converse with locals. Question your hotel staff for their favourite places to eat, and take the time to ask shopkeepers how their day is going – you may be pleasantly surprised where these conversations lead.
  6. Your mobile phone can be your most valuable safety tool when travelling. Ensure your data plan can be used abroad, or purchase a local SIM with a decent data plan for the extra degree of safety it provides in allowing you to use many personal safety apps.

 


 

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