Travelling solo in your 20s is definitely an adventure, a chance to explore the world and find yourself amidst diverse cultures and stunning landscapes. It can be both an exhilarating and daunting journey, but armed with the right tips and tricks, it can become one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Whether you're planning to trek through the mountains, explore bustling cities or lie on sun-soaked beaches, this list will give you 20 actionable tips to make the most of your solo travels in your 20s.
1. Embrace Solo Dining
Travelling solo doesn't mean you can't enjoy a good meal. It's a chance to experience new cuisine without any distractions. Find a local restaurant or street food stall, and sit by the bar or at a communal table. Engage with the locals or the staff - they might recommend their favourite dishes that you might miss on the menu.
It’s also a chance to sit by yourself and reflect.
2. Opt for Hostels Over Hotels
Hostels are the heart of the solo traveller community. You'll find fellow adventurers from all around the world, exchange stories, and make friendships that can last a lifetime. Look for hostels with high ratings, communal spaces, and organized activities.
They're much cheaper than most hotels, so that's why solo travellers usually opt for hostels over hotels.
3. Pack Light
Packing light is an essential skill for solo travellers. It allows you to be more mobile and flexible with your plans. Choose multi-purpose items, limit the number of shoes and remember you can always buy most things at your destination.
The last thing you want is getting stuck paying overage fees at the airport, or having so much to wear that you literally don't know what to wear.
4. Take Care of Your Health
Staying healthy during your trip should be a priority. Make sure you have travel insurance that covers your health, carry a basic first aid kit, stay hydrated, eat properly, and don't skip on sleep.
Regular exercise, even just walking, can help keep you fit during your travels. Chances are, you will be doing a lot of walking so make sure that you're also staying hydrated. That is just as important as remembering to stop and eat.
5. Learn Basic Local Phrases
Even a basic grasp of the local language can go a long way.
It helps you connect with the local community, bargain at markets, and navigate public transportation. Learn basic phrases like "hello", "thank you", "please", and "how much"? Who knows, you might even learn a thing or two while you're abroad.
6. Budget Wisely
Budgeting your trip beforehand will give you a clear picture of your expenses and help you avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Keep track of your daily spending and always have a backup emergency fund. Budgeting for things such as hotel costs, transportation, attractions, and daily food spending can only help you while you're away. Make a mental note to do it before you leave for your trip.
7. Always Have a Plan B
Solo travelling can be unpredictable.
You never know what could happen. Flights get delayed, hotels get overbooked, and the weather changes. No matter the case, you want to make sure that you're always prepared, that way you can effectively handle anything that comes your way. Having a plan B will save you stress and time.
8. Use Technology
From language translation apps to navigation and budgeting tools, technology can make your solo travel a lot easier. Make sure you have an offline version of maps and language translation apps. You should also make sure that any apps you want or need are downloaded before you leave, so that you can avoid any issues with internet connection while you're away.
9. Stay Safe
This is one of the most important tips. Research the safety aspects of your destination. Know the local emergency numbers and always let someone know your plans. Keep your important documents and money in a secure place. Know where to go or what to do in case of an emergency.
10. Explore Local Culture
Travel isn't just about visiting places, it's about immersing in a different culture. Attend local festivals, visit museums, and try local cuisines. Embrace and learn more about where you're visiting. Do something you might not otherwise do if you weren't wherever you are.
11. Stay Flexible
One of the perks of solo travel is the freedom to change your plans on the fly. Don't stick rigidly to your itinerary - stay open to new opportunities and experiences. You don't have to answer to or consider anyone else, you can just do as you please, whenever you please.
12. Don't Rush
You can't see everything, so don't rush. Take your time to appreciate the places you visit and the people you meet. Take your time and live in the moment, you never know if you're going to be where you are again.
13. Connect with Other Travellers
Travel groups on social media platforms can be a great source of tips, companionship, and support during your travels.
One of the benefits of travelling solo is getting to meet all the people you encounter. You might not have the same opportunities if you were travelling with someone else. You never know, maybe you'll form some lifelong friendships and relationships.
14. Try Something New
Put yourself out there.
Whether it's trying a new cuisine, learning a new language, or trying a new activity, travelling solo gives you a unique opportunity to step out of your comfort zone. Again, you might experience something you never would have if you didn't have the courage to put yourself out there.
15. Take Lots of Photos
Photos are a great way to capture your travel memories. They don't have to be professional-grade, just something that would make you smile years later. You can even print them out and put them together in a photo album or scrapbook, that way you can showcase them or look back at them whenever you feel like reminiscing.
16. Stay Eco-Friendly
Travel responsibly. Limit your plastic usage, respect the local flora and fauna, and consider using public transportation or walking instead of taxis. Don't do anything you wouldn't do at home, like litter. If you're visiting somewhere near water, make sure you're not putting anything in it.
The oceans have enough garbage to deal with.
17. Have Patience
Not everything will go as planned and that's okay. Breathe, stay calm, and enjoy the journey as much as the destination. While you should have a plan in place, sometimes you're going to need to improvise and go with the flow.
And that's okay, if you remember to stay calm and you know how to handle the situation. Remember to expect the unexpected.
18. Learn from Locals
The locals are your best source of information. They have a lot to teach you. They can guide you to hidden gems that aren't in any guidebook, whether it’s places to see, restaurants, or places to stay. Chances are, they know the best places to go, which may even includeoff-the-beaten path places if that's what you're looking for.
Sometimes the touristy destinations can be a lot to handle.
19. Respect Local Customs and Laws
Do your homework about local customs and laws. Dress appropriately and respect the local way of life. It’s best to try and blend in with the locals. Again' don't do anything you wouldn't do back home.
20. Enjoy Your Own Company
Solo travel gives you the chance to be with yourself. Use this time to reflect, grow, and enjoy your own company. Remember, you're never truly alone when you're comfortable with yourself. The whole point of travelling alone is to be alone and enjoy doing it.
To sum it up, solo travel in your 20s is an incredible adventure. With these tips, you're ready to make the most of it. Let us know how it goes!