Travelling- going at it alone

There’s a saying that God protects children and fools.

I wonder whether women traveling alone classifies them as fools.

If I have a choice, I would prefer to travel with friends , but often when you are single and most of your pals work in media production, you tend to end up making travel plans alone.

I have a number of guy pals that like to take trips alone.

They are compelety baffled when I tell them when I travel alone, there are places/countries which I can’t go and things I can’t do.

They will be waving their hands at my concerns and insist the whole planet is safe.

Its understandable, since they are not born with a sign on their body brightly indicating to criminals that they are easy marks.

There are several disadvatages when travelling alone.

1) Obivious point would be your lodgings are much more expensive.

2) You need to reserach everything yourself.

3) You tend to end up looking at groups and couples milling around you at the tourist sites.

4) There’s only so much food I can eat in a day and when you travel alone, it cuts down the variety and choices, which means you miss out on so much more interesting local cuisine.

5) You are lugging around your 50 litre backpack and you need to go to the toilet. Need I say more?

It’s not all bad though

1) You get an intineary that is completely to your liking

2) You don’t have to worry about other people you know seeing you buy tourists tack

3) You don’t have to worry about taking a dump in the shared toilet

4) Other travellers tend to approach you to chat if they see that you are alone

5) No need to deal with sulking friends (reasons for sulky could include not a morning person, hate the weather , hate the people they are travelling with)

If you decided to take the plunge and make the solo trip, here’s some tips base on personal experience.

Top 5 tips on Travelling alone (mainly for women)

1) If you are lazy to do too much research like me, just get a general knowledge of which areas you want to visit or things that you want to do. When you stay at a hostel, you tend to be able to chat up other travellers and they are a good source of which places are worth visiting and what food to try and avoid. I tend to find hotel travellers a bit more formal and stiff, but the hotel lobby tends to be a good ice-breaking locale.

2) I keep a list of emegency contacts of the country like the embassy, the airline, the hotel,the hospital and the police telephone numbers. I also keep some sort of identification as well as family contact numbers on my person that can be access.(keeing them in your smartphone and locking the smartphone is not considered accessible)

3) Bring along something that can occupy your time, there will be moments you need to while away time. I usually have my tablet or a sketch book.

4) Food is an issue, it feels strange to dine alone. But no matter which country I visit there are  always small cosy cafes/shops of sorts that makes eating alone poetic rather than pathetic. These are also excellent places for observing local customs and even chat up some local people. Worse comes to worse, most countries have Macdonalds.

5) Don’t take any unnecessary risks. Includes taking cab rides alone in a country or city known for high crime rates.

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