Make Plans in Advance
As much as you can, plan ahead. If you are able to plan out an itinerary, it will keep you on track and push you to try out new things. Traveling alone gives you the freedom to do everything you want on your own schedule. Planning around that allows you to have a jam packed trip
Check-in at Home
Solo travel can be nerve racking for your family members. Ease their mind by checking in every now and again. This will ensure that you’re okay, but also tip them off in the event of an emergency. Plus, it will be nice to talk to loved ones if you get homesick. A call home can be just what you need to get refreshed if you are feeling lonely.
Do What You Want to Do
Often times when traveling, you are at the mercy of the entire group. Traveling by yourself ensures that you get to do exactly what you want when you want. Your travel mates do not normally want to see museums or look at architecture? When you travel by yourself you can do whatever you want the entire trip if you like! Use a solo traveling experience as a getaway to do anything and everything you have ever wanted to do. Which leads me to my next point.
Enjoy the Time With Yourself
Solo trips are, by design, an extremely personal experience. They are for you and you alone. Enjoy the time by yourself, take adventures you’ve always wanted to take, and refresh in solitude. Solo travel is one of the most refreshing experience, but one of the hardest to take the initial plunge. There are a lot of unknowns in solo travel. Are you going to like it? Will it be fun? Will I get lonely? These are all normal questions to ask, but you’ll never truly know the answer unless you take that step. No matter what, you’ll come back with a different perspective.
Carry Hotel Business Cards
When you check in, be sure to swipe a couple of hotel cards and keep them on your person. You’ll be doing a lot of exploring and may get a little lost. Having the address on hand can help you find your way back. Additionally, if you’re in a foreign location, it may be easiest to hand a cab driver a card rather than attempting to break a language barrier.
Live Like a Local
When you are traveling solo, you can live like a local! Talk to locals and find out the best things to do, the best sights to see, and what they do for fun. It will be easy to do by yourself and will be extremely rewarding. Living like a local gives you an extremely personal and cultural enriching trip. Have fun, talk to people around you, and make new friends!
This is a no brainer. You are going to need a reliable (and comfortable) pack to hold all your gear. It’s got to have additional pockets for easy access to frequently used items. The pack also needs to secure all your belongings so you are not worried about things falling out. Depending what type of backpacking you are doing will dictate what is the most appropriate bag to bring. If you are solely hiking outdoors, you will need a different backpack than traveling across different countries. Do yourself a favor and grab a high-quality pack that will last you years to come and is appropriate for the trips you take most often.
No matter what type of backpacking you are doing, there are essentials that you will need no matter what. Below highlights some of the best gear, gadgets, and clothing to keep in mind when packing a single bag and hitting the road.
You are going to absolutely need to pack clothing! Without sensible clothing, you can end up unprepared and uncomfortable. Be sure to pack weather-appropriate clothing. If it’s going to be cold, you’ll be happy you brought gloves, scarves, hats, long johns, and a coat! Conversely, if it’s going to be hot, you’ll want shorts and lightweight shirts to keep you cool. With that being said, It’s easy to overpack clothing. Think sensibly about what you bring and also within reason of what your bag can hold.
This may be more relevant for someone backpacking across Europe rather than a weekend escape to the woods, but nonetheless, here’s some tips. Electronics can get heavy and weigh down your pack. If you don’t need a laptop for anything other than funny youtube videos and Netflix, it may not be necessary. You will want to bring your smartphone for directions, to stay in contact with friends & family, and to look up local hotspots for food. Bringing a camera along is also a great idea. You’ll be able to capture all the great memories without worrying about taking up room on your phone.
Beware, electronics are easily lost or target to theft because they often cost quite a bit in the first place. Be cognizant of this and make sure your items are secured at all times.
Things that fall into the travel necessities categories are items you’ll need to make traveling easier and more comfortable. You will want to have all appropriate chargers and a universal plug adapter if you are traveling abroad. Additionally, you may want earplugs and an eye mask for those hostels that are extra loud and bright. Sleeping well is essential to the success of your trip, so bring a blanket with you in case you need extra warmth at night. Things like sunglasses, grooming equipment, and hygiene products are also vital to the comfortability of any trip. Finally, include a small “repair kit” that has duct tape, a small sewing kit, and anything else that you think is appropriate to fix items if they get damaged along the way.
Have a first aid kit with you. In the event you need it, a first aid kit will help you keep minor injuries from becoming worse. Additionally, having pain relievers, anti-inflammatory medication, and any additional medication you may take will provide a better travel experience for you.
The admin section covers a wide variety of items you’ll need to do most anything. Have your debit/credit cards, a small amount of cash, passport, and proper form of identification. Finding yourself without these items will make travel extremely difficult. These items are also extremely important, so keep them on your person at all times in a secure location where they won’t get lost or stolen.
Now that your bag is packed, remember to have fun! Backpacking is an exciting experience! You’ve taken the time to pack everything you could ever need and are prepared for anything your trip will throw at you. Enjoy your trip, experience new things, meet interesting people, and take pictures to document your adventure!