The single girls guide to travelling alone by Clare Griffin
by Clare Griffin
So, you want to travel the globe but don’t know where to start and don’t have anyone to go with? An adventure is within yourreach and you don’t have to wait for someone to go with you. In fact, you’ll have a better adventure if you do go by yourself – think of all the new people you’re going to meet!
Leaving your comfort zone is a pretty scary prospect, one that most people, particularly women second guess. But if you’reinformed and remain alert, you should have nothing to worry about and have an adventure you’ll remember forever! Here are some handy tips to keep in mind:
Do your research: Know the good and the bad of the places you are going to visit. Find out if there is a particular time of the year that is better to go and what’s appropriate to wear; in some countries you may have to dress conservatively. Be aware of places to avoid and at what times-some places may be safer during the day when people are around.
Visas: Before you leave, find out whether you will need a Visa or not to enter a country. Aussies on a whole have a good reputation with the rest of the world, but there are still many countries that you will need a Visa, even if you’re only visiting.
Money, money, money: Before you enter a new country it’s always a good idea to have a little of the local currency on you. If you’re not comfortable with carrying a lot of cash on you, have just enough to get you to your accommodation and for anything you may need to pay upfront. If you’re somewhere where you can’t access money, keep some in a wallet, but more hidden in a shoe or in a travel bag under your clothes.
Donde esta? Why not spend some time brushing up on the local lingo-learning the basics such as, where is, thank you, please, I’m lost, how much? etc, will prove to be helpful and polite. It’s true that most people speak English nowadays, but its good travel manners to at least try, and may prove helpful if you end up somewhere where no one speaks English!
If you have family overseas, stay with them! Even if you have never met them, staying with relatives is not only a cheaper way to travel but is also good in case of emergency. Plus, they will know some good spots to visit that you may not have heard of.
Staying in touch: Escape Travel agent Matt Bywater, suggests ways of keeping loved ones in the know; “Make sure you have an itinerary copied for friends and family back home so people at least know where you are approximately on a day to day basis. Also, have a contact in or near the countries you’re staying and take note of where either the nearest police station or embassy is.” Before leaving you should also notify the Government of your moves overseas. You can do this at http://www.smartraveller.gov.au
Getting connected: So you’ve bought the plane tickets, booked the tours but still can’t shake the fear of going alone? Most tour groups have forums on their website so you can talk to fellow travellers before you leave. This is a great way to get to know people and maybe even meet up with them before the tour commences.
Now all you have to do is pack your bags and enjoy the trip of a lifetime!
Clare Griffin is a freelance writer and editor based in Victoria but dreams of going back to Edinburgh where she conquered a castle and had a drool-worthy steak. She also hopes to visit countries where she can put her very bad Spanish into use. Clare blogs regularly at http://thegirlonthesoapbox.blogspot.com where she gets to beat her vertically-challenged dilemma by hopping upon her soapbox.