Travelling solo can be one of the most rewarding ways to travel, offering you an unique opportunity to do it all your way with no need to compromise. It may seem a little daunting, though- after all, what do you do at night, or if a flight’s delayed? Who is on hand to help you out? Acacia Africa thinks everyone should embrace a little safe solo travel once in their lives, so with World Tourism Day close at hand, here’s our top tips for solo travellers.
Work with yourself
What are you awesome at? Do you like to be the life of the party and make friends wherever you go? Are you shy or an introvert, and would rather be left alone? Use this to your advantages. When flying solo, it’s better for social types to head somewhere they can communicate easily, while introverts may appreciate the solitude of being somewhere no one knows your name. Some of us are built for vibrant city-scapes, where others love the open bush. Play to your strengths to craft the perfect experience.
Stay with the crowd…sometimes
Opt for sleeping arrangements that keep you near to other people, so you don’t feel too isolated. An apartment-share may work for you if you’re gregarious, or a hostel. Don’t forget that social networks like Facebook may have safe meet up options for you, too – or ask your tour provider. Maybe that old school friend wants to catch up over a drink, or your tour is packed full of other folks flying solo.
However, don’t be too afraid to ‘hang out’ with yourself, either- you may well find out you enjoy your own company! Get comfortable with the idea of saying ‘no’, too…travellers and tourists do sometimes attract attention, and knowing how to politely but firmly say ‘no, thanks’, ‘absolutely not’ and no by gesture will make the experience simpler. It’s always worth making sure you know help the assistance numbers for local services [such as police] as well as any services for their citizens that your embassy in the area offers, just in case you need a hand on the way.
Go big with your experiences
It’s fairly common for solo travellers to feel ‘barred’ from certain places and experiences- don’t! If you want to head to a restaurant, do it. Take plenty of photos to memorialise the whole experience. Get up early and hit the streets or savannah so you can enjoy a day jam-packed with activities you want to do. If you’re not used to time spent solitary, you may feel a twinge of loneliness every now and again [be sure to travel with the means to check in with family and friends if this is you] but be prepared to revel in the indulgence of solo travel. You can make your own decisions, change your mind, go anywhere and experience anything you choose without having to answer to anyone else.
Of course, solo travellers should always take adequate steps to ensure their safety too, but that’s true of any travelling group. Watch your drinks, don’t wear flashy jewellery and trust your instincts, and solo travel can be just as safe as, and far more rewarding than travelling in a larger group.
With World Tourism Day coming to us on September the 27th this year, there’s no better excuse than the present to get yourself a spectacular African destination booked to honour the occasion. Let Acacia Africa help you make your travel experience- whether solo or as a group- one you will never forget.