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Solo travellers

Solo travellers
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6 tips for people travelling alone

If you are brave enough to take the plunge, solo travelling can be absolutely life-enhancing. Follow our tips for a healthy trip.

1.      Pack light

Packing light is the key to a stress-free trip. It’s tough to manage heavy luggage alone, and you could end up injuring your back or your knees. Think thin, adaptable layers rather than bulky, specialized clothing and look into hiring equipment at your destination rather than carrying your own. Don’t bring loads of books. Either fill your phone or tablet with ebooks, or pick books up as you travel. Many hotels have a collection of left-behind books for guests to take.

2.      Flying free

Taking a flight alone can be stressful as everything is down to you. Reduce stress by giving yourself plenty of time for connections. If you have a long layover, splash out on a hotel room: if you fall asleep in the departure lounge, your belongings won’t be safe. Remember that you will have to look after your own baggage while you’re travelling, and that may mean taking them to the bathroom with you!

3.      Stay safe

If you go out for the day, let the receptionist at your accommodation know where you are going and when you can be expected back. You could even drop a message to someone back home – don’t forget to check in when you return, though! Don’t carry large sums of money around, and carry the numbers of emergency contacts. Caroline’s Rainbow Foundation has some excellent safety tips, especially for women travelling on their own. Accidents happen, though, and remember that your provincial health insurance will not cover you abroad. Get travel health insurance to make sure you are properly covered for every eventuality.

4.      Keep in contact

Modern devices make it really easy to stay in touch, and free wi-fi is available in many places. A smartphone or tablet can be useful for finding and booking accommodation and keeping up with the news, but don’t forget your charger and adaptor. Make use of social media to stay in touch. This can help you avoid homesickness and loneliness, too. Do take the time to chat with other people around you. You don’t have to make a friend for life, but even a quick conversation about the weather can do wonders for your wellbeing.

5.      Watch what you eat

Eating alone can feel peculiar at first, particularly if this is your first solo trip. Don’t stick to room service, though: you’ll miss out on all that wonderful local food. Bring a book, or a smartphone, or occupy yourself with a travel journal. You may find another solo traveller joins you – you can always hide behind your book if you don’t want to chat.

6.      Avoid infectious diseases

It’s extremely important you get all the recommended shots for your trip, so plan a detailed itinerary to identify any health risks involved. Although our experts at Canadian Travel Clinics recommend you get your vaccinations and anti-malarials eight to six weeks before you set off, we can help you if you have been spontaneous and booked last minute. Book online for an appointment to get travel vaccinations in Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Medicine Hat, Okotoks, Red Deer or Calgary.