Why not go it alone? Top 10 tips for solo adventurers
Travelling alone for the first time can seem intimidating, at any age, but new research from Booking.com has revealed that more and more of us are embracing it.
Of course, a few pre-trip nerves are standard, but those who have travelled alone before believe any anxiety felt prior to their trip soon dissipated, with three in five people stating their nerves have usually been unnecessary.
To help ease those solo trip jitters, Booking.com has curated a list of top tips for solo travellers. Following global research* from the most authoritative source around – travellers who have been there, done that and have the passport stamp to prove it, here are the top 10 things you need to know!
1. Don’t just book the holiday you think you should be going on. You are never too old or too young to visit a new city, go backpacking or venture out alone. It is never as challenging as you think it will be – do what you want to do.
2. Make sure you dive into the local culture and try not to just keep to the well beaten tourist tracks. A great way to soak up the local atmosphere is to head to a restaurant away from the main drag and ask the waiter to recommend their most popular dishes. Almost a third (29%) of first time travellers revealed that trying the local food was one of their favourite tips to give to friends / family.
3.Don’t be afraid to start up conversations with a stranger. Stay at a bigger hotel, guest house or bed & breakfast if you want to meet up with other people with similar interests and make sure you head out to the communal areas. It might feel daunting at first, but travelling solo is all about exhilaration and pushing your boundaries.
4. Check if you require a VISA well ahead of departing. Some VISAs require more effort and money than others so make sure to check the relevant Government website. Same applies for passports. Check your passport’s expiration date before you travel – certain countries require at least 6 months’ validity to enter. Booking.com research found that 24% of travellers would even recommend carrying your passport with you for the entire trip.
5. Take pictures of your passports, VISAs and travel insurance and email them to yourself or a loved one, in case you lose them.
6. Always stash away $200 or a spare debit or credit card in case you lose your wallet. Hide it away in a money belt, pocket in your bag or share it around if you’re travelling in a group. Over one in ten (13%) travellers cited a secret stash of cash as one of the most important tips for those planning a trip.
7. If you don’t speak the local language, but have a smart phone, a helpful trick is to download Google Translate to your mobile phone. It will take away the pain of wild gestures and raised voices.
8. Research local scams to watch out for, whether it’s particular tour companies to avoid or how to get a reputable taxi from the airport. Booking.com research reveals that 21% of travellers feel researching local safety advice is an important part of any holiday prep. If you get into real trouble, the international emergency number is 112 – even if the phone is locked or it’s not showing any service provider.
9. Trust your gut, but be open minded. If you’re heading somewhere for the first time, you’ll never really know what’s in store, but go with the flow and enjoy. When asked about the tips travellers wish they had been given themselves, 40% wish they’d been told to just relax and enjoy every single minute.
10. Don’t just tell your Facebook friends that you’re about to jet off – remember to let your bank and mobile provider know you’re heading abroad too to avoid any card cancellations or surprise bills.
*Research carried out by Booking.com between 11th – 30th January, surveying 15,077 travellers across 20 markets worldwide
For further information, contact the Booking.com New Zealand Press Office:
firstname.lastname@example.org / 021 0270 1136
NOTES TO EDITORS
Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 respondents from the USA, Brazil, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, Germany, China, India, and 500 respondents from the Netherlands, Croatia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Denmark, Belgium, and Sweden. In total, data from 15,077 respondents (18yrs +) was collected from 11 January to 30 January 2017.
Booking.com is the world leader in booking hotel and other accommodations online. It guarantees the best prices for any type of property – from small independents to five-star luxury. Guests can access the Booking.com website anytime, anywhere from their desktops, mobile phones and tablet devices, and they don’t pay booking fees – ever. The Booking.com website is available in over 42 languages, offers over 1.1M hotels and accommodations including 579,898 vacation rental properties and covers over 105,000 destinations in 225 countries and territories worldwide. It features over 112M reviews written by guests after their stay, and attracts online visitors from both leisure and business markets around the globe. With over 19 years of experience and a team of over 13,000 dedicated employees in 187 offices worldwide, Booking.com operates its own in-house customer service team, which is available 24/7 to assist guests in their native languages and ensure an exceptional customer experience.
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