Packing Tips for the Solo Traveler

Traveling alone is exciting and fun. However, packing for any trip is generally not. Here are some tips to pack well, so that you will have what you need, and your trip can run more smoothly.

Know What Is Available Where You Travel

Wherever your destination may be, check out beforehand what is available as far as shopping goes. When you get there, you want to know that you have access to everything you will need immediately, in case you do not want to go out alone until you get comfortable with your surroundings. Do your research and pack accordingly.

Make Room for Emergency Items

Although you will be carrying your luggage yourself, make room for emergency items. Leave room for items such as a copy of your birth certificate and passport, in case your originals get stolen. You don’t want to end up alone in a different country without any proof of who you are or where you came from.

Don’t Pack More Than You Can Carry at One Time

When you have a travel companion, you can get away with carrying more since you have someone to sit by your luggage while you find a way to haul it from Point A to Point B. When you are alone, never carry more than you can load onto yourself at one time. Leaving half a pile of luggage alone for even a few minutes can spell disaster and invite theft.

Use a Backpack and Easily Carried Bags

Even if you pack light, the bags you pack your luggage into will make a difference. Use a large backpack that is made especially for backpacking, and smaller bags that fit onto your back and arms like a well-made puzzle.
Try on all your luggage before leaving on your trip to ensure that it all fits comfortably for long periods of time without causing a backache. Although you may feel silly doing so, take all your luggage on a walk around the block several times to see how it feels.

Wear Layers

Layers will come in handy when traveling alone. You won’t have a companion to do things like leave the restaurant and head back to the room to grab your jackets while you wait for a table, or lend you a jacket when you are feeling chilly. Use layers to provide yourself with an easy way to dress for all weather and situations.

Take Numerous Plastic Bags

Plastic bags are any traveler’s best friend. As a solo traveler, they are even more useful. You can use extra plastic bags to store wet bathing suits, dirty shoes, and garbage. You can fill them with essentials when you are headed out for the day, or wear them on your feet if an unexpected rainstorm comes along.

Keep a Copy of Important Numbers On You

Keep a copy of important phone numbers and contacts in your pocket or elsewhere on you at all times. This will be beneficial in case of an emergency where you may be incapacitated or otherwise unable to find help for yourself. You don’t want to end up in a situation where your family needs to be contacted, but there is no way for anyone to reach them.

Traveling solo may be one of the best experiences you ever have. The way you pack will determine whether your focus ends up on your special moments or on your aching back and lack of foresight. Use these packing tips to prepare for the adventure of a lifetime.

Eco-Friendly Transport on Your Vacation

If you’re planning a trip and want to get there in the most eco-friendly way, there are ways to do that. And once you get to your destination, you can ensure that any traveling you do is eco-friendly as well. You just need to do a little planning in advance to find the most eco-friendly travel options.

Eco-Friendly Transportation

1. Getting There

Planes, trains, and automobiles… Of these, planes are the worst, but if you fly on an airline that has taken measures to reduce their carbon footprint by eliminating excess waste and recycling as much as possible, it will be better. Southwest is an airline you might want to consider which has done a lot to reduce their carbon footprint.

When it comes to trains, this really isn’t a bad way to travel and it’s not terrible on the environment. Plus it’s a very scenic way to travel. If you are making a road trip and are driving, then consider renting a hybrid vehicle if you don’t own one.

2. Hotels

Look for hotels that use green programs. Also check the hotel’s location and make sure there is plenty of public transportation nearby that you can use to get to where you need to go. Once in your hotel, notify them that you don’t need new towels every day. Turn lights off when you leave the room and turn the thermostat up or down when you’re not in the room to use less electricity.

3. Travel When You’re There

Even though you checked your hotel to see that it has public transportation, also consider finding other ways to travel. Can you walk to many places instead of needing to be driven there? How about renting a bicycle for the week and traveling by bike instead? Finding alternative ways to get to destinations and then using nature as much as possible will really help you maintain your eco-friendly transportation while on your vacation.

4. Leave It Cleaner Than When You Got There

While this isn’t about transportation, it’s always just good practice to pick up trash when you see it. It can help balance out your carbon footprint if you had trouble finding the most eco-friendly ways of transport.

Support local efforts at eco-friendly by making donations or even volunteering some time while you’re there. Also shop at local farms while you’re there instead of the grocery store. You’ll get to try out local produce. You might need to be careful with what you do if you’re out of the country, though. Check with your hotel to see what local produce shops you can go to; they should be able to point you in the right direction.

Staycations are also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint by exploring things right in your own area and being in nature. Travel definitely takes its toll on the environment, but if you do choose to go away, you can still reduce your carbon footprint when you travel.

Safety Considerations When Traveling Alone

Traveling alone can be one of the most exciting and enlightening times of your life. There are things you must consider, however, when you take this brave step. Take the following into consideration when planning your trip for one.

Always Keep in Touch with a Close Friend

Even though you are traveling alone, you shouldn’t be the only one who knows about your daily plans. Check in regularly with a friend or family member at home who could set the proverbial alarm bell if you fail to call at a certain time. Always let the designated safety checker know where you are going, and with whom.

If you are being accompanied by a new friend, it is even better to include a photo of the individual when you relay your whereabouts to your friend at home. This is where the infamous “group selfie” comes in handy.

Don’t Be Distracted

There are many things to look at when you are traveling. Don’t let the glamour of a new place make you forget your cautious side, though. Stay focused on where you are going and who is around you.

Don’t Become Intoxicated

When you travel solo, it is not the right time to get intoxicated. Don’t have more than one or two drinks, and don’t even consider taking any illegal substances. This has led many a solo traveler into a situation where they are taken advantage of.

Plan for Disaster

Before you go on your trip, brainstorm the possibility of everything that could go wrong. Think about what you would do if your credit card was stolen, or your passport. Have a second copy of important documents in a separate place from the originals in case the originals are lost or stolen. Have a list of emergency numbers, as well as the phone number for your country’s embassy. Take more money than you think you will need, in case of any emergencies.

Know Key Phrases in the Local Language

Even if the country you are visiting has many English speakers, it is not likely that absolutely everyone knows English. Always assume that you will need to know at least key words and phrases in the country’s main language. Learn phrases such as, “Where is the nearest telephone”, “I need help” and “Do you speak English?” Because you are traveling alone, it is especially important to be able to communicate with those around you, in order to escape potentially bad situations.

Know the Culture

Be aware of the customs and culture of the country you are visiting. Every part of the world has different rules about what is acceptable and what is not. Things that you may never question in North America may be considered offensive or even a crime in other countries.

Simple things like chewing gum in public and having certain body parts uncovered can be a big mistake, depending on where you are visiting. If you don’t want to risk offending those who live in the country you are traveling in, or perhaps even be imprisoned… study the culture of the country you are traveling to and do your best to fit in and obey the rules.

Traveling solo is an adventure and a great joy to many individuals. Be prepared, and don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the excitement without knowing what do to in an emergency situation. Consider the details of your safety so that your travels can more likely be free of any major complications.