I recently took a brief solo trip to New Zealand and when I told my friends and family, they were quite shocked that I decided to travel to another country alone. My mother, of course, was concerned about my safety, especially because it can be quite dangerous for females to travel alone, particularly in certain countries. Some people avoid travelling by themselves because they think that they need friends to have fun or because they don’t feel confident enough to travel by themselves. This stops them from having a great experience when they don’t find anyone to go with. I am so happy I went to New Zealand by myself because one, I got to do all the things I wanted to do, two, it forced me to be more independent and deal with problems by myself and three, I became more comfortable in my own company.
It is important to be smart and take precautions when you are travelling alone though. When I travelled to New Zealand, I opted to stay in a hotel rather than a hostel because I felt safer staying alone in a hotel room compared to sharing a room with several strangers. Also, I chose to book a shuttle from the airport to my hotel (and back) rather than get a taxi because I didn’t want to deal with getting overcharged or trying to haggle the price because I am a tourist.
A good idea when travelling alone is to book a tour. It makes travelling by yourself easier because you don’t have to organise every little detail by yourself. I booked a day tour to Hobbiton and the Waitomo Caves in New Zealand (would definitely recommend visiting!) and it included a hotel pick up and drop off, a morning snack, lunch and coach transportation (which had free WiFi) to and from each attraction so I was basically sorted for the whole day; all I had to do was wake up on time. There are tours that run for longer than a day and are even targeted at students so if you wanted to travel alone but are not confident on how to plan and organise your trip, you can join a student tour and meet people around your age, while visiting places of interest, that someone else organises for you.
I looked at a few websites on tips for solo travellers before I went to New Zealand and the tips I found the most useful were:
- Keep to open and public places, especially at night
- Act confident and walk with purpose
- Bring a Selfie Stick so you are not always handing someone else your phone or your camera to take a picture of you
- Never identify that you are alone in your hotel room
- Give someone back home your itinerary
You can find more handy tips here:
I hope this encourages you to try travelling solo and remember to stay safe!