Travel · Uncategorized

Fast Facts: Solo Travel

Traveling solo changed my life. It allowed me to get to know a different side of myself.  It made me find ways to have fun – often times without anyone else around. Taking that step can be hard – below are some fast facts on the actualities of solo travel for anyone thinking of trying it out.

  • Yes, you may get lonely.  My trips are usually around 10-15 days. I usually start to feel a little wink of loneliness toward the end of the trip. I think it may just be because I know I’m going home soon. Whenever I feel a little lonely, I usually try and go somewhere with a more social setting. Like a local bar or maybe a hostel restaurant. Sometimes facetiming a friend or family member can help.
  • You will get lost. It’s inevitable. I pride myself in being really good with directions and remembering how I got places. I still get lost. It’s fine. You can save maps from Google offline and use it as a directional tool to get you back to where you need to go. Or, ask someone!
  • You can go somewhere where you don’t speak the language. English is one of the most common languages in the world. I haven’t been any place where someone can’t speak English. HOWEVER, I would definitely recommend learning basic words and phrases for wherever you’re going. At least give it a try – don’t be “that” person.
  • If you’re smart, you’ll be safe. This is especially for women. We have to be more conscious of our surroundings no matter where we are. More than likely, you’ll be traveling to a touristy area and there will be plenty of people around. The trick is to just be smart. Don’t flash your valuables, be aware and let people know where you’re heading. My first solo trip, I would make sure to be home before it got really late. I still do this – depending on where I am. It’s okay to be over protective of yourself.

Now, get out there and go see the world! It’s an amazing one! As always – email me with any questions or if you’re looking for any advice!

 

Travel · Uncategorized

But I Don’t Want To Plan…

Going on holiday is fun.

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Amsterdam Canal

Planning a holiday is not fun.

Don’t get me wrong. Some parts can be very enjoyable. Looking at a map and discovering cool places to go, scoping out pubs and restaurants, going through different Airbnb’s, etc. However, a lot of holiday planning involves stress, calculations and lots of notes.

I’m going to take you through a couple of things that help me not lose my mind while plotting my adventures!

Let’s start with my favorite thing: My Bucket List!

My list a little bit weird. I keep it in an email thread and it includes a list of all the places I want to go. It also has random links to some of my favorite travel articles. While planning my upcoming trip to Spain, I dug through my bucket list thread and found an AMAZING article from Buzzfeed on Spanish towns. It really helped me finalize where I wanted to go.

Second on the list is: Google Maps

One thing I’ve had to realize in my times of traveling is that as much as I’d like to explore entire countries in two weeks – it’s probably best that I narrow my list down a bit.

I love to explore at least two or three cities during a trip. Google Maps really helps me figure out which cities are more feasible. With the addition of transit directions, it’s great to plan ahead. Maps even links out to the specific travel companies to book rail/bus tickets.

I also use Google Maps to look at the different tourist attractions in whatever city I’m going to. I make sure to take a look at the “street view” option to help me see what’s around that specific attraction. This way, I’ll know I’m close to wherever I’m going by recognizing the area.

(Sidenote: Google Maps also lets you save maps offline that you can use when you’re out of the country / off your data)

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Gent, Belgium

Third on the list is: A Notebook

Write. Things. Down. I don’t know where I’d be without my travel notebook. I always write down attractions I want to go to, how far they are from my accommodations and how far they are from each other.

I’m really big on taking public transportation when I go somewhere new. I always feel like I stumble upon places I would’ve never seen riding in a car. Right before trips, I write down how to get to my accommodation. If I’m taking the train from the airport, which line am I on? Do I have to transfer? What stop am I getting off at?

Writing things down has helped me so much. I tend to remember things a lot better. This way when I arrive – I’m not scrambling to figure out where I’m going.  I recommend purchasing a small notebook and keeping it with you at all times!

Below are some of the Apps and Websites that help me the most when planning a trip:

Apps: Hopper, Booking, HotelTonight, Expedia, Google Translate, Google Maps

Websites: Buzzfeed Travel, CN Traveler, Google Flights, SkipLagged

As I previously mentioned, I’m currently in the middle of planning my next holiday. Follow my progress here or on my Instagram!