Solo travel accommodation options

  1. Hostel female dorms – The most budget-friendly option and comfortable for girls just starting out travelling.
  2. Hostel mixed dorms – Most budget-friendly option and a good way to connect with more people if you are comfortable being with mixed gender.
  3. Private rooms in hostels – If you need your privacy but still want to be in a space where other travellers are living. Usually cheaper than hotel rooms plus you have common spaces where everyone sits and chills together.
  4. Hotel rooms – Last resort, but still a good option for your first trip because staying in known hotel brands might make you feel more comfortable.

(FYI, most hostels have fully covered curtains surrounding your bedside in dorms for your comfort)

Safety tips for solo travellers

  1. Have offline maps downloaded for the city you are travelling to.
  2. Carry a power bank/always keep your phone charged (Google Maps, emergency numbers, torchlight, everything is in your phone)
  3. Never get too drunk to handle yourself, especially on a solo trip (Recklessness is not preferred while travelling solo)

Solo travel destinations advice

  1. Start with destinations which are near to your current city that you are living in and more prominently visited by solo travellers and thus have a multitude of hostels.
  2. For example: Delhi people could start with Rajasthan (Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jaipur), Bangalore people could start with Kerala (Wayanad, Kochi, Varkala, Alleppey, Vagamon, Munnar), and Mumbai people could start with Goa or Gokarna.

Female solo travel hacks

  1. Always carry a pepper spray/pocketknife (I know you hear it all the time, but do you actually apply it?)
  2. Share your location with your friends/family (I always share my location on Google Maps with my friends when I travel solo and even when I am out late at night alone)
  3. Pre-book your transportation, accommodation, etc. to avoid last-minute problems that can cause a threat to your safety (You do not want to be stranded at night)
  4. Carry wet tissues, wipes, pee-safe, tissue paper, sanitiser, and toilet paper to stay hygienic (No matter how unhygienic the conditions are, they are a lifesaver)

Budget-friendly solo trip tips

  1. India is vastly connected through buses and trains. They are safe, hygienic, and easily accessible so use them instead of airplanes when traveling shorter distances.
  2. Homestays/hostels over luxury hotels/resorts are an equally budget-friendly option. The best part about hostels is that you get to meet a lot of new people but even if you want privacy, hostels have private rooms too, go for that instead of hotels.
  3. Cook your own meals, carry snacks, and eat only one meal a day at a cafĂ© you really want to try, don’t over-order.
  4. If you are comfortable enough, you can do couch surfing instead of booking a stay. Couch surfing is a way of travelling where you live in other people’s homes free of cost. There is a website for it with the same name. It’s not a very prominent concept in India but definitely one which helps you save a lot of costs while travelling.

Packing tips for solo journeys

  1. Pick an optimal-size bag that you know you can easily carry. You should never need someone else to carry your luggage.
  2. Make a checklist and before putting something in your bag ask yourself if you really need it.
  3. Never do it at the last minute
  4. If you are travelling for more than a week or even a month, it does not mean you have to pack those many clothes, a laundry facility is available at every hotel/hostel/homestay.
  5. Even if you wish to wear a different look daily, style it differently, don’t go around packing 4-5 pairs of jeans for a 10-day long trip.

Solo travel tips for beginners

  1. Remember that not all experiences would be pleasant. For every 200 good experiences, you will have 1-2 uncomfortable or bad experiences too, and that’s okay. These are the experiences that help you to grow and become a better version of yourself, so be open to experiences and learnings.
  2. While some moments will feel heavenly, there will be times when you feel lonely too. Let the moment pass, and see how you feel, solo travelling will bring you closer to your real self, and make you learn new things about yourself.
  3. Ordering food might feel difficult, especially finishing it. There are a lot of times when I eat only half my food and get the rest packed for a later meal because I want to try new food and cultural dishes from that place too. This works as a great hack for me to not waste food, get to try it also and not waste money simultaneously.

Overcoming solo travel anxiety

  1. I understand that solo travelling can initially feel intimidating. It can feel very awkward sometimes to eat alone or not have anyone to talk to. You might feel shy to talk to new people because you are not even sure if they are equally interested or not. But once you go for it and do it, you will realise it wasn’t actually that difficult.
  2. You can always hang out in common spaces in hostels or cafes and ask someone if you can join them, in most cases, you will get an instant yes and might end up having one of the best conversations of your life. It seems more difficult in your head than it actually is.
  3. You can do a lot of planning and research for your initial trips. The more planned everything is, the more confident you will feel, and less anxious. Read blogs, see vlogs, collect information through reels, and talk to people who have already been there.
  4. If you still feel it’s too much or too difficult, try doing your first solo trip with a travel company, that way you won’t know anyone but still be with a fixed group of strangers and a trip leader to help you out.

Solo travel adventure activities

  1. Even going out on random hikes or exploring new places could be an adventure activity when you are travelling solo. If going out all alone seems a little scary, get to know people in your hostel and the cafes you visit, and tag along.
  2. Don’t be scared to try out an adventure activity just because there is no one to push you. The best part about being solo is that even if you book the activity and come back without doing it, no one will know 😀 So, what’s the harm in trying really?
  3. Even if your idea of adventure activity is just reading a book the whole day from a cafĂ©, go for it. You are alone, you don’t have to follow anyone else’s idea of rules so do whatever your heart desires.

Communication skills for solo trips

  1. This is one of my favourite learnings from travel. When I led my first trip, my trippers called me once because they were having trouble explaining to the local guy there about early check-in because his lingo was different, I came, had a conversation with him and got it sorted, and they were shocked as to how this happened, and that is when I started realising actively that patience and expressions can help you understand most of the things that a person is saying.
  2. Be a listener. In a world full of people ready to speak, be a listener to the people you meet, who knows what new lessons you learn or what new insights or friends you come back with

Solo travel health and wellness

  1. Carry wet tissues, wipes, pee-safe, tissue paper, sanitiser, and toilet paper to stay hygienic (No matter how unhygienic the conditions are, they are a lifesaver)
  2. Don’t treat travel as an escape where you can do anything without a thought like eating everything and indulging in zero workouts, especially if you are planning a workcation.
  3. If you plan to travel more and more, make sure you do basic activities like swimming a lot if it’s a beach trip, hiking a lot if it’s mountains, basic walking and try doing up to 20 minutes in room exercising also.
  4. Always try and eat local food of that place it’s usually healthy, and avoid having pizza/pasta and such items. Might seem tempting at first but very unhealthy if you are planning to travel a lot.

Responsible solo travel practices

  1. Don’t litter. Leave the place better than it was when you reached.
  2. Respect locals and their culture.
  3. Don’t judge anyone.

Cultural awareness for solo travellers

  1. It’s very important to respect the culture of the place you visit. While I am all for going out of your comfort zone, you have to make sure anything you don’t hurt anyone’s cultural sentiments. For, at Serolsar Lake in Jalori Pass, they tell you to not wear footwear because they have some local beliefs about it, similarly, some lakes are there on treks, where you are not supposed to throw rocks or take a dip. You don’t have to necessarily understand the reasoning of these, but you still must respect them.
  2. Respect the sort of clothing worn at certain places like temples or such institutions. 
  3. Respect the slow-paced nature of certain cultures!
  4. Mostly no one expects people to be familiar with any customs or norms, so the generic idea is to just respect locals and abide by things they are saying.