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As someone who travels on a regular basis, I am perfectly placed to share my guide with you. I think it’s important to have a really excellent travel adventure and to do as much as you can. This is my women’s travel checklist to traveling as an independent woman (solo travel girl,) and I hope you will make full use of it as much as possible.
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Who Are You Flying With?
I always like to spend time making sure I have the best possible flights when I travel. A lot of people like to book a package deal with flights and accommodation together. And this is a good idea, but I always make sure I get the best possible flights, even if that means separate bookings. Consider what airline you would like to fly with based on who your prior experiences. Speak to friends and get their recommendations. You want to choose a reputable airline with comfortable accommodations (like seating, beverage/food service, etc.) that will enhance your travel experience.
Make Sure Your Passport is Up To Date
You’ll be surprised by how many people make the mistake of not keeping their passports up to date. As a rule of thumb, when you travel, you will need to have a passport that is at least six months in date. So, if it’s coming to the last year of your passport, you should probably think about getting it renewed. The last thing you want is to show up to the airport and be turned away due to passport problems. It never ceases to amaze me how many people fall foul of this because they haven’t considered the basics. Make sure you do as much as you can to avoid set backs and that means renewing your passport with plenty of time to spare. Passports can be renewed for up to ten years, so once you’ve sorted it, that’s a big weight off your mind.
Visa or Global Entry Program
Sometimes when you’re visiting certain countries, they might have special entry requirements. Thus, I would advise that you check for information about global entry and visa programs. This is something you need to get sorted out as soon as you can. This paperwork can sometimes take extra time. If you leave it late to sort this out it may hamper your chances of being allowed entry to the country. I always do my research about a specific place and see whether I need a visa to get in. And if so, I will make sure to apply well in advance. It might even be worth visiting the consulate in your city (if there is one) for more information.
What Will You Do When You’re There?
It’s also important to decide what you’re going to do when you reach your destination. I like to sit down at home before traveling and think about my trip. I will do a fair amount of research that will help me to determine what to do, where to go, what to bring. That way I can decide on the sort of trip I would like to have. I think it’s important to experience as much as possible that a city or country has to offer. Sometimes you may want to do the tourist thing. Other times, you might choose to do something a little more creative. This is why your research will be so important. Decide on your “must do’s” and have a few other options as well. The beauty of being an independent woman is that you can really make the most of solo travel. You can make your own rules and do whatever you want to do.
Additional suggested reading: Solo Travel Tips: Five of the best European cities for solo female travelers
Now that you’ve considered what you’ll be doing, pack accordingly. Overpacking can be a burden (especially when travelling alone), so select your items carefully. Think about packing clothes that can be mixed and matched easily to create varying looks. And travel size is your friend. Rather than a bottle of perfume, maybe get a travel size to bring. Create a list that can be reused. TIP: Don’t forget to leave a little room for souvenirs.
The world can be a lonely place sometimes, and it is often useful to make friends as much as you can. Solo travel has increased in popularity over the past decade. Statistics show us that 59% of agents reported more clients traveling alone than ten years ago. So there is an obvious appeal to traveling alone, most likely the independence. However, there is nothing to stop you from making friends wherever you go. There are bound to be other people traveling alone, or groups that you can become friendly and commiserate with. Sharing ideas for where to visit (or even sharing transportation) can improve your trip easily.
You might also like: Solo travel after divorce: The vacation that transformed my life forever!
Check out this post: Berlin Insider tips: Visiting Berlin, Germany for the first time!
Always Touch Base With Someone
Traveling alone can be really great, but you also have to make sure you are as safe as you can be. And a big part of this is making sure you keep in contact with someone while you’re away on your travels. Keeping in touch with friends and family is really important because it keeps you connected to what’s happening back home. Consider sharing your itinerary with someone you trust before you leave (make a copy of your passport for them to). And, it also gives you peace of mind that someone knows where you are. The great thing is that these days it’s even easier to keep in touch than ever before. Try to use an internet connection to send emails or messages to friends and family. You might even consider checking in with them via something like FaceTime. Whatever means you choose to use, please make sure you check in with someone every day or two. This keeps you safer and lets someone back home know what’s going on.
Keep a Blog
If you’re anything like me, you like to document your travel exploits as much as possible. I do think it’s good to keep a record of your adventures and experiences these days. You can keep them as much for yourself as for anyone else. It allows you to document the trips, and to reflect on the great times you had. So, I would suggest going onto WordPress or Blogger.com and starting a travel blog. There are plenty of templates out there to help you. And you’re welcome to check out my blog for a point of reference. I also think it is a good idea to keep a photo and video log if you can as well. This is a lot easier these days because you can upload straight to sites like Instagram in real time.
Shameless plug: Follow my adventures on Instagram!
You work hard, and you deserve the time you get to yourself. I always like to try to pamper myself when I go on vacation. There is so much stress and chaos in everyday life. And, when it comes to travel, you want a relaxed, chilled out and enjoyable experience. And that’s why it’s important to do what you can to pamper yourself as often as possible. Planning is important so that you can do this without breaking the bank. The first thing I would suggest is to call the hotel you’re staying in, and ask for an upgrade, and do the same with your flights. The worst that will happen is you’ll get a no. Travel credit cards are also a great tool for getting a bit more out of your trip. You can use them to gain air miles and get complimentary access to airport lounges. TIP: You must book at least one hotel that has a spa (or minimally, a pool); I can’t stress this highly enough! You’ll thank me later.
Add to your reading list: For An All-Inclusive Caribbean Travel Beauty Affair – Feed Your Body, Mind and Soul in Antigua
Try Something Different
I think that variety is really important when you’re traveling or on vacation. They say variety is the spice of life, and I totally agree. It’s important to try new things and experiences that you’ve not considered before. I like to try to pick something I love or something that interests me. More importantly, think about something that lets you absorb a bit of the local culture – perfect! Also, think about what you can do that might be outside your comfort zone. A dance class, fitness vacation, or survivalist trip are just a few ideas off the top of my head. I really like the idea of doing something a bit different from what you’ve done before. This as a wonderful way of enhancing your experience and making the most of your time as a solo traveler.
The fact of the matter is that sometimes travel can be a bit dangerous. Traveling alone, in particular, can be a dangerous and worrying time for us ladies. If this is of concern to you, then you aren’t alone. Travel agents estimate that 47% of travelers cited facing dangerous situations alone as a big concern. So you can probably see that you aren’t the only one worried. Safety is a legitimate concern for those traveling alone. But you can’t let the fear of what might happen ruin your travel experience. Make sure you take measures to look after yourself when you are traveling abroad. This means letting people know where you are, as well as carrying things with you for protection. Safety is an important part of enjoying your travel experience, so you’ve got to make sure you take steps to sort that out as soon as possible. If this is your first time traveling solo, here is a good read, A Beginner’s Guide to Solo Travel.
Things to know: 6 Safety Tips For First-Time Solo Travelers
Travel is such a wonderful thing, and it really gives you the opportunity to explore the world and yourself. As an independent woman, it’s a wonderful chance to do something you might not have done before. I love to travel, and I feel as though it has really enriched my life. So I’m passing this on to you in the hopes that you will get as much out of it as I do.
Stay safe, travel more and catch me exploring the next city!
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