New Decade’s Resolutions at the ready. Get fit? Quit? Or see more of the world? Perhaps you’ve made the last pledge? And seeing as a new year’s declaration to do things differently is often so personal, actually achieving it is best done solo. Rewarding, character building, and all those decisions you don’t have to compromise on…2020 is the year of the solo traveller. For a short, sharp and fulfilling time alone, it has to be a trip to the city. With that in mind, here are 5 IDEAL tips for solo travel city breaks.
KEEP THE TRAVEL PART SHORT
One of the best things about travelling on your own is that you don’t have to worry about anyone else’s needs or expectations – the journey and choosing a destination is all up to you. How refreshing.
But just because the power is in your hands, doesn’t mean that you should go to town on the itinerary. In fact, just go to one town; there’s so much to be said for limiting the number of sites and cities you see, in favour of really getting to know somewhere, inside out. So, get installed in a city, unearth the best bars, street food joints, coffee shops, gig venues and galleries, and get under the skin of things.
An absolute game-changer, this, particularly when you’re taking a short break in the city. Restricting yourself to one bag is liberating both for your back – less weight to carry, of course – but also for your mind, as there’s less stuff to worry about keeping an eye on. Without the metaphorical and physical burden, you’re free to be flighty and frivolous with your choices. And without friends by your side to pitch in with the carrying and the looking after of your possessions, it’s essential to keep things that way. After all, you’re in this to collect memories, not things, right?
DON’T BE AFRAID TO DINE SOLO
Travelling on your own means that you don’t need to try to negotiate complicated restaurant orders and food preferences (and intolerances) for the whole group. What’s more, scoring that hot ticket reservation is far, far easier. From exotic noodle restaurant dishes to mouth-watering street food snacks, the world really is your oyster – mmm, oysters. If you’re in the capital, check out our 5 IDEAL restaurants to eat solo in Soho to really whet the appetite.
PREPARE TO JUMP INTO THE UNKNOWN
Travelling alone is one of the best ways to build better self-confidence, as well as helping you to make new connections and meaningful friendships. When you’re by yourself, you’re much more likely to strike up a conversation with a fellow traveller, interact with locals or try out new and surprising things, so get ready to lean into it.
Be open to change, too. Having a plan and a schedule is great as a solo traveller, as it gives purpose and meaning to your trip. What’s really important, though, is not to be too rigid in sticking to this plan.
BE BUDGET SAVVY
Planning, preparation, strategy and foresight; not exactly words which chime with the spontaneous, carefree approach you’re hoping for. But realistically, a little planning before you set off goes a long way, and this is especially true for budgeting. You won’t have old friends at your side ready to lend you a couple of crumpled notes for another round of beers, so it’s good to have a financial foundation set out, however boring that may sound. Have a weekly – even daily – spend in mind, and stick to it. Also, bear in mind the plethora of money saving travel tips out there to help you get the most bang for your buck.