Traveling alone can be exciting and very liberating. You get to maximize every moment and see only the sights you want to see and have experiences that your travel companions may have otherwise hindered. Furthermore, you develop inner independence as you learn to solely rely on yourself to get the most out of your travels.
However, solo travel requires some planning and preparation. You’ll want to travel light with only the essentials in your baggage. Here’s a list of 7 things you’ll want to have on hand to make your trip a breeze.
1. Packing cubes
If you’re tired of overstuffed luggage that is bursting at the seams, try packing cubes. They are different-sized travel organizers made of polyester or nylon that make it easy to pack, repack, and find your stuff in your suitcase or backpack. You no longer have to pull out everything in your bag to find the other sock at the bottom. Pack like items together for better organization. Use one cube for your socks and underwear, another one for pants and shorts, etc.
You’re bound to have some awesome experiences during your travels, but memories fade faster than you think. Taking photos with your phone or camera is great. But if you’re traveling alone, journaling becomes like talking to your friend about your joys, discoveries, and impressions. You get to relive the trip as you leaf through the pages of your travel journal and read what your thoughts and feelings were at the time.
3. Personal safety alarm
Personal safety is a real concern for a solo traveler. If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t feel safe and can’t shout for help, a personal safety alarm comes in handy. They are small, portable devices that make an ear-splitting noise when triggered. The idea is that the sound will scare off or startle would-be attackers, making them run to avoid attention or give you time to escape.
4. Universal travel adapter
If you buy a gadget in Madrid, Spain, you won’t be able to plug it into the wall in Switzerland. This is because outlets and plugs vary from country to country. If you’re traveling overseas, there’s a good chance you’ll need a universal travel adapter. Find out which type of power socket the country uses as no adapter is truly “universal” and covers every region. Invest in one that has surge protection to protect your devices from power surges and spikes.
5. Power bank
There’s nothing as frustrating as arriving in a new city and having your phone die as you’re trying to figure out how to get from the airport to your vacation rental. When traveling alone, you end up relying on your phone a lot because of access to maps, your travel info, taking photos, and generally letting people back home know that you’re alive and well. Choose one that is slim, compact, and has a high mAh.
6. A travel first-aid kit
Nobody wants to think of worst-case scenarios or accidents when traveling. However, it’s good practice to be prepared for any eventuality, especially when you’re traveling solo. A well-stocked first aid kit is crucial, but you don’t need a hefty pack that emergency personnel would be proud of. Apart from the basic bandages and gauze, your first aid kit should have antiseptic wipes, medication for colds, nausea, upset stomachs as well as pain relievers. Antihistamine and antibacterial creams are also good ideas. Don’t forget to pack some condoms.
7. Emergency contact info card
Suppose something happens to you during a solo trip that renders you incapacitated. In that case, you won’t have a companion to get hold of your family or friends or speak to medical personnel on your behalf. That’s why it’s crucial to have a card that has your emergency contact info. Carry one in your bag and another in your wallet. It also acts as a backup of your important numbers in case something happens to your phone. Make sure the card lists any allergies or health conditions that a doctor needs to know.