If you follow me on Twitter, you will know that I recently visited Berlin alone. Yep, alone. I haven’t got around to uploading the pictures from Berlin yet because my camera was being a douche, and I hate technology.
Travelling alone is a bit like Marmite – you either love it or hate it and I loved it! Even though I was only there for one night, it was so much fun travelling alone so I thought I’d share everything I learned.
- Be prepared. Yes I stole this phrase from the Brownies or the Guides or someone, but it just makes good sense. This could literally mean anything, but for me it was more about weather and things happening around where you’ll be. I knew that Berlin would be really cold so I wore appropriate clothes (not hard considering I live in London).
- Be aware + alert. Travelling alone anywhere, especially these days and being alone and being a female is scary. Being aware of your surroundings and making sure that you’re mindful of late night jaunts, keep an eye on your drinks and take care of your valuables.
- Don’t be afraid to ask. I love asking locals for directions and where their favourite spots for coffee or dinner are, they always have the best advice and often it turns into cute little conversations. Obviously be careful and don’t spill information that the other person doesn’t need to know.
- Pack light. The last thing you want to do is have a huge suitcase and have to lug it around to where you’re staying, especially if you’re not staying for very long, and only take the essentials.
- Bring a good book. The thing that I was most worried about when travelling alone was eating alone. I’ve done it before when I was at Uni but this felt different, more grown-up. Reading a book was what kept me going and when I was at dinner it was a great way of feeling less alone.
- Plan ahead. Obviously if you’re staying overnight, have your hotel booked. But you should find out how far the hotel is from the airport, plan how you will get there, find out how much public transport costs, what are the best deals for travelling around the city etc. I always use public transport wherever I travel because usually it’s cheaper than taxis and a lot easier once you have a map 😉
- Make a list of must-sees. I always do research before travelling anywhere, TripAdvisor is my best friend! It has the best reviews of hotels, attractions, restaurants – pretty much anything you will need wherever you’re going or doing.
- Enjoy it. Even when I felt lonely, I thought about all the reasons I wanted to do this in the first place. Not having to consult anyone when plans changed, being able to pick the place to eat without taking anyone else’s dietary requirements into consideration – basically pure freedom (and being totally selfish).
It is amazing. I guarantee that once you’ve done it once, you will want to do it again and again (just like me who is trying to find a cheap deal to Europe right now, with no luck FYI).
Have you ever travelled alone? Did you love it or hate it?