My favorite style of traveling is backpacking solo. Why do I love backpacking alone? Well, mainly because I love the unexpected and you never know what people you will meet. I love pushing myself out of my comfort zone but when you have limited time for a quick getaway you need to have some sort of overall guide to make the most of your trip. I am a major procrastinator, so basically here are my best tips (learned from my own mistakes) to having the best get away that I've learned over the years to planning a successful solo get away.
- Stay at Backpacker friendly hostels
- Make a Must Do Wishlist
- Scope out transportation
- Ask friends, FB, and Locals
- Get feedback from Backpackers
- Pack your essentials!
- Make Friends!
The best sources for hostels are hostelbookers.com, HostelWorld.com, and even Airbnb.com. Yes, Airbnb. I stayed at my last hostel finding it through the site and it had wonderful reviews. Some hostels will cross-list on all services so you can use your Airbnb credit to book. You can use my referral link for $40 credit. Remember, reviews are everything! You want to make sure that other backpackers have loved staying there to ensure you will too. Some things to look out for are "easy to meet people" or "big spaces to socialize". Trusssst me.
Before you get to your destination you want to gather up a list of the top places to see when you show up. Realistically, you might not be able to do all the things you want and you might end up adding some new spots once you get there. Overall, it's good to have some options though when you get there rather than having extreme FOMO cause you didn't even know! I used to just show up places but ended up realizing I missed out on some spots because I slacked. Now though, I like to look up some stuff in advance and make a custom google map to scope it out. However, don't stay too fixed on this remember it's a journey and enjoy it as it comes.
This plays into tip #2, if you plan out areas you want to be beforehand this will allow you to plan your stays, flights, and budget accordingly. Find out the best routes in your destination. Some places might have local airlines you can book before hand, your other options might be busses, taxis, ferries, public busses, and
Ubers Lyfts. You definitely what to look up beforehand what the situation there is. Literally a quick google search (or entering in the PartTimeExploradora search bar) will give you insight to what the transportation situation at your destination.
Do you have friends who have been there before? Shoot them a message and ask which spots were their favorite, what they would avoid, and how much to budget. Facebook groups are also a great resource there are so many out there for travelers who are willing and would love to give you their insight to your destination. Most of all ask a local! They will give you the best and most authentic experience, especially with safety tips! Overall, don't be afraid to ask people or reach out. Be Shameless AF! This is a great skill to get used to and push yourself to do both in life and in traveling.
Once you arrive at your hostel go talk to your fellow backpackers. Say hello, yes I know it's scary, do it anyways! They've most likely been there for a bit and already tried some of your must-do destinations. Ask them for tips on how to get there and what they have found so far. Who knows maybe they'll want to join in! I do this at every hostel and end up finding a nice group of people or even plans for the next day with new friends.
(Hi Hostel Friends if you're reading this ♥)
Your essentials when backpacking is critical! You will need a battery pack, water bottle, drawstring or smaller backpack for day trips, hat, sunscreen, flip flops, sneakers, and a lock! These are just some of your everyday things you will need while you leave and go out on excursions. Now, depending on how long, you will also need a underwear, a nice outfit for going out, a swimsuit, and some standard everyday clothes. In reality, you won't need that much many hostels offer laundry service for cheap. Also bring some liquid soap or small detergent, can always come in handy if you forget underwear (oops),
Don't be afraid to talk to people, the people at your hostel are the best way to start. This is critical to making the most of your trip. We are social creatures and how else will you see outside your perspective if you don't talk to others?!? They are also traveling and looking for other people to travel with. You can also end up splitting transportation costs while adventuring. Talk to locals as well! Learn about the places you are visiting beyond a tourist's eye. Listen to them and learn about how life is outside of where you are from. Do not judge or invalidate their views, just listen and take it in. Overall be open to new experiences.
What other tips do you have?
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