So unless you're not an active reader of my blog you'd know I've just got back from the beautiful city of Berlin in Germany and I went to Berlin on my own without an itinerary and had pretty much no clue what to expect has I didn't know too much about Berlin other than the Berlin Wall and East Side Gallery. But having a total YOLO moment it was my first solo trip and I can't wait to do some real backpacking around the world on my own!
There are loads of things that I found out on my own while I did my little trip and I'm sure I'll learn so much more as I visit new destinations but these are my top tips
I'm pretty shy until I get to know someone, but sometimes in life you need to jump out of your comfort zone and just say hello to people. I didn't speak to too many people in Berlin but staying in a hostel helped loads, it made me have to speak to people.
I found that some larger companies and some hotels charge ALOT for being a single person in a double room, I also found that sometimes paying for a 2nd person is actually cheaper than paying the single supplement charge, this won't always work but I found it did with a few hotels chains. Hostels are always so cheap and you can find one in some European destinations for as little at £1 a night or you can take a look on line and find someone to share a room with.
I took my selfie stick with me while I was in Berlin, I couldn't live without it. Although the quality didn't match my DSLR camera it was good to get a wider shot without needing to ask a stranger to hold your very expensive camera/phone.
Get travel insurance
I know you need this with every holiday but I honestly believe you need it that little bit more when you're travelling alone. Last summer I forgot to get travel insurance for one of my holidays and I hurt myself so much that holiday. It was like my body knew I didn't have insurance and made me get eaten alive by mosquitoes, drop my DSLR on my toe and fall over. I got annual travel insurance this year which will of course cover me for a year. But you should always read the T&Cs are it can often become void with some activities.
Don't eat junk food
In London I'd never go to anywhere with standards higher than McDonald's alone to eat. I feel out of place and a little awkward when I say 'table for one' or if they ask if it is a table for two but I've just arrived early. But living off junk food while away isn't good for you and you should just bite the bullet and eat alone. It is worth it for the delicious food.
I found going alone made it easier for me to have an early start. I'd never wake up before 10am if I was abroad with friends and family because you drag each other down but with no one to share the bathroom with and no one snoring away while I got ready it was nice to get up and seize the day. I got so much in getting up early and you can too.
Think about how safe you are in your home town and double it! I'm always slightly on edge in London. I know where my purse, phone and camera are at all times and clutch on to them with dear life while it is busy and I'm in pickpocket hotspots. When abroad, depending on the country I'd double that safety standard to making sure I protect my drinks so I don't get spiked, I don't have others looking out for me if I turn my back for a split second. I believe in some countries you have to carry your passport on you at all times and if the police ask to see it you'll have to show it on demand (can't remember what country or where I read that) so making sure you have a photocopy of your passport and your family/friends back home have a copy is always a bonus. I also make sure I have a copy and my family have a copy of my travel insurance encase anything happens.
Book at least your first nights accommodation. I remember reading in Thailand for your visa you need at least one nights accommodation already booked. If you're feeling brave enough to wing the rest of your holiday feel free but have at least one night already booked so you don't have to run around panicking as soon as you land.