Tips for solo travellers with some ways to save money!
When heading off on a new solo adventure, it’s always nice to do your research and get some second hand knowledge and tips from other travellers. Stories and experiences told by others can both inspire us. They can point us in the right direction to ensure we get the best out of our experience as possible. I read blog posts and articles with recommendations and tips before I set off; now I want to share some of the things I’ve picked up since my travels. I am going to share 5 with you now, and another 5 in a future post. Enjoy reading!
1- Use apps to help you meet like minded people and fellow travellers
Since solo travelling I have used some great apps for both meeting new people and to use as a platform to share tips. Backpackr (http://www.backpackr.org/) is a fab app where you can post ideas and questions for fellow travellers to help you with. You can reach out to people nearby, and find travel buddies. Although I have not met anyone from Backpackr yet, I have used it to chat to people who I now have on Facebook. It is fun and interesting to witness other people’s adventures and follow their journeys. I hope to use it in the future to find people to travel with who have the same plans as me! This is a fairly new app but it is continuing to grow. Once more people use it the better it will get.
Another great app to use is called Meetup (http://www.meetup.com/) and it does just as the name suggests. This handy little app allows you to select your hobbies and interests, and then it finds events and social gatherings in your area. You can attend to either learn something new, make some friends, or just have some fun! For example I have been using this app since I came to Melbourne and on there I have been interested in photography lessons, trivia nights, and even Punk Yoga! I would definitely recommend checking it out if you’re looking to socialise and meet new people.
2- Check out Facebook groups
If you’re heading to a new destination, I would definitely recommend searching for Facebook groups you can join, such as “Melbourne Backpackers” or “Backpackers in Sydney”. These groups are always full of other solo travellers. Many people are always postings ideas for days out, sharing events, accommodation tips and rentals, and posting things for sale. This can really save you money and is a good way to meet up with new people!
3- Ensure you research your hostel
If you’re riding solo on your travelling journey, chances are that you want to meet friends and find other people to hang out with. If you end up staying far out from all of the action or in a boring hostel your chances of this are slim. Make sure you do your research and find a lively and sociable hostel. I would advise a smaller hostel with a bar so you’ve got a communal place to hang out. A hostel that organises activities is also a fantastic way to meet new people and have some fun without feeling lonely.
When booking a hostel I usually look on Hostelworld (http://www.hostelworld.com/). Then I check out the most popular ones and read the reviews before making a decision. Also try booking directly with the hostel or at least comparing the prices to those listed with a booking agent; sometimes you can get a discount booking direct!
4- Join reward schemes
This one is more of a money saving tip, but I would advise signing up for airline reward / point schemes, hostel memberships, and booking agents (if possible). I am a member of the Air Asia Big Points scheme. This is handy as I have flown with them 5 times this year, and I have also recently joined the Qantas Frequent Flyer Programme. These schemes are free and if you use them a lot you can really reap in some benefits. I have used Booking.com so many times to book hotels that I am now a Genius Member. I receive discounts where applicable for booking accommodation.
5- Use Uber and Grabcar
Another money saving tip is to download and use the Uber and Grabcar apps (where possible). Of course this is not necessarily a money saving tip in all destinations, but they have definitely benefited me many times. When I used these in Malaysia and Bali they were so much cheaper than a taxi. For example in Bali I paid the equivalent of around 5AUD for a journey that was around 12AUD with a taxi. Another good thing about these services is that the journeys are tracked so it’s probably a bit safer than a standard taxi, especially for a solo traveller. You can also see the journeys once travelled, and view the estimated fare before you book so there are a few benefits.
I would love to hear your tips so please do comment below and share your thoughts with the rest of us!
Thanks for reading.