If you haven’t noticed, the blog’s been a little bit quiet over here. But that’s because I’ve been travelling alone for the first time in North America! Well, specifically California. Now, if you’ve been following me on Instagram or Twitter you’ve probably been spammed by me with it all. And tbh I’m not really that sorry at all.
I also noticed Honestly Russell has done a post similar as well recently, on her tips for flying alone, so I’d deffo check that out as well.
I had a great time. The whole travelling alone thing was a little bit daunting at first, considering how I often end up places I shouldn’t. But once I got to San Francisco (my first stop) I was completely fine. The nerves went away and I felt well… pretty strong and independent (fist pump emoji).
And store it in your luggage. I didn’t do this and ended up using a million plastic bottles and subsequently destroying the planet. Sorry Mother Earth. Staying hydrated is so important, especially on holiday if it’s a warm place, as you’ll be more dehydrated than normal and won’t even realise it.
I did bring a first aid kit, which idiot-proofed myself a little bit, but there were some things missing.
Bring bug/insect repellent, just do it. Even if you think you don’t need it, chances are a different country will have different bugs and now matter how developed, mosquitoes are a thing.
Bring sudocrem and after-sun. Why sudocrem? Mainly cos it solves most of my skin problems and doesn’t cost much. If you get itchy skin from bug bites, really bad sunburn (like I did) or eczema, sudocrem is a life saver. It’s a mini antiseptic but also super hydrating.
And bring all the obvious stuff as well. Like plasters, ibuprofen and stuff. AND also if you have Asthma or any long-term health condition you kind of ignore (like asthma for me), just bring your meds Jesus Christ. Trust me, I had a mini CVS meltdown in Compton LA cos I had the worst sunburn ever in my life and couldn’t find the after-sun. Don’t do what I did when travelling alone for the first time.
And just accept it. Whether it’s someone stealing your toothpaste, toothbrush and facewash (which legit happened in LA), you’re gonna look like crap and/or feel gross. Now maybe I’m just particularly harsh on myself, but yeah I don’t feel great after a while. Just ignore it, and carry on doing what you’re doing. Nobody cares.
Normally, this isn’t an essential thing for me. If I’m with friends or family, who cares you know? But I personally feel a lot more secure travelling alone with some sort of back up in case anything goes to shit. I know that I can use Uber abroad, Google Maps and access emails – it makes things so much easier. And for me with EE it only cost 56p to get my data in the U.S, so I’d definitely look into it, if you’re travelling alone for the first time.
This includes, but not limited to – passports, debit cards, driving licence, VISA (or ESTA), plane tickets. My boyfriend gave me a pretty quick rule for this, treat what you own as ‘if you only own or can show one of it, you don’t own it at all’. Essentially, you have no evidence of what’s been stolen or you’ve lost, if something happens. Treat two as one, and one as nothing. Especially for your passport.
When travelling alone for the first time, bring a portable charger. This ties in with the above point, but I always knew that I’d never just run out of battery, because hey ho, I’ve got a portable charger. They’re so useful and also you rarely need to charge them if you get a good one. I’d totally recommend. I’m not saying rely on your phone completely. But yes, phones in 2017 definitely help for security purposes.
I’ve never really understood why people get weird about it, but most people are nice and will help you. Heck you might even get to hang out with them for a bit, because you’re on your own. (Obviously be a bit wary and don’t do anything stupid!)
Locals know the best places for food and I found I got a bit more respect travelling alone and people were more likely to help than other times. Because they knew I was on my own.
How much did I bring to California? Admittedly quite a bit, but I’d been saving for years for it and I wanted to go ‘all out’.
Keeping reserves of money in different places is a good idea, as it safeguards you. I would also write down your bank’s international number and keep it in your hotel room or place, so you can easily ring them from somewhere (payphone or whatever) in case it goes to shit. They’re usually very good about that sort of thing.
Okay give yourself a big pat on the pat, because honestly it’s scary booking a solo trip. I’d honestly recommend anybody to do it. You learn a lot about yourself, you meet so many more locals/people and you just get to experience it more on your own terms.
Have you ever travelled alone? Or would you like to?
I’m Eleanor, a UK Manchester based Lifestyle & Beauty Blogger. I write about beauty products, feminism, mental health and my adventures in the big city of MCR.