Are you sick of the one week vacations you take twice a year? Would you rather not spend your time in huge hotel chains that do not represent the real culture of the country you are in? Traditional vacations are outdated and no longer excite me as much. Maybe you feel the same way.
Travelling for one to two months can be fun and there are many different reasons why to do so. This is a short guide on everything related to travelling solo for a few months. I focus on creating a trip that is as cheap as possible while having minimal luggage with you to provide the highest flexibility.
Planning THE TRIP
WHERE TO GO
First of all you have to determine where you would like to go. Ask yourself what the most important aspect of travelling for you is. Is it warm weather? Is it a specific sight like wanting to see Big Ben in London or the Pyramids in Egypt? First think about what you want to do, how you want to feel, what you want to see and then select an appropriate location.
Especially as a female solo traveler you should do enough research about the area you want to visit. Is it safe there? How is the political environment in the country? What kind of threats could I possibly face?
Furthermore, if you want to learn a few tips about finding cheap flights, click here.
WHERE TO STAY
The second most important question is where you should stay. There are many options, especially if luxury and comfort are not your top priority. Some people even camp in nature while travelling through a country.
Until now I mostly stayed in big cities. This means the cheapest accommodations are hostels. I recommend this type of accommodation to almost anyone because there you will find like-minded and interesting people from all over the world whom you can share tips and experiences with.
This is great especially when you travel alone. You might even make some friends for life. I certainly have. In addition you will have all the important facilities right there and in most cases even a kitchen you can use to cook for yourself.
Contrarily, I bet many people have heard of Couchsurfing. To be honest I am not a big fan of this method because it can get dangerous for solo travelers and it is very uncertain whether or not you will find someone to host you.
Lugguage – what to take with me?
While travelling for almost 2 months, I only took a small 10 kg suitcase and a back bag that was meant for hiking with me on the plane. I recommend you take a suitcase with wheels instead of a back bag so you do not need to carry all the weight on your shoulders. A back bag is simply not the best option when travelling in cities or from city to city.
Furthermore we want to focus on packing only essentials to keep the weight and costs of the luggage as low as possible.
Checklist of things you’ll definitely need:
- Use only soap to wash body and hair as it doesn’t take up much space, lasts longer and can’t spill in your luggage.
- A second pair of shoes is essential, no matter where you travel to.
- Don’t forget an hair dryer as most cheap accommodations don’t provide one.
- Take 3 towels with you (Hair, Body, Beach) and a small one for your face to use in the mornings and evenings.
- Don’t forget about a nail clipper or file.
- Depending on where you travel to, you might consider bringing a rain jacket or umbrella.
Tips and important things to remember
1. You will need to wash your clothes at least once a week. Some hostels offer this service but sometimes you will need to use a laundromat. In Spain I calculated 5-8 Euros per week for that.
2. Always keep a bit of emergency money in your luggage. I learnt that the hard way when my card was not working for 3 days and I had almost no cash on me.
3. If you can, stay longer than a week in one place as you will get a different feel of how people actually live there.
4. Please never forget, that life is an adventure.