Having travelled extensively, I have encountered a few hiccups and therefore learnt a lot along the way. Here are 8 top tips for a stress free start to your solo holiday.
- Check for road closures the night before you travel
If you are planning on driving to the airport, check for any road closures in advance. I recently came close to missing a flight as one of the roads I needed to use was closed for maintenance until 5am. Not a problem if you have to drive late in the morning but, it would be if you were planning to use the road in the early hours.
- Check the local laws and customs of your destination
Some countries have a different set of local laws to the country you reside in. To be safe, check the local laws and customs of your destination so you have the heads up before you travel.
- Invest in a 4 Wheeled Suitcase
When travelling alone, you don’t want to be dragging a heavy suitcase along that is difficult to manoeuvre. I invested in a 4 wheeled suitcase and was amazed at how light and easy to move it was. As a solo traveller you want to be able to look and feel confident. Buying a new case was a relatively small change but I feel so much more self-assured walking along.
- Personalise your suitcase
I don’t know how many times I checked in with a black suitcase. When I got to baggage reclaim, I felt as if everyone on my flight had one as well! Now, not only is my brightly coloured suitcase on 4 wheels, I personalise it. Try tying something around the handle, a simple hairband will do. Or put a few stickers on it, anything that will set it apart from a duplicate one. This simple tip makes it so much easier to spot your case amongst the many others whizzing round the conveyor belt.
- The Invaluable Rucksack
As a solo traveller, these are great for the airport to keep your hands free and double up as a beach or shopping bag at your destination too. I pack a regular bag in my suitcase so I have it for the evenings. The contents of my handbag easily fit in my rucksack as well as items necessary for my flight. Duty free purchases usually fit too. Being laden with multiple bags is difficult if there is a lack of airport seating, going to the bathroom or even walking around the shops. The rucksack allows you to keep both hands free too. Again, this is just another small change that has helped me when travelling solo.
- Allow Extra Time to Get to the Airport or Stay in an Airport Hotel
Following an incident on the motorway and catching my flight by the skin of my teeth, I now allow a lot of extra time to get there. I use the extra time to have a meal at the airport and start my holiday relaxed. At least you know you have been well fed before the flight, since food onboard doesn’t always have the best reputation.
If your flight is very early and you are overseas for a while, it can work out cheaper to stay in an airport hotel the night before. The hotel often allows you to leave the car parked for the duration of your holiday, included in the price This can sometimes work out cheaper than airport parking. It also gives you a little more time to sleep before your flight too. Win Win!
- `Pre-book Your Seat
Prices to pre-book seats vary depending on their location on the aeroplane. I recently pre-booked an aisle seat by the exit on a BA flight. It cost an additional £60 but, I had an incredible amount of legroom. As a solo traveller, I don’t like having to disturb people so I will always choose an aisle seat. Seats by the exit meant that the people beside me didn’t have to disturb me when they left their seat either.
- Check in Online
Again this is something that is so straightforward to do and it’s one less thing to do at the airport if you get a little delayed. You can usually do this 24 hours in advance. Once you have checked in online, your e-ticket can then be emailed to you, sent to your phone or collected at the airport.
- The Car Park
If you are parking at the airport, make a note of where you have parked on the back of your ticket, as well as on your phone. Note if there is a landmark or bus stop nearby. Because if you are like me, you think you will remember exactly where you have parked, but actually don’t!
- Worried About What Might Go Wrong?
Are you worried about certain things going wrong? If so, think about how you would solve them if they happened, before you go. This helps ease the anxiety.
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