There has been a large increase in people wishing (or needing) to travel on their own. In fact in 2015, more than 1.7 million Aussie travellers decided to go it alone.
The accessibility and opportunity for young people to travel after many years of study has seen a growing trend in young Australians jetting off in search of the freedom and flexibility solo travelling can bring.
As a parent, it can both delight and distress you, so whether you’re looking at travelling or you’re the white-knuckled parent waiting at home to hear from the travellers, here are some tips to ensure single and young travellers stay safe.
Kerry Moss from Quadrant Australia tells us that she advises solo travellers to make sure they have a backup. It’s wise to travel with a mobile phone to stay connected, cash in case of emergency, some basic knowledge of the local language and an understanding of the laws of travel.
It’s important travellers stay connected while travelling. Having a mobile phone and a suitable plan (or access to Wi-fi) whilst away will ensure family and friends are just a phone call away. It will also allow access to valuable tools like maps, internet banking and social media. Make sure you look into the costs before you travel though. You definitely do not want to use your mobile phone in the same way as you do back home, or you will be in for a severe case of bill-shock when you eventually get home.
Making the smallest effort with the local language will make the world of difference. Learning one or two common phrases will help travellers communicate with locals and get their way around places such as train stations or tourist attractions. Being able to communicate effectively when alone in a foreign country helps put your mind at ease. If travellers can learn a small selection of the local language, then everyone finds it easier to communicate. If all else fails, there are plenty of phrase books or apps that can help ease you in.
Cash and Cards
There are endless options for travellers today when it comes to carrying money. Some are better than others, however. Generally the dedicated travel money cards are a safe and secure way to spend funds whilst overseas in foreign currency. It is important to check out the fees and conversion rates before committing. Travellers should also always carry some cash on them in case of emergency, or in case technology lets them down.
With so many online options available now for accommodation, tours and travel plans, meeting new people and trying new things has become part of the adventure. When travelling solo though, it is important that you double check the authenticity of the people, the tour or the place you plan to lay your head. No need to be paranoid, but be diligent and take advantage of the many online forums that discuss personal experiences, and don’t put yourself in vulnerable positions that don’t have a Plan B.
If you aren’t a believer of the benefits of travel insurance, then ask someone who has needed it! Better still, ask someone who needed it, who didn’t have it and then ask them how much their unexpected bill was. As the saying goes, if you can’t afford travel insurance, then you can’t afford to travel. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind and for the safety net of having someone to rescue you if things don’t go to plan.
If you’d like to know more about travelling or talk to a friendly team of travel experts, drop in to see the girls at Quadrant Australia in Vernon St. With more than 25 years of experience, they can guide you through creating the holiday that suits you.