Solo Travelling? Meet your new travelling companion…… | Real Gap Experience Blog

Solo Travelling? Meet your new travelling companion……

Solo Travelling?

Meet your new travelling companion…… your Bag!

This month we’ve partnered up with our mates at Nomad to give away a massive prize. Haven’t entered yet? Head here!

In the meantime, our pals at Nomad have written a blog post for us outlining their experiences. Thanks guys!

I have travelled and explored in many ways. With my partner, as part of an expedition, with friends. The list goes on but nothing compares to solo travel! It throws you head first into the culture of the host country and will give you the greatest opportunity to make life-long friends from around the world.

When you’re out there it’s just you and the big wide world…. Or is it? Suddenly your bag and its contents become your new best friend and there are key elements that you should consider taking with you that will greatly help make your journey a success.

1.       Your Bag – keep it as small as possible. This no longer is something you want to lug around and is now your travelling companion that carries everything you need for your comfort and entertainment. The front opening type travel bags (link to ) (also available with wheels) will allow you to set up home quickly wherever you are.

2.       Day sacks – personally I prefer a shoulder bag ( link to ) rather than a small back pack. For most cultures this will help you to blend in and look less like a tourist.

3.        Luggage Security – a big issue! There is no one to watch your bag now so having the means to secure it is very important. A lock and chain is invaluable. Most losses happen when you are distracted or fall asleep when waiting for a bus or train. Simply securing your bag to your chair will put off those opportunistic thieves.

4.       Valuables security - Like your bag there is no one to watch your passport, cash and valuables think about the times when these may be away from you and nobody to take care of them. A good example would be swimming whether around a pool or on the beach. For these times a waterproof pouch would be essential to enable you to keep your valuables with you. These are readily available, just make sure they are 100% waterproof even when submerged and not just water resistant.

5.       Entertainment – going out to eat, in a bar at night, on a long journey. These are the times when you can feel the most alone as you will be surrounded by others. Modern technology is great and you can easily hide yourself away on your mobile (as long as you have a signal) or failing that in a good book. But what if you want to be open to approach and what is going on around you? The following should be considered for a heads-up approach :


Crossword books


Writing a travel journal

Sketch pad

6.       Medical kit (link to ) - it’s important that this is comprehensive. If the worst happens there will be no one to pop out to pick up some medicine for you. Try to pack enough medication for a couple of days’ treatment, especially for traveller’s diarrhoea!

7.       Home comforts – I always pack a small cooker and carry some coffee to create that “home away from home” feeling. It’s important that you take with you any home comforts that will fit in your bag.

8.       A torch – try to get one that can also be turned into a small lantern. I love the new LED AAA Maglite (link to ). It’s an extremely bright hand held torch that by simply taking off the head and attaching it on to the bottom of the torch, turns it into a free standing candle light. Great when you are staying somewhere where the electricity is intermittent. Being in the dark on your own is no fun.

9.       To learn - an instrument. It’s a great ice breaker and also great for self-entertainment.

10.   To learn – the language. For most countries around the world going away with the basic words needed to start a conversation, ask directions or simply say hello will help to break the ice and show the willing to engage. You will be surprised how much the local people will welcome you in if you try to communicate in their language even if you get it totally wrong. Definitely pack a dictionary - essential when you have no signal and download a language translator app for when you do.

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