The top five destinations for the solo traveller
Get prepared for your next adventure with some essential travelling tips from the Editor of Life Begins At Magazine, Alana Lowes.
Travelling on your own has to be the ultimate in self-indulgence. You can go where you want, when you want and the emerging trend of travelling solo can empower you to travel more often (because everyone else is, so why on earth not!). Editor of Life Begins At magazine, Alana Lowes, shares her top five destinations for the solo traveller and also some essential travelling tips.
There are many reasons why you might find yourself riding solo on your next holiday. Maybe you want to explore more culturally adventurous destinations than your family and friends, or perhaps you just can’t shake the travel bug and love being on the road. Now is your time to take that trip you’ve always wanted to and the best part is - Lendlease villages pride themselves on safety and security, meaning you’ll be able to lock-up-and-leave at a moment’s notice without worry or hesitation!
So the first question is where should you go?
Here are five places that should be on your solo traveller hit list:
New York, USA
The big apple is definitely a city to visit on your own. With a plethora of museums, galleries, restaurants and cafés, booking a solo ticket is no problem, because New York is the most interesting character you’ll ever meet. Visit Manhattan for must-see attractions like the Metropolitan Museum and American Museum of Natural History. If you’re in need of a good coffee fix (good coffee being the key words) grab a five-minute cab to Oslo Coffee Roasters or if you’re up for a stroll, it’s only 30-minutes from The Met. Also, if you have the good thought to plan ahead there are some uber-good tour discounts to snap up. Just ask at the hotel desk a few days beforehand to book in. Ready for more? Spend a day in Brooklyn or hop on one of New York’s many tour buses and taste food from around the globe in Queens. This vibrant and unpredictable city will entertain you every second of the way. You will never see the end of New York!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
Let yourself get “Lost In Translation” in Tokyo, one of the world’s most intriguing and engaging cities. A captivating mixture of buzzing retail precincts interspersed with tranquil gardens and castles, it’s the perfect place to explore at your leisure with a few stops to take a breath in the magnificent parks. Not to mention the fresh seafood! However, there’s something reassuring about exploring a new place with someone at your side, whether it’s a guide or fellow travellers. When travelling to destinations where language or cultural customs can be a barrier, a group tour offers both security and companionship. Besides, you’re going to need someone to take a pic to show the family when you get home, and a tour guide is essentially an unofficial photographer.
Tokyo is a shopping mecca
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A rich melting pot of flavours, Malaysian cuisine ranks among the most delicious and tastiest in Asia – and one of the best places to experience it all is the country’s capital, Kuala Lumpur. The city is a culinary heaven for any solo traveller. With a palate underpinned by a wide diversity of influences including Chinese, Indian and Portuguese, not to mention the many spices characteristic of South East Asian food, you will find yourself planning your itinerary around your next dish. In between your meals, there are plenty of colourful temples to feed your mind and soul – Malaysia really is a feast for the senses.
The breathtaking Malaysian temples are splashed in colour
Iceland is one of the easiest places for the solo traveller. It’s gorgeous and an active traveller’s dream. Mountains, glaciers, volcanoes, mud pots, fjords, sea cliffs and the Aurora Borealis — the land is stunning and looks like it came right out of a storybook. If seeing the Northern Lights is high on your bucket list then you’ll want to make the trip during February, March, September or October, as these are typically the best months to catch this force of nature in all its glory. It’s also ranked as one of the safest countries in the world. This means that you can put your worries about travelling solo aside. Reykjavik has a small-town vibe, it’s practically crime-free and there are amazing attractions like the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle, the Ring Road, and pristine Fjords – which are best enjoyed from the water. The scenery truly has to be seen to be believed.
The Aurora Borealis is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and Iceland has front row seats
Auckland, New Zealand
Our closest neighbour, New Zealand is a great testing ground for first time solo travellers. Auckland has enough similarities with Oz to make you feel right at home, but with plenty of unique and interesting experiences on offer to remind you that you are indeed in another country. With two breathtaking harbours surrounded by picturesque hills and farmland, Auckland is geographically blessed. If you are feeling a little adventurous, take a scenic half-hour ferry ride to Waiheke Island and spoil yourself with a stroll along white-sand beaches followed by a cellar door tasting at one of the Island’s award-winning vineyards. Like Aussies, Kiwis are some of the friendliest people so you are guaranteed to have no trouble making new friends.
Waitematā Harbour is the main access by sea to Auckland, should you cruise over
Solo Travel Tips:
Book solo-friendly accommodation. Book a homestay, hotel, hostel, B&B or a small inn that is particularly good for solo travellers.
Be patient. It can be difficult arriving in a new city alone. Take your time. Take a day to relax, watch the city function and settle in.
Stay low-key. Don’t flash jewellery or expensive cameras and electronics. Be discreet to avoid unwanted attention.
Organise technology. One way to make booking your own restaurants and tours easier whilst abroad, is to get a travel sim from the post office. They can load your prepaid money onto it and help you pop it in your phone, so you’re ready to use it the minute you walk off the plane (or ship). Also remember to get a travel adapter to charge your phone in whichever country you’re travelling to!
Know which way is up. Study a map of your destination. Get to know it and gain a sense of direction using major landmarks like Central Park in New York City. This will help you explore cities safely.
Establish a routine. Visit the same café, fruit stall or restaurant every day. You’ll get to know the people and they’ll start to watch out for you.
And last but not least…
Smile. It means the same thing in every language. It means you are happy, friendly, approachable and kind. A smile opens many conversations.
For more exciting and informative travel tips head to www.lifebeginsat.com.au