Long gone are the times when people used to wait for their friends to agree to visit a particular destination on holidays. Now is the time of solo travelers, and for all the right reasons. While the thought of traveling alone can look exciting to many, it does bring along various troubling thoughts for beginners.
If you’re someone who has been lately planning to travel solo for a long, we’ve got good news for you. Solo travelers should start their traveling journey with a visit to the United Kingdom (UK), as it has been regarded as the safest travel destination for people traveling solo.
While the UK has a cosmopolitan population, you will rarely encounter a local communication problem. So are these things enough to help a person prepare for a solo trip to the UK? We’ve curated an epic guide listing all the things solo travelers should be mindful of while preparing for their travel. So let’s head to the crucial tips shared below.
1. Learn the Local Lingo
While the United Kingdom has a primarily English-speaking population, it is best to learn some of the local lingoes. The typical English would work perfectly with the UK crowd, but if you want to gel in with the local people and explore more about how they live, local lingo can help a lot.
For example, instead of asking your native tour guide out for a cup of tea in simple English, you could ask them, “Fancy a cuppa?” This phrase means asking the other person for a cup of tea. There are various similar lingos that you should learn to get to know the locals better, and it will make your solo travel really smooth and pleasant.
2. Apply for Visa on Time
A setback of traveling solo is there is no one to remind you of the travel preparations, and it includes timely applying for a travel visa. No matter how much you’ve prepared for your UK trip, it can all be stalled if you fail to apply for the UK tourist visa for Indians on time.
You should generally apply for the visa at least three months prior to the scheduled travel date, as visa approvals are not instant. Moreover, if your visa gets rejected for any reason or gets delayed approval, you’ll have enough time in hand for smooth travel. But for it to happen, you have to be mindful of a timely visa application.
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3. Avoid Making any Last Moment Changes in Itinerary
One thing every solo traveler must avoid is making any last-minute changes. Since you’ll be traveling alone, last moment changes can turn out to be really frustrating and intimidating. To avoid experiencing such situations, always be ready with your UK itinerary, at least a month before the scheduled travel date.
Once the itinerary is prepared, review it with fresh eyes after a week or so to avoid last moment alterations. Pay special attention to avoid changing the flight and hotel bookings, as other changes can still be managed with ease.
4. Make Advance Hotel & Flight Bookings
The last thing you would really want to see on your first solo trip is hotels with no rooms available, or worse, no seats available on the UK flight. If you don’t want your UK solo trip to end even before starting, always make advance booking for flight tickets and hotels.
The best part of making advance bookings is getting great deals and discounts on both. You should not take this point lightly if you’re planning to travel to the United Kingdom during the peak travel season. Start looking for flight and hotel deals on reputed travel websites at least three months before the scheduled travel date for a hassle-free travel experience.
5. Look for Travel & Attraction Passes to Save Money
The United Kingdom has many landmarks and places of attraction for people with varied interests. Whether you’re a history buff or adventure explorer, you’ll undoubtedly find various options to explore. But if you want to save while exploring the United Kingdom, you must look for attractions and travel passes that can help you save money on the regular ticket prices.
You can find various reputed travel websites that offer transport passes, activity passes, and landmark UK passes at a significant discount. You can also find a discount deal on the local tour guide online, and the passes will save your money as well as your time.
6. Double Check Reviews of the Places You’re Planning to Visit
Traveling solo in the United Kingdom should not be troublesome, but it is still best to double-check the reviews you’ve put in your itinerary. A better way to find whether a touristic place is safe and worth visiting is by seeking unbiased reviews from fellow solo travelers online.
You can join online travel communities or Facebook groups created exclusively for travelers, especially solo travelers, to get reliable reviews. The best part of such groups and communities is getting answers to your other travel queries. So make sure you join enough travel groups to seek unbiased and helpful place reviews.
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7. Get a Good Travel Insurance
Getting insurance is not mandatory for international travel, but it is recommended, and it can come to your rescue when you least expect it. Getting covered under an international travel insurance policy will get you help from the insurer regarding financial loss arising from baggage theft, medical emergency, change in travel dates, missed flight, loss of passport, etc. Not all travel insurance policies are exactly the same, so you should check what is covered and what is not by double-checking the policy papers.
8. Be Mindful of Your Baggage & Safety
Even though the UK is considered a safe travel destination, it can be difficult to vouch for millions residing in a country. If you’re traveling solo, you should pay special attention to your baggage and individual safety since you won’t have any known understandings during your entire trip. A great way to avoid any unpleasant experience is by always carrying the contact details of the nearby police station of the area you’re planning to visit.
A quick online search will give you all the contact details necessary. You can also keep posting on your social media handles to keep your loved ones informed of where you last were in case any emergency arises. These little measures can go a long way in making your trip a lot safer and more pleasant.
9. Consult Seasoned Solo Travelers Before Hitchhiking
Everyone craves a little adventure while traveling to any destination. If you’re all geared up to visit the UK and rely on hitchhiking to explore remote places away from the main city, make sure you take enough caution before boarding any random vehicle. Hitchhiking is pretty popular throughout the country, but not every vehicle will be a safe option for you to consider.
When you stop vehicles for hitchhiking, always try to analyze the way a person talks and his body language to ascertain whether you should take the ride or not. A little caution can make a massive difference to your overall solo trip, so make sure you exercise it.
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10. Pack Less Luggage or Only What’s Absolutely Necessary
Traveling with lesser luggage is a great way to travel worry-free as a solo traveler. You wouldn’t want yourself dragging multiple baggages alone while exploring new places throughout the country. Carry what’s necessary, and try to create unique looks by mix-matching the same set of clothes and accessories. It will help you pack less without compromising your looks. Another great benefit of traveling with lesser luggage is you get to shop more and bring it back without worrying about the extra load.
11. Fly Worry-free and Create Memorable Moments as a Solo Traveler
Traveling solo comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, but if you take care of all the points shared above, you’ll rarely encounter a difficult moment during your travel. In addition to other points discussed above, be sure you’re open to unexpected encounters. The more you’re prepared about suddenness, the better.