So, you’re at that age where your parents don’t bring you along on their vacations anymore, or you want to go somewhere on your own. Lets be honest, the old man can get to be a little bit of a downer when you want to spend endless hours in the mall, or if you want to see the nightlife of a new city. Here are a few tips for the newly solo traveler.
1. Prepare, prepare, prepare.
This is the most important tip. There are things that are completely out of your control when traveling, such as delays or cancellations. However, you can prepare for almost everything else. In your carry on, have a ziploc bag with any prescription medications you may have, as well as tylenol, and/or advil. Personally I always carry an anti-nauseant as well as an anti-histamine, it’s always better to be safe than sorry on trips.
In another ziploc keep any liquids, I usually just carry hand sanitizer and a small tube of toothpaste. Keep all papers together, such as your itenerary, your boarding passes, your passport, your travel insurance, and if you’re on the way back keep a list of what you’ve bought along with the receipts. Before you reach the airport, either to initiate your journey or when switching flights, take off all metal, it makes it a lot easier to go through security rather than having to strip all your accessories while in line. For long flights I wear comfortable shoes, but have slip on sandals in my carry on so I can be more comfortable on the airplane. Make sure everything is organized well so you never have to search for long.
2. Arrive early.
Try to arrive at the airport 2-3 hours early. It’s always better to have extra time than to be crunched for time. Go through security, find your gate, then relax, look around, watch planes land and take off. Your vacation starts the minute you step into the airport, enjoy every minute.
3. Check the boards.
Check them once you get through security. Check them after you go to the washroom. Check them again 30 minutes later. Flights change gates and you don’t want to get caught off guard if/when it happens.
4. Do NOT stress.
Theres never a reason to stress when flying. Stay calm, there is always a solution to any problem, and it isn’t very often you come across problems. BUT, if you do, that is why you prepared so much. The airport will help work with you to reach a solution, but if you’re on edge or panicking, it will put everyone in a bad mood, and it changes the energy of your vacation.
5. Get snacks.
You can’t bring them through security, but you can get them on the other side. Get some chips, fruit, chocolate, candy, whatever your comfort food is. Airplane food is mediocre at best, and usually are small servings. Stay prepared and don’t end up hungry.
Constantly sip water. Airports and airplanes are very dry. They will dehydrate you very quickly. Stay ahead of the dehydration by drinking more water than you usually do. Keep in mind that caffiene dehydrates, so, instead of going for a coke when you want a sugary beverage while flying, opt for juices or non-caffeinated sodas.
Remember, this is your vacation. Stay calm, stay prepared, and stay hydrated. Personally, after traveling countless times with others, then doing this trip on my own, I prefer to travel alone. Enjoy the peaceful quiet of your thoughts. It isn’t nearly as scary as it seems.