Travelling alone can be a frightening thing. If someone said to me that at the end of January, I would have booked myself flights to Australia and New Zealand, I would have laughed in their face. Did I have doubts leading up to the very day? Yes. Did I want to back out? All the time. Did I have a panic attack on the flights? Not one single one. For the first time in my life, I started to believe in myself. If I can do it, anyone can..
Your 20’s are your selfish years and going travelling will give you that confidence in life that you never thought you would have. Figuring out where you want to travel to is the main aspect; a lot of solo travellers tend to go to Australia, Asia, Thailand and multiple other places – so do your research. Have a nosy at old high school friends on Facebook at where they have been, look at travel blogs, Google until your head has turned into mush. Once you have some sort of idea of where, then the real planning can begin…
I always knew that I would book my flights via a travel agent. I went through the co-op simply because if I booked it online, I would panic and knowing my luck, something would go dreadfully wrong and all hell would break loose. The travel agent lady who I booked with was extremely helpful and despite being utterly nervous, I reassured myself that I was very capable of flying to Australia by myself. Once the flights are done, focus on your hotel/hostel in the area where you want to stay.
I’m very lucky in the aspect that my former boss is Australian so when I asked him if it was okay that I had a month off work, he said no. He then told me to take two months off and to fly with Emirates. That, I didn’t expect. I had never flown with the airline before – only Virgin and EasyJet. What I will say is that they were extremely helpful from day one – I tweeted them SO many questions about luggage, travelling alone, airport security etc and I just knew that I would be very well looked after.
I flew Manchester to Dubai to Sydney to Canberra. Google the airport stops. Go on images and have a look around. Watch documentaries (especially with Dubai) about the terminal. Watch YouTube videos. I can not stress this enough. I was absolutely petrified about flying into Dubai – I’m 25, I’m female and all I wanted was a security guard to help me but you know what? I didn’t need any help because I knew exactly where I needed to go as I’d watched videos and it is signposted really well. Get to your gate the second you get through security and then you can relax.
You may have an allowance on your hand luggage and suitcase BUT that doesn’t stop you from packing a few home comforts. I stupidly travelled to Australia in jeans (crazy, I know) but I had one of my favourite jumpers on which comforted me throughout the journey. I also packed fluffy socks which kept me horribly cold feet relatively warm. If you have something that you know you will want during the flight, get it. Didn’t buy chocolate at the airport? Tell the hostess that you feel light headed – it may be cheeky but it works. I was actually quite sick flying home from Dubai, but chocolate will boost you when your body clock is all over the show.
If you have any tips, please share below.