1. Carry a portable charger with you and if you can afford to – have two of them at least. Your hostel will have a plug socket next to the bed – overnight – you can plug your charger into it whilst charging your phone at the same time. This is a lifesaver – especially if you are taking lots of pics or using Google Maps. You don’t want to be caught short in the middle of nowhere and no safety net or miss out on a great snap.
2. Buy snacks from a local supermarket to munch on during the day. Going to restaurants by yourself for every meal can really add up and you will have less money to spend on activities/transport/excursions. I tend to buy something which will last a long time like crisps, cereal bars, bread, fruit etc…Your hostel is likely to have a communal kitchen/fridge where you can store perishables but if you are anxious like me and think that a stranger might try to poison you or spit in your food for no reason at all, it’s best to buy things which you can hide in your suitcase.
3. Plan activities in advance. You can often save money on excursion bundles by looking at websites such as 365 Tickets. This also helps you make the most out of your time as you can prioritise what you’d like to see the most. I often decide the order of activities by working out how long it takes me to get to each location via Google Maps. This also brings new ideas to my attention as I check out what is nearby too. Then I make an itinerary on my “notes” app with planned things to do and also a list of ideas should I have free time. Also, download the Trip Advisor app. You never know when your plans will change and you end up somewhere unfamiliar. You don’t want your holiday ruined by a bad experience, especially when alone without any moral support.
4. BRING EARPHONES. If you are not used to dining alone or sitting by yourself in a coffee shop it can be daunting. When I’m feeling particularly anxious, I plug in my earphones and watch YouTube whilst eating. This drowns out the background noise, focuses your attention on the video and not what people might be thinking and lets others know that you want to be left alone. You will definitely want them when in your dormitory to avoid fellow backpackers listening. Earphones are also handy for listening to music on the plane or taking phone calls when you’re trying to use your map app on the way to a destination.
5. Comfort over style everytime. Bring pyjamas and slippers for walking around your hostel so you feel at home. Avoid bringing that new t-shirt that only goes with one thing. When you’re doing lots of steps and spending all day exploring you want to feel good. There is nothing worse than having blisters and chub rub. but a long day of walking ahead of you. If you are worried about space when carrying bulky items, you can rewear those jeans more than twice. Nobody will know. Who says an oversized hoodie and leggings isn’t cute?