Written in collaboration with Rosana Beechum

Travelling on your own is a very freeing experience. Even going away with someone you love requires a little bit of compromise, but if you can’t sleep and fancy escaping your hotel room to the beach at 4am, who is going to stop you when you’re alone?

But as freeing as it is, it also means you have to be on your toes. Admire the Trevi Fountain, sure, but be aware of the people around you. Board your first flight alone, sure, but not if someone stops you because you only have a digital copy of your boarding pass.

We’re breaking down everything you should have prepared before you get going on that solo trip.

1. Travel insurance

This one is never more relevant in a post-COVID world. We’ve already gone through a period of travel restrictions cancelling our hopes and dreams beyond the flight, and now that travel restrictions have lifted, it’s likely that we’re collectively not in a headspace to go through that again.

But, things happen, clearly, so it’s best to be prepared. Rather than tossing a lot of money down the toilet, get some travel insurance. For an affordable one-time payment, you can cover your travel plans against baggage and wallet loss and theft, medical expenses, and cancellations, whether due to Covid or simple bad luck from the airline.

Travel insurance can save you a lot of money for common problems that can arise while you’re abroad. It’s a great safety net and with affordable prices, it can be argued you can’t afford not to.

2. Pickpocket-proofing

There is a common problem that is taking over tourist spots across Europe and Asia. You might be lovingly staring at the Eiffel Tower or the Taj Mahal and reach into your bag only to realise that your expensive camera, your phone, or even your purse is gone.

Pickpocketing is not in fact a relic of the Dickins era and is very common in highly populated areas, so it’s important that you keep your things safe. If you have a hotel room safe, use it. Put away your flight documents and passport, and any solid cash you don’t need today. Take only what you need while you’re out and about.

A good tip, if the climate allows for it, is to buy a jacket with a lot of zipped pockets, especially inside pockets. For men this is simple enough as it’s the norm, but if you don’t fancy wearing a man’s jacket you can buy a travel jacket and keep your money and phone literally close to the chest, so that no one can attempt to grab it without you at least noticing.

3. Split your money/meds

Along the same lines, anything you will need to rely on when travelling, like money and medication, should be dispersed across your baggage and your hand luggage. The airline losing your bag is an infuriatingly common occurrence, and unfortunately so is the idea of putting your bag down and then getting up and forgetting about it. If either of those things were to happen, you at least would have the other bag available with some money and meds to tide you over until your travel insurance gets you what you need.

4. Your documents

It might sound old fashioned today, but simply for the sake of keeping your head on straight, you might want to print out your holiday details. Your hotel booking, your flight details and ticket, your travel insurance documents, your transfer details, and whatever you need to enter the country with Covid hanging over your head, like a proof of vaccination or negative test result, should all be physically carried in your hand. Some of these you can dismiss as soon as you land.

It helps you not lose your mind looking through apps and emails trying to find your boarding pass amongst a million other documents.

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