In response to the rising interest in solo travel, Lonely Planet has released a new guidebook that offers up advice on everything, from the most solo travel-friendly destinations around the world to how to travel on the cheap and make new friends while on the road.
Written by LP’s network of solo travel pros, “The Solo Travel Handbook” is written for the brave, independent traveller looking to book their first solo trip, as well as the seasoned traveller looking for hacks on how to improve their next one.
After debunking myths — you’re never too old to travel alone, and travel can actually be good for your career — the guidebook also lays the groundwork on the merits of solo travel: You’ll learn to live with less, become more open-minded, and discover what kind of traveller you are.
Then come the practical tips which include everything from budgeting, packing, meeting new people, staying safe and working remotely.
For example, some of the top tips in the safety chapter include emailing all travel documents to yourself to ensure you have digital copies in case of theft or of loss; carrying the business card of your hotel, so that you have the address in the local language; and checking in regularly with a loved one back home so that someone knows your whereabouts.
Likewise, the guide highlights some of the most common travel scams, including the one where a local or taxi driver will tell you that the hotel or attraction you’ve booked has closed. Conveniently, they’ll suggest an alternative destination, only to score a juicy commission from the guesthouse.
And when it comes to managing money while travelling, before you go the handbook recommends downloading apps like XE.com, a widely used currency converter and Mint or Trail Wallet, which helps users manage and keep track of their expenses.
According to a Lonely Planet survey of 4 000 members, 80% of their readers said they’ve embarked on a solo trip in the past, and the same percentage said they plan to take another one in the future.
The most popular continent for solo travel? Europe.
“The Solo Travel Handbook” retails for $17.99 (R220) and hits store shelves January 16.