HOW TO YOLO SOLO, A TRAVELLER'S GUIDE TO A EUROPE TRIP FOR ONE
A Mecca for school-leavers, party goers and architectural aficionados alike, travelling Europe can be life-changing. Who doesn’t want to eat crêpes in Paris, watch the Tower Bridge rise in London or party in Berlin?
However, for those of us who decide to face Europe alone, it can be intimidating. Here are some tips for making the most out of your solo Euro-trip - 100% life changing experience, guaranteed.
You may be tempted to think that any other piece of luggage will be alright. It won’t. Most accommodation and public transport in Europe gives you two options - stairs or stairs. Don’t be that person who gets stuck asking random strangers for help lugging your enormous suitcase out of the Tube station.
2. KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON
Europe is like that crazy Aunt that comes around once a year for Christmas dinner - wonderful, but unpredictable. Chances are it will throw a whole bunch of shit your way. Hostel bookings may be lost, phones may be stolen, trains may be cancelled and flights will most definitely be missed. The key is to keep a level head and roll with it. As long as you keep your chill, there will always be a solution for pretty much anything Europe can hit you with.
3. HOSTELS, HOSTELS, HOSTELS
Easily the best way to meet people with exactly the same mindset as you while saving a ton of dosh, hostels are a solo travellers' Holy Grail. If the concept of sharing a room with eight other people sounds horrendous, hire a double room and get yourself down to the hostel bar. This is where you’ll find at least ten other Australian travellers - and meet heaps of interesting people who may end up being lifelong friends.
4. DON’T FORGET YOU CAN SAY “NO”
While pushing your boundaries and getting outside your comfort zone is the name of the game, don’t ever feel pressured to do anything risky or uncomfortable. While it is great to explore new things, know your limits and keep yourself safe. Met someone who reminds you a little too much of that bad dude from Skyfall? Been offered pills from a seedy Venetian in a side-alley? If you feel really, truly uncomfortable, chances are it’s probably not the best idea. Have fun, but don’t put yourself at risk.
5. SEVER ALL TIES WITH THE CONCEPTS OF DIGNITY AND MATERIAL POSSESSIONS
After weeks of cramming yourself and your (now most likely disheveled) backpack into planes, trains and automobiles, luggage will become both your best friend and worst enemy. You’ll find yourself debating between the benefits of clean clothing and the cost of RyanAir’s extra baggage allowance, while trying to convince yourself that you definitely can squeeze in that Jack Wills coat. Dirty clothes will be commonplace. Just make sure you’ve got at least one nice outfit - you know, just in case a beautiful French man sweeps you off your feet for a dinner atop the Eiffel Tower.
6. MOST IMPORTANTLY, JUST DO YOU
Travelling solo is like a ‘choose your own adventure’ novel. Exhilarating, fulfilling and all about you. This is your opportunity to do what you want to do, see what you want to see and be whoever you want to be. Always wanted to explore the Mont St Michel in Normandy? Fulfil all your sartorial dreams in Stockholm? Explore the canals and coffee shops of The ‘Dam? You go gurl. The continent is your oyster - don’t be afraid to throw sensibility to the wind and catch that 3am train to Brugges for a cream-smothered breakfast waffle.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to change your life, go forth into the world and adventure - your way.
Image Source via: Tuula Vintage
WORDS BY: Emily Olle
Emily is an Adelaide based Law/Media student who one day hopes to live in London and fulfil her lifelong dream of recreating key scenes from Love Actually. Until then, she spends most of her days writing, studying and attempting to bring back the word ’snazzy'. She is an avid traveller and is highly enthusiastic about brunch.