Regardless of the destination, a bit of preparation and pre-trip organisation cannot hurt.
Below are a few tips to ensure you are ready to join your group tour for a solo adventure, though they also apply to any other type of holiday travel. If you want to be super-organised, you could even put together a checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything.
1. Do some research
Some reading about the countries you are about to visit is always helpful. Check-up on local habits and customs, culture, religion and do’s and don’ts, to make sure you act appropriately throughout your stay. And why not read up about the historical background of your destination, so you understand a bit more when you visit the sites and museums. When joining a group tour, your guide will talk you through all of the above and you can always ask them more in-depth questions. As a solo traveller, it might feel safer and easier to travel as part of a group rather than completely on your own too.
2. Check the weather
What the weather will be like at the time of your travels impacts what you will need to pack. An obvious one but instead of overpacking all sort of clothes, pack the minimum and check whether you will have opportunities to do your laundry locally. You can always buy that piece of clothing you forgot during your stay and it will become a memory of your special time abroad, this is how you travel light!
3. Look into the local food
Find out what food is typical. Food is an integral part of a country’s culture and you don’t want your taste buds to miss out on trying something new, local and typical. You can always ask your tour guide for some recommendations – as a local, they’ll know all the best kept secrets about where to eat, and they’ll be happy to share with you!
4. Find out if you need any vaccinations
Seek medical advice from your doctor several weeks before you travel, as you might need to get some vaccinations to keep you healthy in a country where disease is prevalent. Packing a little bit of your essential medicine is also a good idea, as it might be a little tricky to find what you need in a foreign country. And if anything happens, you will be glad you thought of this. If travelling to a strict country, such as those in Central Asia however, make sure to check what you are allowed to bring into the country, as there can be heavy punishment for breaking the rules.
See what is already included in the cost of your group tour, what you are expected to pay on arrival (e.g. tipping kitty) and how much you want to budget for your extra activities, souvenirs etc. Most of the time, it is best to exchange your money at your destination as you will get better exchange rates – but never in the airport!
6. Pack a good camera/ phone
Not only to share your photos on Instagram (we know you do!), but to keep great memories of your trip to share with friends and family upon your return.
7. Ensure you have the right documents
Last but not least… make sure you have the right travel documents and visas for your destinations! You do not want to be turned away or refused entry for not having the right travel documents or visas. Having a photocopy of your passport is always a good idea too, in case you lose it.
Is everything ticked off your checklist? Then now it is time to embark on your trip. Have a great time, relax, and let the tour guide look after everything for you!