The Ultimate Travel Gear Guide For Solo Travelers
Prepare to be prepared...
Solo travel is getting more popular recently with jetting off on holiday by yourself seen as an exciting prospect for freethinking nomads rather than the last resort of the lonely.
Adventuring by yourself can be a liberating experience which leaves you in charge of your own destiny and eliminates any possible arguments of whether you should spend your day eating your bodyweight in local cheeses or running off to do some beach yoga.
Going it alone can be a daunting idea though and not just because you don’t have anyone to help carry your bags or split an expensive cab fare with.
Here’s 9 essential items that will take your solo travel game to the next level.
For the Light Sleepers
If you’re off on a solo adventure, chances are you might find yourself sharing a hostel at some point and while you might value your snoozing above all else, some of your fellow travellers may not. To help block out the unwanted noise of your dorm mates’ drunken night fumblings grab yourself some incredible noise cancelling earbuds from Bose.
The Quiet Control 30 have a nice lightweight neckband so they won’t get in the way of your slumber and are also bluetooth so you won’t have any worries of getting tangled up in your sleep.
BOSE QuietControl 30 Wireless Headphones - £299.95
For the Safety Firsters
Not having a companion to watch your bag while you grab a drink or in case you fall asleep at the airport can be a bit scary - especially when you’re carting all your possessions around with you at all times. Luckily, there’s a solution and it doesn’t involve lugging a giant Looney Tunes-style safe on your travels. The Korin series of bags are not only theft proof but also look ridiculously cool.
The FleckPack Pro and Go have a Tardis-level of compartments for you to safely pack everything you need for your trip. You can chuck your belongings in, clip them to your chair, bed or even a luggage rack safe in the knowledge no cheeky little robber is going to run away with your things.
Korin FleckPack Pro & Go - $289
For the Fashionably Secure Traveller
Even though you might’ve safely stowed your luggage you might want to keep your money and passport even closer and what could be safer than keeping them secretly and securely on your neck?
The Pierron & Co. range of scarves have a little secret pocket in them where you can store your most valuable items. You’d think that something so safe would look drab and disgusting but these scarves have designed to be as classy as they are safe.
Pierron & Co. Scarves - From $39
For the ‘Gram
Not having a significant other to take your photo as you pose majestically in front of a highly Instagrammable landmark or a rude foreign sign used to be a nightmare - not anymore! Front-facing cameras (or selfie-cams) have eliminated the need for an extra pair of hands to take a decent photo of yourself and the Google Pixel 3’s two selfie-cams are quite frankly off the chain.
The Pixel 3 has two wide angle lenses to fit more of you and your surroundings in - think of it like using a selfie stick but without the embarrassment that comes with whipping out the stick in front of your fellow travellers. It also has a “Photo Booth Mode” which will automatically take a photo when you smile, eliminating all need for a travel companion with its technical wizardry.
Google Pixel 3 - From £739
For the Beach Bums
You’ve got your super-selfie camera on the beach and you’re ready to do one of those “is this a hotdog or my lovely legs?” posts but what happens when you want to take a little dip in the sea? Stuffing your expensive phone in a sock isn’t an option so you’ll want to grab yourself a waterproof pouch you can stick your phone in and hang around your neck. The Pixel 3 is impressively waterproof by itself and can handle spills and being in water for short periods of time but you’ll really want to get something like the Anker waterproof phone pouch to help put your mind at ease.
Anker Waterproof Phone Pouch - £7.99
For Staying on the Grid
What good is loading up your phone with your solo beauty pics if you can’t share them with the world and make all your colleagues jealous? To keep yourself online and avoid crazy roaming charges you’ll want to grab something like the Skyroam Solis which acts as a portable WiFi hotspot and for a flat fee gives you unlimited data in more than 100 countries.
It also doubles as a power bank for emergencies and has a pretty decent battery life (it’ll give you 20 hours of WiFi goodness off a full charge). You will have to buy data passes to use with your unit but Skyroam reckon you can still “save up 95% on international roaming” charges.
Skyroam Solis - £135 + Data Charges
For the Bored
What about when you want to kick back and take a break? With no fulltime mates to keep you company, the next best thing is a Nintendo Switch. It’s Nintendo’s most powerful console and is designed to be used on the go and it’s already got some of their best ever games including Mario Kart and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
The beauty of it though is that it also doubles up as an incredibly fun icebreaker and the console has two controllers already included if you wanted to tempt a new friend into some multiplayer action. It’s a scientific fact that beating someone at Mario Kart is proven to demolish any and all language barriers in existence so we recommend grabbing one of these consoles for your trip.
Nintendo Switch - From £279.99
For the Disorganised Traveller
A long solo adventure can quickly turn from a once-in-a-lifetime holiday into a boring, spreadsheet filled chore. The TripIt app helps you keep all your travel documents and itineraries in one place. You just forward all your confirmation emails to them and then they’ll make sure the app does a bunch of cool stuff like reminding you to check-in and even notifying you if a better seat becomes available on your flights.
If you’re feeling extra lazy you can even give the app access to your emails and it’ll do everything automatically for you. A very nice little function too is that it lets you share your itineraries with people in your ‘inner circle’ which takes the stress out of you solo travelling for your Mum and Dad.
TripIt Pro - $49 Per Year
For the Boozy Brunch Lovers
Forget all that nonsense about “never drink alone” some of our best travel decisions have been made after sampling local alcoholic delights abroad. Not having a friend around to tell you when you really should be sticking a stop to the bottomless mimosas, however, can be slightly worrying when you’re out by yourself. This is where the BACTrack series of accessories come in handy as they turn your phone or smartwatch into a mobile breathalyzer and will help you know when maybe it’s time to switch to coffee or whether it’s actually a good idea to do that scary looking off road driving excursion after all.
BACTrack C6 Keychain - £69.90
These are just a few items that will help get your solo adventure off to a more confident start leaving you free to worry less and enjoy the world a little bit more.
By Gavin Murphy