New Delhi: "The Wanderlust has lured me to the seven lonely seas.Has hurled me to the ends of all the earth."
Being a woman in a South Asian country is not the easiest of experiences, especially when it comes to moving about and discovering public places. While everyone wants to embark upon exciting trips, being a solo female traveller comes with its own special set of apprehensions.
Hence, Pushpa Bector, EVP, Head DLF Retail Malls has come up with some handy travel tips for exploring without any fears.
Firstly, put together a great playlist. Travelling alone as a girl can often be a cause of concern. Years and years of warnings tend to leave one feeling perpetually wary of rocking out on the streets.
Popping in those earphones and going out for long walks in scenic locations can really give one an exhilarating feeling of freedom- perfect for a solo vacation. Music, after all, has a way to charge us up and add to the holiday exuberance like little else does!
Secondly, take the road less travelled. Being creative and improvising are great methods to enhance the solo travelling experience. While researching extensively in advance and planning the trip well is a good idea, one should not feel too restricted by guidebooks. The history of the world features many tales of kings and explorers who have conquered and discovered.
Pen some new tales of your own- stories featuring the solo female wanderer. Indulge in the uncharted oral culture of your destination, by speaking to local women and asking for their opinion on interesting places to visit. You could even carry a little diary and maintain a travelogue.
Thirdly, don't be afraid to ask smart questions. It is advisable to develop familiarity with the public transport system of the place visited, especially in case the native language there is different than yours.
Yet it is also okay to get information while on one's feet- pleasantly pestering the hotel concierge, asking picnickers for tips- the resulting conversations are bound to be amusing, quirky and memorable. One clever conversation starter is to ask someone to take a picture of you, following it up with questions about the background of the shot.
Fourthly, have a flexible schedule. Holidays are, after all, occasions to loiter and feel free. Take your time as a single vacationer, and read or contemplate for long hours. Instead of trying to constantly distract yourself through activities or booking a day at the closest amusement park, visit a rare museum or make laughable sketches in the neighbourhood park.
Fifthly, try to travel light. Wheeling around luggage that is light enough for one energetic voyager is the best travel habit possible. Swap traditional clunky suitcases for a single trolley bag that does not need to be lifted. One can also carry an additional bag that carries all the necessary toiletries and doubles as a purse for outings.
Rolling clothes instead of folding saves space while packing- almost all hotels around the world offer ironing boards and services, and finding a laundry centre is easy enough as well. Another packing hack is to carry clothes that can be layered into a variety of combinations, reducing the number of items carried. Keep jewellery to a minimum or carry pieces in staple colours like silver that go with multiple outfits.
"Solo travelling is not about finding ways to enjoy things without friends, but about enjoying yourself. Going with your gut instincts makes for a great solo traveling experience which is safe, enjoyable, and incredibly rewarding," said Pushpa.