All posts by Pauline Davis

Travelling since she was 5, Pauline has had to succumb to working student life with a long list of travel destinations. For her, everything is a balancing act - working, studying, travelling and taking care of her 2 Labradors. Also a keen home cook, Pauline expresses her love for both pursuits by contributing to a slew of online publications in her spare time.

Solo Travel Tips: 5 Important Lessons Solo Travel Teaches You

It’s no secret: as humans, we love to travel and explore the world around us. And why wouldn’t we? It’s a big world out there!

To prove it, the numbers really do the talking – for example, in 2017 the total contribution travel and tourism made to the global economy was 8.27 trillion US dollars.

Travel is an exciting and enriching experience, and there are many ways to enjoy it – whether that’s with a whole host of friends, a couple of you, or even going it alone.

Solo travel is becoming increasingly more popular, and there are some valid life lessons it teaches you along the way.

In this solo travel guide, we list 5 important lessons that solo travel teaches you. Learn solo travel tips and get solo travel inspiration for your next trip.

  1. Be adventurous

First and foremost, solo travel really does open those doors and broaden those horizons, making you a lot more adventurous than you ever thought possible. You really do surprise yourself, trust us!

Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is one of the best things you can do, and those with a thirst for adventure will thrive on the thrill it gives you to go out there and just embrace all you can.

Skydiving in New Zealand? Sure!

Hiking up a mountain in South America? Sign us up!

  1. Boost your confidence

Travelling alone means you have to be a lot more open to meeting new people and, in turn, this helps to boost your confidence.

Being by yourself, trying new things, and having to speak to new people each and every day really pushes you out of your comfort zone – you’ll be surprised at what you can do when you really put your mind to it!

  1. Independence

Above all, doing anything alone teaches you how to be independent.

For those who have never lived alone, or pretty much relied on others up until this point in their lives, travelling solo provides a big reality check – and a good one at that.

Getting on a plane, bus or boat and not knowing what the next day will bring is one of the most exciting things in the world.

To make this possible, you need to embrace that independent lifestyle. This can also teach you not be too self-obsessed, either, and not to sweat the small stuff too much.

Life’s too short, after all!

  1. New cultures

When travelling the world alone, you’ll be able to do exactly what you want without being held back by others.

When in a group, your options are often limited by what everyone else wants to do. When you’re alone, however, the world is your oyster: it’s entirely up to you what the next day will bring.

This will enable you to soak up those new cultures at your own pace. You can learn the local language, speak to the locals and visit all the historical sites to your heart’s content.

You’ll come back a new person, armed with new knowledge and experience to transform other areas of your life in the future.

Plus, what better way to impress everyone on your return than with all the stories of the new places you’ve visited, and new experiences you’ve had?

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many, so you don’t want to waste it.

  1. Trust your instincts

Yes, it’s clichéd but true! Travelling alone is a huge learning curve and it’ll teach you to trust your instincts.

Staying in hostels alone, taking a night bus with no one else there, or boarding a plane solo; they all mean you have only yourself to rely on.

You’ll often find that your instincts are right the majority of the time, and it is even more important to trust them when you’re by yourself.

Always listen to your gut instinct, but don’t forget that solo travel can teach you to trust other people, too.

If you’re open and approachable (whilst still remaining vigilant, of course) you’ll be sure to make many new friends, and you’ll also find lots of people willing to help you out – not only locals but often other tourists, too.

Travel During Pregnancy: 5 Important Rules For Pregnant Travellers To Remember

Travelling when pregnant can be an interesting learning curve, especially when it’s your first baby. If you’re asking, “Is it safe to travel during pregnancy?” the answer is yes, as long as you take a few precautions and plan for it.

Travel for pregnant ladies can be easy enough and shouldn’t impact your holiday too much, but there are also a few important rules to keep in mind if you travel during pregnancy.

  1. Pre-plan for pregnancy travel

Pre-planning any holiday is a sensible thing to do, but pre-planning for pregnancy travel is absolutely necessary.

Depending on your travel destination, you’ll need to look into vaccinations. Most which use live vaccines or bacteria is not recommended in pregnancy (for obvious reasons), but always make sure to check with your GP prior to booking.

It’s also worth checking for any recent disease outbreaks at your chosen destination before entering those credit card details on the booking site, just in case, and you’ll also need to consider travel and medical insurance options.

  1. Choose a suitable destination

When deciding on a destination, you’ll want to consider things such as, how much will you be moving around and what the day-to-day itinerary entails.

Is it a beach holiday, where you can be glued to the sun lounger from dawn until dusk, or is it a city break, where there’ll be lots of sightseeing and things to do?

Fresh air and gentle exercise are great for wellness in both mind and body during pregnancy, but you don’t want to overdo it, after all.

Most people on a babymoon enjoy a full-on relaxation mode destination. Taking time to just relax for a week or so in the sunshine with a mocktail in hand can be just what you need for some serious R&R prior to the birth.

On the other hand, if city sights are more your thing, that can be just as relaxing for some.

  1. Select the right trimester

Can pregnant women fly? Well, when it comes to trimesters, the third is the only one where it’s not always recommended to fly, mainly after 37 weeks.

If you’re considering air travel during pregnancy, you should know that many airlines will ask for a letter from a medical professional after 28 weeks, confirming you’re not at any risk before flying.

Any time before then is usually considered perfectly safe for flying when pregnant. The only thing you need to focus on is your comfort throughout travelling and the flight itself.

It’s worth pointing out the further on in your pregnancy, the more tired you’re likely to feel; another factor in deciding which trimester to travel within.

If you’re reclining on a Caribbean beach, it’s probably not a problem, but if you’re going to be up and about it might have an impact on your activities.

  1. Food and drink

One of the best things about travelling is being able to sample all the delicious local food and drink, and this shouldn’t have to change during pregnancy. You just need to remember to be cautious when it comes to particular foods.

Firstly, avoid tap water, and opt for bottled water instead. It’s worth avoiding ice, too, depending on the country. Or you can buy and add your own ice if you know it has come from a bottle.

Raw foods are a no-no and don’t risk any foods which could be served undercooked, seafood and sushi for example.

Staying hydrated in the heat is vital during any stage of your pregnancy, so make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day.

It’ll also help you from feeling too tired in the heat. And, above all, remember to keep eating fresh, healthy food, and enjoy yourself above everything else!

  1. Stay active

Holidays are for relaxing and taking time out from hectic everyday life, but that’s not to say you can’t stay active with some gentle exercise at the same time. And when abroad, there are so many options for keeping in shape.

Obviously the most popular will be swimming (bonus if you have a beautiful beach at your hotel doorstep).

Alternatively, you can choose from jogging, cycling, prenatal yoga, or simply just wandering around exploring your destination.

Remember it’s also fine to feel tired during the day, especially if you’ve been partaking in some light exercise.

Your partner will completely understand if you need to take time out and just rest for an hour or so before dinner.