This is a question I get asked frequently, so I thought it was about time I shared some tips with you all! I am a big advocate for solo travel and believe everyone should experience it atleast once in their life. However, there are a few things I think everyone should keep in mind when travelling solo. This blog is specifically going to focus on tips for travelling around Australia. If you’d like to read about why I think everyone should travel solo, you can read my blog here.
Table of Contents
TIP 1: Camping
If you are travelling around Australia via a car (most common way to get around), you are most likely going to be camping. The best way to find campsites is through either the wiki camps app or campermate app. These apps are great because they tell you everything you need to know about campsites but also have reviews from other travellers. Even though majority of campsites are very safe in Australia, I still do a bit of research into where I plan on staying.
Planning on staying a one of the many rest stops in Australia? and don’t feel comfortable staying there alone. My best tip is to find one with grey nomads camping, which you are very likely to come across. Another tip is stay at rest stops which aren’t too close to towns. Why? You are less likely to come across people looking for trouble or things to steal (which is a sad reality), when you are a bit out of town. This is where you can use common sense too. If you see someone looking dodgy who are that fair out of town, they are usually up to no good. This is where I would leave the rest stop and drive to the next one or try find accomodation in the closest town.
If you are not comfortable staying at rest stops by yourself, look into National Park camping or stay at caravan parks. I have never had a problem at any of my campsites I have stayed at in my solo travellers. Honestly the only place I have been a bit harrassed is when I’ve stayed at hostels.
TIP 2: Car Mechanics
I cannot stress this enough, you need to know some basic mechanics if you are going on a solo road trip. You don’t need to know everything there is to know about cars, but some good knowledge to have is:
- How to change a tyre
- How to check your engine oil and top up if needed
- Which engine oil your car takes
- What the warning lights on your car are
- How to change a fan belt (not usually necessary but a good skill to have)
I also recommend you always carry some tools with you. You might not know how to use them but someone at a campsite might.
TIP 3: Leave your Itinerary with Someone
You might not always have a set itinerary when venturing out on a road trip but it’s always a good idea to leave a rough itinerary with a family member or friend. I do this for all my travels so my parents know where they can expect me to be. Also, if I am venturing out to somewhere which is quite isolated or I know won’t have reception, I let someone know and will text them when I have returned. This is so they know I am safe and haven’t had any problems.
TIP 4: Be aware of Odd Behaviour and Your Surroundings
You might not recognise the warning signs when you first start travelling solo, or you might think everything is a warning sign. Best advice I can give is listen to your gut. If something feels off or you don’t feel comfortable, whether it be at any accommodation, campsite or tour, leave. Another tip is remember you have a voice and to use it. By this I mean if someone is making you uncomfortable or won’t leave you alone, that you can tell them to leave you alone. I start off by politely telling them to leave me alone or I am not interested. If this fails and they don’t listen I will then use my voice and essentially tell them to f**k off. If they keep at it, find someone to tell, whether this be a camp host or another camper. They will usually help you out in these situations.
TIP 5: NEVER leave Valuable Items in View in Your Car
I’m sure you’ve all heard the horror stories of being having their cars broken into while out adventuring. As I am a travel blogger, I carry a lot of expensive items with me. I either take them on my adventures or leave them in places people can’t see or get to. If you have drawers in your car or some sort of lockable storage, leave them in this and lock them. If your car is broken into at least they cant get to these items. This is another good reason why I also have travel and car insurance.
There are a few people out there that will also try to steal fridges, eskys and cars from your campsite too. Make sure these are secured in some way or make it very difficult for them to get too. Make sure you have your car alarm on, this will usually scare them away or wake you up if someone tries to break in.
TIP 6: Learn Some Basic Self Defense
This isn’t essential but it will give you some confidence that if someone does go wrong or a situation arises, that you atleast have the skills to get away and get help. There are plenty of short classes available with will equip you with some basic self defense knowledge, do some research to find some in your area.
TIP 7: Read other Travellers Blogs or Talk to other Travellers
I’ve had plenty of people ask whether campsites or places are safe to visit and I am always more than happy to help or share my advice. If you aren’t sure ask someone, seasonal travellers like myself will usually always give you advice on where is safe to stop and where isn’t. I know a lot of travel bloggers will also share these tips in their blogs.
TIP 8: Carry A Personal Beacon
This is another non essential item, but it will be one of those ones you wish you had if you get into some trouble. This could be anything from breaking down in an remote place to getting lost on a hiking trail. This device will send the correct authorities your location, which gives you reassurance that you will eventually be found. It’s also gives your some confidence and sense of safety. I take mine on all my travels through Australia and the World.
TIP 9: Enjoy the Time you Have to Yourself
Yes solo travelling can be a scary experience if you’ve never done it before. But remember to enjoy yourself and this time you have with yourself! You will learn so much about yourself and make friends along the way. Solo travelling is a great time to catch up on books or experience places to yourself.
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