News tips Stop being afraid and start travelling: Top tips for solo adventures

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Stop being afraid and start travelling: Top tips for solo adventures

Have you always wanted to take that dream trip, but find yourself worrying about when to book, what to pack or not knowing the language? Forget your fears and check out our guide to taking the first brave steps into the world of independent travelling.

1. You don’t know the language

The fear:

Not knowing the language makes you feel helpless. You don’t know how you’ll find your way around, catch a bus, order food, book a room or explain any medical problems.

The solution:

English is the third most widely spoken language in the world after Chinese and Spanish, so chances are someone will be able to help you. You’ll find that people speak some English in most tourist hot spots, but if not, there are plenty things you can do to help yourself get around.

What can you do?

Download a language translation app such as Google Translate or iTranslate, as well as a map app such as Google Maps to help you get around. If you’ve got a phone plan that charges you for using your phone and internet abroad, then you need to go old school. Get a printed map, guide book and phrase book to carry round with you, or look things up before you go and keep a handy notebook with you at all times. Knowing key phrases like ‘please can you tell me the way to…’ can come in very handy when you’re stuck in the middle of a busy plaza with no idea which direction is north. If you make the effort to respect the local language and culture, it’ll go a long way with the locals. Learning how to say ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘excuse me’ will score you brownie points when you’re asking people for help. But if the thought of all that is too much, go easy on yourself and choose an English-speaking country for your first independent trip.

2. What if you end up paying too much?

The fear:

If you go ‘all inclusive’ everything is done and paid for in one go with – hopefully – no hidden extras. But a DIY trip can leave you worried that you’ll blow your budget. You want the best you can get for your money, but don’t want to overpay.

The solution:

Skyscanner is your secret weapon when it comes to getting the best deal on flights, hotels and car hire. You can sign up to our price alerts to make sure you never miss out on the cheapest flights and explore our best time to book tool which tells you when to travel to make sure you get the best deal.

What can you do?

Give yourself a budget and stick to it. Use Skyscanner to find the flights and hotel that are right for you. But it’s on you to make sure you don’t leave yourself strapped for cash. Don’t opt for for a five star boutique hotel when your budget is three star B&B, so be strict and you won’t overspend. An amazing trip doesn’t have to mean you spend hundreds of pounds either, check out you can do for free at your chosen destination.

Ready to conquer your fear and start travelling? Search for flights!

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3. The thought of organising everything yourself is overwhelming

The fear:

Any trip, whether at home in the UK or abroad, takes a lot of time and planning to organise. It can be overwhelming to think of the travel, accommodation, insurance, food, drink, spending money, what to see and do…

The solution:

Luckily that’s where we come in. You can book flights, hotels and car hire through our easy search, and the best part is you know you’ve got a great deal! Skyscanner’s travel news site is the perfect place for inspiration too, so you’ll be savvy on what you need for your chosen destination before you even set foot on the plane.

What can you do?

Timing is everything, so for stress-free organisation start early. If you want to keep things simple, choose a single destination trip like a week on the beach in Portugal or sightseeing in Rome. Multiple destinations can complicate things, but only you know what you’re ready for. You can book flights, accommodation and car hire weeks and months ahead – so, tick! That’s three things done. For handy tips on things like travel insurance, what to pack and getting through the airport, Skyscanner’s travel news site is the ideal place to help you figure out what needs to be done before you go. Sign up to the weekly Skyscanner newsletter and get all this straight to your inbox.

4. Taking the kids

The fear:

You’re worried that if you bring the brood, you’ll never rest for worrying about them. Where are they? What are they doing? Have they got enough sun cream on? What if they get sick?

The solution:

Not all child-friendly holidays have to be package deals, just check before you book that there’s plenty to see and do with the kids. You could leave them at home with a responsible adult, but where’s the fun in that? Embrace the challenge; if you want to travel independently there’s no reason why you can’t do it with the little ones in tow.

What can you do:

Plan, plan, plan. It might require a bit more effort than going solo, but if you do your research, budget well and get organised it’ll be a breeze. Start thinking about your trip in a child-friendly way. Where can you get the best travel insurance? What do you take on the plane? What should you pack? Which destinations offer fun activities? Look for hotels that offer a kids club so you can get some time out. We’ve got loads of top tips for a kid-friendly holiday from reviewing the latest kid tracker technology to suggestions on flying with children.

So what are you waiting for? Get booking! And just in case you need more inspiration…

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Our guest financial expert Claire Connachan shares 10 insider tips on how you can get the best exchange rate on your travel money.

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Don’t get stung with a big bill – check our 11 top tips for how to save on smartphone costs on your holidays.

How to renew or update your passport

Here’s everything you need to know about passport renewal, from where your passport office is, to how to apply for a passport online.

Skyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car hire.

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