Travelling solo can seem a bit daunting, even to those of us who love the freedom and adventure it brings. If you have a few bucket-list trips up your sleeve, however, and are planning to set out independently, there are a few tips that will help you along the way. Packing light is one, and leaving copies of your passport and bank cards with someone back home is another. A little forward research is useful too. Check out the handy survival guides at 1Cover for even more advice.
1) Find the street stalls
Award-winning travel writer Ben Groundwater recommends heading for street stalls, such as the hawker stalls in Singapore, where you can enjoy amazing dishes at incredibly affordable prices. What’s more, the shared tables of street stalls are perfect if you are on your own; you just pull up a stool and eat with the locals and fellow travellers.
2) Solo-friendly accommodation
Look out for places to stay that are sociable. Hostels are an ideal choice, and offer opportunities to mingle with other travellers, but also small hotels, B&Bs, pubs and inns tend to offer more personal, friendly service, as well as handy tips and advice. Camping grounds can also be a great option, with plenty of community feeling. It’s a good idea to stay away from the larger hotels, which can sometimes feel a bit more formal and charge single supplements.
3) Get multi-trip insurance
Not necessarily the fun part of travelling – who likes buying something they hope they won’t need? – but proper travel insurance is essential for peace of mind and potentially digging you out of an unforeseen hole. Imagine how stuck you could be if you woke up one morning to find your passport, money and phone had gone missing. The world would suddenly feel like a very hostile place. Find yourself an annual multi-trip policy, and travel with protection.
4) Stay safe
Travelling solo can easily increase your vulnerability. Get smart and protect yourself. Ditch the bulging bum bag, or obvious travel wallet, which shows the world where you are keeping your valuables. Be aware of who’s around you when you stop in the street to look at a map or your phone, remember that some people who approach you to “practise their English” may have other less friendly motives in mind.
Access all areas. Some of the top travel experiences in the world require a cruise. Think of the unique wildlife of the Galapagos Islands, located some 1,000km off the coast of Ecuador. Or the awe-inspiring frozen landmass of Antarctica. Even parts of remote Western Australia, such as the beautiful, rugged Kimberley region, are best experienced on a small cruise ship. And cruising is a great fit for solo travellers. Join the more than 2 million UK and Irish travellers that have discovered the benefits of cruising.
6) Stay in touch
We all like to travel to get away from it all, and lots of us who choose to travel alone do so just for that very reason. But we also need to know we can get in touch when we want to. And it needn’t cost a fortune in data or excess mobile phone charges, either. Look out for free WiFi in cafes, bars and restaurants, download free phone apps such as Skype, and social media apps that let you call friends, such as WhatsApp. And find a phone plan that is tailored for travel in the parts of the world you plan to visit.
What are your top tips for travelling solo? I’d love to hear them!
Two days in Dubai! Wow, for this a lot of people will say that its nothing as compared to the enormous number of attractions, some would say it is enough to capture the essence of this majestic city, if you plan it right. Well, we can’t agree more and that is why here’s presenting a well-crafted itinerary for all those who get to stay for just 2 days in Dubai. This is your perfect schedule to enjoy your time while in Dubai and explore the most revered attractions of the city. Read on.
Day 1: Explore iconic attractions that make Dubai the Best Tourist Destination in the World
Grandeur of Dubai Mall:
Irrespective of whether shopping is there on your mind or not, exploring the Dubai mall is a must. It gives Dubai the status of having the largest mall in the world with footfalls higher than people visiting New York in a year. Enjoy your time with 1200+ retail outlets, 150+ food court stalls, 25-screen multiplex cinema, Olympic ski rink, and so much more. Don’t forget to visit the Candyland, the world’s largest candy store. Inside the mall itself, is the world’s largest aquarium, the Dubai aquarium and the Dubai underwater zoo, home to world’s best, rarest marine species. We promise you wouldn’t want to step out of the mall.
Mighty Burj Khalifa
Without visiting the Burj Khalifa, your 2 days in Dubai itinerary is incomplete. It enjoys the status of the tallest building in the world. But you just don’t get to see it, you can go to the top and enjoy the majestic views too. Take a ride on one of the world’s fastest elevator and enjoy panoramic views of Dubai from the observation deck on Burj Khalifa’s 124th floor. Top up this experience by buying tickets for the 148th-floor observatory deck. Watch the sunset from Dubai’s highest point and experience what it feels to stand on the world’s tallest tower, literally!
Dhow Cruise to End Your First Day
Make your way to populous Dubai Marina for your evening Dhow Cruise and a special dinner. Why do we suggest it? Simply because after the hectic day of watching and experiencing the most iconic attractions of Dubai, you need to unwind and relax. Spend two blissful hours sailing the waters of the Persian Gulf in the traditional Dhow vessel, modernised enough to suit your needs and taste. It is Arabs original trading vessel used since the ancient times. It’s almost as if you take a ride in the history. Enjoy the amazing Dubai’s glittering skyline, high-rise buildings lit up to the nines, and their lights reflecting on the waters. Relish a delectable Emirati buffet dinner on board and enjoy the entertainment by belly dancers, henna artists, and tanura dancers as well. The best way to enjoy it is to incorporate this in your itinerary of Dubai packages in order to avoid last-minute hassles and cancellations. This way at the end of the day, the cruise will be awaiting your gracious presence and no last-minute reservation issues required.
Day 2: Explore the Attractions that form the Soul of Dubai Makes it a Must- Visit Place
It’s time to visit the traditional markets (souqs) of Dubai. Dubai holds the world famous spice, textile, carpet, and the much known gold souqs in Bur Dubai and Deira area. The narrow lanes of the traditional Arabic streets cobbled with old stalls loaded with spices, nuts, berries and rarest in the world dry fruit varieties. Cross the Dubai Creek from the Deira to the Bur Dubai side 1 AED on a wooden vessel known as the Abra. Visit the Meena Bazaar, in the old city. These old areas of Dubai are its soul as these are the places where trading started in Dubai centuries ago. Even if you don’t want to shop (which is highly unlikely) experiencing the diversity, vibrancy of the place is fun in itself.
On the second day of your 2 days in Dubai, visit the Al Fahidi Neighbourhood. The entire area defines what life would’ve been before the tourist and oil boom in Dubai with its narrow alleyways, the beautiful art galleries, traditional cafes serving Arabian delicacies, and the rustic crumbling houses built of black coral. Visit the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding for sure. It is a place that literally offers a sneak peak into the past of the humble Dubai before oil was discovered. Spend some time soaking in the glorious history of the UAE. Don’t forget to visit the Dubai Museum for its collection of weaponry, armour, pearls exhibit, tools, and dioramas of life of the ancient Dubai.
Dubai Desert Safari
Spend your last evening in Dubai doing something which makes the entire trip worthwhile. Enjoy the magnificent Dubai Desert Safari. Gear up to enjoy some adrenaline-jerking dune bashing, adventurous quad biking, one of a kind sand boarding and laid-back camel riding. Followed by a fabulous Emirati buffet, along with entertainment of belly and tanura dancing. If your flight is in the morning and you have full night, you can enjoy the overnight safari and spend a night under the starry blanket of stars. It’s an experience of a lifetime.
Two days in Dubai seems so less compared to the enormous attractions it has in store for every traveller but that does not mean we don’t enjoy the best of Dubai even if it is for two days. So next time you have a weekend to spare or a business trip that can have a halt at Dubai even for two days, don’t think twice. Book the break journey and plan your stay in Dubai to perfectly mix business and fun together.
Have you ever been to Dubai? It’s certainly on my bucket list! Let me know in the comments below!
Whilst staying at the Trethorne Hotel and Golf Club in Launceston back in February, Nathan and I visited one of our favourite Cornish towns – Padstow. I’ve been here many times now over the last few years but it never fails to impress me. The beautiful harbour with bustling shops and views out to sea always brings a smile to my face.
Mini Golf Time
We decided to try the new mini golf course at the newly renovated Greens of Padstow. The chic restaurant is located high above Padstow harbour and offers amazing panoramic views over Padstow. We visited Greens of Padstow a couple of years ago during our first year of dating. It was the height of summer, very hot and very busy. I remembered we played mini golf and how Nathan managed to win despite the horrendous cold he was suffering (I’m sure it was only by a few points too!).
We were excited when we heard how Greens of Padstow was getting a makeover and would be revamping the mini golf course. As fans of mini golf we just had to make sure we got a game in when we went in February. It was nice and quiet (again it was February!) but the weather was so sunny meaning we got quite a competitive sweat on!
The course has 18 holes built into the hill side and has a good range of obstacles to tackle on the different holes. We enjoyed the game and somehow Nathan won again! Prices for golf are £5 for children and £6 for adults – we luckily only paid half price as the season hadn’t really started yet.
Fish and Chippies Time
Nathan’s victory meant I was responsible for buying our lunch – it was only February and so not quite appropriate to bet for ice creams this time round! We went to one of the fish and chip shops and ate our lunch right on the harbour with perfect view of the boats floating in and the tourists wandering by.
We popped into my favourite shop – Whistlefish to look at their lovely artwork. I have both a framed print and painted canvas from them which I love! I actually have a voucher to spend in Whistlefish from my parents which reminds me – I best get spending it! I managed to use my will power to not visit the many fudge shops – I know I would have been too tempted!
As always, we enjoyed our visit to Padstow. It has such a lovely Cornish charm about it and I hope will always be a place I enjoy visiting. We enjoyed our game of mini golf at Greens of Padstow and really recommend checking them out if you’re in the area and fancy a game of golf or somewhere lovely to have a spot of food.
Whilst having a random hotel break at the Trethorne Hotel & Golf Club in Launceston back in February, Nathan and I visited the stunning Crackington Haven Beach. Neither of us had ever been to Crackington Haven before so this was a lovely new beach for us to explore together.
We couldn’t believe how beautiful the views were and enjoyed sitting on the cliff top overlooking the beach for ages! It was so peaceful and relaxing and we said hello to many walkers walking the South West Coast Path.
The weather was amazing, so sunny and bright. Pretty magical considering it was only February and normally raining this time of year! It was definitely sunnies weather!
Lunch Al Fresco
We were even lucky enough to enjoy lunch al fresco at the Haven Cafe which is right on the beach front. We sat outside in the sunshine and enjoyed a tasty lunch and some cold drinks. The place had a really nice atmosphere and the staff were super friendly. I would certainly recommend them for a spot to eat if you’re visiting the beach.
Trethorne Hotel and Golf Club is situated near Launceston in Cornwall. The hotel has 30 rooms and is situated on the golf course. There is a restaurant and bar on site too and it’s also right next to Trethorne Leisure Park – perfect for families. Nathan and I visited back in February after buying a voucher on local radio station Pirate FM’s voucher shop. The voucher cost £100 and entitled us to a two-night stay with breakfast – not bad really considering Trethorne charges £90-£99 a night for a double room normally.
Our room was a double which was a good size and had an ensuite with shower. Whilst the room was nicely decorated and had a very modern feel to it we were a little disappointed at how dusty everything was! The windows were pretty dirty and everything just seemed to have a thick layer of dust on – it was like the room hadn’t been used for months! Maybe given the time of year it hadn’t! Luckily the bathroom and bed were clean though so it didn’t disrupt our stay too much. We enjoyed looking out over the golf course too and seeing golfers practising on the driving range.
The TV in the room was huge and we enjoyed watching TV in bed in the evenings. The compliments tray was good and included all the usual drinks and biscuits. The shower has hot and the water plentiful. Towels were provided and clean. Unfortunately, I noticed that the bathroom bin had obviously not been emptied and judging from the smell of the used sanitary products in it, it hadn’t been emptied in a while! Sorry, slightly too much information there possibly but it wasn’t really acceptable!
Given the time of year we visited and the fact it was a Sunday to Tuesday break, the hotel and golf course were relatively quiet. We did enjoy dinner at the onsite restaurant which was comfy and had TVs for sport. The menu offered a range of pub grub food and we enjoyed what we had. It was well priced too and the barman was very friendly.
Breakfast in the morning was tasty and plentiful and we enjoyed a full English to set us up for the days ahead.
Whilst in the Launceston area of Cornwall we decided to visit the beautiful Crackington Haven Beach which was stunning. This was a near beach for Nathan and me to explore and with the winter sun shining we enjoyed a lovely chill on the beach and lunch al fresco. It was so sunny Nathan even got a little sunburnt which we found hilarious given it was only February!
Trethorne is in a great location for places to explore in Cornwall including the leisure farm next door, Launceston market town and the Eden project which is located a 30-minute drive away.
We enjoyed our stay at the Trethorne Hotel & Golf Club. It was clean (mostly), comfy and quiet. It was a great location for visiting the stunning Crackington Haven and we enjoyed our meal at the onsite restaurant. The slight downsides were the dust in the room and unemptied bin in the bathroom but I don’t think this would be enough to put us off returning, especially if another Pirate FM voucher deal appears!
What do you look for in a hotel when you go away? What’s most important to you? Let me know in the comments below!