Need to pee but not sure what to do with your massive backpack? Feeling chicken about eating alone? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.
+Making toilet stops with a huge bag
When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. Your best bet is to go into a cafe, order something to eat and ask the waiter to keep an eye on your stuff while you head to the bathroom. And as an added precaution, you could lock the straps of your backpack to the legs of the table.
+Eating on your own
Pick a small cafe that lets you sit at the counter or a bar top where you can interact with the servers or bartenders. Or else, take a prop with you. “I bring a book with me during my travels to accompany me on alone times like these,” says Annabel, a seasoned solo traveller. And if all else fails, just get over it. You’re travelling by yourself – own it!
+Hanging with new peeps – safely
“If I’m heading out with some new friends I just made, I always let the front desk or hostel owner know what time to expect me back or I’ll send someone a text back home telling them where I am,” says Diana, who travelled around Europe alone when she was 19. And here’s an old but gold rule – watch your drink no matter what, and never accept drinks from strangers.
+Tracking down a tampon in a foreign language
You could mime what you need (that could get interesting), or learn how to ask for a tampon in the native language. Use Google translate – it’s free, has loads of languages, and can even record and translate what someone says.
The 5 Rules of Packing
Here’s how to stay light on your feet.
1 Bring multi-purpose products
We’re talking a makeup remover that doubles as a cleanser, or a sunscreen that also moisturises your skin. Cut the non-essentials!
2 It’s all about the light layers
Erratic weather? Pack light layers that let you stay cool when it’s warm, and warm when it’s chilly out. Leggings and tank tops work great under jeans and T-shirts.
3 Stick to two pairs of shoes
It really depends on where you’re going to, but if you’re heading to a city, a pair of durable sneakers and comfortable flats should suffice.
4 Scarves are your best friend
They keep you warm and come in handy when you’re required to cover your head, shoulders and legs when visiting religious grounds. Be mindful of the cultural norms and dressing standards of the place you’re visiting.
5 Take only as much as you can carry
There isn’t going to be anyone around to carry your stuff, so it’s important to be comfortable with the weight and be in control of all your belongings at all times.