Travelling Homebody's list of 3 solo travel resources you didn't know you needed

4 awesome solo travel resources (you didn’t know you needed)

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As a solo female traveller, it is important to feel supported while you travel to new and exciting destinations. I remember my first international trip — to Vietnam — and how nervous I was. Because I was travelling alone, I had no idea about immigration processes or airport security, or long haul travel, let alone what to do when I arrived at my destination! I was completely clueless. True story.

My travel agent (yes, I used one back then!) made sure that I had plenty of time for connecting flights and that I had a car waiting for me at the airport in Saigon. Adrenaline (which I had been running on the entire day!) was replaced with waves of sheer relief when I saw my name on a sign in the arrivals hall.  I almost hugged the driver! To this day, I will always book an airport arrival transfer UNLESS I know the destination very well.

“People” are always warning against solo travel claiming it is unsafe, but there are many health benefits to travelling alone. What “people” don’t realise is that solo travel = freedom. Of course, there are certain countries I wouldn’t travel as a solo female traveller, but most are safe as long as you use common sense and remain alert not alarmed.

Organise your visa

Travelling Homebody's list of solo travel resources you didn't know you neededUrgh. Visas. Some countries will require you to have one to enter, others will not and it depends on your nationality. Some countries offer a visa-on-arrival service, others will require your passport be sent off for processing, and still others offer the super convenient option of ordering your visa online. If you order your visa online, unless you go through a reputable company (and how do you know?), you could be a victim of a visa scam. Not nice. Having to fix a visa scam is time consuming, inconvenient and expensive, especially when you have trust issues (and rightly so).

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So how do you avoid scams? With a company like iVisa, that’s how. iVisa is safe, secure and quick. You check the visa requirements of the country you are visiting, fill out the application, print your visa (or visas) and happily go about your travels. You can track your application every step of the way, and if you have a question, staff are available 24/7 to help. And they have an excellent relationship with immigration authorities (super important) so the chance of your visa being rejected is minimised — super important!

>> Check your visa requirements and order here <<

Get to your hotel safely

Travelling Homebody's list of 3 solo travel resources you didn't know you neededUnless I know a country and its transport system intimately, the one thing I have always done since I started travelling alone is to make sure I have someone waiting at the airport to pick me up. There is nothing nicer than seeing your name on a sign in a foreign land — that someone is expecting you.

Other travellers will argue that many cities have excellent transport systems from the airport to the cities they service (and this is true) but if you are a first time solo female traveller, you may not have the confidence to brave public transport.

So what’s a girl to do? Many hotels offer a transfer service, but some do not — and often it’s expensive (and there have been times when I have booked a hotel transfer, and it hasn’t shown up). You could grab a cab, but taxi scams abound, and being ripped off by unscrupulous taxi drivers is not a nice introduction to your travels. I prefer to book an airport transfer using a company like Intui.travel which will arrange all your transfers for you.

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>> Click here to book your Intui.travel airport transfer <<

Compensation for delayed or cancelled flights

Travelling Homebody's list of solo travel resources you didn't know you neededDespite best-laid plans, it is highly likely that your flight will be delayed, or even worse, cancelled. It’s happened to me on numerous occasions. On my second international trip, my Qantas flight out of Adelaide to Sydney was delayed and I missed my connecting flight to Beijing. I was rerouted through Shanghai, and still missed my connecting flight because of a tight connection. It was so stressful (and the reason why I will never again fly Qantas). In 2015, I was bumped from my flight in Delhi because the flight was over-booked. I was compensated at the airport, but the waiting around for the next flight — some five hours later — was also stressful. After two days of travel, I just wanted to get to my hotel and have a hot shower.

While travel insurance is supposed to cover delayed or cancelled flights, the fine print means that often you are not compensated (which was my Qantas/China experience). Companies like Compensair — which has a no win, no fee policy — will cover you for a delay or cancelled flight, a missed connection or even if — worse case scenario — you are denied boarding.

>> Click here to book your compensation for flight delays or cancellation <<

Stay connected with an international SIM

Travelling Homebody's list of solo travel resources you didn't know you neededWith WiFi prevalent everywhere, “people” say that buying a SIM is not necessary. I’d agree up to a point — provided everything goes according to plan and you can get to your hotel (when you first arrive) without a hiccup. However, travel being what it is, invariably things DON’T go to plan. Yes, you can buy a local SIM, but I’ve landed at airports not being able to find anywhere to buy a local SIM or it was very expensive. Also, there have been times when I’ve stubbornly refused to buy a SIM because of WiFi and regretted it OR because I  —Ndidn’t think I’d be in the country long enough to bother.

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That’s where an international SIM DrimSim comes in. Rather than scrambling around to get a local SIM when you arrive (among the gazillion other things you have to do which are distracting and may mean that you leave your ATM card in the machine — another true story! — in Myanmar). DrimSim offers low-cost calls, texts and data — so they have you covered. And they deliver worldwide!

>> Click here to buy your DrimSim << 

Photo credit: Visualhunt.com


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