When you travels, it could be done in a group or as a solo traveller. And either of the two has its own disadvantages as well as advantages. However, in my opinion, if you're looking for peace of mind and are planning on some soul searching, traveling solo is better.
New Zealand is one of the known safe countries for solo travelers. The locals there are known to be friendly and places are accessible to get around. There are also loads of other solo travellers, so it's not hard to meet new friends. Staying in shared accommodation, like hostels, is a great idea for solo travellers who want to feel safe.
Listed below are eight things you need to consider when traveling solo in New Zealand. Read on and be confident before you book that flight!
1. Know the Best Time to Visit New Zealand
The best time to travel to New Zealand depends on your preference of course. The summer season is between December to February. And most activities are available during this time, which makes the prices go significantly higher than usual.
March to May is the fall season and is known to be the most romantic season to take advantage of. With its crisp color of rustic browns, reds, and golden leaves, some say it is the best time to take things slow and plan less itinerary if touring around is not really the objective of your travel.
The winter season is from June to August and is best for skiing activities. Spring, which is from September to November, is known to have fewer tourists, plus the weather is perfect ‒ not too cold and not too humid.
Check out this Complete Backpacking Guide to New Zealand
2. Plan the Places You Want to Visit
New Zealand’s geographical location includes a vast area of mountainous or steep hills as well as volcanic peaks. Therefore, planning the places you want to visit strategically is really a must.
Soon as you decide which time you wanted to visit the country and book that plane ride, the next thing to do is list down the tourist spots you want to see. Jot down its location and opening and closing times, so you won’t waste any traveling time and effort.
Always keep in mind its geographical location when calculating travel time. Unfortunately, there are times when Google Maps can not be completely trusted.
3. Stay in Hostels
Traveling solo does not mean that you have to stay on your own all the time. You can open your doors to new acquaintances while on a trip by staying in hostels.
This type of accommodation offers communal areas, even rooms that mimic a school dormitory. When travelling solo finding a hostel that offers daily or nightly activities is a great way to meet new people.
If staying in a room with a total stranger does not entice you at all, then maybe you can settle for other spaces such as the dining room, kitchen, or TV lounge to socialize with new faces.
4. Pack Appropriately
The things and clothes you bring with you would depend on the time of the year of your visit. One thing that travelers do not find amusing is spending unnecessary money on extra baggage items. Therefore make sure to pack whatever is only necessary.
5. Pack Some Playing Cards
Playing cards are the safest and easiest item to bring as an ice breaker. You may not be a very good conversation starter, but you may be an amazing card player.
Staying in a hostel where new faces are inevitable, playing cards could serve as your holy grail and a saving grave when boredom already strikes.
6. Make Sure to Keep Your Stuff Safe
When you travel alone, you tend to always be in the front foot when it comes to taking care of yourself and your belongings. You have no one to trust your safety into but yourself. And actually, that sense of keeping your stuff safe comes handy.
Remember that no matter how safe it is to travel around to New Zealand, you are still in a foreign land.
7. Socialize in a Local Bar
You have your own reasons why you chose to travel solo. You may want to have some time on your own to reflect, or just simply take each day easy. However, this does not mean you have to limit yourself and be very strict about staying alone. Head to the hostel bar, or a local backpacker bar to get to know some new people.
Use this time to also be freely open with any opportunities that come your way. May it be the start of a new friendship or maybe a new possibility of finding “the one” on this trip.
8. Travel With a Backpacker Tour
One way of relieving stress and making the most of your solo travel is to join a backpacker tour. Not only do you avoid having to plan each day of your travels but you have a busload of other backpackers to make friends with, many of which will also be solo backpackers looking to make new friends.
Solo travel gives a great sense of accomplishment and confidence. These will only be achieved though if you come prepared and be well-equipped with the necessary information to your place of destination.
Author: Robert Helms writes on behalf of Cleaning Exec, a House Cleaning NYC service, amongst other companies. When not writing for clients, he spends most of his time on DIY projects that can make his 800 sqft. apartment a home.