Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Equador
For 7 months as solo traveler I wandered through South America. Backpacking and visiting 8
amazing countries, experiencing different climate zones, meeting a whole
bunch of great people as well as facing some time just with myself on my otherwise solo
And here are a few things that I felt I did right, both before the trip and while
being on the road. So if you are considering to embark on a longer journey,
It might sound like an exaggeration, but every gram does counts. As a solo traveler, don’t bring too many clothes, especially of the same type, as t-shirts. You can always buy one, or as I experienced, it is a pretty common present from new friends.
Consider investing into some proper travelling clothes. Light, comfortable, long lasting and adapted to various weather conditions clothes will do wanders. Just remember, thermo clothes work best if not mixed with other type of clothes. And if you read, bring 1 book, you can always exchange it for another in a hostel.
Don’t get all crazy with planning
It is impossible to plan it all, so leave space for the unknown. For me, 2 weeks plan ahead worked perfectly. Face it, you will have to re-plan it over and over again, as you travel and learn about new places and things to do. While in long term, it is always better to have a direction in mind, instead of a specific location.
Stay healthy !
First thing you should do is to check the vaccination requirements for each country you are planning to visit. It can easily turn out that some don’t require them, while their neighbors do. Also, check how each vaccine is called in each country as it might differ. Also, remember that each vaccination needs time to start doing its job.
Finally, do drink alcohol, especially after a questionable quality meal – a shot will not get you drunk, but will do the disinfection! Getting sick on the road for a solo traveler can be a real nightmare, do all you can to prevent that.
If you are going to a potentially dangerous neighborhood take nothing valuable with you. No earrings, rings, watches, expensive phone or camera, or even traveling documents. Usually criminals are not interested to harm you, they only seek easy money, yet as a solo traveler you are an easy target.
Travelling alone can seem scary at first. However, what happens is that by being alone you are more interested in meeting locals and other travelers and so are they, so actually you will hardly be alone on your solo journey. Yet you will no need to adjust your plans or preferences with anyone else, even in such small things as when to rest and when to walk. It gives a certain freedom and for some, even more adventures!
Save on accomodation
You are likely to team up with other travelers for certain legs of your journey. From my experience, the best group is of 4 people: double rooms in hotels are usually cheaper, you can rent a car even with a driver and, thus, increases your flexibility by being a group you are better organized, as 2 stay with things, other 2 can go looking for accommodation etc. Sharing accommodation does make a difference for a solo traveler.
Stay connected throughout your solo journey
If you are staying in one country for more than a week, it is always a good idea to get a local prepaid SIM card. In some countries it can get tricky, but usually locals can help you out. With a local SIM you can reach your hotel or your host, you can use internet for maps, stay in touch with other travelers you meet on the road and your family and friends are always happy to hear from you as often as possible, – all without spending a fortune.