Although solo travel is rising, the initial thought of traveling alone can be anxiety-inducing. It doesn’t have to be, especially with this checklist.
By Candace Keeton
The daylight hours are longer, temperatures are rising, and the open-toe season is upon us. With all this comes the undeniable desire to travel—the need to break free from the four walls of work or home. Unfortunately, your friends who say they are down for a getaway keep dropping out at the last minute. Did you already request those days off? Then, maybe it’s time to say goodbye to the letdown and hello to solo travel. As someone who has traveled solo through several countries and now has a career as a flight attendant, I feel confident in sharing what’s in my suitcase. Whether you’re tired of waiting, looking to grow mentally and emotionally, or need to unwind, solo travel may be for you.
Here are a few things you may need:
Portable Door Lock
You need a portable door lock no matter where you stay: hotel, Airbnb, or hostel. You can get one that fits into the door bottom with an alarm or the strike plate- the metal part that houses the door lock. Door stoppers/locks are non-negotiable for solo travel. Both prevent unauthorized entry. The bottom door stopper will produce a loud piercing sound when the mechanism’s lever is agitated. The strike plate will stop the door from opening—an added sense of security and privacy.
Here’s my recommendation for both: HNHMT Upgraded Portable Door Lock & Door Stop Alarm.
Cross Body Bag
Go and see all the famous sites, but keep your valuables close and tucked away while you do. Pick-pocketing is real, and there’s nothing worse than being stranded in an unfamiliar place with no money or your passport. Get a cross-body bag with anti-theft features like a zipper that locks and anti-cut material. Fanny packs are back in style and can be worn around the shoulder under a coat or jacket. I guarantee you will find something that fits your style and budget.
Here’s one I would get: VADOO Sling Bag – Anti-theft Crossbody Shoulder Bag
Multi-Country Plug Adapter
In a time when most people have a cell phone and other portable electronic devices, you need a way to keep them charged whether you’re at home or, in this case, on the go. International plug adapters ensure your devices remain charged, regardless of outlet or voltage.
Here’s the one I would recommend: Universal All in One Worldwide Travel Adapter
Portable Battery Charger
Ideally, you will be out and about on your trip and using the hotel solely for a place to shower and lay your head. You must ensure your electronics last the entirety of your excursion. With a fully charged camera, you can take as many pictures as possible while on your tour without worrying about running out of battery. You can’t post to the ‘gram’ if your phone is dead. And if there are no pictures, did you really go?
Let’s ensure you don’t run out of juice too soon: Portable Power Bank Charger.
Although wonderfully beautiful, our melanin can only protect us to a certain point. Black people, we must wear sunscreen. Let me repeat, black people, sunscreen is a must! May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month. What a perfect time to speak on the importance of sunscreen and UV protection. Sunscreen brands are abundant, but my favorites ensure we don’t have that white residue, ashy look. Check out Black Girl Sunscreen, which ranges from 30-50 SPF, or La Roche Posay, which has a 100 SPF.
Toiletry Bag/Refillable Bottles
I’m all about the carry-on life and prefer to spend my money on creating memories, not bag fees. TSA-approved toiletry bags allow you to carry toothpaste, lotion, and body wash, for example, in one place. Save money in the long run by using refillable bottles. Not only do these cut down on costs over time, but they also help save the planet. Every little bit helps, and Mother Nature will thank you. Before heading off on your trip, familiarize yourself with TSA’s 3-1-1 rule: All liquids should be 3.4oz or less, all containers of liquid must fit in a 1-quart-sized sealable plastic bag, and only 1-quart-size bag is allowed per passenger.
Check out these detachable bags for your next solo travel excursion: BAGSMART Transparent, Detachable Toiletry Bag.
Along with toiletry bags, packing cubes help keep your garments organized and compact, saving space for souvenirs. Pack staple pieces that can create multiple looks if traveling for a more extended period. While you pack for your solo trip, YouTube folding clothes hacks to use your limited suitcase space wisely.
Here are some I would use: BAGAIL 8 Set Packing Cubes Luggage Packing Organizers.
BONUS Tip: Safety 101 for Solo Travel
When you leave your room, leave a note somewhere noticeable about where you are going and with who, if applicable.
Make photocopies of your passport, credit cards, and corresponding phone numbers if lost or stolen, and store them someplace secure like the room safe.
Feel free to add or take away to make it personalized to your needs. Don’t let your sense of wanderlust diminish because you have to go alone. Use this list to ensure your solo trip is as successful and safe as possible.