Flying solo can be fun or daunting depending on how well you are prepared for it. There are some obvious and some unexpected challenges. Prepare for the foreseeable and be quick while responding to surprises. Here are some tips on how to fly solo.
1. Plan your own Entertainment
The in-flight entertainment may or may not be sufficient. You will also be spending a lot of time in the airport, at the terminal, perhaps in the lounge and everywhere when you have to wait for a bus, train or cab. You should carry enough magazines or books, preferably both. Carry your songs, take your handheld video game if you have one and have some movies loaded in your laptop.
2. Pay for Lounge Access
Always book a lounge if you have a connecting flight, if there is a long wait time or if you have to spend a substantial amount of time at the terminal before or after a flight for some reason. Lounges are safer, they are more comfortable and have free wireless internet with an assured speed.
3. Avail Wi-Fi
Try to use the local internet wherever possible. Whether you are flying solo domestically or internationally, your mobile network will have fluctuating signal strength. This will drain the battery and yet you wouldn’t get the desired speed. Avail free wireless internet at airports, lounges, train stations and some public places.
4. Over-Pack Hand Baggage
Always try to pack all your essentials in your hand luggage or cabin baggage. Try to pack some more as contingency. You can never predict when your main luggage will go missing. If that happens, you would have your essentials including money and some clothes to keep you going for a few days. When you fly with someone, you can still borrow and bear with the situation.
5. Carry a Basic/Feature Phone
Have a feature or basic phone with you. Smart phones, ala the Androids and iOS, will run out of charge. While there is no dearth of charging ports at public places in most tourist friendly towns and cities across the world, you may not be stationed anywhere to use such infrastructure. A basic phone on standby will last a week if not longer so you can make that emergency call or send the urgent text.
6. Get a Power Bank
Carry a power bank. This will help your phone, tablet and laptop, any other device that runs on battery and can be recharged using a power bank.
7. Go Easy on Culinary Explorations
Watch what you eat, not just the quality but also the serving. Flying solo means there is no one to take care of you. Eating alone is a challenge as some restaurants may have much larger servings for one person. Don’t waste food and don’t waste money.
8. Be Alert & Responsive
Listen to everyone but trust no one. When you fly solo and explore a new place on your own, there is a lot of room for improvisation. Listen to everyone who has some sound advice to share or some insider secret to offer. However, do not trust anyone blindly.
In Conclusion, flying solo and exploring a place on your own is idyllic, uncompromised and satiating, that is as long as everything goes according to plan. Be prepared for harmless hiccups and try to ensure nothing goes horribly wrong.