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Essential tips when flying solo


Kate Wick

By Kate Wick

4 min read

When you're journeying via plane to another location, there are many important things to remember. Have you got your passport? Check. Have you packed your luggage? Check. Is your travelling companion ready to go? For many Australians, the answer is no.

Just one ticket

In the year to March 2014, 16 percent of Australians on holiday did it alone. By contrast, the figure was 12 percent ten years prior, according to Roy Morgan Research.

Jane Ianniello, Roy Morgan Research International Director of Tourism, Travel & Leisure commented on the findings:

"Solo travellers … may account for a smaller proportion of Australia's holiday-makers than those who travel with others, but they're the only segment that has grown in the last decade — and which shows no sign of declining any time soon."

Solo travel can be immensely rewarding, but if your credit card gets skimmed or stolen, you could be left without a penny to your name and not a friend to turn to. These tips can act as a useful backup plan if things do go awry! 

Dollar dollar bills

A crisp Aussie $20 bill isn't going to get you a coffee in Paris or a steaming bowl of Cao Lau in Vietnam.

While many international airports have ATMs that allow you to withdraw funds in the local currency, you should set off with a small amount of money that you can use on arriving in your destination.

This makes stepping off the plane and jumping in a taxi (or tuk-tuk!) a smooth process — particularly relieving if you've just had a medium- or long-haul flight. 

Make like a banana and split

Never store your cards and cash in the same place. If your luggage gets lost in transit or you misplace your handbag, you don't want to be scrambling for cash. 

Take debit or credit cards with you that are linked to different accounts — this way, if one account is compromised thanks to a sneaky skimming scam, you'll still have access to funds while you report the matter to your bank. By all means do not link your debit card to your savings account!

Keep a card on your person, under your clothing, a debit card in your personal bag and an emergency credit card in your main luggage.

Cash passports 

The great thing about travelling alone is experiencing new things and meeting different people but also, being ready for the unexpected. It's important to expect the best but prepare for the worst.

Travelex has a Global Emergency Assistance service that could make your life a lot easier if you lose your debit and credit cards. Arrange a Cash Passport and you could be entitled to an emergency cash replacement if things go amiss. Family members can also send money to you securely if you find yourself plum out of luck in the financial stakes.

Know yourself

Finally, scan your passport and itinerary. Print off three copies of the information — one for your family or significant other, one for your day-to-day bag and one for your main luggage.

Email yourself digital copies of the information so you can access it when you're away, should you need to. You can even copy the files to a USB stick for easy access.

Whether you are traveling solo, as a couple or with a large group of friends, it's a good idea to put in the prep work before you leave. That way, when you reach your destination you can kick back with a cocktail and relax, knowing you're equipped with a fail-proof holiday back-up plan.

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