3 Amazing Cities That Are Perfect For Solo Travel

solo woman traveller with backpack in the woods

When you think about travel, are you picturing exploring new countries and cultures with friends and family? That’s the ideal travel experience for a lot of people but there’s a lot of great reasons to travel alone as well. Solo travel can be incredibly daunting because you don’t have anybody else there to help you out if things go wrong. But there are so many benefits that outweigh your fears about traveling alone. It forces you to get outside of your comfort zone and try something new, without anybody else to back you up. It’s a great confidence builder for people that struggle with their self-esteem because it shows you what you’re capable of. For some people, the joy of solo travel is simply having the chance to do exactly what you want to do without having to worry about other people. If you want to go to a country that none of your friends or family are interested in or they have a different idea of what the perfect travel experience is, going alone might be a more rewarding experience.

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But even though solo travel can be a great thing, it can still be quite dangerous depending on where you go. There are a few things that you can do to keep yourself safe when you travel. First off, you need to have a rough itinerary for your trip that you should give to a friend or family member. That way, if something does happen to you, they’ll have a good idea of your recent movements. It’s also important to protect your money and passport etc. so split it up and keep it in different bags so if one gets stolen or lost, you don’t lose everything. You should also use a travel wallet that straps to your body so you can’t get pickpocketed easily. Researching your chosen country beforehand is important too. There are a lot of scams directed at travelers, particularly people that are alone. If you do a little research you’ll be aware of what those scams are and the different danger areas that you can avoid etc.

All of that stuff is important but your choice of destination is perhaps the most important thing, especially if you’re traveling alone for the first time. With that in mind, here is a list of some of the best and safest countries for traveling solo.

Rome

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Rome is a great city that has so many amazing things for you to do and you can enjoy most of those things on your own. The people there are very welcoming so you’ll be fine if you get lost and you need to ask for directions. Part of the joy of visiting Rome is just walking around and seeing the amazing architecture in the city. If you’re a history lover, this is the place for you because you can immerse yourself in the rich history of the Roman Empire and visit some amazing sites like Pantheon, the Colosseum and the Forum. There are plenty of great places to stay while you’re there but the prices can be a little high if you go for hotels that are near the city centre. You might be better off renting an apartment from Airbnb because you can get a more central location for your money.

Italy is, of course, famous for its great food and quaint cafes with some of the best coffee in the world. There are plenty of laid back places to eat and drink where you won’t feel out of place on your own.

Singapore

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Singapore is one of the most interesting cities in the world because it blends traditional Asian culture with a modern metropolis, so whatever you’re looking for, you’ll probably find it in Singapore. It’s a very safe city so it’s ideal for solo travelers as well. You can easily find a great room for rent in Singapore that won’t cost you too much but the flights can be quite expensive and the cost of living over there is fairly high so it might be an expensive trip. However, there are are a lot of great things you can do that won’t cost that much so you could do it economically if you really want to. There are some amazing temples and shrines around the city that give you a great insight into the cultural heritage of this unique city. But if you don’t really go for that, take a wander around and admire some of the awe inspiring modern skyscrapers that make up the impressive skyline.

If you want some retail therapy, Singapore is the ideal place to do it. It’s famed around the world for its great shopping districts where you’ll find the biggest fashion brands in the world. If you’re not bothered about shopping and you want something a little more relaxed so you can take a break from the hustle and bustle of the big city, there’s even a man made beach there.

All of that stuff is great but one of the most amazing things about visiting Singapore is the food. It’s a multicultural city that has people from all over Asia living there. That means there is a huge mixture of cuisines there so you’ll get to sample a cross section of authentic food from around the continent as well as some great modern fusion dishes.

Reykjavik

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Reykjavik in Iceland has been rated as one of the safest cities in the entire world so if you’re traveling alone and you’re a bit apprehensive about it, it’s the ideal city. But the safety of the place isn’t the only reason that you should go there because it’s got so much to offer. It’s a very unique city so you’ll have to deal with a bit of culture shock but once you get used to it, you’ll absolutely love it. It’s the natural features that bring people to Iceland and you won’t find anything else like it in the world. It’s one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights (just check what time of year is best to go because they’re not always visible.) The Blue Lagoon is another great natural feature that you should visit while you’re there. It’s a beautiful geothermal spa where you can relax in the hot springs.

There are also some great museums like the National and Saga museums that chart the interesting history of the country’s Vikings. There are some beautiful art galleries in the city as well, housing collections of traditional and modern works from around the globe.

The food in Reykjavik is delicious and sometimes unexpected as well. You’re probably expecting the traditional, hearty food like the amazing lamb soup but you probably didn’t think that hot dogs are Iceland’s favorite food. There are some great hot dog stands dotted around so make sure that you try one while you’re out there. Reykjavik is one of those cities where you can have an amazing time just wandering around and taking it all in. You’ll get breathtaking views of the harbor and the mountains to the north and the cute colorful houses look amazing in the snow.

Traveling on your own can be incredibly scary the first time you do it. When you first land, you’ll probably feel like you’ve been thrown in at the deep end but after a day or two when you get yourself acquainted, you’ll start to enjoy the freedom of traveling alone. When you get back from your trip, you’ll feel a great sense of achievement.

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How to Get Out of a Career Rut

When you find yourself in a career rut, it can certainly be very frustrating for you. Not only do you feel like your career is going nowhere, but you tend to also feel like you don’t have the energy or motivation to do anything about it. Well, if that’s how you’re feeling right now, it’s time you snapped out of it. Of course, that’s much easier said than done but with the right mindset and some active steps in the right direction, you’ll find your way out of this rut.

The first thing you should accept is that you’re certainly not the first person to feel this way about your career. We all go through times when we’re not sure where our career is heading or what we should do about it. That’s just the way it is. However, there are plenty of people who get back on track and find a positive way forward too, so you can take inspiration from those success stories.

It’s time to look at exactly how you can get out of your career rut and what it’ll take. You can’t just coast along waiting for things to change because it requires action on your part. Scroll down and read on to find out which steps you need to take right now.

Search for New Inspiration

First of all, you should look for inspiration where you can find it. There are plenty of ways to get inspired and push your career in a more positive direction if you want to. Doing this will certainly help you when it comes to putting in the work each day; it might even make you excited about your work again. You could talk to someone about your career, get inspired by someone who’s found real success in your field and try to emulate their success in your own career.

Do Some More Networking

Networking is a good way to reach out and find new opportunities. If you’re tired of sitting behind your desk doing work that you consider boring, you should instead try to network and see if there are new opportunities out there that you can grab hold of and run with. You might be surprised by just how many opportunities there are. However, you probably won’t even find out about most of them unless you’re active at industry events and networking with the aim of meeting new people.

Find a Mentor

Having a mentor on your side who has the knowledge and the experience that you’re maybe lacking can be of real benefit to you and your career. They’ll help you out of your career rut by teaching you tricks you never knew about before and helping you climb the career ladder faster than you might have thought possible in the past. This mentor can be someone from inside your current business, which is the way these things are usually organised, so don’t hesitate to look into it and make the most of it.

Confront What’s Causing Your Problems

If you feel like your career is in a rut, you should think about what’s making you feel that way. Is there a specific aspect of your job that’s getting you down? Have you missed out on a promotion recently? By being honest about what’s driving these feelings, you will find it easier to formulate a response to those problems and find a constructive way forward. So don’t hide away from what’s causing you to feel that you’re in a rut; instead, confront those problems head-on if you can.

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Make Changes to Your Routine

Your routine could be the thing stopping you from making advances in your career. If that’s the case, you should seriously think about changing your routines and making it possible for you to get the most out of each day at work. It’s amazing how much of a difference a simple chance can make, so don’t underestimate this. It could be a change to how you start your day or how you approach your work each day. It’s up to you, but a shake-up of things could be all you need right now.

Enroll on a Course

Finding a course that you can enroll on might be a good idea because this might be the basis of a career change for you. Changing your career will allow you to achieve so much more and help you to take things to the next level in your career. If you want to do something technical, you could look into options like Kettering’s Online computer engineering degree. It should be something that you know will expand your horizons and allow you to achieve more going forward in your career.

Put Yourself Forward for New Challenges

When the chance arises to take on a new challenge, you should grab it with both hands and go for it. This is a good way to escape your rut because it helps you to throw yourself into a project that you find difficult and challenging. Many people feel like they’re in a rut because they’re constantly doing work that they feel is too easy for them. A real and fresh challenge will change all that and help you to feel excited and motivated to go to work again. That’s exactly what you require right now.

Take Training to Learn New Skills

When you get the chance to do some new training in your career, you should make the most of it. Training opportunities come along all the time in many workplaces, but if they’re voluntary, most people just ignore them. Instead of doing that, next time you should embrace those opportunities and learn new things that’ll help you achieve more every day at work. It could be the kick that you need to start enjoying your job and feeling fulfilled by it once more. Keep this in mind next time a training opportunity arises.

Do the Unexpected

There are many ways to take on work and projects that are unexpected. It’s up to you to take on projects that are unexpected and unusual. There’s no need to put yourself in situations you don’t want to be in, but by trying things you wouldn’t normally want to try, you can sometimes learn new skills and discover things you love that you didn’t know about before. It’s another example of changing your working life so that you can get more out of it and stop the boredom you might have been experiencing before.

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Throw Yourself Into Collaborative Work

Collaborative work can be a really good way to make you feel revitalised at work each day. When you’re working closely alongside other people, you can feel motivated by them and their enthusiasm for the project can be infectious, helping you to feel more passionate and enthusiastic about it too. If you have the chance to throw yourself into a collaborative project and to work closely with other people, you should make the most of it and go for it. It could be great for you.

Meet with a Career Advisor

If it’s been a long time since you talked to a career advisor, maybe this is something that could help you out of your career rut. It’s about finding out what an objective and external professional thinks about your situation and what their professional advice would be. There are plenty of career advisors out there, so why not book an appointment with one near you and see what you can learn from the whole experience? You might get some pointers and advice that help your career going forward.

Create Some Ambitious Goals

Having ambitious goals in place that you can work towards over time is really important for anyone in their career. These goals become even more significant and important when you’re feeling unsure of your career and where it’s heading next. You should make those goals as clear and specific as they can be so that you can work towards them gradually in the months and years ahead. Most importantly, they should be ambitious so that you don’t get too complacent.

Talk Through Your Problems

Sometimes, talking to your boss about your career problems can be really helpful. Your problems might be resolvable if you talk to your boss about them and find a way forward together. Most problems are easy enough to solve if your boss is willing to work through them with you and make changes to your work. So don’t assume that you’re stuck with your problems because that’s probably not the case at all. Talking is often tough, especially when it comes to your problems, but you should try it!

We all find ourselves in a career rut from time to time. That’s just the way it is sometimes. What really matters when you find yourself in that kind of situation is how you respond to it and how you get yourself out of it. If you’re in a career rut right now, use the ideas above to drag yourself out of it.

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THE TOP FIVE – A FIRST-TIMER’S GUIDE TO CRUISING

 

If you’re an experienced cruiser you already know the drill, but for the first-time cruiser having a “cheat sheet” to navigate this new world helps.  After finding your stateroom, here’s what’s next.

 

  1. Get a copy of the ship’s plan.  They are usually found in the main reception area.  Get acquainted with the layout of the ship: restaurants, bars, entertainment venues.  Solve the mysteries of “forward” and “aft”, just remember there will be an emergency drill.  All guests and crew are required to attend an emergency drill before the ship leaves port and it’s no joke.  It’s a coast guard regulation.  When they start making announcements and the alarm sounds make sure you know where you’re supposed to be.  Safety is very serious business onboard.

 

  1. If you haven’t booked shore excursions in advance now’s the time, especially if you’ve never been to a particular port.  From a walking tour to zip lining, there’s something for everyone and booking onboard is smart for a lot of reasons.  Cruise lines carefully vet the tour operators they work with to ensure guest safety, exceptional value and a memorable experience.

 

  1. Everyone talks about the food.  There’s food everywhere, all the time, of every kind you can imagine.  It’s not hype.  People have amazing culinary experiences on cruise ships.  If you want to try one of the many specialty restaurants that today’s ships offer, make a reservation when you get onboard.  They fill up fast.

 

  1. Every vacation should include time to pamper yourself and cruise ships have some of the most spectacular spas anywhere.  They offer the usual mani/pedi and hair salon services but they also include cosmetic services like teeth whitening.  Indulge yourself with a service. The options are endless.

 

  1. Find a place to sit down, relax and order a drink.  You’re on vacation…just make sure you can find your stateroom again.

This post was written by Shannon Mckee, founder of Access Cruise Inc. Access Cruise Inc is a Miami based and sales consulting group, specializing in product and business development within the cruise industry.

 

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Neca Reiche: Hotel Review

Accomodation: Neca Reiche

Location: 736/2 Poonnakan Rd, ตำบลคอหงส์ Amphoe Hat Yai, Chang Wat Songkhla Thailand 90110

The Room (Standard II, L705):

At first glance this hotel room is the most modern we have ever seen. The concept is just state of the art. The way they made use of the space is so ingenious. The wall that separates the entrance and the bathroom hides the ref together with the closet and a tiny safety box. The closet can be accessed both from the outside and from the bathroom. A sliding door with a full body mirror camouflages this part. Next to it is the sliding door for the bathroom which is a translucent glass. You got to be very careful though as one can easily get their hands pinched by the alternating sliding doors.

The room smells like heaven. They have these perfumed, dried flowers that make the room smell so fresh. It’s the first thing that greets you the moment you open your room.

The room size will not blow you away but it is big enough to be comfortable. A queen size bed is nestled in the middle and a sofa bed tucked in the end of the room. There’s enough walking space in-between furniture but that’s it. You’d be risking stubbing your toe if you are not careful though.

The place is definitely clean, although we are not fond of black tiles for the floor (bathroom) as they never look/feel clean, they are very particular with cleanliness. The nooks and crannies even under the bed was vacuumed.

The room is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. It’s a well thought of design and arrangement. Even the small details like paintings/photo on the wall, the hanging lampshade on each sides of the bed, even the TV rack is pleasing.

The only flaw we saw, which basically ruined it all for us was the bathroom. I guess being aesthetic does not always equate to functionality. We were not able to fully enjoy the bathtub or even just our bath for fear of flooding. If one is not careful, water could easily and we mean easily flood the room. The bathtub is located next to the bathroom door and the bathroom-floor and the room-floor are level. Well, we have seen modern bathrooms like these but I guess the basics of slightly angling the floor towards the drain should still be observed. Instead the water flows outside of the bathroom. It really freaked us out when we saw water going out of the bathroom while using the bath. We literally had to towel the floor down and squeeze the towel in the sink.

Ant problems also put us off. I woke up with ant bites and they were all over the floor the next morning. As a plush hotel in downtown Hatyai this should not have not been an issue but it is.

Now this is just based on the room we stayed in.

This video was taken at Neca Reiche Hotel.

Sockets:

At this modern age of gadgetry we have made electric sockets our best friend. And having plenty of them in a hotel room is a necessity. We always bring a ton of gadgets with us and re-charge all of them in the evening and we were not disappointed. Sockets were aplenty

Wifi:

Another downside of this hotel is their WIFI connectivity or the lack of it. We were not able to connect at all during our stay. We called the front desk for assistance thinking we may have made a mistake in connecting and someone did come to our AID to help us connect but still no connection at all. For us it was fine since we do have internet in our mobile devices because we live here in Thailand but if you are a tourist on a tourist SIM card you might really really want a hotel wifi connection and this will be outrageous and disappointmenting.

Amenities:

They have got the usual complimentary bottled water, towels, toiletries, shower caps, flat-screen TV, fridge, electric kettle, and hairdryer.

Pool:

They have a pool located on the 6th floor of the building. The pool is tiny. You’d have to literally wait for your turn to get into it. They do not have a kiddie pool so kids shorter than 4 feet will need a flotation device. The tiles are dark blue almost black so we could not be sure if the water was clean. We did not take a dip.

Food:

The food was the saving grace of this hotel. They were generous of the food. They served ham and eggs, fried rice, fruits and vegetables, complementary drinks, salad dressings, soup, porridge, bread, and a lot of condiments. They replenished the food the moment they see it’s running low. We have seen stingy hotel restaurants who would not refill the serving plates right away to discourage clients from having seconds.

Staff:

The hotel staffs were friendly and courteous. They could speak decent English so communication is not a problem at all.

Clientele

Neca Reiche hotel is a good place to stay if you plan to go around Hatyai City. It is famous among Malaysians, Singaporeans, Expats, and local tourists.

Overall

At 49.90 USD/per night for a family of four in a Standard II room, I think it is a good deal. Overall, in terms of aesthetic, cleanliness, and location, this hotel is great. And the whole experience which could have been even greater if not because of the bathroom and WIFI connection. If Neca Reiche addresses these, then I would say it is the total package but until then, I would not return.

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Culture Shock: What Is It and How Can You Get Over It?

When you travel, you’re more likely to get culture shock. If you’re unsure of what culture shock is but you want to be prepared for it before you head off to pastures new, this guide can help you. Here, we’re going to look at what culture shock is and how you can get over it.

What Is Culture Shock?

Culture shock is where you are thrown out of your daily routine, and into a place with a brand new culture and different attitudes. Things are no longer familiar; gestures, tone of voice, how we wait in lines, how people interact, etc. These things rely on collectively understood cultural cues – they are the norm for us and we don’t really pay attention to them. We are hyper aware of things that are different in other countries because they are so different from our norm. You may not have literal shock, but you may feel disorientated and struggle to process the changes. However, there are usually a few stages to culture shock that you should be aware of.

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Stages Of Culture Shock

    • The honeymoon stage – you’ll probably notice the similarities and be charmed by the differences at this stage.
    • The negotiation stage – the honeymoon feelings will diminish and you’ll get more annoyed at things you’re not used to, you might even become confused, angry, and scared.
    • The adjustment stage – you can relax and come to terms with how different things are.
  • The mastery stage – you reach a high level of comfort in this new place and your routine is more natural to you.

Just know that there will come a time when you feel more comfortable – the uncertain stages won’t last forever!

Dealing With Culture Shock

Now let’s talk about dealing with culture shock.

Learn as Much As You Can Before You Travel – make sure you learn as much as you possibly can about a place before you travel. Read up on different reviews and forums, and watch YouTube videos. You’ll get a good idea of what to expect, and hopefully, the shock won’t be too severe.

When You Arrive, Write Down What You Love – as soon as you arrive, write down what you love about the place. Maybe you love the hustle and bustle of Downtown L.A., or how friendly the people are in South East Asia. Write down as many things as you can so that you can look back on it when you’re feeling low.

Find A Healthy Distraction – find a distraction to help you deal in the tough stages. You could work out. listen to a podcast, read a book, or do something else you enjoy.

See If You Can Talk To Others About How You Feel – you may be able to find other travellers and talk to them about it, or there are always forums you can use.

Are you ready to deal with culture shock after reading this, or have you experienced it already? Leave your comments below!

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