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Solo Travel Packing List

solo travel packing list

This solo travel packing list will not tell you how many socks to pack or which are the best pair of shoes. I will not bring up hiking boots, quick-drying towels and small bottled shampoo and conditioner.  There will be no mention of “old fashioned” money belts in this post. I’m sure you know the benefits of packing light and packing cubes etc. The internet is full of articles like those.

This article is full of “good idea items” for your next solo trip. These are the essential travel items to keep you safe, help you make friends and to keep yourself in a sane mind when you have not spoken to a soul in 2 days. On top of this packing list, here at 25 tips for how to travel alone.

What to pack for travelling solo | Making friends on the road

1. A pack of cards – or other small game.

You would be surprised what a simple pack of cards can do when you are on the road. It is a great icebreaker when you are sitting on a curb waiting for a bus to come that is late (Flixbus! Always late!). A pack of cards is best for packing light and cheap. (You can also get mini playing cards for the serial light packer).

Another idea and one of my favourite games to play are Bananagrams. It is interesting because when you are playing with non-English native speakers it is a great icebreaker. This is more of a hostel game than a sitting by the bus. It is basically like a quick-fire game a scrabble in a bag. It’s a great group game and can always be turned into a drinking game, like all the best games.

You can’t look past Cards Against Humanity. It’s a great laugh and a good way to find out what kind of new friends you are dealing with!

2. An item of souvenir from your country

You are going to meet people who really make a difference in life and you are going to want to show them that you care. That one day you wish to see them again in your home soil or there’s. The best and most caring way to do this is to bring some sort of item that represents your country and give it to them. I found Canadians tend to bring Canadian badges, I really love that. I have been given two and they mean a lot to me. When I was in India, I wanted to do something similar. So I took the $5 Australia note in my backpack and put it in a frame filled with words my India family had taught me. They loved it.

A good book

This is a no-brainer. The best time to catch up on reading is when you are travelling solo. Personally, I love to read books inspired by the country I’m travelling in. That is why I started the “before travelling series” the idea is a list of books, music and movies sorted by countries. Check out the page before you go on your next big trip. But here are a few books perfect for travelling solo.


This is an interesting one, it isn’t for everyone. Personally when I’m travelling alone I sometimes miss the voice of another human. Sometimes I just get to a point where I need some English in my life. I want to walk the streets and explore but I don’t want to be on my phone, face down texting people back home. No I want to enjoy my surroundings. An Audiobook is key for this. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy walking around sightseeing in my own world with the soothing sound of someone narrating a good book. All those adjectives in my ear suppress my need to hear a real human near me.

You can start a free trial here


A pad and pen

No better way to beat the long bus boredom than to write down your thoughts. Write letters to family and friends. Write your feelings and you’ll really enjoy reading them when you get travel sick.

Portable speakers

You know you want to be that person in the hostel who comes to rescue with the music! (It helps to have a premium Spotify account too). A small, lightweight and durable Bluetooth speaker will ALWAYS come handy. You are chilling with your new stranger friends on the beach and suddenly a group of fun guys bring in the beers. This was expected, it was just a group walk to the shore. Now you just happen to have a speaker and the music. Well now who is the fun member of the group! The beer guys or you! You both are just as cool. You are totally a team player. So you end up being best friends (or if he is really hot, you totally end up making out). I have seen it – lived it! 😉

In this case, the Spotify account helps and so does the portable charger. All very good things to carry with you.

JBL Charge 3 – Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker 

JBL Clip 2 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker 

Multi Charger

This will help when you need to charge your device. But because you can charge more than one phone at a time and multiple types, it will be able to help someone else. You will be surprised how helpful it is to the person sitting next to you on the train who doesn’t have her charger. I have managed to help so many lost and battery prone new friends with that little tip.

Metrans Direct Compatible Multi USB Charger 

Kingback Multi Charging Cable

The fake wedding wing

Perfect for avoiding that unwanted male attention. Slip this baby on your finger and avoid men thinking they can buy your nightly company for the price of a cocktail or two. But men have smartened up to the wedding/engagement ring trick. Sticking just any old ring on your finger won’t always work. Try one of these realistic babies! Hell, why not make it some big bling so he knows how out of his reach you are.

These are surprisingly inexpensive and are a great substitute for your real ring if you want to keep it from getting stolen in certain countries/areas.

A decent lock

I really recommend this two-way lock from Lewis N. Clark. It means you don’t have to choose between your bag being opened but not stolen altogether, or stolen but unopenable.

Lewis N Clark Triple Security Lock

The new money belt

So I promised no talk of money belt and I stand by that. But if you haven’t already heard of Clever Travel Companion then you need to. Stow the money in your underwear and never be caught for dead without any money. Let’s be honest that is a shitty situation to be in if you are alone. You can check them out here.

Double Audio Jack

Music is always a great conversation tool. Gone are the days were one must share a single headphone to listen to music in public together. Use this double jack and share music with your new travel friend you just met. Music is a great way to bond two people together

I will update this list as things come handy and cool items and situations are brought to my attention. If there is anything you have found has been a lifesaver on your travels please get in touch. I would love to include you.

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