Don’t sacrifice you dreams of travelling cause you’re on your own

It seems the most common reason people sacrifice their dream of travelling to London is that they don’t want to go alone. It may be scary. And yes, you may sometimes feel uneasy, especially when you’re dining in a restaurant alone. You will probably also feel vulnerable, but don’t let these concerns put you off. In fact, I have found travelling with someone else a hindrance at times. This is because when I travel with other people I tend to stay with them, but when I’m on my own I make a more concerted effort to meet other people. Still, be selective and wary of strangers. If you are worried about travelling alone to London on your working holiday, here are my 13 tips:


My 13 tips to help you travel on your own

Look approachable

How? Smile at other travellers. Let them know you don't mind being distracted from staring out that window or reading that book.

Don't feel self-conscious

Don't feel self-conscious about speaking to the person sitting next to you on the plane, train or bus, because you might just make a friend. If you make an idiot of yourself, who cares? You will probably never see them again.

Stay in hostels

On arrival in London and throughout your travels stay at hostels. These are full of travellers/students, many of them on their own and looking for friends. Check out the HostelWorld website to compare and book a bed in a hostel.

Be the one to ask others

Ask that room-mate what they are doing for their next meal. Maybe you could have a cheap bite together, or say you want to see a particular sight. Have you seen it? Do you want to come? Suggest you go on the hop-on hop-off bus?

Join in activities

Join in activities at the hostels, like the weekly barbecue or even watching TV--someone just might be watching their favourite show which could be yours as well. Discuss what's happening during any commercial breaks.

Go on an organised tour

Book an organised tour around the UK such as with Contiki. Definitely a great way to meet like-minded people.

Follow popular backpacker routes

When you're travelling follow the popular backpacker routes and stay where other backpackers are staying.

Go to get-togethers

Sometimes employment agencies have get-togethers for their temps. Go along and meet other temps. Or at any job you are working if there are social events, just go.

Contact that friend of a friend of a friend

If someone has given you the phone number of a friend of a friend of a friend, give them a call. You have nothing to lose.

Visit other peoples relatives

Do you know of someone at home who hasn't seen their relatives in years? Offer to pay their family a visit to pass on the latest news. They in turn might pass on tips about finding accommodation or job opportunities. They could even offer to put you up, or give you a free meal.

Join a sporting club

Join a sporting team or club. Doesn't matter if you cannot play! Go to be social.

Learn a new activity

Take up an outdoor activity. Learn to ski, sail or kayak. There will be other people there who are there to learn and you just may strike up a conversation.

Register to do a course

Register to do an evening course. Doesn't matter what.

So get up and go

That's right, get up and go, even if it is by yourself. You won't be by yourself for long. And you will regret it if you don't do it.


  • About the Author

    Sharyn McCullum has travelled most of her life thanks to her dad who worked at Sydney Airport. When in her 20’s, she bid her family farewell and left Australia on her own for a working holiday in the UK. She stayed for 4 years and her time there inspired her travel guide Live Work and Play in London and the UK and this blog. She currently calls Melbourne home.


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