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MIndset Decisions to make while travelling

It came to me early morning, misty Naples, sliding around the back of taxi that was driving around corners at break-neck speed. He quoted me the price that was more than what I had seen on the app. To argue or not argue? How much did the additional 5 euros really matter? And maybe he was right, maybe there was an additional airport tax, or some other legitimate reason that he had to charge me that amount? Or maybe he was just ripping me off?? The realisation was, when it all boils down to it solo travel is really a series of psychological decisions*.

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Another decision to make while solo travelling is when to argue and when to just 'play along'. You'll need to decide throughout your time solo travelling where that line is. What are going to be the things that are 'ok' and what's 'not ok' (then there are the things that are definitely 'NOT ok" - but that would need a whole other blog). And, if you're like me, that line will shift (sometimes by the minute) and can be influenced by completely irrational factors - being hungry and tired spring to mind. Sometimes solo travel can be a lot easier if you let some of the small things slide. Sure the extra 5 euros is annoying but it really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

Another decision to make while solo travelling is when to argue and when to just 'play along'. You'll need to decide throughout your time solo travelling where that line is. What are going to be the things that are 'ok' and what's 'not ok' (then there are the things that are definitely 'NOT ok" - but that would need a whole other blog). And, if you're like me, that line will shift (sometimes by the minute) and can be influenced by completely irrational factors - being hungry and tired spring to mind. Sometimes solo travel can be a lot easier if you let some of the small things slide. Sure the extra 5 euros is annoying but it really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

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Decide when to connect and when to disconnect with people. I'm not going to lie, sometimes solo travel can get lonely. And sometimes the best remedy is to put your big-girl-brave-pants*** on, go out the hostel/ hotel door and get amongst it. Sure it might be really uncomfortable to start and you might feel like the odd (wo)man out, but usually our fears are much louder than the actual risk itself. Worst thing that happens - you have a drink and some food by yourself (if you don't happen to find anyone to chat to) which is what would have happened anyway if you'd hidden yourself away. But best case, you may just find some freakin cool people to chat to, and that feeling of lonely will very quickly evaporate.

Travel (and solo travel in particular) comes down to a set of psychological decisions around what kind of adventure you want. You can have tough days (we all do) but if you get your mindset right and get out there, it can transform your trip (and your life)!

*I am no expert in psychology! ** I totally made this up ;) *** Yup this is a thing (am sure there is some guy equivalent?!)

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5 stopover travel ideas

If you're travelling a long way and want to break up the journey, here are 5 ways to make the most of your travel stopover time...


1. Catching up with friends is my favourite of travel stopover ideas. If you've got enough time at the stopover location and you've got a mate in the city, it can be a great way to connect with fabulous people. I had a great time doing this on a trip from Singapore to Auckland. It turned out over $300 cheaper to visit my buddy in Melbourne for the day. We had a lovely catch up over lunch, a walk around a great city, then back to Auckland and I saved money. Win, Win, Win!


2 Another great idea for stopovers is to get a massage in the airport. This has worked particularly well for me in Hong Kong and Singapore airports. Find a spa and get a cheapish massage to stretch out that body which is likely to have been squashed into the plane seats for too long. The other bonus is if you can find a fancier place, they often have showers you can use to freshen up - which is a god-send on a long haul flight!


3. My third idea, that works well if you have the energy, is to go for an adventure in the stopover location. I had 12 hours in Los Angeles and had always wanted to visit Santa Monica. So I checked in my bags early and although a bit jet-lagged, I headed on local transport to Santa Monica. I had a fabulous explore, a great lunch by the ocean and was back in time for the next flight.


4. Ok this is unashamedly more for the female travellers (or fashion forward fellas). Why not get a makeover at one of the many airport make-up counters. It can be a great time to try out new colours and learn new ways to use make-up. Mac counters are my personal favourites and to be fair to the people helping me, I always come away with some pretty new colours for lippy or other assorted goodies.

5 My last idea to help you to make the most of your travel stopover is to find a comfy spot in the airport and chill. Often cafes can be good, grab a coffee, cake and get stuck into that great book you've been meaning to read for ages. How often do you have the time to sit down and enjoy a great story line with limited interruption? Another personal favourite is to find a relaxed airport pub, enjoy a beer and watch the local sport. This can also be a excellent conversation starter with fellow travellers. Enjoy! But make sure you don't have so much fun you miss the next flight!


So there you have it, my top 5 ideas for making the most of your travel stopovers. Let me know if you have any other great ideas to make the most of this time.

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