Making the decision to travel alone can lead to one of the best experiences of your life. It’s not only about traveling at your own pace. It’s also about reconnecting with yourself and feeling free to do what you want.
But not everyone knows what solo travel involves, especially when it comes to deciding one of the most important things: accommodation.
In this blog, we share the best tips on finding places to stay when traveling alone in Chilean Patagonia and on everything you need to know before setting off on this adventure.
Important considerations on choosing accommodation
Before deciding to travel alone in the south of Chile, it’s important to take several things into account to make this trip a wonderful, mishap-free experience.
1.- The type of luggage
First and foremost: you must plan your luggage. The kind of bag you carry will depend on the aim of your trip. If you are going to explore and travel through rural areas and roads, it’s best if you take an outdoor backpack.
These backpacks are designed to distribute the weight on your back. If you want to carry a smaller daypack in front, check whether the outdoor backpack you buy has fasteners on its front straps to clip on the extra bag. This will help you to maintain a stable weight and prevent the daypack from frequently slipping down.
It should also have zips that you can close with a padlock to keep your belongings safe both when you travel and at your lodgings.
If your travel plans are more relaxed and your aim is to get a good rest, or if you will be traveling by car, it may be more convenient to take a traditional suitcase so that you can pack your clothes more carefully and prevent them from getting crumpled.
If it’s a large suitcase, it should ideally have four 360° wheels so that you can easily roll it along; if you opt for an old 2-wheel bag you will end up carrying the whole weight without extra support. Also, check that it has its own security lock or zips that close with a padlock.
2.- Safety first
Remember that when traveling alone you should pay more attention than usual to your belongings. Before choosing a hostel or hotel, take the time to telephone or send an email to check it has what you really want or need.
We’re not only talking about your belongings but also your personal safety. Today you can read solo travelers’ opinions and comments on this topic on different websites.
Basic safety tips:
Location: if there’s public transport, check whether the stations have lockers with a security lock or whether you need to take your own padlock to take care of your belongings. Also find out whether there are safety exits, free Wifi and, last but not least, good customer service.
Information about the latter point will be directly available in the comments on specialized accommodation websites and itinerary planning sites, like TripAdvisor, Booking or Airbnb.
3.- Solo traveler reviews
Without a doubt, the best way to find suitable accommodation anywhere in the world is by reading the reviews of other travelers on specialized sites.
But before deciding where to stay, it’s essential to learn how to use the filters on the websites that you surf. If you travel alone, there’s generally an option to see accommodation for people like you.
This allows you to check recommendations by other solo travelers who stayed in a place and get more specific insight.
Depending on your tastes and preferences, you can choose a private or shared room depending on whether the city you are visiting is overly expensive. But if you definitely want a place to yourself, it’s advisable that you review all the accommodation options available on the website. Also, check the price; sometimes there are really great offers!
Comfort is also relevant, so don’t forget the following: cleanliness, above all. Make sure from the reviews of guests whether the place actually meets hygiene and cleanliness standards.
Also, check if the room is mixed or for a genre only (mixed are usually cheaper); the number of beds, if there is air conditioning or heating; the type of bed, etc. If it’s a bunk-bed, it will probably move when the person on top turns over. Just as important, find out whether breakfast is included or whether you need to pay extra for it.
Bonus: websites such as Booking will first show the sites where they make the most money; g those hotels that pay more commission to be among the first listed. But that doesn’t mean they are the best places to stay.
It’s important that you check the final price carefully as often the total cost shown on your reservation doesn’t include taxes (VAT), and you will have to pay an additional amount once you are checked-in.
The most important thing to remember when choosing where to stay is to remain calm and not feel pressured when you see posts like “last three rooms available!”. Often, they’re just a trick to get you to make the reservation quickly.
Relax and enjoy the experience of traveling alone from the moment you plan your trip until you actually live it.
And last but not least: you will never actually be alone! The magic of solo travel is connecting with people from different cultures and countries who are in the same situation as you; great groups end up forming.
When you finish your trip, you’ll be surprised by the number of people you’ve met along the way!
Are you ready now to make your first solo trip to Chilean Patagonia?