How to prepare for a walking holiday alone

G oing on a walking holiday by yourself can seem like the ideal way for you to unwind and enjoy a break alone. But, if you’re planning to sign up to an adventurous trekking trip for one, there are some things I’d recommend you do first to get yourself ready for such a trip.

Johnny Ward Mount Kinabalu
1)       Get fit

How fit you need to be for your walking expedition will, of course, depend on what type of trekking holiday you embark on – but with all hiking breaks, you will need to have a certain level of fitness. I would talk to your doctor and see what they say about your general state of health. They might advise you to take up some more exercise before you leave the country or change your diet and lifestyle.

In general, it is a good idea to exercise regularly in the lead-up to the trip; in particular, get used to walking long distances, sometimes at speed (you don’t want to be the one that forces the rest of the team to slow down) and try to practise hiking up slopes if you’re planning to climb some mountains during your time away.

2)       Pick a trip that’s right for you

Once you have spoken to a medical practitioner and gone for a few long walks, you’ll have a better idea of what sort of condition you are in and what you’d be prepared to do. If you’re at the peak of your physical fitness, you might decide this is the ideal time to go on a walking holiday in Canada, the USA or any other part of the world.

Don’t be dismayed if you think your adventurous mountain climbing days are behind you, though, as there are plenty of walking trails you can embark on – and the locations don’t have to be any less glamorous. In my opinion, hiking through the Grand Canyon or walking through Yosemite National Park is right up there with some of the coolest things you can do!

3)       Choose a good tour operator

Now, it’s time to pick the right tour operator. After you have decided what walking demands you want from your trip, which country you would like to visit and what expeditions you are interested in, just search for travel companies that offer what you’re looking for.

It is important to research the organisation thoroughly, as you’ll want a company that has qualified guides that can ensure your safety on the hikes and inform you of the nature and history of the location as you walk. You also need one that will offer you support throughout the holiday as you won’t have your friends or loved ones there to help should something go wrong. Pick a company that has excellent reviews and you consider to be reliable, so you can be confident that going away alone is a safe and enjoyable option for you.

4)       Give loved ones details

Before you set off on the plane, it is a good idea to give your family details of the trip. I don’t just mean your flight information and what time you arrive back (although, these are, of course, useful things!), but also details about the tour operator and the itinerary. Let them know where you’ll be staying when and what dates you will begin and end your walking expedition.

This way, they can contact you if they need to and they won’t worry if they don’t hear from you for a few days if they know you’re away hiking in beautiful landscapes.

5)       Pack for emergencies

When packing, don’t forget to bring everything you need. I often rely on my friends and other half to have things that I might have forgotten (sun cream, insect repellent or headache pills, for instance) but you can’t do that if you’re going on a singles holiday.

The best way to get around this is make a thorough list of everything you need and tick the item off when you’ve packed it, so you know for sure it’s (somewhere) in your bag. Failing this, make sure you buy all the essentials you’ve forgotten at the airport – just before you board the plane is better than not at all!


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