I went to my very first pride march this weekend! It took some epic planning, but I learned a lot from this and wanted to share with you my 8 tips for planning a solo day out, like a boss!
I’m sure many people can relate to putting off doing something because of the sheer amount of energy (and pain!) that will be involved, and this was exactly why I’d waited so long. It was predicted to hit 40° (C) on the day, so there was the extra consideration of staying cool and hydrated in the hot weather.
Also, my friends cancelled the day before which threw a bit of a spanner in the works!!! So I was now going to be spending the whole day out alone – but I knew I could manage it with some extra planning!
Here are my tips for planning a day out on your own, like a BOSS!
Plan the Trip! (the boring part): Know your wheres, whens and hows.
1. Public transport can be tough but planning ahead can help to ease the strain. In my case, I drove my car to a nearby station that was at the very beginning of the train line, so I would be assured of a seat. I picked a time which wasn’t likely to be too busy (11:00 am). If you’re driving, plan your route in advance.
2. Write down your public transport numbers and the times you’re getting on and off; ensure to allow extra time in between. I find Google Maps is helpful for writing down what stops to get on and off. I also take note of the stop before I need to get off so I can be ready as it’s often hard to get up and down on public transport. I also use it for estimating the walking time between locations (although I add 20 mins to this for my slow self).
3. Save timetables (or directions) on your phone for coming home if you don’t know the specific time you’ll finish up. Doing this takes the stress out of finding your way back when you’re worn out.
4. Plan where/when you are going to eat. That is where I failed in my own planning, and I ended up too tired and distracted by wanting to get home to remember to find somewhere. If you already have the information of where to go and how to get there written down, this makes getting food much easier.
What to Pack
I carry a backpack with me wherever I go. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword where it would be nicer to carry nothing, but I need various things because of my hEDS, so I compromise with a backpack which is better for my back and shoulders than a tote or handbag.
5. The essentials
- Water (I took along a 500ml bottle as I knew there were places I could refill);
- Any medication you could possibly need;
- Umbrella (to keep the sun off);
In the cold weather, I like to pack a hat, scarf and gloves if I will be out the whole day to stay warm in the evening.
6. The extras
There are extra things you could bring and those that help as a distraction from uncomfortable public transport journeys. In my case that was my headphones to listen to music and a book. I also carried my spare battery pack for my phone as it is vital for me to ensure I can contact someone in case of an emergency and having some extra charge takes that worry away.
I would also always recommend carrying some food even if you plan to eat out. I took some rock melon with me which saved me when I didn’t eat lunch. Fruits like watermelon and rockmelon are great for hot days as they help restore your blood sugar and keep you hydrated.
7. Tell a friend or family member your plans.
That helps me because I know that someone knows what I’m up to and also helps those concerned about me to feel reassured. If something does go wrong while you’re on your own then at least people know where you are.
Rest, Recovery and Self Care
8. I realised I was exhausted when I tried to give someone a high five and nearly missed their hand (being tired tends to make my already poor proprioception much, much worse). Cue weird look.
Remember it is important to;
- Find places to sit down and take a break;
- Stay hydrated;
- Make use of toilets whenever you see them;
- Take your pain medication;
- Set reminders for these things if you feel you may forget when you are tired and sore.
- Most importantly make sure you have recovery time the next day. Your body and mind will thank you.
It can be annoying to have to plan out every “day out” meticulously. But having a proper plan of attack helps to ease the pain and worry. Overall, I had an amazing experience that was made so much better by being prepared.
I even got to practice some self-care on-the-fly. Walking across the road to St. Kilda beach I was able to take off my shoes and walk in the soft wet sand, standing knee deep in the warm salty water and close my eyes for a few minutes.
Got any tips of your own to share? Leave a comment below!
Planning to do some travelling?