If your feet are itchy and you already started daydreaming about faraway places, read on. You don’t have to wait for your friends to hop on the bandwagon and decide to go somewhere with you, this post will prepare you for your first solo adventure, and keep you happy and safe on your first solo travel.
Photo by Nina Uhlíková from Pexels
You know how the story goes; you find the time in your schedule, save some money and start planning your trip. Everything seems to be going perfectly until you ask a friend to come with you and join the adventure. The friend doesn’t have the budget, can’t find the time, or won’t travel without her SO.
And then you get this scary thought of going solo. You think it will be simpler to make plans, you’ll meet new people, have an adventure, and spend quality time with the most important person in your life (you!).
Your first solo trip might be the best experience of your life, but planning for it can become stressful. Don’t worry about getting lonely and follow the tips below to make your planning and going away much easier.
Get in the Solo Trip Vibe
Yes, this is actually a thing. If you hold onto your fears of traveling alone, you may never actually take that leap. You must change your mindset if you wish to take this adventure on by yourself.
Start focusing on the positive aspects of the journey. Don’t worry about what could go wrong, think about all the fun and exciting things you’ll see and experience. Read about awesome experiences from others and consider the tips they have.
Your journey begins at the end of your comfort zone. Consider doing things that aren’t your cup of tea before you leave for your trip. That way, you will get used to challenging yourself.
Don’t Forget Soothing Your Loved Ones
Being doubted by friends and loved ones can be worse than doubting yourself. Those who care for you will probably feel anxious and wonder why you want to embark on this journey alone. There are ways to settle their fears, however.
Start by making sure you can explain a solid plan to them. Write up an itinerary for their (and your) benefit. Provide them with contact information and the names of the places you’ll be staying.
Keep in touch with them when you go, as this will not only alleviate their fears but yours as well. Set a precise time when you’ll definitely call them and create a Facebook group where you’ll post every day.
Be Smart About the Destination
You are already stepping out of your comfort zone, don’t make it harder.
Choose a destination you are familiar with – either a place you visited a long time ago or you know from friends’ stories. Also, some places will automatically be safer for a solo traveler than others.
Use the internet to find people who live in the chosen destination. Ask them about the safest areas so you can steer clear of the danger zones. They can also be your tour guides for a day or two when you get there.
Find out where the best pubs and restaurants are, where to shop for food, how to travel around. Learn some useful phrases of the local language.
Book the Right Accommodations
Finding a safe, secure, and affordable place to stay on your solo journey is extremely important. Solo travelers mostly opt for hostels for their affordability. They are a great choice if you want to meet other wanderers.
If you, on the other hand, want to meet locals, you can choose to stay with a local family in their house. You will have your family away from family, but you will depend on their schedule and won’t be as free as you might have wanted.
Couchsurfing is the cheapest option – you can sleep on someone’s couch for free. Besides the couch, you’ll get company.
However, you are traveling alone, so it’s safe to assume you want to relax and de-stress. To be the master of your time, renting a room off AirBnB is a fantastic choice.
These are usually affordable and safe options but err on the side of caution when booking a home or room with any host. You don’t want your safe haven to cause you even more stress.
Whichever you choose, make sure it has great reviews by regular contributors, check if the property has WiFi, all the amenities you need, and that it is close to the city center or a public transport station.
Take Precautions and Stay Safe
One of the most important parts of traveling alone is safety. It’s like going away to college far from home; the same rules apply. Maybe nothing will happen, but take precautions nevertheless. Leave phone numbers and addresses with family and friends in case they need to get a hold of you.
Keep an emergency card in your wallet, one that has your name and an emergency contact person listed in case something happens to you. Consider investing in travel insurance and download safety apps on your phone.
When traveling solo, you’re going to want to pack as light as possible, since there will be no one by your side to assist with your bags and luggage. Bring clothing that can be layered to keep up with the weather.
Pack travel size toiletries so they’re convenient and can safely be taken on a plane.
Bring a journal where you’ll write down your thoughts every now and then. Don’t forget a book to keep you company while eating alone. Bring a tablet so you can watch movies on the days you don’t feel like going out.
Time To Go!
Traveling solo is easily one of the most exciting, invigorating things you will ever do. You’ll experience things that so many people never will, and you’ll learn things about yourself that you had no idea you were capable of doing.
Plan well, pack lightly, be safe, and make your dreams come true. College is the best time for it!