As a first-time solo traveler, here are some pointers
Magic can happen when you set out to explore the world on your own.
Your first solo trip awaits you. It's crucial, and yet it's not so crucial if you know how to handle it.
You probably have a few concerns.
Some worries could be warranted
Have no fear; assistance is at hand.
For over a decade, Solo Traveler has been a resource for people looking for advice on traveling alone, whether they are complete novices or are looking to test their mettle in more remote areas of the world.
It's not uncommon for people to decide to go on a trip by themselves without giving it much thought. While others experience worry throughout the entire preparation procedure. Some people don't start to stress out until the last minute. In their haste to leave, they've begun to freak out.
You can ease into your first trip without a travel companion by familiarizing yourself with solo travel and preparing for it in advance. For the solo traveler, Solo Traveler is a wealth of resources. Specifically, there are more than a thousand articles covering various aspects of solo travel.
When reading this post, you will learn the fundamentals of solo travel. In addition, it will provide links to more detailed articles covering various aspects of traveling alone. Take a look at this article about traveling by yourself if you're in your twenties or thirties.
My goal in writing this is to provide first-time solo travelers with the information they need to set out on their first adventure feeling prepared and secure.
Your itineraries are entirely up to you when you're on your own.
Many people's reactions to hearing that a first-time solo traveler plans to visit unfamiliar territory are questions. The most important one is "why". Learn more about the benefits of solo travel and why you should do it before you worry about this.
Let's move on to the "how"
You can divide up the work of getting ready for your first overseas excursion all by yourself into several distinct phases. Now you must make a choice:
- Determine how much money you have available to spend.
- Whence shall I go
- Route to take
- Lodging arrangements
- The length of your visit
- Where you're going, and how you'll get there
Huh Anyone who has ever gone on a trip can recognize those six options. The similarities between solo travel and other types of travel are numerous.
But there's another list, this one of questions, that first-time solo travelers should think about:
- Will I be okay going on a trip by myself?
- How difficult of a place should I expect to visit?
- Is it possible for me to enjoy my own company?
- Do I seek out social interaction while traveling, or do I prefer to be alone?
- Just what measures must I take to guarantee my safety?
- How can I guarantee my loved ones that I won't be a danger to myself?
- Should I travel by myself or join a group?
Not every traveler has those same seven inquiries. However, first-time solo travelers should take note of them.
We'll give you some pointers on how to approach each question below.
To reap the benefits of solo travel's confidence-boosting experience, you must take that trip alone. Is there a way to boost your self-assurance before you leave? Allow me to offer some advice.
- Get a supporter. Be mindful of whose interest is piqued when you share news of your upcoming vacation. If you want to feel more secure in yourself, surrounding yourself with those people is crucial. Stay away from the critics.
- Put away the murder mysteries. This does not in any way characterize global threats.
- Think about how you'll keep in touch with loved ones back at home. Maintaining those relationships is sure to boost your self-assurance.
- Discover a neighborhood resource. There is a good chance that someone you know already lives in your destination. Utilize the "six degrees of separation" principle.
- If you want to meet a local at your destination, research whether or not they have a Greeter program.
- Practice self-compassion. Don't rush it. Find a place to call home. You need not hurry.
Where you go on your first trip away from home alone is significant. It's the difference between a good first solo trip that sets the tone for many more to come and a frustrating experience that dampens confidence. I recommend starting out with trips to places where you can easily communicate with locals who speak your native tongue. You'll have an easier time getting around, will feel more secure, and will make more friends if you speak the language.
You can, of course, explore the nation in which you were born. Nearby places never run out of sights to offer. Many first-time travelers, however, are interested in seeing more of the world and might want to think about visiting Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand.
Destinations That Are Solo Traveler Tested, Best Budget Destinations for Solo Travelers, and this post for those who like hiking and the outdoors are all good places to look for more specific ideas for your first solo trip.
There's a lot to discuss here, particularly for young adults embarking on their first overseas journey without a companion.
Just about everything you need to know about traveling alone safely is included in this post.
For starters, consider the following:
- Get to your new location long before it gets dark. At the break of day, you can assess the relative safety of your surroundings more accurately.
- Always remember to bring a hotel business card with you when you venture out for the day.
- If you want to keep your anonymity, you shouldn't tell the people you meet your whereabouts. Your lodgings ought to be your haven of refuge.
- If someone is constantly bothering you, be ready to act rudely.
- Be sure to purchase travel insurance before you leave. My first trip was when I was 15, and I've had travel insurance ever since. Check out my article "Going Alone? A Complete Guide to Travel Insurance for Solo Travelers" where I compare the costs and benefits of various policies for solo travelers.
- Take advantage of virtual private network (VPN) services while using public Wi-Fi. Make sure you have a virtual private network (VPN) in place before using public Wi-Fi for sensitive tasks, such as making a credit card hotel reservation. Find out what a Virtual Private Network is, why you need one, and how much it will cost you by reading Best VPN for Travel: What, Why, and
- Make sure you have multiple locations for your cash and credit cards. Learn Practical Tips for Handling Your Money Abroad
Take into account that you are experiencing a different culture and frame of mind while on vacation. Your judgment will be influenced by both of these factors. A set of clear safety guidelines can help keep you safe in a wide range of situations. And most importantly, believe in yourself and your gut.
Many people who are traveling on their own choose to join a tour group. That's why we have a page for searching trips and a page listing all trips.
When would it make sense to go on a tour
- You should worry about
- Having no one to talk to
- guaranteeing your security
- preparation time availability
- omitting crucial details
- travel to unfamiliar cities
- drifting aimlessly
- If you're looking for a destination that will test your limits,
- A long journey can be broken up by stopping at If you'll be traveling solo for a month or more, scheduling a tour with other people can provide some much-needed company and allow you to kick back and enjoy yourself while someone else takes care of the logistics.
It's important to remember that not all travel agencies are created equal. When deciding on a tour, you should weigh a number of factors and explore a wide range of possibilities.
Check out Best Practices for Booking a Tour, a Useful Guide for Solo Travelers.
Visit our trips and tours pages as well. If you're looking for a comprehensive and up-to-date list of tour operators that provide itineraries with no or low single supplements, look no further than Solo Traveler.
The first in a series of articles, A Road Trip Alone: Top 10 Tips to Prepare
Independent travel can be a great option if you feel secure in your abilities, enjoy spending time alone, and can handle any potential dangers that may arise.
Here are some ideas I had:
- Establish a spending plan. Plan your travel expenses, especially the two largest outlays of cash—transportation and lodging—within your budget.
- Get your bearings Be familiar with the visa requirements, and take some time to study the currency exchange rate, before you leave. Some countries require that passports be valid for at least three months after a visitor's departure date.
- Schedule your transportation now Of course, before booking flights, you should verify that your passport and visa are in order. You wouldn't want to prepay for a flight and then find out you have to pay a fee to change it, so it's important to plan ahead. Plan your arrival and transportation so that you get there before it gets dark. Everything is more attractive in the morning, and if your hotel or hostel is less than ideal, you'll have more time to find somewhere else to stay.
- Tentatively reserve lodgings It can be difficult to find a place to stay when you arrive in a strange city without any prior knowledge of the local layout or procedures. To top it all off, you have to get a place, and that can end up costing more than you planned. The Best Places for a Solo Traveler to Stay
- Look at a map. The best way to get a feel for a new place is with the help of a map. They show how far things are apart and how much you can accomplish in one day. You'll also have a better idea of the potentially dangerous spots to avoid.
- To your phone, add the following numbers: Find some apps that will help you out and download them when you're near a free Wi-Fi spot. You probably won't want to be in constant contact with home while you're away, but you should still program in some emergency numbers before you leave. Inquire at the front desk of your lodging about getting local numbers such as the hotel or hostel's added to your phone.
- Keep your belongings to a minimum so you won't be weighed down by having to rely on others One bag no bigger than a carry-on and a backpack or purse the size of a small to medium sized suitcase will suffice. Packing light is easy if you follow these guidelines This is for good reason, as one reader recently shared: "I used the info on your blog about traveling with only carry-on and a small wardrobe when I traveled solo to Peru." At the Lima airport, I would have missed my connection if I hadn't not not brought a carry-on. ”
- Get to the terminal, station, or stop early. Many things can delay you when you're trying to catch a flight, such as traffic or a long line at the airport.
- You shouldn't put too much thought into your first day. It's important to take some time to acclimate to your new surroundings and learn the city's layout and procedures. Is there a waiting line for the bus How is the street food, and where can one find the most popular vendors? Where can you go that is within a strolling distance from your hotel? Learn at your own pace.
It's always helpful to hear from other people who are traveling alone. The Solo Traveler Insiders was thus born.
There are both seasoned solo travelers and those who have never done so before in the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. I inquired of seasoned travelers what advice they would give to a first-timer embarking on a trip without a companion, and their responses are included here.
- Annalie Take along a card deck, a chess set, or a backgammon board. The universal language of play brings people of all backgrounds together.
- Scott Don't bring that extra pair of socks or that extra shirt. Bring more enthusiasm and patience than you think you'll need. Don't bring any of your preconceived notions with you.
- Pamela, while you're away, stop by a local market. Insights into gastronomic, agricultural, linguistic, and familial differences will be gained. Everyone has something to offer and is happy to make a friend with a stranger who can benefit from their knowledge. I first encountered this phenomenon in Aruba. Not much at the market was familiar to me, but I left with new insights and acquaintances.
- Tony Take advantage of all the free walking tours available to you. An excellent way to meet fellow travelers, learn about the city's past, and see the sights.
- Spend the first day in your new location getting your bearings: if you ride, rent a bike; if you don't, visit the chamber of commerce to pick up a free map and recommendations for must-see attractions. You can still get a feel for the area by talking to shopkeepers, cab drivers, and servers as you go; find out where locals like to eat and drink, and hear about the area's history and changes from their perspective. as well as the recommended spots for showing off the city to out-of-town guests Do what they say and then report back to them how things turned out.
- Toni, give yourself the present of strangers: interrogate them, compare notes, and seek guidance. Friends and followers on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter can facilitate constant communication and education.
- Sam Try to get to your next stop during the daytime if at all possible. Walking from the airport or train station to your hotel during the day, when you can see where you're going and there are plenty of people around and shops open to ask for directions, will be much less stressful. You still have some time after you arrive at your lodging to settle in, take a look around, and plot out your first day of exploration. In addition, if you're staying in a hostel, you should try to get there before dinner is being prepared or after-work drinks are being served.
- It's important that you, Tracey, take the time to watch how things operate and how people interact. People-watching is one of my favorite pastimes, and I often do it while waiting in line, at a sidewalk cafe, or on a park bench. Paying attention to the smallest details can teach you a great deal, such as how to use public transportation (and how to behave while doing so) or whether you should pay your bill at your table or at the counter. how to hail a cab, how to tip, if you should line up in a specific fashion, or if you should just hop in wherever you can. In a country where I don't know the language, this comes in especially handy.
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Just what is it like to take your first solo trip? Obviously, this is subjective, but here are some ways that Solo Traveler readers have described the area:
- Deborah - I didn't start traveling until much later in life. At the age of 34, I went to Nassau, Bahamas, for the first time on my own. In spite of my initial apprehension, I had a fantastic time and made a lot of new friends while abroad. Simply put, I had a fantastic time. Even though I'll be 64 soon, I haven't stopped exploring the world. In the works is another massive trip of mine, this time around the globe. I'm officially retired and hitting the road to wherever the wind may take me until I decide to settle down again.
- Big: I went to Japan on my very first trip abroad by myself. Although I enjoy being alone, I suffer from severe bouts of self-consciousness. On January 1, 2013, I announced my "2013 mission to Japan" on Facebook. For my birthday in July of 2013, I treated myself to a ticket. People were curious and asked me lots of questions because few people ever travel alone. I visited the Japanese cities of Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto. There has never been anything more rewarding and fun. The way that misunderstandings and cultural differences brought people closer together was fascinating to witness. That trip, man, that trip was incredible. Really, I did. A number of interesting new acquaintances have been made. Oh, what a trip The habit forming potential is high
- MG - I visited Puerto Vallarta while feeling down in the dumps. Then, back at the hotel, I made some new friends. In no way did I anticipate having such a good time at the tail end of my vacation. This is one advantage of taking trips by yourself. In a group setting, you might not have the opportunity to meet as many people.
- Leslie - I wanted to do a big thing to celebrate the completion of my professional designation, which had taken me 7 years of exams (after college). I wish I could go on more vacations, but many of my friends either can't take the time off work or can't afford to go very far from home. I decided I shouldn't let the fact that I had no companion prevent me from seeing the world, so I booked a camping safari in Tanzania. One of my lifelong goals was to go on an African safari because I adore animals. Shockingly, I didn't feel too daunted by the prospect of flying halfway around the world by myself (and to a Third World country, no less). This was a very interesting experience. I discovered that I am more capable and independent than I had given myself credit for, and that solo trips can be both exciting and enriching experiences. The world seems like a much bigger and more welcoming place now that I know I can safely travel there on my own.
- In my first year of working full-time, I saved up for a week in Mexico. I cherished time spent exploring the world solo. I picked up a few pointers that have served me well on subsequent solo trips to Bali, Egypt, and Thailand.
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