Planning to take your first solo trip is a daunting prospect for many, but also, having to depend on others to fulfil your travel goals can be tricky. It’s for this reason that many choose to pursue solo travel, because making travel plans is much easier when you only have to rely on yourself. With this in mind, we’ve curated a list of things to do ahead of departure and tips for embarking on your first solo adventure.
Before you go…take a solo trip locally
It may sound daft, but it’s something lots of people don’t think to try before taking their solo adventure out of the country. Sure, maybe for some people they’d rather just plunge into the deep end from the get-go. But for many people, this can just be too overwhelming.
So instead, perhaps plan a domestic solo trip. You can still travel some distance without the worry of language barriers or culture shocks. There’s a lot to plan for when travelling, and dealing with all of that in addition to cultural incongruencies may be too much on a first solo trip. Sometimes it’s better to ease yourself into the pool and get a feel for the temperature.
And if you’re too eager to wait to go abroad, maybe consider group-solo travel, offered by travel companies such as Contiki.
Choosing where to go
After you’ve hopefully taken a trip more locally, you might be starting to think about potential destinations abroad. Depending on how you found your local solo trip, you should use this to influence your next destination. If you found it stressful or a bit overwhelming, then it might be worth visiting somewhere with a similar culture that you’re used to. For example, Scandinavian countries such as Denmark share similarities with British culture, although bear in mind they tend to be more expensive. If money makes that tough, then perhaps a trip to Ireland might be more up your street.
Alternatively, if your first solo adventure was a breeze, then you might want to explore different destination options. The beauty of solo travel is it’s entirely up to you where to go, but you do need to factor in personal considerations. For example, your budget, when you want to travel, how long for, safety, food allergies and so on.
You know yourself better than anyone else, so be honest with yourself and make a list of important or essential factors to you when travelling. This is a sure-fire way to decrease the likelihood of unwanted situations on your first solo adventure.
Keeping busy on your solo adventure
Everybody has different ideas of fun when it comes to travel. Some prefer city-breaks packed with cultural excursions, others like a beach holiday with water sports… or without. But regardless of what you fancy, it’s crucial to have activities planned for your solo trip. The activities you do help you meet other people and immerse yourself in the cultural life of your destination.
And given you’re already trying something new, why not try out a new activity? Travelling solo is a chance to get to know different parts of yourself, so make every moment count!
Accommodation, in theory, should be one of the least important parts of travelling. Because if you plan on being busy, it should just be where you lay your head. However, when you’re travelling solo or if you’re on a budget then there’s more to consider. You have to consider your goals for solo travel and whether socialising is something you want on your trip.
If you do want to be social, then aside from taking a group-solo travel trip, a hostel is probably your best option. Plenty of solo travellers depend on hostels and use them as a way to make new connections on their travels. They’re one of the less luxurious options for accommodation, but also cheap. So, it’s up to you to determine your priorities for your solo adventure.
Looking after number one
Safety should always be the number one priority for any trip. Travelling solo comes with its risks. Therefore, it’s important to research the culture of your destination. Research crime levels and cultural attitudes, it’s a good indication of how comfortable and safe you’ll feel.
It’s also integral you have a trusted friend or family member that you can update regularly with your whereabouts and who you’re with. And something that many forget, know the emergency number for the country you’re visiting. Hopefully you won’t need it, but it’s better safe than sorry.
Planning your first solo trip | Conclusion
Taking your first solo trip is an amazing achievement and something you’ll probably always look back on fondly. It’s no mean feat, and you’re sure to have an amazing time. Just make sure to look out for yourself and prepare for all eventualities – bon voyage!