Are you planning a solo trip? Maybe you’re looking for the motivation to get started. Either way, you’re in the right place!
From the benefits of solo travel to how to travel alone for the first time, we’re here to share it all. We’ll also give you the inside scoop on solo travel destinations, packing tips, and apps to use.
Continue reading for your complete guide to planning an unforgettable solo trip!
Benefits of Solo Travel
Traveling is so rewarding in ways that many other experiences aren’t. When you have the opportunity to do it alone, there are countless benefits of solo travel.
Meeting New People
One of the best parts about solo traveling is meeting new people and it’s so much easier to do when you’re alone. Think about it â€“ when you travel with someone, you probably stick with eachother. However, you’re usually more approachable and more willing to put yourself out there when you’re by yourself.
Tips for meeting people while traveling:
- A simple hello goes a long way.
- Stay in a hostel.
- Hang out in cafes.
- Go on tours. Get Your Guide offers tons of awesome travel experiences!
As cliche as it sounds, it’s so true! I think we can all agree that when we get caught up in the day-to-day, it can be hard to just take time for ourselves. Spending time alone, especially when exploring a new place, allows us to spend more time with ourselves than we ever get to do. This time alone allows us to really figure out who we are, what we enjoy, and what we need.
Doing What You Want
Okay, maybe this is the best part! When you’re planning a solo trip, you get to do whatever you want. Think about how many times you’ve compromised on what you want to do or never even suggested your preference in order to please someone else. Of course, this compromise is great and even necessary sometimes. But, solo travel means you call all the shots!
Building Life Skills
It’s often overlooked how many crucial life skills are learned or strengthened during solo travel.
- Problem-solving: When you’re alone, you’re figuring it all out yourself. It’s especially taken up a notch when you’re in a new place and face challenges, which you almost always do traveling (but, it’s worth it).
- Bravery: Courage takes a whole new meaning when you’re on new territory all alone. And, it’s so exhilarating!
- Organization: Between planning a trip and executing it, organization skills are really put to the test.
- Acceptance: Traveling requires you to take a step back and realize that you can’t control everything and everyone.
- Flexibility: This goes with acceptance because it requires being flexible. Not to mention, travels almost always throw unexpected situations at us that we have to accommodate for.
Tips for Planning a Solo Trip
Planning a trip can be overwhelming enough, but doing it solo is a whole new adventure. However, a few tips and tricks make it so much easier!
Create a travel budget.
To make the most of your experience, you probably want to start planning a solo trip by creating a budget. This will ensure that you know how much you can reasonably spend on different aspects of your trip. Once you know your total budget, give all your money a job.
- Travel Insurance â€“ Not sure if you need this? Read more about it!
- Extra for ‘just in case’
Decide where you want to go.
Do a little research to figure out where you’re going to go. The internet is your friend! And, ask yourself these questions to help you.
- How long do I have for my trip?
- What’s my budget like?
- How do I want to get there?
- What kind of weather do I want to experience?
- What kind of activities do I want to do?
Book your trip.
Once you know where you’re going, you can start booking your trip. Research flights. Skyscanner is a great way to watch flights and get the best deal. You can also start looking at accommodations in your destination. Make sure you research the area to ensure that it’s safe for solo travelers and near attractions.
Create an itinerary.
This could be a loose plan or a specific one, depending on your travel style. If you’re not used to traveling, you may want to have a specific itinerary and know that it’s important to be flexible if need be or if desired.
How do I make a travel itinerary, you ask? Here’s how!
- Determine where you’re going and how long you have.
- Make a semi-broad list of what you want to do; for example, hike, sightsee, shop, relax, etc.
- Research activities in your area that go along with your priorities for your trip. For example, if you want to go rafting in Bali, you may add this activity to your itinerary.
- Make a more specific list of what you’d like to do on each day. Remember, this can change.
- Determine if you need to book any of your experiences or transportation to new places.
- Book experiences, transportation, and accommodation as needed.
Determine what you need to bring.
Packing is a crucial part of planning a solo trip or any trip for that matter. If you’re alone, it’s always better to be prepared so you’re not stuck with facing more challenges than you have to.
To determine what you need to bring, make sure you do your research. Some things to consider what you need to bring to your destination include:
- The culture’s expectations for attire; for example, some sites in Asia may require your shoulders and knees to be covered
- Ease in finding everyday items
- How much/how far you’ll be lugging your bag
Pack for your trip.
Once you’ve figured out what you need/want to bring, it’s time to pack! Check out these awesome packing items for your next solo trip.
- Packing cubes: These are ideal for organizing your items and inevitably saving space in your bag.
- Universal charger: Use this to plug in your devices in 150 different countries.
- Travel locks: Protect your belongings by locking your luggage while you travel.
Taking a long flight? Check out 32 of the Best Long Flight Essentials.
First-Time Solo Travel Destinations
With solo travel becoming more popular, there are so many places that cater to those traveling alone. Here are some of the top spots if you’re traveling by yourself for the first time or if you’re an avid solo traveler.
For Adventure: Queenstown, New Zealand
Often referred to as the Adventure Capital, Queenstown offers lake and mountain views. Not only that but there are plenty of adventures to be had including biking, kayaking, horseback riding, and more. You’re sure to meet plenty of friendly people in Queenstown.
For Relaxation: Bali, Indonesia
With beaches galore, Bali is the perfect place if you’re planning a solo trip to bask in the sun and rejuvenate. There’s also plenty of opportunities to meditate and practice yoga. The nightlife and cafe scene allows meeting people an easy thing to do.
For Nature: Arenal, Costa Rica
Not only is Arenal home to Costa Rica’s iconic volcano, but you can also find a beautiful lake and incredible waterfall. You can also swim in hot springs and zipline through forests. The nature in Costa Rica is top-notch and the views will easily keep you occupied for your vacation.
For Diversity: Paris, France
Don’t let its label ‘City of Love’ scare you away! Paris is also excellent for solo travelers and it’s said to be the most diverse city in Europe. There’s so much to do and see in Paris, including sitting at sidewalk cafes to people watch for hours.
Check out The 13 Most Diverse Cities in the World for Multicultural Travel.
For Culture: Madrid, Spain
Spain’s capital of Madrid offers culture galore. From fashion to food, history to art, and cuisine, you can find it all. Explore galleries and museums. The nightlife also has a lot to offer. With so much to do and see, crossing paths with friendly people is easy to do.
Solo Travel Safety Tips
Whether you’re traveling with someone or not, simple safety measures can go a long way. Here are some specific solo safety tips to help ensure you have the best experience possible.
- Be Confident. Know and show that you mean business and you know what you’re doing.
- Share Your location. Make sure a few close family members or friends know where you are. Also, share your itinerary with them as location services don’t always work.
- Secure your valuables. Keep your passport and a backup bank card at your accommodation and hidden. Wear something like this money belt to hide your valuables when out and about.
- Stay in public. Make sure you’re around others when exploring, especially after dark.
- Trust your instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, change things up. Always do what you’re comfortable with.
- Don’t share your details. If you meet someone new, never share that you’re traveling alone or where you’re staying.
Best Solo Travel Apps
Planning a solo trip means you could use a helping hand. This is where apps can come in handy, whether it be for safety, meeting new people, or finding adventures. And, they’re all perfect if you’re trying to figure out how to travel alone for the first time!
- TripWhistle: calls the local emergency number for you if you need help and don’t know what number to call
- Google Translate: translates written and spoken words
- Meetup: shares social gatherings in a specific area
- Peek: displays and allows you to book adventures
- The Outbound: shares experiences to be had around the world, including those off the beaten path
Enjoy your journey!
Hopefully, this guide has gotten you ready to start planning a solo trip you’ve been dreaming of! From the benefits of solo travel to the amazing life lessons, it’s definitely a must-do experience at least once if not as many times as you can.
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Do you have any solo travel tips or ideas to share? Let us know in the comments below!
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