Jessie on a Journey | Solo Female Travel Blog

How To Travel Solo Successfully: 31+ Tips For A Safe & Fun Trip

By Jessie Festa. This solo travel guide contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Want to learn how to travel solo successfully ?

Then you’re in the right place!

Solo travel can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Not only does it allow you ultimate freedom over your itinerary, but it can also encourage personal growth. Quite honestly, I don’t know if I would have had the confidence to start my own travel business had it not been for my experiences traveling solo.

That being said, it can be intimidating to actually book that first solo trip.

If you have the desire to travel alone but need some guidance on how to prepare for solo travel and actually enjoy it, I’m here to help.

Keep reading for my top traveling solo tips as well as bonus resources to help you successfully travel on your own.

Quick tip: When traveling solo, it’s still smart to pack a few travel safety essentials . One top pick is the She’s Birdie Personal Safety Alarm , which is TSA-approved and can help scare away potential attackers. Other recommendations include Clever Travel Companion Pickpocket-Proof Garments and Speakeasy Travel Supply Hidden Pocket Scarves .

Table of Contents

Travel Solo With Confidence [Free Course]

But first, before we get into our guide to how to enjoy a holiday alone , I invite you to grab a seat in my  free Savvy Solo Traveler E-Course .

If you want to travel solo, this 6-day course is for you. It’s designed to help you feel confident about booking your first solo travel trip and exploring the world alone.

Lessons include:

  • Common solo travel fears and how to overcome them
  • How to choose your perfect destination
  • How to tell loved ones you’re hitting the road solo
  • Mentally preparing for your solo journey without losing your mind
  • Essential steps for staying safe on a solo trip
  • How to take amazing solo selfies

Once you’ve  grabbed your seat , read on to learn how to travel solo successfully and to snag the bonus solo female travel resources .

how to travel solo successfully

Is It Hard To Travel Alone?

No travel experience is perfect, though sometimes it seems like you can get pretty close.

There are both  pros and cons to traveling alone . While the experience can be both rewarding and empowering, it can get a little lonely and your safety risk is a little higher since you don’t have anyone watching your back.

I’m a firm believer that everyone should have the opportunity to experience it at least once, simply because there’s so much to learn about yourself while figuring out how to travel alone.

So, no, it’s not hard to travel alone — but you might come across different challenges you’ll need to overcome. That’s where this handy guide sharing my top travel solo tips comes in.

Tips For How To Travel Solo Successfully

On that note, I’d love to share some of my top pieces of advice for how to travel by yourself. My goal: that you feel confident taking a vacation alone and can enjoy this rewarding experience!

Before Taking A Solo Trip:

1. get clear on why you want to travel solo.

When it comes to how to start traveling alone, it really starts with mindset.

One of the main benefits of solo travel is having ultimate freedom over your itinerary. I recommend taking advantage of this aspect and really getting clear on why this solo trip is so important to you.

  • What excites you about the idea of taking a trip by yourself?
  • What prompted your desire to start traveling alone?
  • When you visualize traveling on your own, what do you see?

In short, the best way to succeed at solo travel is to know what you want to get out of it in the first place and then plan your itinerary accordingly.

woman traveling solo successfully in the Galapagos Islands

2. Set your solo travel expectations

Truth: the first few days of your solo trip will likely be hard. You’ll be diving into a completely new experience in an unfamiliar place, and you might feel lonely, homesick, and culture shock.

Also realize that as you begin exploring and immersing yourself in your destination, these feelings will subside. In fact, for many people they go away completely and turn into a love of traveling alone.

Once it really sinks in just how great traveling without needing to compromise is, your perspective can shift drastically.

And if it doesn’t and you truly hate solo traveling, know that you can always end your trip early and head back home.

3. Turn solo travel anxiety into excitement

Fun fact: fear and excitement are both arousal emotions — so when you’re feeling anxious, try to shift that toward exhilaration.

I’ve actually utilized this little mindset trick many times. Basically, if I’m feeling nervous I’ll actually visualize feeling excited — until I truly am!

4. Do your travel research

It can be fun to add a little spontaneity into your solo trip, but the best solo travel tip is to do your research and show up well-prepared so that you don’t miss anything you’re hoping to experience.

One personal travel research fail happened to me in Zadar, Croatia. I’d been really wanting to go to Plitvice Lakes National Park; however, as I was visiting during the off-season, the buses going there were way less frequent. In the end, the schedule didn’t align with my exact travel dates.

If I would have done my research, I could have easily figured this out. In fact, if I would arrived just one day earlier I would have been able to easily get there.

The worst part? The bus schedule was readily available online, but I just hadn’t bothered to look it up!

In short, knowing where you want to go and what you want to do, along with what areas you should avoid, will help make your trip enjoyable and memorable for the right reasons.

Now I may be biased, but in my opinion, one of the best ways to do research about your solo travel destination is to read blogs. These articles are typically written by people who have first-hand knowledge about the destination. You can even try reaching out to the blogger with any questions or concerns.

woman enjoying solo female travel in  Krka National Park in Croatia

5. Be flexible

Curious how to enjoy a solo trip? The key is being flexible!

This is really true whether you’re traveling solo or in a group. Travel is not always the picture perfect experience Instagram leads you to believe.

There are missed trains, lost luggage, misplaced passports, and general mishaps that can pop up along the way.

But, it’s all part of the adventure.

If you avoid having a meltdown every time something doesn’t go according to plan, and instead see it as part of the solo travel experience, you’ll enjoy yourself a lot more.

Here’s an example:

While traveling solo in France on my way to Nice, the airline lost my luggage — for the entire time I was there!

And while I was frustrated, I decided that exploring and socializing in dirty jeans and an old t-shirt was better than holing up in my room and crying about something I couldn’t control.

I’m glad I did, because it ended up being a really memorable part of the trip. Not only that, but “Sorry for my appearance — the airline lost my luggage” is actually a great conversation starter among travelers, as everyone has their own version of that story to share.

6. Plan a (loose) solo travel itinerary

Now, this solo travel tip really depends on your travel style and the length of your trip. If you’ll be backpacking for a few weeks or months, I recommend booking the first few nights of your accommodation to give yourself time to settle in.

That being said, it’s smart to also leave some room to change up your plan.

When I backpacked Europe for three months , I pre-booked everything — which meant I couldn’t veer from the plan when I met fun people I may have wanted to travel with or when I learned about interesting new places I hadn’t heard of before.

Now, when I travel solo for longer periods of time, I leave room for adventure.

woman taking a selfie while traveling alone in Latvia

7. Research local customs & cultural norms

When traveling abroad alone (or in a group), it’s important to realize that not everywhere has the same norms as your home city.

Some of these differences may be small things that you’ll learn along the way, while others are vital to understand before your trip so that you don’t accidentally offend the locals.

One story that comes to mind is when I was volunteering in Thailand. The volunteers all stayed in a large dorm, and then there was a main house where we would eat and have meetings.

Before entering the house, you were supposed to take off your shoes outside and step over the threshold, not on it. Well, one volunteer missed the memo and stood on the doorframe — which deeply upset the locals running the program.

Why? Because in Thailand, it’s believed that a spirit resides here.

This is just one example of why doing this kind of cultural research is important.

8. Know how to stay safe

Building on the idea of doing research when going on a trip alone, you should also look up local scams and safety concerns to be aware of while traveling independently.

For instance, if visiting NYC solo you should be aware that there are unofficial cabs at the airport that will help you “skip the taxi line” by getting into their private black car — and then they’ll take the scenic route and you’ll end up with a hefty bill.

Being aware of these types of scams can help you stay safe and just have an overall better time taking a trip by yourself.

Additionally, I recommend packing a few travel safety essentials and keeping the usual practical safety tips in mind, like not walking alone at night and always keeping an eye on your drink if you’re at a bar.

If you’re a US citizen, it’s also wise to sign up for the free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program . This allows you to enroll your trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. When you do this, you’ll:

  • Receive important information about safety conditions in your destination
  • Make it easier for the embassy to contact you if there is an emergency like a natural disaster, civil unrest, or a family emergency
  • Make it easier for loved ones to contact you if there is an emergency

woman hiking alone in Virginia

9. Make an emergency booklet to stay safe

All of the important numbers we need on a day-to-day basis are stored in our phones, but what happens if you no longer have access?

It’s a little old school, but prior to your trip grab a small notebook from the dollar store and drop all of the important information you need in it. Go beyond the obvious emergency contacts and make sure you have:

  • Your passport information
  • Hotel name, number, and address
  • Embassy and/or consulate address, phone number, and emergency contact
  • Travel insurance policy number and contact information

Essentially write down anything you might need if you were in an emergency situation but couldn’t access your phone. Hopefully you won’t have to use it, but it could be a lifesaver if you do.

Personally, I also like to save a folder with this information, as well as copies of my passport, license, and credit cards, securely to the cloud. This way, even if I lose my phone, I can still access it from another device.

10. Read bad hotel reviews before booking accommodation

People tend to write reviews for two reasons: they had an awful time and want to make sure no one makes that mistake again, or they had an amazing time and want to spread the word. Rarely do they review about a mediocre time.

While standard solo travel advice tells you to pick somewhere with awesome reviews (you should!), also make sure you read the bad ones.

You want to overlook the personal bias and watch for consistency. If every review mentions bad WiFi and you need to get work done on your trip, you might want to skip that property.

Of course, also pay attention to any reviews that mention safety concerns. When it comes to solo traveling tips, nothing is more important than paying attention to personal safety. Nothing.

Oh, and bonus tip: it’s wise to opt for an accommodation near the city center so you can walk to as many attractions as possible to save on public transportation and taxi costs.

solo female travel usa plano texas

11. Schedule your flight to arrive during the day

One piece of advice for traveling solo is to schedule your flight so that you arrive when the sun is still shining.

You’ll feel a lot safer, especially if you’ll be taking public transportation to get to your accommodation.

Plus, it gives you some time to get acquainted with your destination and ease out of your comfort zone.

12. Get travel insurance

When it comes to solo travel tips, this is one of the most important. Travel insurance should be non-negotiable regardless of how you’re traveling so that you’re protected in case anything bad happens.

However, when you’re figuring out how to vacation alone, the travel insurance safety net is not only comforting but it can help you save money in the long run.

Just make sure you read the terms and conditions before choosing a plan, because some activities aren’t covered. For instance, many plans don’t cover extreme sports or activities that take place above a certain altitude.

Personally, my favorite travel and medical insurance is SafetyWing, as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country.

Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

Click here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks .

13. Download helpful solo travel apps

No guide sharing tips for traveling alone would be complete without mentioning apps. Tech can definitely be your friend during a lone travel experience. A few to download include:

  • Google Maps – an invaluable app for getting around both at home and on the road
  • CouchSurfing – this popular app for solo travelers allows you to stay on local couches for free and meetup with locals and other travelers in your destination
  • HerHouse – this platform makes it easy for women traveling alone to connect with background checked female hosts for free homestays, house sits, and house swaps
  • Meetup – meet people who share your common interests in your solo travel destination
  • Facebook – join Facebook groups focused on the destination you’re visiting and see if people want to meet up
  • SoloTrvlr – an online platform with trusted travel advice — by women, for women
  • TripIt – keep your travel itinerary organized in one place
  • Emergency App – one of my favorite travel safety apps
  • Currency – quickly and easily convert local currency so you know how much you’re paying in your home currency
  • Uber (or the local equivalent) – it’s smart to download a ridesharing app, especially since in some countries hailing a taxi off the street isn’t considered safe

One quick note of caution when meeting people in real life: while most people will have good intentions, there may be times where people try to turn your meetup into a date. I’ve had this happen a few times, though fortunately I’ve never felt unsafe.

My solo travel advice here would be to always meet in a public place and, if possible, make it a group outing. You might also mention that you have a partner back home — even if you don’t — in an attempt to weed out anyone trying to make things romantic (though of course some still might).

By the way, I actually have a crazy CouchSurfing story. Don’t worry, it ended up being totally fine and I’m a huge fan of this app:

14. Learn a few words in the local language

Language learning doesn’t come easy to everyone, but it does help to learn a few words in the local language .

Sure, you’ll pick up a few things as you go along; but, learning simple phrases can get you a lot further.

Some you might want to practice up on include:

  • Where is the bathroom?
  • How much does this cost?
  • No — this is an important phrase for solo travelers, particularly when it comes to personal safety

Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg — the more you know, the better.

Some great advice for solo travelers is to download Google Translate and a language pack, which allows you to use the app offline. Additionally, install a fun gamified language learning app, like Duolingo!

15. Plan for you

The only thing you really need to take away from any travel alone guide is that the experience is all about you.

You don’t have to get the prettiest pictures, have the best travel stories , and do what everyone else does. Your goal is to do and see the things that you want to.

If that means visiting the same museum three days in a row because you couldn’t get enough, eating at the same restaurant the entire trip, or skipping the Eiffel Tower because you’re not into touristy things — do it. It’s all fair game.

Basically, don’t feel like you have to conform to what everyone on Instagram is saying. It’s your trip, enjoy it however you choose.

16. Pack light but smart

You only want to pack what you’re going to use. It can be challenging to determine this on your first solo trip, but you want to minimize your packing list as much as possible.

Nothing sours a trip faster than losing your checked bag before you even get there — so if you can pack carry-on only , it’s a great advantage. This is especially true if you are destination hopping or if your flight has stopovers.

A few tips for solo travelers:

  • Opt for garments that can be used for multiple purposes (like a large scarf shawl that can also be an airplane blanket or hidden pocket garments that function as clothing and a purse)
  • Choose a color palette for garments that you can mix and match
  • Opt for function over fashion — unless you’re traveling for a specific high-class event, you don’t need heels
  • Use compression packing cubes to save space (I love these from Cambond )
  • Only bring one week of clothes and do laundry if going on a longer trip

Even if you can’t narrow it down, make sure your baggage isn’t weighed down by unnecessary items and definitely leave your valuables at home. It’s just one less thing to worry about.

travel scarf with hidden pockets

17. Bring a book along

Introverted? One of the best solo travel tips for introverts (and extroverts) is to bring a book along with you. 

A book can be the best companion, especially when dining alone or as a distraction if it’s your first time flying alone .

Popping open a book on the table and enjoying a solo meal is one of the pleasures of taking a trip alone that everyone should experience. It’s useful for when you’re waiting, eating, or otherwise have a little time to kill.

It can also indicate to other travelers that you’re alone and make for a great conversation starter.

Essential Tips For Traveling On Your Own During The Trip

18. ask your hotel for a few safety essentials.

These include:

  • The hotel’s business card (or a piece of paper with the name and address)
  • An annotated map letting you know where is and isn’t safe to wander alone

Even if you know the name of your hotel, that doesn’t mean the local taxi drivers do. In case you’re ever in a situation where you need to get away, it’s smart to have the address of your accommodation written down somewhere to quickly give to a driver in the event of an emergency.

Additionally, an annotated map is a great reference so you’re always clear on where and where not to go solo.

19. Share plans with a loved one

One of the most basic traveling alone tips is to make sure you share your plans with your loved ones. It’s important that someone knows where you are — even if that someone is back home.

Additionally, make sure you have an emergency plan in place. Your safety is important.

While traveling by yourself is an amazing experience, you want to make sure you can easily contact your loved ones if something unexpected occurs.

woman traveling solo in the Galapagos Islands

20. Start your day early

In most cases, you’ll find the smallest crowds and best chances for photo opportunities earlier in the day — think before anyone’s finished their breakfast.

This also tends to be the coolest time of the day to safely travel around. Try to stay inside or in the shade during peek sun hours if you’re traveling to a warmer destination, and don’t travel alone at night.

21. Bring the perfect solo selfie camera

One downside of traveling on your own is it’s tough to take your own photo — though it’s not impossible!

A few options for solo travelers include:

  • Bring a small travel tripod ( like this ) and put your phone on a timer
  • Bring a small but heavy duty travel tripod, like a Joby GorillaPod , and put your camera on a timer
  • Bring an Insta360 camera with invisible selfie stick

The latter is how I capture fun travel photos with myself in the picture — even if I’m solo tripping.

Here is a sample video and here is an example of a photo:

taking a selfie in Mexico while successfully traveling solo

22. Learn how to cook the local cuisine

When researching local things to do when traveling alone, make sure that some of the experiences revolve around food. One of the best souvenirs you can give yourself from a trip is the gift of local cuisine.

Cooking classes offer a great opportunity to learn how to make something new, meet the locals, and take something back home with you. You can use your new-found skills to share your experience with family, ignite special memories, and enjoy a delicious meal. Plus, the more you practice, the better you’ll get!

One platform to check out for food experiences while vacationing alone is EatWith , which allows you to dine in local homes, take cooking classes in local kitchens, and book food tours led by locals around the world. It’s a really great way to meet people and other solo travelers, too.

Of course, you can also dive into other facets of local culture when on a trip alone. Consider your own unique interests, and explore them locally.

For instance, if you’re interested in art, you might take a fresco-making class in Florence , a calligraphy class in China , or an Ikebana (flower arranging) class in Japan .

23. Make a solo travel scavenger hunt of it

Here is a creative addition to our list of tips when traveling alone. Building a scavenger hunt can be a great way to give you direction, even if you’re feeling a little lost.

There’s no right or wrong way to do this, but a few ideas for solo travelers include:

  • Trying to check off all the best bookstores in the city if you’re a bibliophile
  • Making a unique souvenir list and trying to hunt everything down
  • Becoming the ultimate foodie by sampling all the top restaurants in the area
  • Aiming to spend time alone on the beach in as many places as possible
  • Booking an actual scavenger hunt in your destination on a platform like Viator

It’s a great way to edge yourself out of your comfort zone without jumping into the deep end. And who doesn’t love a little competition — even if it is against yourself?

woman exploring the beach while learning how to travel solo successfully in Mexico

24. Make friends while traveling solo

There’s no one right answer for how to solo travel, but I can tell you that going on holiday alone doesn’t need to mean  being lonely . In fact, for those that love to meet new people, there are ways to do this while traveling alone.

You can encourage yourself to meet people, including other solo travelers, by:

  • Keep in mind, many hostels have private rooms, so if you’re hosteling later in life you can still keep your privacy and take advantage of common spaces for socializing
  • Joining a local walking tour and chatting with those around you
  • Checking out popular local digital nomad hangouts
  • Using travel apps meant for socializing — like CouchSurfing , which has city-specific forums where you can meet up with locals and other travelers
  • Eating and cooking in local homes through EatWith
  • Meeting locals that share similar interests on Meetup.com

A quick story:

When spending my 25th birthday in Mendoza while traveling solo , I was worried I’d end up alone for the night; however, after posting a message on CouchSurfing asking if anyone wanted to celebrate with me, I ended up having 11 people take me out for dinner and dancing.

These complete strangers turned into friends, and to this day it is one of my favorite birthday experiences!

25. Watch your drinking

Speaking of nights out, one of the best solo trip tips is to curb your alcohol use.

As mentioned a few times in the previous travel alone tips, personal safety should be of utmost importance for solo travelers. You want to make sure you’re never in a position where someone can easily take advantage of you.

When you do opt for an adult beverage, watch it carefully and cover the top of the glass with your hand so that nobody can lace it when you’re not looking.

This solo travel advice isn’t meant to scare you. Almost everyone you meet while traveling on your own while likely be kind; however, the reality is you can’t trust everyone. Keep yourself safe.

having a cocktail on a solo trip to Latvia

26. Get a local SIM card

Unless you purchase an unlimited plan for your phone carrier, using the internet while roaming can be extremely expensive.

That’s where a local SIM card comes in. One of the best tips for solo travel is to ensure you have phone access in an emergency situation or when you need directions. I can’t tell you how many tours I’ve almost been late to because I couldn’t find the meeting point without the help of Google Maps.

Many countries have inexpensive SIM cards and budget-friendly pay-as-you-go plans. You can usually grab these at the airport or local convenience store and set them up with Wi-Fi.

27. Choose alternative meal times

Now let’s discuss solo travel tips for dining alone. One thing to note is that the best restaurants are often booked up around traditional meal times.

Instead of a nice evening dinner, try a lunch or even brunch — which allows you to savor the same food with less of a crowd.

Just keep in mind that typical mealtimes may be different than your home country, so research the local customs so you’re aware of when people tend to eat.

28. Sit at the bar when dining alone

When you go on vacation alone, one concern might be what to do during meal times. Is it weird for solo travelers to eat at a restaurant on their own?

First off, no, it’s not weird. I’ve eaten at tables on my own plenty of times, though I do think it’s less awkward to eat at the bar.

Bonus: if you’re in the mood to chat, you’ll have the bartender and potentially other bar patrons to talk to.

woman dining alone in Mexico

29. Focus on supporting local

Sustainable tourism refers to traveling in a way that positively impacts the people and environments of the places we visit — which also includes supporting the local economy.

And one of the best ways to do this is to shop local. The more you can purchase souvenirs, food, and experiences from local vendors, the more likely your tourism dollars are to stay in and benefit the community.

Plus, items are often much more meaningful when you can meet the people making them and learn their stories.

30. Listen to your gut

When traveling the world alone, realize that your gut will be your best guide.

Your intuition is almost always right. This is especially important in situations where you feel uncomfortable. Even if it means being impolite, always trust that feeling in your gut.

31. Strengthen your relationship with yourself

Traveling solo to find yourself is very common. This makes total sense, as one major benefit of traveling alone is you learn to be with yourself — and enjoy your own company.

Get to know yourself better, allow time for self care, and slow down to just enjoy the moment as much as possible.

This is also a great time to bring a travel journal to really dig into your thoughts and feelings from the trip. Very likely, you’ll learn something new about yourself!

woman enjoying some alone time on a solo trip to Virginia

Packing Essentials For Solo Travel

Now that we’ve covered some top tips to travel alone, it’s time to discuss packing.

Along with any clothing, accessories, and toiletries you’ll want for your holiday by yourself, you should also pack a few travel safety essentials and practical items for solo travelers like:

  • She’s Birdie Personal Safety Alarm
  • Your personal medications
  • Jase Case Emergency Antibiotic Kit (snag $10 off with code JESSIEONAJOURNEY10)
  • Clever Travel Companion Pickpocket-Proof Garments (I’m never without mine when I travel alone!)
  • Speakeasy Travel Supply Pickpocket-Proof Scarf ​​
  • Pacsafe Anti-Theft Bag
  • Door stop with alarm (to help keep your hotel room extra secure)
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses (I love Rheos Sunglasses as they’re eco-friendly, lightweight, and they float)
  • Passport, ID, and any necessary tickets
  • Copies of all your documents (I save these to the cloud in case)
  • Credit card, debit card, and money

Best Solo Trips For Women

If you’re wondering “Where should I travel alone?” this list can help! A few of the best solo travel destinations include:

colorful buildings at sunset in Merida, Mexico

Merida, Mexico

Mexico has a reputation as being an unsafe destination, but that’s not an accurate picture. In fact, there are many great places in Mexico to travel alone — like Merida.

Merida is the bustling capital city of Yucatan state, and is widely considered to be one of the safest cities in Mexico.

It’s an affordable destination that offers you the hustle and bustle of the city as well as an idyllic Mexican beach experience in nearby Progreso.

If you’re solo traveling as a digital nomad , Merida is home to a thriving community of expats living and working abroad and there are plenty of ways to make friends. 

cobbled streets of Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

Solo travel in Ireland can be an incredible experience, and no trip to this island would be complete without some time in Dublin.

Home to friendly locals and a gorgeous cityscape, it’s an ideal destination — especially as Dublin boasts a plethora of cultural and historical sites for solo female travelers to explore.

On a solo trip to Dublin , make sure to visit Dublin Castle, shop along Grafton street, and peruse art, history, and archeology in the National Museum of Ireland.

This city is particularly known for its pub life, so you can expect a lively scene after dark, especially in the famous Temple Bar District.

In terms of timing, there is a lot to do and see, so it’s recommended to spend 4 days in Dublin or more to really take it all in.

Don’t forget to bring your camera since Dublin offers a lot of photo opportunities. It’s truly one of the most memorable places to travel solo in Europe !

preparing for solo travel

Victoria, Canada

Canada has a lot of beautiful places to explore as a solo female traveler, depending on the time of year you visit; but if Pacific island life piques your interest, Victoria is the place.

You’ll want to visit in the spring or summer to take advantage of the gorgeous greenery and warmer weather.

There are many fun and unique things to do in Victoria . Stroll through the gardens at Hatley Castle, watch the boats come in from the wharf, and grab a delicious seaside bite to eat.

When you’re done, you can take a ferry ride to Seattle or Vancouver!

women walking through the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto is considered to be the cultural capital of Japan , offering a little bit of everything for the female traveling solo.

Not only does it offer gorgeous gardens, delicious food, and rich cultural experiences, but you can take a peek at some truly amazing Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines.

Take in the jaw-dropping architecture and bask in the lush greenery and wonderful mountain backdrops.

March and April are especially beautiful months to visit as the city’s stunning cherry blossom trees are in full bloom.

preparing for solo travel

Bali, Indonesia

Traveling solo in Bali is a dream. One of the world’s most sought-after destinations, it’s also affordable, safe, and fun.

There is so much to do and see for solo female travelers. Relax in a Bali flower bath , explore the stunning rice fields, relax on beautiful beaches, and visit the many temples that help give the destination its nickname “Island of the Gods.”

If you have at least 7 days in Bali , you might also choose to hire a guide to do an epic sunrise hike like Mount Batur or Mount Agung.

Quick tip: if visiting this incredible place, do a bit of research into when to go to Bali . For instance, if you’ll be doing a lot of outdoor activities or riding a motorbike to get around, you may want to avoid the rainy season.

Other Top Solo Travel Destinations

A few other great places to visit on your first solo trip abroad include:

  • Tulum, Mexico
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Rome, Italy
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Guadeloupe, Caribbean

You can check out this solo female travel guide for a full list of recommended solo trips and tips.

woman walking the beach while traveling solo in the Eastern Shores

Solo Travel Planning Resources

While the above tips for traveling solo are a great starting point, here are some bonus solo travel guides:

  • 7 Ways To Have A Blast Traveling Alone
  • 13 Powerful Solo Hiking Tips For Women
  • 17 Safety Tips For Solo Travelers
  • 25 Important Tips For Flying Alone For The First Time
  • 12 Tips For Convincing Loved Ones To Let You Travel Solo
  • 20 Pros & Cons Of Traveling Alone
  • How To Overcome Loneliness When Traveling Solo

You can find additional resources in this in-depth guide to traveling solo . Read it, and soon enough you’ll be a pro at taking trips alone!

Final Thoughts On How To Travel Solo Successfully

The most important piece of advice in any guide to solo travel is that you plan the vacation YOU want, and feel comfortable and confident along your journey.

Learning how to enjoy going on a vacation alone might come quickly, or it might take a few days. There’s no right or wrong answer.

Whether you’re pushing through a series of solo USA road trips or flying across the world, making sure you plan ahead and go at your own pace will ensure you have the best experience. When it comes to tips on traveling alone, this is the most important one to remember.

What would you add to this guide on how to travel solo successfully?

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How to Travel Alone for the First Time

Last Updated: September 29, 2023 References

This article was co-authored by Archana Ramamoorthy, MS . Archana Ramamoorthy is the Chief Technology Officer, North America at Workday. In 2019, she went on a three-month sabbatical from her work and solo traveled throughout Southeast Asia. She is a product ninja, security advocate, and on a quest to enable more inclusion in the tech industry. Archana received her BS from SRM University and MS from Duke University and has been working in product management for over 8 years. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 47,993 times.

Traveling alone can be an incredibly rewarding and fun experience. It can also be dangerous without the proper preparation. With the right planning, you can make the best of your solo trip, be prepared for anything and make memories you'll carry with you forever. [1] X Research source

Preparing for the Trip

Step 1 Outline an itinerary and budget for your perfect trip.

  • If you're going on a multi-destination trip, create an itinerary for each destination.
  • Read travel guides and reviews to figure out what's really worth your time.
  • Check local event guides for any seasonal activities that might align with your trip.

Step 2 Plan your flights and ground transportation in advance.

  • Make sure you can pay for a taxi, train ticket or whatever else may be necessary as soon as you get off the plane. [3] X Research source
  • See how the locals get around. If your destination has strong public transportation, a bus pass can be a great way to see the city. Maybe you're headed somewhere bike-friendly, there may be rental options.

Step 3 Book your accommodations ahead of time.

  • Location is incredibly important. Decide if you want to be near tourist attractions and events or something with a more local vibe. You'll want a neighborhood where you feel comfortable and can easily get around.

Step 4 Educate yourself on your destination and its customs.

  • There are a few phrases that are universal. A few common phrases are: [5] X Research source "Where is the bathroom?," "I need help," "My name is...," "Hello," "Goodbye," and "Thank you."

Step 5 Pack the things you need and nothing you don't.

  • Pack for the appropriate weather conditions. Common items are: a jacket, socks, underwear, 2 pairs of shoes, 3 pairs of jeans, two light tops and two warmer tops. You may consider special weather items like a bathing suit or rain jacket.
  • Pack for emergencies. Common items are: copies of all your important documents, a travel first aid kit, cash, and a map.
  • Pack for passing the time. Traveling alone can be boring. Make long bus rides more interesting by packing a book, playing cards or games. This can also be a great way to meet other travelers.

Archana Ramamoorthy, MS

Staying Safe During Your Trip

Step 1 Share your itinerary with someone you trust and check in often.

  • Keep this person updated about any major changes to your trip.

Step 2 Notify any necessary contacts that you won't be home.

  • Look into international phones. If your current phone plan won't work where you're traveling, it might be beneficial to get a burner (or temporary) phone with international minutes. Make sure you know the country code for calls and how to contact the authorities by phone.

Step 5 Act like a local and don't draw attention to yourself.

Enjoying Your Trip

Step 1 Sign up for a local tour to acquaint yourself with the city.

  • If you're staying at a hotel or hostel, ask the staff or other guests if they recommend any bars, pharmacies, restaurants or locations nearby.
  • Walk around and see how close you are to the nearest bus and train stops.
  • Memorize the address of where you're staying or keep it saved on your phone.

Step 2 Document your journey.

  • Make sure you're not spending too much time by yourself and try to limit your time on your smartphone or social media. [15] X Research source

Step 4 Be flexible.

Expert Q&A

  • When you return, write reviews of your experience for fellow travelers. Thanks Helpful 14 Not Helpful 0
  • If you're leaving the country, make sure you know where your embassy is located. Thanks Helpful 11 Not Helpful 0
  • Make sure to exchange contact information with any new friends or connect with them on social media. Thanks Helpful 10 Not Helpful 0
  • While traveling alone, be careful with any alcohol consumption. Be sure not to drink too much. Thanks Helpful 16 Not Helpful 0
  • In the event of any medical emergencies, make sure you know where the nearest hospital is located. Thanks Helpful 15 Not Helpful 1

You Might Also Like

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  • ↑ https://www.smartertravel.com/15-mistakes-avoid-traveling-solo/
  • ↑ https://solotravelerworld.com/travel-alone-tips/
  • ↑ https://www.tripsavvy.com/find-cheap-flights-for-a-solo-traveler-3026961
  • ↑ https://www.gooverseas.com/blog/language-phrases-before-travel
  • ↑ https://solotravelerworld.com/packing-list/
  • ↑ Archana Ramamoorthy, MS. Experienced Solo Traveler. Expert Interview. 24 January 2020.
  • ↑ https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnnyjet/2017/10/23/ten-tips-for-traveling-alone/#2e5af3ab7c49
  • ↑ https://www.smartertravel.com/single-travel-tips-going-solo/
  • ↑ https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/2018/07/five-top-tips-for-travelling-solo

About this article

Archana Ramamoorthy, MS

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How (and why) to travel alone

Smart solo travel tips to help you avoid scams, creeps, and loneliness.

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by Allie Volpe

A colorful illustration of a Black woman in a white swimsuit sitting on the edge of a pool with her feet in the water. Behind her are palm trees and a city skyline.

In 2019, Alea Simone quit her job, sold all her furniture, packed her bags, and embarked on a four-month trip across 17 countries in Europe and Asia — by herself. It was the first time she ever traveled solo. The Texas native had never visited Europe or Asia before, and she admits she was intimidated. Would she be able to navigate public transportation ? Communicate in non-English-speaking countries?

“I was really scared,” Simone says, “but at the same time, I had to push myself forward because there really wasn’t much for me to go back to.”

Four years and countless solo trips later, Simone is something of an expert. She recounts her travels to thousands of followers on TikTok and Instagram , offering insight to adventurers, from cheap flight deals to a review of airport nail salon services . While she still gets anxiety ahead of solo travels from time to time, the best way to quell her fears is to hop on the plane and go.

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More travelers than ever before are choosing to venture on their own. According to a survey by the travel search engine Kayak , searches for single-person flights in 2023 are up 36 percent compared to 2022. Search interest in solo travel hit an all-time high in July 2023. The benefits of solo travel are wide-ranging, from complete flexibility to the potential for a transformative experience . Beholden to no one but themselves, solo travelers can eat where they want, spend what they want, and see what they want.    

This isn’t to say solo travelers shouldn’t take their safety seriously. “Solo travel is definitely about getting to know yourself,” Simone says, “and trusting your intuition.” Travelers of color, queer people, and women on their own may be targets for scammers , endure catcalls , and encounter racism and other forms of bigotry. Still, travel experts say the potential for negative incidents shouldn’t deter those who hope to travel alone from doing so. With no one else to depend on, solo travelers must take extra care while planning a trip, navigating around new locations, and interacting with new people. Seasoned independent adventurers offer their best advice for staying safe, yet open to new experiences.

How should I prepare to travel by myself?

Regardless if you’re traveling to the next town over to attend a concert by yourself or you’re hopping on an international flight, you need to be prepared for what awaits you. The farther you venture from home, though, the greater the opportunity for cultural miscommunications and misinterpretations. “You’re not going to read every situation correctly, because you’re in another culture,” says Janice Waugh, the publisher of the website Solo Traveler , “whether you’re from Kansas and going to New York or New York to Kansas.”

Do some Googling to see whether your proposed destination has any travel advisories and whether there are any laws that would make your visiting unsafe. But keep in mind that countries are vast places and while one city or province may not be amenable to tourists, that doesn’t mean the entire country is unsafe for a solo traveler. 

Research which neighborhoods are near restaurants, parks, public transportation, or other areas that interest you. Can you walk from place to place? Is your hostel located near all of the sites you want to visit? 

Try to identify various local communities on Instagram in your proposed destination — say, a yoga club if you’re into yoga, or a queer social club — and reach out to members for recommendations on what to do and where to stay, says travel writer Bani Amor . Amor also suggests solo travel Facebook groups where you can find intel on various businesses and locals to meet up with. 

Familiarize yourself with popular tourist scams, Simone says, so you don’t unknowingly get into what you believe is a taxi at the airport and are grossly overcharged. “It’s usually a very easy Google search,” she says. “What are the common scams in Morocco? What are the common scams in London? What are the common scams in Bangkok?”

When booking flights or other transportation, Waugh recommends arriving during daylight so you can get your bearings. While you’re coordinating your transit, make a plan for how you’ll get to your lodgings, says writer and travel expert Jessica Nabongo . Especially after a long flight where you may be tired and disoriented, knowing how you’ll get out of the airport is crucial. Nabongo is a fan of booking a car service, but for cheaper options, research the public transportation options from the airport. The app Rome2Rio provides a variety of routes, from subway and bus to train and car.

As a good rule of thumb for all travelers, Simone recommends a few crucial travel accessories: locks for your luggage and backpacks , and a portable door lock for hotel and hostel rooms. She also suggests an RFID-blocking wallet to prevent new-age pickpockets from using sensors to steal your data without having to even steal your wallet. A low-profile money belt that you can wear under your clothes helps keep your money close and out of sight. 

If you’re traveling to a location where you don’t speak the language, try to learn a few phrases, Amor says, just in case you need to ask for directions or read signs on public transportation. 

Before you leave for the airport, train station, or bus stop, or get in a car, tell a few friends and family members where you will be. You can even share your location with a contact in your iPhone or via Gmail on Android and Google Maps (you can always turn this off once you’re home). Someone should always know where in the world you are. 

Where is a safe place to stay as a solo traveler?

Travel experts sing the praises of all forms of lodging: hostels, hotels, Airbnb , staying with a friend of a friend. The main consideration is your budget. Hostels will be the cheapest option since you’ll share a room and bathroom with other travelers. However, this is a great opportunity to meet other people, some of whom may also be on their own. “I always like to suggest that people who have never traveled solo stay at a hostel, because hostels are built for solo travelers,” Simone says. “They’re always going to have tours going on you can sign up for.” Remember to always keep your items secure and locked.

For a slightly more expensive option, Amor suggests a private room at a hostel. You’ll have a door that locks and won’t need to share a bathroom. 

Hotels and Airbnbs will be the costliest places to stay. “I like the amenities,” Nabongo says. “I like having breakfast and my gym. And I like having a concierge, so I can ask, ‘What should I do? Where should I eat?’”

Take advantage of the staff and hosts wherever you stay, experts say. These people are often locals and are familiar with where you’re visiting. They can provide tour recommendations, directions, and places to avoid.

Before booking, Waugh suggests looking at the lodging’s location on Google Maps’ street view. “Make sure that the area looks like it’s active, that it’s well-maintained, and that you’re going to feel safe,” she says.

You can always tap your network, Amor says, and ask if anyone has a trustworthy friend who might be willing to let you crash. “Before I book anything, anywhere, I’m going online to my social network and I’m being like, ‘Who has got a place? Who has a friend of a friend?” they say. “If I’m a part of a radical community or a punk community, then I know we have some sort of ethos that is very mutual aid [focused].”

No matter where you stay, write the address in a note on your phone or mark the location on Google Maps so you always can find your home base.

How do I meet other people? Is that even safe? 

While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying your own company, solo travel gives adventurers the opportunity to meet new people. Group tours and Airbnb Experiences are great ways to mingle with other travelers. Opt to sit at the bar if you can since you’ll be better positioned to chat with other patrons and the bartender. These new connections might invite you to other events they have planned, Simone says, and give you strength in numbers. “You have to be open-minded and you have to be willing to say yes to things,” she says. 

Try searching for clubs or social groups that align with your interests, Nabongo says. In major cities, there’s a good chance you can find a manga lovers group, beer runners, or a poetry reading event.

However, always keep these interactions in a public place, Waugh says: a cafe, a park, a museum, a store, historical sites. Simone and Waugh caution against going out by yourself at night unless you’re with an organized group like a bar crawl. Don’t tell anyone where you’re staying either, even if they ask. You can give a general location, like “on the other side of town,” and then keep the conversation moving, Waugh says. 

Because different cultures have varying social norms around the appropriateness of certain comments or questions — what one culture considers a compliment may seem creepy to a person from a different background — you may be caught off-guard by offhand remarks. Sometimes cab drivers, for instance, might make comments about the way you look, misgender you, or ask intrusive questions. You don’t need to lie or justify who you are to a stranger, but keep the details to a minimum if you’re not comfortable. “Sometimes they’re just hitting on you, and … not everyone who’s hitting on you wants to abuse you,” Amor says. “But sometimes, it’s not fucking safe. I’ve never lied about having a boyfriend or a husband, but I usually just say ‘no.’”

Should a stranger become persistent in getting you alone, by offering to give you a ride or to veer off a marked hiking trail, consider that a red flag, Amor says. Don’t go anywhere private by yourself with someone you just met, be wary of people who are insistent you make a decision immediately (about whether you’ll join them on a day trip, for example), and don’t worry about being rude. “One thing a lot of us are trained to do is just to be nice,” they say. “You really have to put your foot down at some point.”

Continue using whatever metric you use at home to suss out new connections. If you get a weird feeling from a super-persistent person sitting next to you at the bar, signal to the bartender for assistance, move to another seat, or leave. “If you feel suddenly under threat,” Waugh says, “you just yell.”

Just as there are nefarious people wherever you go, there are kind and curious people, too. You have the opportunity to transform a local’s weeknight dinner into a charming memory. Be open to new connections, Nabongo says, and don’t assume everyone is out to harm you.

What do I do if I get sick or need help?

There are plenty of things that can go wrong when traveling, from the mundane — like getting lost — to the more serious, such as needing medical assistance. With no one else to rely on in a pinch, you may need to outsource help. For logistical issues, like asking for directions or inquiring how to purchase public transit passes, walk into a store and ask an employee or approach a family for assistance, Waugh says. 

Waugh also recommends travel insurance , which covers medical expenses should you unexpectedly get sick or injured and need to be hospitalized. (Travel insurance also covers lost luggage and missed connecting flights .) In countries that have universal health care , a visit to a doctor or emergency room is generally cheaper than in the US, but travel insurance can cover the cost of evacuating you to a location where you can get appropriate care if you’re, say, in a remote area. The local US embassy or consulate office can also help you find a medical provider. 

For less dire illnesses, local pharmacies are great resources, Waugh says. When she sprained her ankle in France a few years ago, she took an Uber ride to a nearby pharmacy, where employees helped her make an appointment with a specialist. 

If you’re a victim of a crime overseas, contact the nearest US embassy or consulate ; they can replace a stolen passport, inform your family, and provide information about local points of contact or organizations familiar with that country’s laws. Involving police may not be helpful or even safe, so it’s up to you whether you want to file a police report if you’re involved in a crime, both stateside and internationally. 

Although it’s important to be prepared for potential snafus, fear of the unknown should not hinder your experience. Millions of people live in traveler destinations — many by themselves — and don’t feel threatened by their hometowns. “In particular for women, society puts so much fear into us that I think is completely unwarranted,” Nabongo says. “The world is not as scary as they want us to believe it is.”

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World of Wanderlust

How to travel Solo for the First Time (20 top tips)

If this is your first visit to my blog – welcome! I’m Brooke and I have been travelling the world solo for the past seven years. Over the years I have made many mistakes, booked last minute flights out of bad situations and met so many fellow solo travellers along the way. With the help of my fellow solo travel friends, I’ve put together the best tips for your first time travelling solo.

preparing for solo travel

How to Travel Solo for the First Time

Book your accommodation via ratings.

There are so many hotels I have checked in to and realised they look nothing like the photos. The safest bet I have found is to check the rating overall as well as considering how many people have placed a review. If the hotel has a 5 star rating but only one person thinks so, you might wish to reconsider!

Make an effort to meet other travellers

When I first started travelling solo at twenty years of age, I would often find myself becoming more and more introverted. I found that over time conversation became easier, flowed more naturally and I soon realised I was facing the same questions from new friends: Where are you traveling from? Where are you traveling next? What are your favourite places so far? These small conversation starters can quickly form friendships and before you know it your solo dinner for one became a fun adventure with someone new.

Start your day early

I’m often asked how I manage to get photos at national monuments like the Eiffel Tower without any other travellers in the frame and the truth is to wake up for sunrise! Waking up at sunrise means less crowds, no lines, beautiful morning light and the chance to see a place almost all to yourself.

Buy travel insurance

One of the non-negotiables when I travel is buying travel insurance. When you travel alone you don’t have anyone looking out for you so for peace of mind, I always book travel insurance in case anything goes wrong. This extends to flight delays and cancellations and having travel insurance in these situations causes less stress because you know you won’t be the one footing the bill.

How to take better Solo Travel Photos | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Something I learned early on in my travel career was to pack a light suitcase or backpack and relish in the rewards of lugging less weight up a flight of stairs! There have been so many instances where I have found myself at the bottom of 100+ stairs leading out of a subway suitcase in tow, that I have learned it is always better to pack less.

Travel alone but not lonely

Early on in my love affair with travel I realised how easy it is to make friends abroad. We are lucky to live in the age of social media and globalisation where it is possible to meet people to show their city to you before you even arrive! Smiling at locals, learning a few words of the local language and hitting up local coffee spots is a great way to meet people.

Visit Local coffee shops

Speaking of local coffee shops, they are a great place to meet interesting people or even just sit for a while and people watch. Often we get caught up in “seeing the sights” of a new city and forget to pause to take it all in. These moments are often where I have had some of my best ideas, met people I still keep in touch with today or just taken time for myself to consider my surrounds.

Travel with a book

Often when you travel alone you will find yourself with free time on your hands. This could come whilst standing in a line, waiting between courses at a restaurant or on long bus rides. I find it best to always travel with a book to immerse myself in and never feel lonely whilst accompanied by my favourite characters.

preparing for solo travel

Stay sober if exploring at night

This one is subjective but it is a travel rule I have unknowingly implemented for myself. While I love a glass or two of wine with dinner, I love feeling safe more. I will only ever have a glass of wine if I plan to walk around a city by myself at night because I’d rather have my wits about me and feel safe. There are a few situations I have found myself in over the years where I have been thankful for being sober so I can make a quick escape. There is nothing worse than feeling as if you are being followed or watched when you are walking alone so be sure to get yourself out of any situation you feel uncomfortable in.

Catch public transport

Although it can sometimes be daunting using a new public transport system, it is always the cheapest and often best way to see a city. There is no better way to feel like a local than to learn your local stops and make use of the subway.

Pick your destination(s) wisely

Let’s face it: some destinations are safer than others. I’ve written before about the safest destinations for solo travellers and I stand by these as some of my favourite places I have been alone.

Go your own way

One of the most common options for solo travellers is to join a group trip but from experiencing both, I much prefer to travel on my own accord. Group trips have a way of feeling rushed and focus heavily on the main attractions, so much so that you often don’t get a feel for the place you are visiting.

Solo Travel in Europe

Give yourself challenges

A great way to see a city is to challenge yourself to achieve a certain amount of walking each day or a visit a certain set of places each day. Sometimes I embark on a day of coffee tasting and make my way to 10-20 of the cities’ most popular coffee shops. Other times I will depart on a day of vintage shopping and dart my way all over the city in search of treasures.

See what you are capable of

One of my favourite solo travel memories and equally one of my worst was when I took a mountain bike down Death Road in Bolivia . It was the experience that sparked my interest in mountain bike riding and because of this, I found out what I was capable of.

Take your time

One of my favourite travel hacks over the years has been to slow myself down and notice more beyond the obvious. I can spend countless hours inside museums noticing the most minute details and before I know it, I’m knee deep in researching a particular artist or genre.

As much as I love my planned days with a set itinerary of what I would like to achieve, I also love getting lost and having no plan at all. I find this option is best for cities you have never discovered before as it prompts you to form an opinion without expectations. Cities I have loved getting lost in include Antwerp, Stockholm and Tallinn.

Solo travel | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Ask locals for advice

Often the coolest cafes or concept stores I have discovered are small hole-in-the-wall finds that I never would have found without the advice of a local. I’m always asking waiters, bus drivers and baristas where I should explore and blindly travelling on their recommendations.

Consider a cruise

I know, I know: you can’t believe you are reading this. But I mean it when I say cruising has become one of my favourite ways to travel having explored the Middle East and Asia by cruise ships. This is a great way to take the stress out of travel because once you’ve checked in to your cabin, you never have to move your luggage again. You wake up every day in a new port, explore, eat, sleep, and do it all again! I would definitely recommend cruising for solo travellers who would prefer less stress and a more relaxed way to travel.

Learn a new skill

Every year I travel to Paris to learn a new skill in pastry making. Through travel, desserts and pastry have become a really strong passion of mine – so much so that I even opened my own bakery three years ago ! Learning a new skill like pastry classes, wine pairing, language lessons or even art appreciation is a great way to immerse yourself into a culture completely.

Embrace the complete freedom of solo travel

Whenever a person asks me how I gained the confidence to travel solo, I often go into a long tangent about how great it is not just to spend time alone but to love time alone. The complete freedom of solo travel gives you time to learn more about yourself, explore your interests and become a truer version of yourself.

Solo travel must haves

Brooke Saward

Brooke Saward founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen, with a particular weakness for French pastries.

Find me on: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

guest

I’ve never read anything more realistic than this! I used to be so scared of travelling alone because you don’t really know what to expect. It’s great seeing content like this that will help people be more confident in going out there and experiencing the world. One thing that caught my attention is the notion of making an effort to meet other travelers, especially solo ones. I believe that this can bring more color into our experiences, but a lot of people still find it hard to strike up a conversation with strangers. Do you have any tips on how …  Read more »

gedot

A very inspiring post. Accidentally stumbled upon your blog. Sometimes you really want to travel alone. Especially when all the advantages of such a trip are so beautifully described.

ward aronciano

Thank you for sharing this one! glad that i bumped into this blog of yours since it definitely motivated and helped me a lot!

Camella Homes

 I haven’t tried yet to travel solo, but your blog makes me want to try it. Thank you for the best tips for me to try as a first-time solo traveler.

KD Master

Hey there! Useful Post, you always have good humor in your posts/blogs. So much fun and easy to read! And for the record, we are still at it on the Flash reading.

Shagun Bohra

Such a well written blog. I am going to travel solo soon and this piece of writing gave me so many tips. Thankyou so much for sharing, you’re doing a great job:)

rosie abigail

Such a good post!! I’ve never gone solo traveling before, I’ve always been too scared or too reliant on others. But recently, I’ve really had the desire to get out there and travel how I want to travel – to see the world that I want to see! Every post I read of yours makes me feel more prepared and more ready to get into the world of solo travel. So, thank you

rosie abigail ✨

Brooke Saward

Thanks Wendy, appreciate the feedback!

Wendy Atlanta

What a fantastic blog!, I had to go find your first London one and it was also fabulous. I am looking forward to enjoying many of your highlighted places myself.

Carly Pitt

Your blog inspired me to travel solo 6 years ago – love seeing all of these new articles to inspire other women!

stan

Traveling alone doesn’t mean being alone. I always made amazing friends on the way and there are good people out there also traveling alone. It’s fun meeting new people on the road….

Seb W.

For some reason, I always avoided traveling alone. Don’t know, but it seems like I need someone to have my back if anything goes sideways. :)

Malik Khan

Wonderful post.

A few snapshots from Island life in Koh Samui 🥹🌴 just shared my blog posts from this trip in Thailand and now craving mango sticky rice pudding, the kindness and hospitality of Thai people and those buffet breakfast spreads (the kinda ones that keep you full til dinner). My stay at @fskohsamui was like something out of a story book. Especially that last photo - that night was one to remember 🫶🏼 #kohsamui #thailand #travel #travelblog #thailandtravel

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preparing for solo travel

23 Tips For A Beginner’s Guide to Solo Travel

I remember feeling extremely jittery and anxious yet exhilarated before setting out for my first solo trip experience. I wasn’t sure of how I’ll do it, but I was sure that this was my calling and I wanted to do it, come what may. Fast forward to 3 years later, here I am writing this beginner’s guide to solo travel, in hope that more and more people (especially womxn) will be able to take the plunge as I did all those years ago because believe me, you learn so much.

I understand there are often way too many questions around the subject and many end up never going on a solo adventure because they might not ever feel fully prepared. Well, if you’re wondering how to travel alone for the first time in India, my biggest tip to you is, no one is ever “fully prepared”. We all learn as we go and try to do better the next time around. But to help navigate through some of the most obvious (and some not so obvious) solo travelling woes, here are a bunch of travelling experts on how to make the most of your first solo trip!

preparing for solo travel

What's In Here

Choose Someplace Familiar

Beginner's Guide to Solo Travel triund mcleod ganj

This is the approach I took for my own first solo trip in India to McLeod Ganj in Himachal Pradesh. Since I had already been to the town a year ago with college mates, I was slightly familiar with its surroundings, its roads and landmarks which helped calm my nerves a little bit – I was going to a place I had already been to, after all! That sense of familiarity is often underrated when thinking of how to prepare for your first solo trip. Especially when the question comes to how to travel alone as a woman, the comfort a familiar place can bring sometimes makes all the difference.

Time and again this has been my top tip for a beginner’s guide to solo travel. Sometimes rediscovering an already visited place, without the company of known people can be quite an adventure in itself. Taking baby steps is okay, and if you’ve been wondering how to travel alone for the first time in India, these tips to travel alone would definitely be my answer to you!

Here are some McLeod Ganj and Dharamshala tours you might want to join as a solo traveller:
  • 3-Hour Nature Walk in McLeod Ganj
  • Heritage & Cultural Trails of McLeodGanj
  • Triund Trek with Camping
  • Pottery, Yoga Sessions & Waterfall Trek

Plan the Right Itinerary

By joydeep phukan of the gypsy chiring.

Beginner's Guide to Solo Travel sandakphu

Travelling solo is one of the best gifts one could give to oneself. It teaches us planning, adapting and experiencing a moment in its true sense. Among the things that a solo traveller should keep in mind is planning the right itinerary for the trip. A travel itinerary, in general, refers to the set of details like the names of the proposed destinations, dates of visit, transportation, and the accommodation at those places. Being aware of the details always help in saving time and money. Having the right itinerary is definitely one of the most important tips to travel alone for a beginner’s guide to solo travel.

Doing a bit of research, reading  travel blogs  and guide books, and consulting with individuals who have previously visited the locations is always a good idea. The next step would be to make a tentative blueprint of the trip based on it. Solo travel is synonymous with slow and genuine exploration of places and culture. During your visit, having a general itinerary will allow you to set your own pace and decide accordingly. While planning the itinerary, the budget issue is also sorted. It gives a fair idea of the travel expenses – from logistics to hotel stays. A flexible itinerary is an advantage for a solo traveller. 

Speak to the Locals

By becki rendell from meet me in departures.

Beginner's Guide to Solo Travel petra jordan

If you’re new to an area, it can often feel daunting knowing where to go beyond what’s written in the guidebook, especially if you’re on your own. And quite often, the guide books overlook some absolute gems. One of the best ways to get some honest and first-hand information on a place is through the locals who live in the area.

The easiest way to meet locals is by staying in a family-run guest house or homestay, true they might not be as lavish as a high-end hotel, but they are more than comfortable and also you get a real insight into the places locals know about. Ask them about the best places for authentic food, and hidden gems that the guide books don’t tell you about. This was certainly the case while I was  travelling in Jordan  when I was tipped off by the owner of my accommodation on the best falafels and local cuisine in the area. I ate like a queen during that trip! Locals are also a great source of information regarding anywhere you shouldn’t go or scams to watch out for – making this beginner’s guide to solo travel tip really handy.

Another great way is to speak to local café and restaurant owners which are a little more off the beaten track . The language can be a barrier, but more often they genuinely want to help and share their country with you. You’ll be surprised how far body language, being polite and a genuine smile go.

Choose Someplace Close to Home

Beginner's Guide to Solo Travel bir

For some people, adventures in moderation is the key. Deciding on setting out for your first ever solo trip is exhilarating in itself. But it’s important to keep your boundaries and comfort level in check. True, travel is all about challenging yourself but when trying new things for the first time, you might want to test the waters slowly. As I said before, taking baby steps is okay and that’s why my tip for a beginner’s guide to solo travel is to choose a destination that isn’t too far from home.

For the first few solo trips of my life, I didn’t explore beyond a 500 kilometres radius of my home in New Delhi. (You’d be surprised to know how much I could cover in that seemingly small radius!) My point is – you don’t have to push yourself far and wide if you’re not comfortable with it. Great adventures can take place right around the corner of your own home. On the plus side, if something goes and wrong and you don’t feel too comfortable where you are, you can always quickly go back! If you’re looking for tips for first solo trip – this is it! This tip might also work out great for your first solo trip in India.

Prevent Getting Pickpocketted

Beginner's Guide to Solo Travel bogota

For many solo travellers , staying safe is the biggest concern. An issue that can be faced in most large cities is that of pickpocketing. A place which is very busy and there’s a lot going on around is the easiest place to be pickpocketed as you may not be fully aware of everything around you. When I travelled to Colombia,  staying safe in Bogotá  was a very prevalent issue especially when it came to pickpocketing. Other situations like your first solo trip in India might also require the same precautions, making it one of the best tips to travel alone.

My beginner’s guide to solo travel hack for this issue is that I usually walked around with either a backpack or a satchel bag. The satchel bag I always wore to the front and I only did this with the backpack if I went to very crowded places or I was on the bus. You may see the locals not adhere to the advice that others give you when travelling to a city, but it’s always different for a foreigner when eyes are on you. I never carried anything in my pockets, even the front ones that were safer than back pockets. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Learn Some Phrases of the Local Language

By daniel james from layer culture.

Beginner's Guide to Solo Travel colombia

When travelling alone and arriving in a new country for the first time, one thing many new travellers overlook is the power of learning a few words and phrases in the local language or dialect. Not many realize it, but this beginner’s guide to solo travel tip can be very useful. When I first arrived in South America and was planning my itinerary, I had no idea how easy it would be to start picking up some  Colombian Spanish  because I was under the impression that each country spoke differently and therefore having a foreign accent would make it harder to understand or communicate with locals. It turned out that the people I met were very accommodating and helped me with my Spanish along the way. This was all because I had something to work with based on what I had practised before I arrived, making my first solo trip experience enjoyable. So if you want to get a head start when it comes to navigating your way through foreign lands as a solo traveller , try learning a few words or expressions in the native language before you arrive.

Consider Joining a Group Tour

Beginner's Guide to Solo Travel jibhi

I know, I know. It sounds a little counterintuitive, but hear me out – this is one of my favourite beginner’s guide to solo travel tips. Not everyone is naturally okay with being alone, with travelling solo and that’s alright. For me too, my first solo travel experience for the first few initial months was…HARD. I felt “bored” when I was alone and not surrounded by other people. And more often than not, I felt lost. But I learnt to enjoy my own company, I learned to keep myself entertained and I found my way around this whole shebang of solo travelling and you can too. But until then, maybe sign up for a group tour? Don’t take friends or known ones along. Let it be just you, putting yourself in an unfamiliar place, surrounded by unfamiliar people for a couple of days. That should give you practice enough until you feel you’re ready for the whole package – especially if it is your first solo trip in India. There are several solo travel groups in India. Many companies like Trekatribe, JustWravel, Chindi Safar etc are great for young, solo travellers wanting to try out something extraordinary!

Book Your Stay at Hostels

By shrinidhi hande of enidhi.

Beginner's Guide to Solo Travel japan

Hostels are a great stay option for solo travellers. Travelling in hostels is a lot cheaper than hotels and hence help in saving you money. Hostels also house multiple individuals from diverse backgrounds, providing you with a great opportunity to converse with fellow travellers, learn about their culture, fine-tune your itinerary or simply team up with some of them for the day’s plans. Regardless of what help you need – from the best beer in town, cheapest place to rent a motorcycle, is an area safe to walk around at night, to even what is a fair price for airport taxi, and how to use the city’s public transportation – your hostel mates are always ready to help and share a real-time firsthand experience.

Our ideas and understanding of the world are often limited by what we have seen and experienced in our daily life. Hostels with guests from various parts of the world let you learn a lot about various countries. Hostels often also have community kitchens where you can cook your own food. While a proper meal in a restaurant costs 15-20 USD, it is possible to cook your own simple meal for less than 3 USD. Thus hostels help you save a lot of money which you can use for more travel – a beginner’s guide to solo travel tip that you can definitely use later!

But remember, not all hostels are the same. For a hassle-free experience, it’s best to stick to packing hostel essentials so there are no unavoidable surprises on your solo journey!

Spend Time in Cafes

By mal hellyer from  raw mal roams.

Beginner's Guide to Solo Travel bali

Eating out when travelling solo can be super awkward and a little intimidating if you’re not used to it, so having a good strategy for eating out solo can really be a game-changer, a beginner’s guide to solo travel tip that you’re sure to remember. If you’re a solo travel newbie, I recommend having your dinners early and choosing cafés over evening restaurants. There are many advantages of eating in cafés . They are usually a lot cheaper, more casual, and generally, it is more socially acceptable to eat alone in cafés than in restaurants. An added bonus of having an early dinner in a café is getting back to your accommodation before it gets dark, which is always advisable when travelling solo. A good idea for eating out solo is bringing an interesting book with you or your favourite playlist. Listening to music, reading or people watching from a quiet table in the corner of a café will make eating alone a lot more enjoyable, one of the important tips to travel alone!

Memorize a Fake Name

By charu from travel with cg.

Beginner's Guide to Solo Travel copenhagen

Not everything is always sunshine and sunflowers. A thing to keep in mind when preparing for your first solo trip is memorizing a fake name, especially if you are wondering how to travel alone as a woman. Since solo travellers often intrigue other people a little more than usual, there may be scenarios where you would come across strangers who are interested in your identity and life – for all the wrong reasons.

During my first solo trip to  Copenhagen , I found myself in this situation a couple of times. From taxi drivers to people sitting at the table next to me in cafes, to local shopkeepers and other tourists, quite a few people I wasn’t comfortable giving my information to would ask why I am travelling alone and where I am staying. In such cases, this beginner’s guide to solo travel tip has always come handy for me.

So, to avoid giving out details to people you have just met, I recommend memorizing a fake name, accommodation details, and contact number in advance. Doing this would help you get away with uncomfortable situations without seeming rude. And might also end up being safer than answering honestly.

Save All Important Information in a Handy Notebook

By katja mamacos from wandercapetown.

Beginner's Guide to Solo Travel lisbon

When travelling solo, I’ve found it super valuable to back up important information by writing it down in a notebook. You’ll have everything you need on your phone – important numbers, accommodation addresses, flight numbers. But one of the most common things to be stolen by petty thieves is cell phones. And most of us are completely at a loss without our phones. We don’t even know our mother’s number!

Petty crime is also one of the most common threats to tourists, as you’re often carrying everything important on you. But usually, they’ll slip something out of your bag, rather than trying to much more conspicuously carry off the whole bag. And that thing will be your phone or wallet. So, a good precaution to take – and a useful beginner’s guide to solo travel tip – when you’re travelling on your own and depend entirely on yourself is to note down everything important in your little travel booklet or journal. You may also find that it becomes a valuable keepsake of your travels – especially if you’re exploring long-term, and really filling up those pages.

Find a Community Through Facebook Groups

By victoria heinz from guide your travel.

Beginner's Guide to Solo Travel

Travelling alone often presents many challenges that are not always easy to overcome, and a lot of solo travellers are focused on finding friends immediately. Travelling to a foreign country, where a different language is spoken, and you don’t know anyone, can be scary for first-time solo travellers. For this reason, this beginner’s guide to solo travel tip is a helpful way to get in touch with people who have been there before, or even better, are still there. It can be beneficial to look out for groups on Facebook or similar social media platforms to find like-minded people. There are groups for backpackers of almost every country to connect or to exchange ideas, questions or stories. You don’t have to be afraid to post in one of these groups to ask for advice or tips. The people in these Facebook groups are actually always very nice and helpful and are also interested in meeting new people. Knowing that you know someone in the foreign country you are travelling to and possibly even meeting that person or several people can take a lot of pressure and fear away. So if you’re wondering how to prepare for your first solo trip, this might just be your answer – one of the best tips for first solo trip.

Research the Place Well

By vipin from misfit wanderers.

Beginner's Guide to Solo Travel himachal pradesh

You may be scared, overwhelmed, or simply overthinking all sorts of danger that can happen when you’re out there, alone. But believe me, you’ll know it’s untrue after you complete your first solo trip. For the time being, I have a beginner’s guide to solo travel tip for you that can help you take the leap of faith and go solo. What’s it? Just research the place! I know it helps because I have been through the same feelings you’re feeling right now when I was planning to go on my first solo trip, a quest for peace – my first solo trip essay on my first solo travel experience.

Researching the place will make you aware of the area you’re planning to visit, thereby increasing your confidence in the light of knowledge. It helps conquer the fear of the unknown. It also helps you get an idea of the place’s culture and traditions. You might not fully understand them until you get there, but it’s good to have a fair idea to be able to respect local cultures. Researching a place well also helps in knowing what to avoid. If there’s something off about the place, it’s most likely that netizens have already shared it. Therefore, with good research, you’ll know the places that you should avoid. Lastly, it also helps in not getting scammed. It’s not that you’ll be immune, but you’ll know if there’s a common scam that happens at that particular place. These are the best ways in case you’re wondering how to plan your first solo trip, some of the most important tips for first solo trip.

There are several ways you can research the place. Number one is by reading online blogs and articles. This age is of the information, and today every third person is likely to have a blog. Read experiences of people on their blogs who have been to the place you’re planning to visit, ask them in the comments if you have any particular questions. Next, watch YouTube videos and vlogs. YouTube videos and vlogs are one step ahead — you’ll be able to see visuals of the place. Plus, if you’re not into reading, this is your saviour. And lastly, ask in travel communities. Facebook and Quora are packed with a bunch of travel groups and communities. Additionally, you can ask in company-focused travel communities such as TripAdvisor or Tripoto . People are generally delighted to help — at least you’ll know it after your solo travel! So if your question is how to plan a solo trip in India, this research method will definitely be useful.

How to Click Your Own Pictures When Solo

By raksha prasad of solo passport.

Beginner's Guide to Solo Travel

One of the challenging things about solo travel is capturing memories through pictures . Over the years, I have discovered a few techniques that can help in taking those beautiful pictures during my travels. Even though there are many tips in getting pictures taken, my topmost beginner’s guide to solo travel tip is to always carry a small tripod that is compatible with your camera or phone. This is one way where one can be independent and take pictures with beautiful backgrounds without asking strangers or compromising on the pictures taken.

If you are not carrying the tripod, use the resources that are easily available, such as small rocks or bags, as tripods to take pictures. These resources act as tripods and capture good pictures if the object is not moving.

When you want to take quick pictures, then the best thing to do is to ask other travellers around, especially solo travellers. The fellow travellers usually understand and oblige by taking your pictures. Make sure to set your camera and the angle you want before giving the camera to the person taking the picture. This way you can be rest assured that the picture will be taken closer to the way you want.

Share your Locations with Trusted People and Latergram your Travels

By kat from biker girl life.

Beginner's Guide to Solo Travel norway

If you are planning your first solo travel experience, one of the best ways you can share it with friends, family, or anyone interested in following your adventures is on social media. However, it’s important that you don’t overshare and give away your real-time location. This is important at any time, but especially when you’re travelling alone. Don’t share where you are when you are there; wait until you have left or are about to leave before posting your location and photos. Similarly, don’t share where you are planning to go next. Sadly, you just don’t know who’s reading or what their intentions might be.

If you’re doing something slightly more dangerous, like  solo motorcycle touring,  and you want to make sure someone knows where you are, you can share your location with them via an app like ‘Find my Friends’- that way someone can find you, should things go awry and an accident happens. This beginner’s guide to solo travel often comes in handy, especially if you’ve been thinking of how to travel alone as a woman.

Suggested read: “Bike Ride to Nubra Valley, Ladakh”

Get a Travel Insurance

By amélie gagne from mostly amelie.

Beginner's Guide to Solo Travel thailand

You never know what could happen when you expose yourself to the world, and  getting travel insurance  could be the difference between spending a few extra bucks on something you will not need (the ideal case scenario) and having a medical bill that sends you right back home with a big debt and a broken ego (and maybe more). Better safe than sorry is always my motto when I travel, and all new travellers should know that medical expenses can be extremely expensive — no matter where you travel to. Moreover, you never know what kind of nasty viruses and bacteria you could be exposing yourself to in foreign countries. Travelling and changing your routine and nutrition can affect your immune system, and the local cuisine could also be hiding something unexpected. Not only can a random fever hit you anywhere you travel to, but things could also get stolen or missing when you travel. Having comprehensive travel insurance will cover all bases from medical emergencies to stolen belongings, and generally at a very affordable price. If there is one thing you should not gamble on when you travel for the first time, my one top beginner’s guide to solo travel tip, it’s getting good travel insurance. If you’ve been looking for advice on how to plan your first solo trip, this is an important thing to consider!

Start by Travelling Solo in Your City

Beginner's Guide to Solo Travel tirthan valley

This is yet another important beginner’s solo travel guide tip if you’ve been contemplating the idea of solo travelling, but aren’t quite sure where to begin. Warming up and practising by spending time alone in your own neighbourhood helps. Whether it is taking a walk in your park, grabbing a bite in a cafe or visiting a landmark near your house, it helps you ease into the process before plunging into the unknown. Similarly, try out exploration within your own city. Go see that famous tourist spot, take a food tour of your own city or better yet – book a stay at a hostel in your city for a day or two. It will definitely help you get warmed up to the idea of solo travelling, without having to give up the sense of comfort and familiarity completely. There is also a lot of talk on first time solo female travel destinations – which ones are safe and which ones aren’t. Exploring your own city helps you trust and rely on your own self a lot, making the answer to this question much easier. This is one of my hottest tips for those who are planning their first solo trip in India. For those thinking of how to plan your first solo trip, this might actually be a lot of help – important tips for first solo trip!

Read: 15 Best Solo Travelling Destinations in India

Sign Up for a Class or a Workshop

By claire from claire pins travel.

Beginner's Guide to Solo Travel

A smart way to meet locals when you travel solo is by signing up for a class or workshop on a topic that interests you like art, cooking, dancing etc.  While you can often meet other travellers quite easily in hostels or on walking tours, a class or lesson offered by a local institution can be a great way to actually  meet people from your destination  rather than just fellow travellers, since these kinds of events aren’t usually marketed just to visitors. 

To find classes or events, try the event websites or scout Facebook groups which list all sorts of upcoming activities in your chosen destination. Another option is to check for classes and workshops being offered by local museums and galleries, these are often affordable and you might end up with a nice souvenir of your trip to take home after the class. Additionally, sometimes local universities or colleges might even offer unique workshops, lectures or special events open to the general public, so check out their websites to see what is available. If you are worried about a language barrier, consider choosing an activity like a dance class or art workshop where you can follow along visually if you have any issues with translation. This beginner’s guide to solo travel tip often also becomes a great ice breaker, and helps build memorable friendships!

Create a Travel Budget

By alex sumuel from wander with alex.

Beginner's Guide to Solo Travel usa

A travel budget is something every solo traveller should consider. This is especially true if solo travel has become a hobby! Creating a travel budget ahead of time will help you with your itinerary and allow you to see and do as much as possible without breaking the bank. Here are a few tips for this beginner’s guide to solo travel which you can use as a template for creating your travel budget.

First, don’t wait until the last minute to book your big-ticket items, such as airfare and accommodations. To  find cheap flights , sign up for Google Flights or Skyscanner alerts as soon as you know where you’re going. These alerts will keep you in the know when it comes to price changes. As for accommodation, if you don’t have your heart set on a hotel, try a vacation rental from a site such as Airbnb.

Next, you’ll want to do some research into your trip activities. Make a list of all the things you want to see and do, and price check them. Don’t forget, there are usually tons of free things to do in just about any tourist destination, so add them to your list! Lastly, don’t forget about miscellaneous travel costs! Things like food and alcohol, laundry, checked baggage fees, vaccinations, and transportation costs – all of these smaller trip activities can add up quick! If you’ve been wondering about how to plan your first solo trip, do consider this tip!

Keep a Backup of Your Important Documents

By becky from its just becks.

Beginner's Guide to Solo Travel

It’s just a fact of life that not everything will always go to plan. To ease nerves about what will happen if something goes wrong, having a backup of important and necessary documents is essential and reassuring. Think of the things you absolutely could not travel without like passport, visas, insurance, bank details, and have a digital copy that you can access from anywhere (email a copy to yourself) or take a photocopy and leave it with someone you trust back home. Sadly, sometimes things are lost or stolen and having to deal with this alone will feel like a challenge, but having backups of the information will make things easier, something to remember for a beginner’s guide to solo travel.

It’s also a good idea to have backup money, as this is the thing most commonly lost or stolen. If you travel with just cash, it’s best practice to not leave it all in one place. For those with an overseas spending card, consider having a second account or card that you can leave securely in your accommodation when you go out with your main card. This way, if something happens to your main card while you’re out and about, you won’t be left with no access to money while the problem is resolved.

Join a Food Tour

By rose munday of where goes rose.

Beginner's Guide to Solo Travel food tour

Surely one of the downsides of solo travel is the eating arrangements. Dining alone in a restaurant can feel awkward and then there’s the problem of trying all the local dishes during a short trip. Usually, after one heavy meal, you’re full. It would be nice to graze and try lots of different dishes but sometimes solo travel doesn’t allow for this.

A top tip to get the best of a country’s or region’s culinary cuisine without blowing the budget (or gouging yourself senseless) is to take a food tour. This is a great idea because your guide will buy dishes and share them with other guests on the trip. You get to try a bit of everything while also learning about the history and culture of the food from your local guide. Moreover, you also get to meet fellow travellers and interact and share ideas – something worth mentioning for a beginner’s guide to solo travel!

An extra bonus is that often on food tours, couples are given a dish to share and solo travellers get a whole one at no extra cost. Winning! There are several solo travel groups in India that also do food tours. Be sure to check them out.

By Soumya Nambiar of Travel Books Food

beginner's guide to solo travelling

As a solo traveller, my best beginner’s guide to solo travelling tip for anyone who wishes to travel solo is to pack light. This is especially true if you are going to be on the road for weeks. When I started travelling solo, I was never a light packer. I was one of those people who believed that I needed to carry lots of luggage. But over the years, I have learnt that it is not worth it when you are tugging your luggage up 3 flights of stairs to a dorm room in Salzburg with a high-grade fever or you could have avoided being pickpocketed in Madrid if you had less number of bags on you. Learn the art of layering your clothes for winter and how you don’t need everything in your wardrobe for your trip. Learn to use packing cubes to segregate and keep your luggage capacity to a backpack or a carry-on. I always end up doing laundry at least a few times during each of my multi-week/month trips. I also buy stuff on the road and donate some of my stuff on the road if I no longer feel the need for it.

Dealing with Lost Flight Luggage

By džangir kolar of dr jam travels.

beginner's guide to solo travel airport luggage

Lost luggage is a pain that all travellers are afraid of, but don’t have control over it. If it is lost at the beginning of your trip it means you will have to supplement your belongings before you continue on your way even if you get your belongings later. While the airline is responsible for this event they should compensate for your additional expenses. But if you want to get this amount refunded you will need some kind of proof. So the best thing to do is to save all the bills you get for new things you have bought. But don’t go on a shopping spree and buy expensive items like Gucci bikinis and such, while they have a limit for compensation depending on which airline you’re flying with. Also, the same thing applies if it happens on your return and luggage is lost and not returned back longer than 21 days (until then treated as delayed). But it would be harder to save bills for all the things you are taking with you. Usually, you will get a reduced value, 10% less per year. Hopefully, you will not need this advice, but it’s good to remember just in case especially when looking for a beginner’s guide to solo travel.

Just Go! Don’t let fear hold you back

By linda jane of muy linda travels.

beginner's guide to solo travel

Do you have a list of places you want to see but you just haven’t found the right time to go? There are always reasons to put off taking a trip and my advice to a first-time solo traveller is, just go! 

For the bonus last tip on this beginner’s guide to solo travel – don’t hold yourself back and don’t let fear get in your way. If you’re waiting for someone to travel with you, you could wait forever. And although you might be afraid to travel alone, it’s one of the most liberating experiences you can have. You’ll discover that you’re a capable, confident, independent person who can take care of yourself.  

The sense of freedom and accomplishment that solo travel brings is truly life-changing. You’ll be able to say “I’ve done that” and “I’ve been there” and start ticking things off your bucket list.  

The first step is to research your trip and plan thoroughly. If you know where you’re going, how you’ll get there and where you’ll stay, you’ll feel more confident. Researching your destination will also help you to avoid pitfalls and mistakes along the way. Then it’s time to book your ticket and get on the plane.  

What are you waiting for? You’ll have an amazing time! 

Beginner’s Guide to Solo Travel – FAQs

What should i do on my first solo trip.

Treat your first solo trip – just like any other. the only difference is…well, that you’re by yourself! Depending on where you’re travelling to, go cafe hopping, wander in local markets, visit architecture and heritage marvels, visit museums or art galleries and go for that hike and swim in a waterfall or river. If you choose to stay at a backpacking hostel, chances are that you won’t be alone after all. Instead, you’d have mingled with fellow travellers and made plans with said hostel buddies!

Where should I go on my first solo trip?

Honestly, for your first solo trip, there is a whole ocean of possibilities. Depending on where you live and how much money you can spend on this trip, you can literally go anywhere your heart wants! As mentioned before, you can try wandering around in your own city or try tourist places close to your home. But if it feels right, don’t be shy to go all the way and visit a foreign country or someplace far from home too – it really all depends on what YOU feel comfortable doing! For some inspiration on the best solo travelling destinations in India, click here . If you’re a digital nomad and planning to stay long term in a new place, check out this post .

How do I prepare to travel alone?

If you keep these few beginner’s guide to solo travel tips handy, you should be ideally good to go. As I said before, you can never be fully prepared as we all learn something new with each trip and try to do it better the next time. So keep an open mind with the experiences you’re going to have – both bad and good and don’t forget to enjoy!

How long should a solo trip be?

A solo trip can be as long as you want it to, depending on your budget and your availability of time. For some, their first solo trips last not more than 3 to 5 days. While others go on their solo trip and never look back. For me personally, it started off as a few small trips every now and then and now I’m a full-time traveller who doesn’t have a fixed “home”. In a nutshell – you do you!

Can I travel by myself if I’m 16?

There is no minimum or maximum age limit when it comes to travelling solo. Of course, you can start travelling solo at 16 – I started at 18 and I know people who started at 40 as well! When you’re younger, you do make more mistakes but as you grow older, you learn to do better. All in all, what matters is that you keep your spirits free and wild while remaining sensible and cautious at the same time. The magic lies in the balance!

Should I go on a trip alone?

YES. Do it. Seriously, go on that trip alone!

preparing for solo travel

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preparing for solo travel

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preparing for solo travel

A twenty-something solo adventurer, Avantika finds comfort in learning about various cultures, its people and listening to age-old folk tales. When not on the road, she can be found cuddled up with her dog in her room, with a book in her hand.

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Amita Chaturvedi

Excellent article, answering almost all the queries

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First Time Flying Alone – Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide (2023)

My first time flying alone was turbulent.

I lost my bag-tag two minutes after checking in. I held up the line at security for 10 minutes. I made my connecting flight with a minute to spare. And by the time I landed my phone was dead.

Don’t be like me – start your solo trip on the right path. Study this ultimate guide before flying by yourself for the first time.

Nomadic Yak has 100s of solo travel tips if it’s your first time travelling solo !

  • Quick Checklist

Preparing for the Flight

Arrival at the airport, boarding and in-flight experience, layover (optional), arrival at destination airport, 5 tips for flying alone as a woman, pre-flight anxiety, nervousness and stress, in-flight anxiety, nervousness and stress.

  • More Solo Travel Tips

First Time Flying Alone: Quick Checklist

Solo female passenger looking out the plane window.

Want a rapid overview of what to do when flying for the first time by yourself? Here is a 10-point checklist of the main things to remember when flying alone:

  • Prepare your travel documents: Have your airline tickets, visas, passport and other travel documents printed, saved digitally and ready to go.
  • Check the luggage requirements: Ensure that the weight and size of your bags are within the luggage allowances. Store all liquids, electronics and batteries in your hand luggage as per requirements.
  • Arrive at the airport early: Most airlines require you to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours prior to a domestic flight, and at least 3 hours prior to an international flight.
  • Check-in online or in person: Check-in for your flight online up to 24 hours before departure. If online check-in is not available, check-in in person at the airport. You will receive a boarding pass.
  • Drop off your baggage: Drop off your checked luggage at the airline check-in counter. You will receive a small sticker called a “bag tag” for tracking your luggage.
  • Pass through departure immigration and security: Have your passport scanned or stamped. Remove electronics and liquids from your hand luggage. Have your hand luggage and your body X-rayed for banned items.
  • Be at the gate by boarding time: Be at your boarding gate at least an hour before your time of departure.
  • Prepare for take-off and landing: Find your seat, stow away your hand luggage and loose items, fasten your seatbelt and secure your dining tray.
  • Pass through arrival immigration (International flights only): Have your passport stamped by an immigration officer or scan your passport at an electronic immigration gate.
  • Pick up your baggage: Find the right conveyor belt and pick up your checked luggage. Speak to the lost luggage staff if your bags don’t arrive.

For more details on all the above, see the comprehensive step-by-step guide below.

Nervous about travelling alone? I list 15 dangers to beware in my article: is solo travel safe ?

First Time Flying Alone: Step-By-Step (Detailed Checklist)

View out of a plane window. Easyjet wing at sunset.

This 30-point guide walks you through your first time flying alone step-by-step. 

It includes comprehensive information on what to do during your first time flying alone, including; preparing for your flight, at the airport, during your flight, during your layover and upon arrival. 

It can be used for both international and domestic flights alone.

Passport with boarding passes and camera.

1. Choose a travel destination and dates

If you’ve already chosen a destination and travel dates, skip this step. 

But if you don’t know where to take your first trip alone , search my solo travel destination guides. Find your next adventure based on your budget, safety, experience, age and more.

Note that flights are cheapest during the off-season (May-June and August-October). Avoid travelling during the peak holiday periods (December to January). 

Further, flights are cheapest if you book between 4 months to 3 weeks in advance .

2. Check visa requirements and apply

Wait! Don’t book your first flight alone just yet. You need to check that you are eligible to travel to your destination .

Search for your destination on your government’s travel advisory website . Advisories include:

  • Travel.State.Gov (USA)
  • Foreign Travel Advice (UK) 
  • Travel.gc.ca (Canada)
  • Smart Traveller (Australia)

Is your intended destination safe to travel to? What level of precaution is required? Can your government assist you in an emergency? Are there entry/exit requirements?

You can also use the Passport Index to check what type of visa you need for your destination. 

If you have to apply for a visa or an eVisa, always doublecheck that you are using the official government website. Only provide payment if the site is trustworthy. I have been ripped off by dodgy online visa processes (e.g. the Egyptian eVisa).

3. Compare available flights

You’ve chosen a destination, picked your travel dates and attained a visa. Now you can shop for flights.

Use comparison sites like Google Flights and SkyScanner. You’ll save hours trying to find the cheapest and shortest flight to your destination.

Tip: Don’t take a 30-hour flight via the middle-of-nowhere to save $100. You’ll be grateful for having chosen a shorter, more comfortable and less-complicated flight.

4. Research the airline

Before pulling the trigger and booking your first flight alone, doublecheck the reputation of the airline. 

Search your chosen airline on SkyTrax . See their safety ratings and read user reviews about the:

  • Food and beverages
  • Inflight entertainment
  • Seat comfort
  • Staff service
  • Value for money.

It’s also worth Googling the airline’s baggage allowances . Does the airline provide enough luggage allowance or will you end up paying extra fees?

I suggest that most solo travellers need 20-30kg of baggage allowance .

5. Pay and book the flight 

Once you’ve chosen an affordable and direct flight with a reputable airline, it’s time to book and make payment.

Book directly through the airline website rather than a third-party site. It is more convenient. You get immediate access to the booking management system (e.g. seat selection). Plus, you deal directly with the airline’s customer service if your flight is delayed, cancelled or changed 

Third-party sites do often offer better ticket prices. But be warned – many third-party sites have subpar customer service (i.e. slow to respond). They may not be able to help you if your flight plans change.

6. Select a seat or other extras (optional) 

If you are concerned about where you sit on your first flight alone, you may want to pay extra to choose a seat. 

I always suggest avoiding the middle seat in the row . It is uncomfortable being wedged between two people. 

Want to be able to stand up and stretch your legs without annoying other people? Sit in the aisle.

Or are you wanting to see the scenery during your first time flying alone? Sit in the window.

7. Plan your layover (optional)

If your first flight alone has a layover, check how long the layover lasts.

If the layover only lasts a few hours (i.e. less than 8 hours), it is best to remain at the airport. 

But if the layover lasts for more than 8 hours, you may want to book accommodation inside or close-by to the airport. 

Also, check your flight documents regarding your luggage. Will your baggage be automatically transferred to your onward flight? Or do you have to re-check your luggage during the layover?

If your onward flight (after the layover) is booked with the same airline, the baggage should be automatically transferred. But if the onward flight is with a different airline, you may have to claim and re-check your baggage during the layover.

8. Prepare your travel documents

Have all your essential travel documents ready before taking your first flight alone, including: 

  • Airline tickets
  • Proof of funds (e.g. bank statement)(if required)
  • Travel insurance certificate (if required)
  • Vaccination certificate (if required)
  • Return ticket and itinerary (if required).

Most of these documents will be saved to your phone. But be sure to save them locally on your phone (or screenshot) in case you can’t connect to the internet.

You should also print out these documents . That way, you can access them if your phone dies. 

Tip: Scan your passport and save a copy on your phone for easy access (just 1 of my 35 solo travel safety tips ).

9. Doublecheck your luggage

Your ticket should indicate a luggage allowance . This tells you how much your check-in luggage and hand luggage can weigh.

The airline may also restrict the size of the bag . 

When packing your bags, make sure that you don’t exceed the luggage allowance . If you do, you will be charged an extra fee at the airport or asked to leave some of your luggage behind.

If you need a larger luggage allowance, you can buy this through the airline’s booking system. 

Liquid, aerosol and gel items must be stored in a container of 100ml or less. Then, those containers must be placed inside a transparent and resealable plastic bag. These bags are usually available at the airport before the security check.

If you are travelling with batteries (e.g. a portable power bank), they must also be stored in your hand luggage .

10. Arrange transport to and from the airport

The most affordable and stress-free way to get to the airport is to have a friend or family member drop you off .

If you don’t have this option, pre-arrange for an Uber, taxi or airport shuttle service to take you to the airport. Don’t wait til the morning of your flight because you will run into problems and arrive late.

You also need to consider what you will do when you arrive at your destination . How will you get from the airport to your accommodation?

Many international airports offer shuttle or train services to the city centre. Alternatively, ask your accommodation to help you arrange an airport transfer.

11. Check-in online

Most airlines will allow you to check-in online up to 24 hours before departure.

Check-in as soon as you receive an email or text message from the airline telling you that check-in is open.

The check-in process usually asks you to confirm basic details (e.g. name and passport number). Once complete, you should be provided with an electronic boarding pass. If you don’t receive a boarding pass, you might be advised to pick it up at the airport.

If you can’t complete the online check-in, you will have to check-in in person at the airport upon arrival. This has happened to me several times in Europe because the online check-in system did not recognise my Australian passport.

Male solo traveller sitting in an airport alone.

12. Take your transport to the airport

It’s time to go! Have all your luggage ready at the door, so that you don’t leave anything behind.

Plan your journey so that you will arrive at the airport about 2-3 hours before your flight.

13. Arrive 2-3 hours before your flight

Most airlines require you to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours prior to a domestic flight , and at least 3 hours prior to an international flight.

Check your flight booking for a precise airport arrival time.

If you miss the check-in window, you may not be allowed to board the flight. Most flights are oversold and the last customers to arrive are often asked to take another flight.

14. Physical check-in and luggage dropoff

If you did not receive a boarding pass when you checked-in online, you may need to pick it up at the airport.

If you’re only travelling with hand-luggage, you may be able to use a self-serve computer kiosk. Enter your flight details and print-out your boarding pass. Done – you can proceed to the next step.

But if you are travelling with checked luggage, you will need to approach the drop-off counter . Find the right counter by looking for the screens with your airline and flight number. 

At the counter, a staff member will ask for your flight details and passport. They will then weigh your big bag, tag it and transfer it to the flight. You will get a boarding pass and a sticker with your luggage number. 

Don’t lose the sticker – you’ll need it to track down your checked luggage if it becomes lost.

15. Pass through departing immigration (International flights)

You may be required to pass through immigration before departing your home country.

Most modern airports have passport scanners that make this process very simple. Just walk up, put your passport face down in the scanner, look up at the camera and wait for the gate to open before proceeding.

Other countries may require you to fill out an immigration departure form . After filling out the form, you may be required to give it to an immigration agent or drop it in a box.

16. Pass through the security checkpoint

Join the line to go through the airport security check. Read the signage for instructions.

Approach the security table and take a tray. Remove any electronic items and liquids from your hand luggage . Remember, your liquids must be within a sealed transparent bag. Place the items flat in the tray. 

You may also need to remove your shoes, hat, jacket, jewellery, watch, belt and wallet . Place these items in a separate tray with your hand luggage (i.e. backpack or handbag). Hold on to your passport and boarding pass.

Push the trays on to the conveyor belt so that they pass through the X-ray machine.

Proceed through the security gate as advised by the staff. They may ask you to pause so that they can X-ray your body. If you set-off the X-ray machine, they may pat you down or wave a detector wand over your body.

If there are any prohibited items within your hand luggage, the security staff will ask you to open the bag and take them out. They may throw out any banned items that you can’t take on the flight.

The staff may also swab your bag or possessions for drugs or explosives.

Once the staff let you proceed, pick up your trays off of the conveyor belt. Take the trays to a table if available. Repack your hand luggage and put on your shoes and accessories.

Note: Some modern airports no longer ask you to remove electronic devices from your bag. Read the signage.

17. Find your gate and boarding time

Your boarding pass will state a boarding time. 

Note that the boarding time (the time you get on the plane) is not the same as the time of departure (the time the flight takes off). The boarding time is often an hour before the time of departure.

Find your gate by looking at the screens that show your flight number and gate number. Follow the signs around the airport until you arrive at your gate.

Airplane aisle full of passengers.

18. Wait at your boarding gate

Be at your boarding gate at least an hour before your time of departure.

If you have time to kill before your boarding time, you may want to get some food or visit the stores in the airport.

But whatever you do, don’t miss your boarding time! And keep an eye on the displays in case your gate or boarding time changes.

19. Board the plane

At boarding time, airline staff at the gate will ask the various classes of passengers to board the flight . Check your ticket for your seat number or seating class. 

When the staff call for you to board the plane, approach them and hand them your boarding pass and passport . They will tear part of your boarding pass off before handing it back to you.

Proceed past the staff and down the tunnel. The tunnel may lead directly into the plane. Otherwise, you might have to catch a shuttle or walk out on to the tarmac before boarding the plane via a set of stairs.

20. Find your seat and stow your bags

When you enter the plane, an air host or hostess will be waiting to greet you. Show them your ticket and they will direct you to your seat. 

The seat numbers should be shown above the seat.

Once you have located your seat, stow your luggage in the overhead compartment or underneath the seat in front of you .

Note: If you are seated in the emergency aisle, you will not be allowed to stow your luggage under the seat in front of you. It will have to be stowed overhead.

21. Listen to the safety instructions

Take your seat. Before take-off, the crew onboard the flight will give a safety demonstration . 

If it is your first time flying by yourself, it is worth paying close attention to the instructions. You can also read the safety pamphlet provided. 

It is particularly important to pay attention to the safety instructions if you are seated in an exit row. In an emergency, you may be expected to open the hatch.

22. Prepare for take-off

Fasten your seatbelt so that you are restrained but comfortable. Stow away your table and any other loose items before taking off.

As the plane takes off down the runway, you may be pushed back into your chair by the force. The plane may also rattle and shake loudly . Don’t worry if this is your first time flying alone – this is perfectly normal!

23. Use the in-flight services and stretch your legs

About 15 minutes after take off, the flight crew will turn off the seatbelt light . This means that you can stand up, stretch your legs and use the bathroom whenever you please . 

However, keep your seatbelt on when seated in case of sudden turbulence.

Stretch your legs and do some gentle in-flight exercises every few hours if you’re taking a long flight (more than 3 hours). This will help to prevent blood clots.

Above your seat, you should have airconditioning and an assistance button. You can push this button to call for the flight crew if you require something or feel unwell.

During a long-haul international flight, you should be provided with meals. You may also have an in-flight entertainment system for watching films, playing games and tracking your flight path. 

24. Remain calm during turbulence

You are likely to encounter some turbulence during your first time flying alone. 

Remember, no flight has ever crashed due to turbulence . Turbulence is not dangerous. However, pilots will try to avoid turbulence to make your flight more comfortable.

So, if the person next to you starts screaming as the plane shakes, remain calm . There’s nothing to worry about. Just put your earphones in and know that it will be over soon!

Plane outside an airport window.

25. Make the most of your layover (optional)

As mentioned above, you should have already planned for your layover.

When leaving the plane, take all your items and hand-luggage with you . You likely won’t be getting back on the same plane.

If your layover is less than 8 hours, wait in the airport, get some food and find a quiet place to rest. Be sure to keep your hand luggage with you at all times. Look at the display screens to find out which gate your connecting flight will be leaving from.

If the layover lasts more than 8 hours, find some accommodation inside or close-by to the airport. Get a few hours of sleep at a hotel or motel before returning to the airport and catching your connecting flight. If you have to leave the airport to get to your accommodation, you will have to go through the security and immigration process again.

Kill some time at the airport on social media – see the 100 best solo travel quotes and Instagram captions !

Airport arrival hall in Thailand.

26. Landing

The pilots will inform you that they are preparing to descend about 20 minutes before landing. 

This will be the last chance for you to use the bathroom.

The crew will then walk around the cabin and ensure that everyone is ready for landing. Make sure that your table is stowed away and your seatbelt is fastened.

Upon touchdown, the plane will shutter and shake. It will be loud and the tyres will screech . This is normal and there is no need to panic . Soon enough, you’ll be parked.

27. Exiting the plane

As the plane taxis down the runway to the gate, the staff may inform you that you can turn on your phone . If you’re using an E-sim or data roaming, this will be your first chance to receive messages and use the internet. 

The crew will only let everyone on the flight stand up once the plane has parked at the gate .

Doublecheck that you have taken all your personal belongings and hand luggage.

Walk off of the plane and follow the signs in the airport to the arrivals hall.

28. Pass through immigration (International flights only)

As you make your way to the arrivals hall, you will come across the immigration gates. 

Have your important travel documents ready and in-hand.

Some modern airports may have electronic immigration gates . Simply approach the gate, put your passport face down in the scanner, look up at the camera and wait for the gate to open before proceeding.

If the airport does not have electronic gates or the electronic gates do not work for you, you will have to approach an immigration officer. 

Give your passport to the officer and show them your visa if one is required.

The immigration officer may then ask you further questions , such as:

  • How long do you plan on staying in the country?
  • What do you plan on doing in the country?
  • Can you present an itinerary?
  • Can you present a certificate of travel insurance?
  • Can you present a bank statement with proof of funds?

If the immigration officer is satisfied with your documents and answers, they will stamp your passport. Proceed to the baggage claim area.

29. Pick up your checked luggage

In the luggage pick-up area, look at the screens and find your flight number. The screens should indicate which conveyor belt will dispense your checked luggage.

Wait by the conveyor belt for your luggage to turn up. Be patient, this can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour .

When you spot your luggage, approach the conveyor belt, pick it up and make your way to the airport exit .

If your luggage does not arrive, locate the lost luggage desk. The staff will ask you for your flight number and the sticker that you were given when you checked-in. If your luggage can’t be found, the staff will likely tell you to leave the airport and they will deliver your luggage to you once it is located (at no extra cost).

30. Catch transportation from the airport

If you have already arranged transport from the airport to your accommodation, a driver may be waiting for you with a sign displaying your name. 

If you have not arranged transport, look for signs leading you to the taxi/Uber rank or public transport. 

Once you’re on your way from the airport to the accommodation, you’re done! Congratulations, you’ve just completed your first time flying alone!

10 Tips for Your First Time Flying Alone (+5 Tips for Women)

Solo traveller in airport with bag, passport and boarding pass.

During my first flight alone, I was freezing and bored stiff after realising that most of the in-flight entertainment was in Thai.

I want you to be comfortable and cosy at 12,000m without a worry in the world. Here are my top 10 first time flying alone tips:

  • Wear comfy sweats: I don’t care if you’re flying into Antarctica or Antigua, there’s always room for sweatpants and a crew neck on your solo travel packing list (you’re guaranteed to get chilly at some point in your trip). Wear it on your flight so that you’re comfortable and your luggage weight is minimized.
  • Juice up your electronics: If your phone dies an hour into your first flight alone, you’re left without music, podcasts and your only means of communication. Make sure you fully charge your appliances the night before leaving and again at the airport before boarding.
  • Bring a USB cable: You land in Bangkok with a dead phone – now all you’ve got to do is find your hostel in a 1,569 km² city without any directions! Pack a USB cable so that you can charge your phone mid-flight. Most airlines provide USB-A charging points.
  • Pre-download your shows: Got a Netflix watchlist you’ve been meaning to get around to? Pre-download a few hours’ worth of movies and shows on your smartphone or iPad. You never know how good the onboard entertainment will be.
  • Lay down during your layover: Most layovers only last an hour or two – in which case you’ll be rushing from one flight to the next. If you’ve got more than 3 hours though, it’s worth looking into whether there are sleeping pods in the airport itself.
  • Pack electrical devices and liquids on top: It’s embarrassing having to fumble around in your hand luggage at security. Have all your electronics and liquids (which should already be stored in a plastic bag) at the top of your backpack, so you can slide them out snappily.
  • Shake out your backpack/handbag: If you’re like me, you’ve got no idea what all those crumbs and bits at the bottom of your backpack are. Before you pack your luggage, shake your bags out and remove all unnecessary items (old train tickets, used faced masks, coins, etc.).
  • Pack a pen and a pin: Two simple items that every solo traveller forgets. The pen is for filing out important forms (e.g. immigration cards). The pin is for changing your SIM card when you arrive.
  • Stay sanitised: Avoid catching dysentery on your first flight alone – it will quickly turn your holiday to doo doo. Keep a 100ml sanitiser in your hand luggage and sanitise after using the airport or aeroplane bathrooms.
  • Print, screenshot and save to the cloud: Keep your important documents in two formats – printed on paper and screenshotted on your phone. You should also have all your important documents backed up to the cloud or your email in case you lose your phone and need to buy a new one.

Solo female traveller with luggage in airport.

Are you a solo female traveller? Here are an additional 5 tips for flying alone as a woman :

  • Tape your cosmetic products closed: Make-up and liquid cosmetics are expensive. You don’t want them to leak all over your stuff. Eyeshadow, blusher or bronzer products can be taped closed. With liquid products, remove the lid, place a piece of plastic wrap over the top and replace the cap.
  • Pack make-up wipes and a face mist: The air on aeroplanes is notoriously dry, so whether you suffer from dry skin or not, expect your face to feel dehydrated. Combat the elements by carrying a face mist in your bag. Bring make-up wipes as well to prevent breakouts.
  • Carry a change of clothes: Pack a spare pair of underwear, a t-shirt and pants in your hand luggage. If your check-in bags get lost or you accidentally spill food or drink on yourself, you’ll have clean clothes to change into. 
  • Pack female sanitary products: Even if you’re not expecting your monthly visit, travel can cause havoc with your hormones. Make sure you pack enough sanitary pads or tampons in an easy-to-find pocket in your backpack. If you forget, ask an air hostess.
  • Warn staff if you feel uncomfortable: Sat next to a creep? Get up, pretend you’re going to the bathroom and have a private word with one of the air hosts. They may be able to seat you somewhere else.

Travelling alone can feel awkward. I’ve got 6 tips in my article: is it weird to travel alone ?

Anxiety and Nervousness: Coping with Your First Time Flying Alone

Row of plane seats and window.

Every solo traveller is a little nervous and anxious about their first time flying alone. 

Have I got my passport? Is the flight going to be turbulent and scary? What if the immigration agent questions me?

Let’s put your mind at rest. Here are 10 things you can do if you’re nervous or have anxiety about your first time flying alone.

  • Remember these facts about how safe flying is: Flying is the safest form of transport. No plane has ever crashed due to turbulence. 500,000 people fly safely all over the world every day. The chances of dying in a plane crash are 1 in 11 million (but the chances of dying in a car crash are much higher at 1 in 5000).
  • Prepare properly for your first flight alone: Follow all of the step-by-step instructions above on what to do when preparing to fly by yourself for the first time. The more prepared you are, the less anxious you will feel.
  • Wear comforting clothes: There’s something comforting about wearing sweatpants and a hoodie. This is my go-to outfit when flying alone because planes get chilly. The comfier you are, the more relaxed you’ll feel.
  • Identify your trigger: Figure out exactly what makes you anxious or nervous about flying alone for the first time. Spend some time researching that fear and whether it is warranted. If you identify your anxiety trigger, it will be easier to turn it off when flying.
  • Focus on the positives: You have chosen to travel alone for a reason. Perhaps to meet new people, challenge yourself or experience foreign cultures. Whatever your reason, focus on that. Overcoming our fears is what makes us better travellers and stronger people.
  • Use an anxiety spray: Pack an anxiety spray among the liquids in your hand luggage. Something like Bach’s Rescue Remedy combines 5 flower essences to provide quick comfort and reassurance. Simply spray twice onto the tongue. 
  • Ask for assistance: If you suffer an anxiety attack, there’s no shame in asking a flight attendant for assistance. The staff are trained for this situation. This happens on almost every flight and the assistants are quick to calm people down.
  • Breathe into a paper bag: You’ll find a paper bag located in the pocket of your seat (if you don’t have one, ask for one). If you start to hyperventilate, breathing into the bag repeatedly can help you to remain calm and replace the CO2 in your bloodstream. 
  • Distract yourself: Make sure that your airline provides in-flight entertainment. Alternatively, bring a tablet device with ebooks, music, movies or podcasts. Keep yourself distracted from your worries.
  • Try these anxiety apps: Meditation apps like Calm and Headspace are both popular but require subscriptions. Other apps you might want to try on your first flight alone include Colorfy (adult colouring) and Dare Panic and Anxiety Relief – both free!

For more tips, see my guide on how to overcome fear and anxiety of travelling alone .

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Nomadic Yak helps solo travellers to plan journeys that are adventurous and authentic.

Every article is written by me, Harry Dale . I’ve travelled to 40+ countries over the last 5 years – alone.

You’ll find 100s of solo travel tips on how to save money, make more friends, build a social media following and much more.

Plus, you can use my solo travel destination guides to discover international sights and attractions that few other travellers get to witness.

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Creator of Nomadic Yak

At age 22, I had never travelled overseas. Six years later, I have travelled alone through 35 countries and work wherever I like as a freelance writer.

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preparing for solo travel

Preparing for your First Solo Trip in 11 Practical Steps

Tired of waiting on friends to be ready to travel? Tired of missing out on great flight deals because you’re nervous about solo travel? Whatever the reason is that you’re considering taking a solo trip, YAY YOU! Solo travel can be very daunting, especially the first time. It’s helpful to be prepared, mentally and otherwise for this new adventure. Here are 9 practical steps (that I used) to help you with preparing for your first solo trip!

preparing for solo travel

I took my first solo trip to Thessaloniki in June 2018. I had found a great flight deal and no one to go with, so I decided to just do it! As I took my first steps into uncharted solo travel territory, I had A LOT of questions! Is it safe to visit as a woman? How do they feel about black people? How am I going to get any pictures? Will I be lonely? I’m sure you have similar questions and this post should help address those!

1. Deciding on your Destination

Preparing for your first solo trip of course starts with the destination. You’re already doing this thing solo so no need to make things any more difficult! It’s super important you choose your location wisely. Think about what interests (and bores) you when you travel and pick your destination with that in mind.

Choose a destination where you either speak the local language or is ‘touristy’ enough that English (or whatever your language is) is commonly spoken. Choose popular destinations so that you’ll meet other travellers. And finally, don’t forget to check the news, safety stats, blog posts and so on.

Picking where to travel solo

2. Research Like a Pro

It’s SO important to research as you start preparing for your first solo trip. You feel more confident because you have an idea what you’re doing and what to expect. Use blogs, Trip Advisor, Culture Trip, Instagram, Tourism board websites and of course Google to understand what to do, what & where to eat, what to see, activities, etc. Leave no stone un-turned! Here’s a short list of things to research before your first solo trip:

  • Visa & travel document requirements;
  • How to get to & from the airport;
  • What to wear, including culturally appropriate clothing;
  • Which areas to stay in;
  • Common scams;

3. Plan Plan Plan

Your first solo trip will feel extremely intimidating. It’s one thing to arrive in a foreign country but it’s a completely different thing to arrive in a foreign country all alone. Where do you even start? Where should you go? Who should you talk to?

It is important to plan out your trip and It’s pretty easy if it’s a short trip, which your first one will most likely be. Book accommodation, plan your way from the airport, book some group tours/experiences, plan your itinerary. Having an itinerary planned for your first solo trip is super important, so you never feel bored or lost!

Planning for your first solo trip

4. Arrive before Dark

Plan your trip so you arrive before dark if possible. If you do arrive at night, consider getting a taxi to your accommodation for safety so you’re not wandering through streets alone with luggage. It’s scary enough arriving into new country alone, let alone after dark.

5. Get Insured

Travel insurance is probably one of the most forgotten things when planning a trip. It’s actually one of the most important things to get no matter how long your trip is, and most especially when you’re travelling solo. Depending on the policy you get, it can cover lost luggage, cancelled flights, falling ill, injuries or cutting your trip short because of an emergency. It’s also very affordable; I got mine for £3.15 for my three day trip to Greece, approximately £1 a day!

preparing for solo travel

6. Get Some Helpful Apps

Sure you’re solo but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself! Take advantage of some of the helpful apps available to make your trip much easier.

Download offline maps on both Google maps ( iOS , Google Play ) and Maps.me ( iOS , Google Play ) for directions. Google offline maps was particularly helpful before I left. I found the places I wanted to see and the best places to eat. Saved and labelled them on the map so I could see them all at a glance! When I got hungry, I would whip out the map and look for what was nearest to me from my saved list. This meant I didn’t waste time trying to look for Wi-Fi to do searches!

Planning for your first solo trip

Google Translate ( iOS , Google Play ) will help you with the local language so you can communicate better with locals.

You’ll save yourself so much time and effort by having these helpful apps at your fingertips!

RELATED: 9 Must Have Travel Apps

7. Trust Your Gut

Of course solo travel is all about stepping out of your comfort zone but don’t forget to trust your gut. Preparing for your first solo trip is all about putting safety first. Whether it’s someone walking behind you at night or some questionable looking food, be alert! You’ll only regret not following your gut, so if you ever feel funny about anything, get out of it as soon as you can!

preparing for solo travel

8. Keep In Touch

If your parents or friends are anything like mine, they worry a lot about you, especially when you’re in another country by yourself! Try to make sure to update at least one person at home on what you’re doing. If you have an IPhone, the “Find my Friends” or “Find my IPhone” apps are great to use.

You can also share your itinerary with family so they have an idea where you’ll be. It’s also a good idea to leave a photocopy of your passport (Whether you;re solo or not), just in case! Also, if your trip isn’t quite going to plan, it’s always great to talk to friends and family for some comfort.

preparing for solo travel

9. Always Have Vex Money

It’s so easy for expenses to add up. A little snack here, bus ride there, museum entry, this stuff adds up! Try to have “vex money” on holiday in case of emergencies. Always factor in a few extra pounds/dollars into your budget so you’re never strapped for cash, especially when you’re alone.

On my first solo trip, I carried some cash and my Monzo card (really recommend it) which came in handy. I got ALOT of insect bites, the bites got really swollen and I started to feel a little ill (Oh the joys of travel). I was able to use that “vex money” (as it was towards the end of my holiday and I was running out) , to get some medication and ointments for the bites.

money on your first solo trip

10. Keep An Open Mind

Preparing for your first solo trip is also about mentally preparing to have an open mind. Although we’re taught not to speak to strangers, being alone has a way of making you way more open to doing just that and it can lead to some pretty memorable experiences. I met a few other solo travellers through a walking tour and when asked to hang out after, I said yes and had a great time with people I just met!

Whether it’s an unexpected encounter with a Yoruba speaking Greek man by the beach or meeting a café worker that went to your university. You can have some pretty great encounters when you let yourself be open.

Archeological museum of Thessaloniki

11. Take Some Downtime

Although you want to see the city in the few days you have, it’s so important to take some downtime and chill! I know I said earlier to plan but don’t overplan, leave room for the unexpected! Go to the beach with some snacks, drinks and a good book, watch the waves and sleep on the ferry ride back with the wind almost blowing your wig off haha). Or just treat yourself to a lovely dinner in a great restaurant.

Relaxing on solo trip

Going solo can seem daunting at first but I hope I’ve been able to ease some of your fears when preparing for your first solo trip. Would any of you try travelling solo? If you have, share your experiences in the comments!

If you found this useful, please don;t forget to SHARE! You can use the pins/graphics below to do just that!

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Until next time biscuits xx,

preparing for solo travel

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8 Top Tips for Taking your first Solo Trip

Related posts, solo travel as a black woman, 8 solo travel destinations for black women, travelling solo as an introvert – 6 tips from an introvert.

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What a great post. The tip about arriving before dark is so smart. Thank you for sharing your solo travel knowledge.

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Thank you for your comment!! And yeah it’s such a simple tip but can be so important

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22 Essentials for Your Next Solo Trip, According to T+L Editors

From portable chargers to door locks, here's what you need for the best — and safest — solo travel.

preparing for solo travel

In This Article

Tips for Solo Travel

Frequently asked questions.

  • Why Trust T+L

Travel & Leisure / Kevin Liang

One of the most delightful — and daunting — aspects of solo travel is that you’re in charge of everything. Much like how you get to choose wherever and whenever you eat and sleep or can opt to relax rather than rush to sightsee each day, you also determine what objects are worthy of making the journey with you. 

Packing for such a trip embodies the ethos of solo travel itself: While it’s nice to leave a little wiggle room (be it in your itinerary or for souvenirs), it also pays to be prepared. Ensuring you have everything you need to set the baseline for a safe and enjoyable trip ultimately allows you more flexibility in your day-to-day decisions. Plus, when traveling alone, there’s no one else to blame (or borrow from) if you forget your universal charger or toothpaste at home. 

We’ve rounded up T+L editor-approved, tried-and-true packing essentials for safer, more comfortable, and convenient solo trips. Use this guide when you’re gearing up for your next getaway — and don’t forget your general essentials as well, such as your passport and any necessary visas or vaccination cards. 

Best Portable Door Lock

Addalock the original portable door lock.

We love that this lock is easy to install (once you get the hang of it) and doesn’t require any tools to set up. "I get wigged out by how easy it is to break through many hotel doors. This tiny lock basically adds an extra deadbolt to make sure no one gets through," says T+L senior commerce editor Lydia Price . "I love the handy carrying pouch it comes in so that the hard metal won't damage anything else in your bag."

Best Door Alarm

Lewis n clark travel door alarm.

As an added level of safety whether you're at a hotel, hostel, or home rental, pack the Lewis N Clark Travel Door Alarm, "It works with most hotel and rental doors and windows and it'll make a loud noise if the alarm is triggered, which will wake you up and alert anyone else in earshot that something is amiss," Price said. It's incredibly light and compact, so it's easy to bring with you wherever you go.

Best Personal Safety Device

Birdie personal safety alarm.

Personal safety alarms are invaluable protection for solo travelers and offer peace of mind while out walking alone, especially at night. “Personal alarms are great for added peace of mind and this is the most subtle and stylish, one I’ve ever seen,” T+L associate editorial director Morgan Ashley Parker shared. “I’ve held it in my hand while walking on a semi-busy street after dark, but I’ll keep it clipped onto a belt bag or backpack in certain destinations (so I can easily yank the alarm part off as needed). Note: I did this while unpacking once and, let’s just say, I won’t forget the sound — and flashing strobe light — anytime soon.”

Best Travel Purse

Lululemon everywhere belt bag 1l.

For safeguarding your passport, money, or other important travel documents, you'll want a secure travel purse like this one from Lululemon. "This bag is small but still fits a deceptive amount. I like to wear this across my chest when traveling alone so I keep my belongings close," Parker said. "There's even a zippered pocket on the back that fits a phone along with credit cards and cash if I don't want to open up and rustle through the main compartment on the go." The adjustable strap makes it easy to change the length for a tight and comfortable fit around the waist or across the upper body.

Best Hotspot Router

Glocalme 4g lte mobile hotspot.

As much as we all would love to “go off the grid” a bit more, it’s less relaxing than it sounds—and sometimes outright dangerous —when you find yourself somewhere with limited WiFi and no way to contact friends or family. “If I'm traveling overseas and don't have access to my phone plan, a mobile hotspot is essential for staying on the grid while flying solo,” T+L associate commerce editor Anna Popp said. “It gives me so much peace of mind knowing I have access to the internet 24/7 in case there isn't WiFi readily available.” Mobile hotspots are also great for digital nomads who may find themselves working from remote areas with limited internet access. 

Best Portable Charger

Charmast small portable charger.

Running out of phone battery in an unfamiliar place is one of Popp's biggest fears while traveling alone so she never leaves the house without this ultra-compact phone charger. "This charger is so small that it can fit in my pocket or a compact purse, which makes it easy to bring anywhere from museums to concerts," she shared. "I love that it has an iPhone charging port built-in so all I have to do is plug the charger into my phone without having to deal with cords or a bulky charging pad."

Best Headphones

Jbl tune 710bt wireless over-ear headphones.

"As an introvert and a lover of solo travel, a good reliable pair of noise-canceling headphones is a must for me. I have this pair from JBL and I bring them on every flight," T+L senior commerce editor Jasmine Grant said. "They're great at tuning out disruptive noises on a flight, but I also use them wirelessly in between destinations. The foam of the ear muffs is cushiony and comfy, and I also appreciate the long battery life on these things." With an impressive 50-hour battery, these headphones are perfect for listening to music or podcasts for the entire duration of your solo trip.

Best Tripod

Geometrical pocket tripod.

"One of the hardest things when traveling alone is taking photos without asking for a stranger's help, so I keep this little lifesaver in my wallet at all times — even at home," Parker said, referring to this handy mini tripod. "It comes with inserts so you can perfectly fit any phone or phone case, and it helps you prop up your device so you can grab landscape or portrait shots. The tilt angle can easily be adjusted and I've balanced it on rocks, sand, and window ledges and got excellent timer shots (or use this remote , another solo travel essential)." Best of all, the tripod folds flat like a credit card, so it can even fit in your pocket.

Best Zipper Lock

Bobino zipper clip.

Utilizing a zipper lock can keep your items safe and provide you extra comfort when you're on the go. "You can attach [the Bobino Zipper Clip] to any bag or purse with a zipper to make it hard for pickpockets to open them," Price said. "It gives me extra peace of mind when I'm in crowds or wearing a backpack anywhere. I'm also hopeful it can deter thieves from seeing you as a target in the first place. Plus, it's very small and light so it's an extra layer of protection without much hassle."

Best Eye Mask

Sleep masks in general are a must-have for solo travelers — they’re great for flights when aisle-mates don’t want to close the window shade and can be game-changing in hotels without blackout curtains. We love that this one uses low-intensity light therapy technology, so you have the best sleep possible. "Not only does it fit super well without putting pressure on your eyes, but it also helps you to actually fall asleep, which is a game-changer," T+L commerce editor Taylor Fox said.

Best eReader

Amazon kindle fire hd 8 plus tablet.

T+L senior commerce writer Merrell Readman always brings her Kindle Fire tablet with her on trips as a form of entertainment while on the go. "Last year I took my first solo trip to Portugal, and without a doubt, my Kindle was the best thing I packed," she shared. "Since I was alone I had plenty of time to work through my reading list, and I ended up getting through five books on the trip — but the best part is the Kindle connects directly to the NYPL website, making it so I could swap out books without weighing down my suitcase." The device boasts up to 12 hours of battery life on one charge, which is perfect for long-haul flights and a full day of lounging at the beach.

Best Outlet Adapter

Sublimeware international power adapter.

An outlet adapter is essential for charging electronics in countries that use different sockets. "I never leave the country without this international power adapter. Because it works for most destinations, it majorly streamlines my packing list and makes me feel secure that if all else fails I’ll have at least one adapter that will work no matter where in the world I am," T+L commerce editor Sophie Mendel shared. This one works in over 150 countries and you can charge multiple devices at once.

Best Quick-dry Towel

Rainleaf microfiber towel.

For showering or swimming in the ocean, this lightweight and quick-drying towel is perfect for tossing in a backpack or carry-on. "An endlessly versatile travel accessory, a compact, quick-dry towel is a must for any trip. I’ve used mine everywhere from hostel bathrooms in Bolivia to the cold-plunge saunas in Arctic Norway and beyond," Mendel said. "This one is reliable, dries super fast, and packs down small so you can toss it in your carry-on shortly after use for a quick turnaround."

Best Hydration Packets

Liquid i.v. hydration hero bundle.

"I tend to forget to drink water as much as I should when I travel, but these individual packets are a helpful reminder to stay hydrated," T+L testing editor Jackie Cucco said. "I like that they come in individual packets so you can carry as much as you need for the day." They're especially helpful if you've also packed your own water bottle, so you can stick the travel-size packets in your day pack and fill up wherever the day takes you.

Best Headlamp

Energizer led headlamp flashlight.

While this may sound unnecessary when you’ve got a phone flashlight, you’ll never regret having a battery-operated headlamp in case of emergency, particularly when traveling alone. “Not only did I use it to navigate my way to the restroom in the Sahara, but when I was in Cuba, there was a blackout while I was packing, so I simply strapped it on my head and continued without missing a beat,” T+L contributor Rachel Chang shared. It’s always better to be prepared! We love this model because it’s super lightweight and budget-friendly.

Best Money Belt

Eagle creek money belt.

“I use money belts while traveling to avoid getting my credit cards or cash stolen,” says Popp, who recommends Eagle Creek’s Silk Undercover Money Belt. This satin-lined accessory is sweat-resistant and features two handy zippered pockets to keep your passport, cash, and credit cards organized and secured. “I usually carry a regular purse, too, but having a hidden money belt helps keep track of money or other small valuables,” Popp noted. 

Best Backpack

Herschel packable daypack.

Whether you’re backpacking or carry-on-ing, it’s always a good idea to bring a small, packable bag that you can use for day trips or hikes — and Herschel’s version, made of rugged ripstop material, folds up into next to nothing. “A packable backpack can be a godsend for storing items like a water bottle, extra sweater, phone chargers, etc. while I'm on the go,” Popp said. “I love that this backpack folds up into a built-in small pouch to make storing it even easier when it's not needed.” 

Best Zipper-helper

Sharemoon zipper pulls.

Your wardrobe is one thing that definitely should not be limited by traveling alone. “You don’t want to corner a stranger in the elevator or walk down to the front desk partially clothed, so something like this is incredibly convenient when traveling solo,” Parker said. “While there are many styles to buy, I’d recommend one with a spring clip versus a hook or lobster clasp as this style can work with the widest range of zippers.”

Best First Aid Kit

Curad compact first aid kit.

Wherever you go, it's important to prioritize your health — this first aid kit has all of the basics you need to feel your best for a full day out. "It includes three different bandage sizes plus other first-aid essentials like cleansing towelettes, alcohol pads, and antibiotic ointment," Parker said. "I actually keep this travel-sized first-aid kit at home and pull from it to make smaller kits in snack-sized plastic bags when I travel. Then I can restock the larger travel kit as needed to have all my essentials in one place at home, plus have several little first-aid 'go bags' to stash in my various travel bags."

Best Tech Organizer

Bevegekos tech organizer travel case.

Stay organized on the go with a handy tech organizer for keeping all of your important gadgets in one place. "Chargers and adapters can easily wind up in a tangled heap of a mess in my travel bag if they're not organized in some way. I truly love this one because there are pockets for all of my phone and laptop power cords, my portable charger, and even my wireless earbuds," Grant shared. "It's great to have on hand when I'm solo traveling to avoid forgetting my electronics and accessories from place to place." This one is slim and compact, but it's large enough to store all of the tech essentials and it has a wrap-around zipper to secure the items.

Best Reusable Bags

W&p porter silicone reusable bags.

"I love that these bags are dishwasher-safe when I return home from a trip," Parker says. "I love these reusable bags when traveling, especially the stand-up ones so I can have my snacks set out on the airplane tray in front of me. I've bought other brands and find the quality of these to be top-notch, and I also like that they have a roll-top version that can be sized smaller when I'm halfway through what I'm eating. I usually stash one of the traditional ones in my purse since I'm prone to buying snacks that I don't finish while I'm on my shopping adventures so I don't need to go out alone late at night if I get hungry again."

Best Water Bottle

Que collapsible water bottle.

Staying hydrated on a can be difficult, so consider bringing a compact water bottle like this one that folds down to save space in a bag. "To avoid spending $10 on a plastic bottle of water at the airport, I bring this folding water bottle to save money and space in my backpack," Popp said. "It folds down into a super small size and it comes with a clip to attach it to my backpack when it's filled up. It's not the largest bottle, but the portability factor makes it worth traveling with." Plus, it comes in an array of pretty colors from violent to sage.

Share your itinerary (or location) with someone before you go

Most of my close friends and I share our location using “Find My Friends,” an iPhone app that shares where we are in real time (which can be very comforting while traveling solo). If you’re not keen to share that level of detail, consider at least sharing an itinerary and any general travel confirmations (i.e. flight numbers and hotel addresses) with someone you trust. 

You can also add friends to ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft so that they’re notified whenever you book a ride and reach your destination. (The auto-texts generated by the app have unexpectedly been a great prompt for staying in touch with friends while traveling, leading us to check-in about where we’ve been that weekend or dish on late-night rides home from evenings out.)  

Skip the selfie stick

Paris-based T+L contributor Sara Lieberman , who has traveled to over fifteen countries on her own, suggests skipping selfies and instead asking someone to take your photo, which is often an easy and no-pressure conversation starter. “Asking someone to take a photo of you will not only (hopefully) result in a better shot—feel free to direct them and set it up to your liking—but perhaps a conversation or even a shared experience. Maybe they'd be interested in joining you on a local tour that required a two-person minimum.” 

Go guilt-free

When traveling with someone else, you typically need to make some compromises to ensure you both get what you want out of the trip, perhaps waking up earlier than you’d like, or sightseeing longer than you’d want. The beauty of traveling alone is you get to call the shots, and leave the guilt of not feeling always-aligned with someone else behind. 

“Solo travel has always been my preferred way of seeing the world. I love the feeling of exploring a new place entirely on my own, which leaves me more open to unexpected discoveries and connecting with strangers,” says Yagoda. “Also, I can't lie, I love to do exactly what I want, when I want it—without worrying about a travel partner who may have a different vision in mind. I'm someone who needs a lot of rest and relaxation while traveling, so when I'm alone I don't have to feel guilty about skipping an afternoon of sightseeing if I don't feel up to it.”

Don’t be afraid to talk to strangers

It may go against what we’re taught as kids, but it’s crucial to trust your gut and chat up friendly-looking folks as you go about your travels. I recently climbed up 500 very steep steps to catch a sunset in Vietnam and found myself laughing with the other out-of-breath people at the top, lamenting the climb, which segued naturally into chatting about our respective trips.  

Lieberman puts it this way: “You know that NYC subway phrase about suspicious packages? ‘If you see something, say something’: Well, use it to meet people. But, like, with your general observations,” she suggests, noting that simple comments like, "’Amazing sunset. Do you know another good spot around here?’” can be natural openers for great conversations (and hopefully great travel tips!).

Don’t rely (only) on Google 

Another way to initiate conversations with locals or fellow travelers—and hopefully to enrich your trip in the process—is to ask them for advice. “If you don't know, ask!” Lieberman says. “We travel to learn, and when we're alone we often rely on Google or Wikipedia to educate ourselves rather than, say, another traveler who seems adept at buying metro tickets or a local who knows the right pronunciation for ‘addition’ (the bill) in French.”

Always read reviews before booking accommodations 

This applies to all travel but is particularly salient as a solo traveler: Do your homework before booking a place to stay. The worst thing when you’re weary after a long day of travel is showing up to a place that makes you feel anything less than comfortable. 

Prepare physical and digital copies of important docs

When you're traveling alone, it's important to have copied back-ups of all of your important documents like reservations, passports, IDs, and more. But it can also be helpful to have printed copies as well as digital copies on a separate device in case of lost or theft. For example, if you travel with an iPad or tablet, you should ensure that you save all of the same important documents on that second device as you do on your phone.

Traveling alone can be one of the most incredible ways to connect more deeply with yourself and with the people and places you encounter along your journey. It’s a physical and emotional juxtaposition from your comfort zone, taking you to new places where there’s a good chance you don’t speak the language or know anyone (yet!). And that’s where the good stuff starts: Traveling alone forces you to chat up people you might never otherwise engage with if you had a friend or partner there to keep you company. Often, you may find yourself opening up about parts of your life that you haven’t even explored with your loved ones back home; there’s something about being removed from the familiar (and from the pressure of living up to what those closest to you might expect from you) that allows you to shed certain parts of yourself and try new ones on for size.

While there are ample upsides to solo travel, there’s also an inherent risk in navigating a foreign (or even not-so-foreign) place by yourself — though a GPS navigator can help. To mitigate that risk, it’s crucial to take proper precautions like some of the solo travel tips outlined above, whether that’s sharing your location with a friend or doing your due diligence when picking a place to stay. Carrying some of the travel safety products recommended here as well, like a personal safety alarm and a portable lock for the door in your accommodations, can offer peace of mind and an added layer of security as well. 

For more inspiration and comfort, check out solo-travel-focused groups on Facebook. Many are dedicated specifically to female solo travel, while others may be destination-specific and offer insights into things to be aware of or visa logistics. You’re likely to find a ton of helpful tips and maybe even a travel buddy to link up with somewhere!

The beauty (and at times, most daunting aspect) of a solo trip is that you’re calling all the shots—including how long you’d like to travel for. Of course, there are the typical constraints, like a job that requires you to be on-site, or a family to consider. Budget is a determining factor as well, although there are ample ways to stretch your budget if you’re eager to keep traveling. Otherwise, it’s all up to you. If you’re new to solo travel, start with a shorter trip—maybe a long weekend or a five-day jaunt somewhere—to let yourself find your own rhythm without the pressure of weeks “alone” stretching ahead of you (as most solo travelers know, you’re rarely alone for long—you’re bound to meet friendly new faces along the way!).

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Sophie Dodd is a full-time freelance writer for T+L and other reputable publications. She spends her time working on vineyards, road-tripping through the Pacific Northwest, and seeking out the greatest outdoor showers of all time—all in the name of investigative journalism. She focuses on personal essays, branded content, feature writing, and just about anything that involves Paris. She and T+L writer Taylor Fox spoke with other globetrotting writers and editors to curate this list of the best products and tips for solo travel.

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The Ultimate Guide to Preparing for a Solo Travel Adventure

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  • February 15, 2021

Preparing for a solo travel can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time. However, it doesn’t have to be a scary experience. There are certain steps you can take to ensure you’re fully prepared for your solo adventure. Regardless of your age, traveling alone can be an incredible and exhilarating experience . Although it can be overwhelming, embarking on a solo journey provides numerous opportunities for personal growth, self-reflection, and limitless freedom.

Learning the ability to love your own company is a valuable skill that can enhance your ability to organize and carry out your solo trip with more assurance. Also, it offers you the chance to take full advantage of your trip and experience an unforgettable adventure for yourself. When preparing for a solo travel, it is not only important to prepare yourself physically, but also mentally, as you will be exploring alone and will likely be engaging in activities solo.

If you’re feeling uneasy about traveling solo and unsure of how to prepare, the following tips will provide you with guidance. In this guide, we will share with you our top recommendations for embarking on your first solo trip. We will cover selecting an ideal destination , navigating your initial solo flight, addressing safety concerns, and a few other crucial factors to guarantee that your first solo journey is an incredible experience.

Check out our resources on  Euriental Fashion Luxury  travel   as well as top best advice from My  Little Babog Family  Lifestyle Travel Blog!

Here are the 10 essentials tips for preparing for a solo travel adventure:

1. Making Your Travel Arrangement

Preparing for a solo travel involves crucial steps that shouldn’t be overlooked. We highly recommend planning ahead and making necessary travel arrangements to avoid any last-minute complications. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed at the beginning, so it’s important to plan your first few days in your destination. 

Consider your interests, safety, and language when deciding where to go. Setting a budget is also an integral part of preparing for a solo trip. Determine how much you can afford to spend and ensure that your budget covers all essential expenses, including accommodation, flights, transportation, travel insurance, meals, and tours. In an effort to help long-distance travelers have peace of mind for their upcoming trip, check out this additional resource .

To save money, research the cheapest available flight fares by checking with different airlines, and visit their websites to see the packages they offer and select the best one that suits your needs. Additionally, make arrangements to book your accommodation for the duration of your trip and arrange for airport pickup.

2. Expand Your Research

Preparing for a solo travel requires taking necessary steps to make your trip as smooth and enjoyable as possible. In addition to checking for flight fares, arranging accommodation, and airport pickup, it’s important to expand your research to gain more insight into your destination. Take advantage of travel guides and blogs, such as Travelpediaonline, to gather more information about the place you’re heading to. 

Also, research visa requirements, passports, and any other necessary travel documents. Check your passport’s validity and consider obtaining travel insurance that best suits your needs. Find out the best way to get to and from the airport, as well as what to wear during your stay as weather conditions may differ. Research safe neighborhoods to stay in and make note of safety precautions to take when you arrive at your destination. 

Note: When booking accommodation, always check the safety and location.

3. Make the Best use of Technology

Preparing for a solo travel, it’s important to recognize the impact of technology on the way we explore the world. With the continuous evolution of technology, traveling has become more accessible and convenient. Utilizing technology during your trip can be incredibly helpful and even necessary. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of your smartphone when needed. For example, if you find yourself struggling with directions, Google Maps can be a lifesaver. 

It’s also wise to download the offline version of the app in case you don’t have internet access. Similarly, if you’re faced with language barriers, Google Translate can be a valuable tool. And for managing currency conversions, XE currency is an excellent resource. By embracing technology and utilizing these tools, you’ll save yourself time and stress, allowing you to fully enjoy your journey.

4. Plan Your Itinerary

Preparing for a solo travel involves creating an itinerary which can provide peace of mind since you have a plan of which activities to engage in. This itinerary can be customized to suit your preferences. To start, make a list of attractions you wish to visit during your stay and organize them in a logical order to eliminate confusion on where to start.

In addition, creating a list of places to explore will simplify your trip. You should also plan how to get from your accommodation to the attraction places. Utilizing social media platforms such as Instagram can be helpful by checking location tags and using hashtags. Asking recommendations from friends can also be a great way to avoid getting lost or wandering aimlessly.

5. Set intentions

When preparing for a solo travel, it’s essential to establish clear intentions for your trip. Although unexpected events may occur during your travels, having a defined purpose will help you derive the most benefit from your trip. Start by identifying what you hope to achieve from your solo travel, what experiences you want to have, and how you want to feel during and after your trip. 

By identifying these questions, you can establish your intentions and goals for the trip. This will set the tone for your travels, allowing you to embark on your trip with more focus, clarity, and purpose. Ultimately, setting clear intentions can ensure that you make the most out of your solo travel experience.

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6. Keep the balance

It’s crucial to maintain a balance when preparing for a solo trip. While it’s important to plan your itinerary, it’s equally important not to over-plan. Writing an excessively long list of things to do can be overwhelming and lead to unnecessary stress. Quality is more important than quantity, so it’s best to keep a shortlist of activities and ensure that you follow through with them accordingly. Remember, solo travel is an opportunity to enjoy and explore at your own pace, so there’s no need to push yourself too hard. Trust in your abilities and believe in yourself, and you’ll have an unforgettable solo travel experience.

7. Pack light and Smart

When preparing for a solo travel, it is important to remember to pack light and avoid overpacking. Since you will be carrying your bag with you most of the time, packing light will make your trip much easier. To determine what you need to pack, consider factors such as the country you are visiting, the weather conditions, and your travel style. Conduct thorough research on the items to include in your travel packing list based on your destination. 

It is crucial to stick to the list to ensure you have everything you need while avoiding unnecessary items. Often, people tend to fill all the space they have while packing, but giving yourself less space is the best way to pack light. You’ll find our Travel Packing Checklist helpful to plan for a perfect solo travel adventure.

  8. Arriving Early

When traveling to a foreign country, it’s advisable to arrive during the day as it allows you to easily find your accommodation and familiarize yourself with the surroundings before nightfall. Arriving in an unfamiliar place at night can be intimidating, but during the daytime, you can arrange transportation and settle in with ease. To ensure a smooth arrival, it’s best to check your flight schedule and aim to arrive before dusk.

 9. Experience it all

This is the most enjoyable aspect! Experience all the amusement and thrill it offers. Embrace your own pace and personal space. Ensure that you stick to the plans you have set for yourself and carefully explore each attraction. Don’t forget to bring your camera along to snap pictures, record your memories, and take in the mesmerizing views.

Note: If you feel lonely, go out and meet people! Start a conversation, it might be at the café or bar. Also, keep in contact with your friends and family back home.

10. Be proud of yourself

You should take pride in yourself. It’s natural to feel uncertain at times, but remember that you took a bold step by embarking on this incredible journey. You were brave enough to step out on this amazing journey. You were brave enough to book a flight to a destination you’ve never been to. Brave enough to prepare for your solo travel. Likewise, you should be proud of yourself and let go of all your worries.

Check out our guide on the easy tips & tricks on how to get an  Airbnb discount .

Where to Travel Alone for the First Time

When it comes to traveling alone, not all cities, places, or countries are equally suitable. To ensure comfort and safety, it’s crucial to carefully select a destination for your first solo trip. So, how do you pick the perfect destination for your first time traveling alone?

1. Choose a country that is foreigner-friendly

We suggest visiting a country with a well-developed tourism industry for your first trip. These countries are accustomed to receiving visitors and have established infrastructure and services that cater to travelers. This makes it easier to navigate and explore comfortably.

By choosing a country with a high tourism industry, you can blend in more easily and benefit from existing facilities such as buses, tours, and hostels that are specifically designed for solo travelers. You may also have the opportunity to meet other travelers and make new friends during your trip.

However, it’s important to remember that the choice of destination ultimately depends on your personal preferences and travel goals. If you decide to explore a less popular destination, be prepared for a more challenging journey and the possibility of being one of the few foreigners in the area. Nonetheless, such trips can also be highly rewarding.

2. Consider the local language

What languages are you proficient in and which countries are they commonly spoken in? It is essential to consider the local language of your destination while traveling. If you are traveling alone to a rural Chinese city without knowledge of Chinese, the journey is likely to be challenging. 

When selecting a solo travel destination, there are many places where English isn’t the primary language, but you can still manage without significant difficulties. However, if it’s your first time traveling alone and you feel more comfortable in a place where English is the mother tongue, that’s perfectly fine. Knowing that the locals speak the same language as you can prevent a lot of stress.

Are you thinking about visiting Budapest? For an amazing adventure, check out our list of the most amazing  top tourist attractions  in Budapest.

3. Consider the Culture

When preparing for solo travel, it is crucial to take into account the culture of your intended destination. Different cultures have varying degrees of receptiveness and hospitality towards solo travelers, with some being more open and welcoming than others, while some may exhibit reserve or even hostility. It is advisable to search for travel destinations that align with your values and expectations, and where you feel confident navigating independently.

4. Figure Out Your Budget and Travel Style

To begin with, it’s important to determine the amount of money you are willing to spend on your trip. Your budget should cover expenses such as flights, accommodation, transportation, food, and entertainment. Having a clear idea of your budget will help you identify practical destinations that match the length of your trip. 

For instance, if your budget is $1000 for a week-long trip, it would be feasible to plan a trip to Mexico, but not to Bermuda. It’s important to note that your budget and travel style are closely linked. Even in less expensive destinations, luxury travel options can come at a premium cost.

5. How Far Can You Go?

When preparing for a solo travel, it’s crucial to be practical about the amount of time you have and how much travel time is needed for your chosen destination. Remember that the more time you spend traveling, the less time you’ll have to enjoy your destination. 

Therefore, if you only have a week off, it may not be sufficient to fully appreciate a safari in South Africa, but it could be just enough to climb the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Determine the amount of time you have for your trip, and then calculate how far you can realistically go given your time constraints.

Are you thinking about visiting Cyprus? For an amazing adventure, check out our list of the top most  amazing places  to visit when touring Cyprus.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of traveling solo?

Traveling solo provides numerous benefits, such as personal growth, self-reflection, and limitless freedom. It also allows you to gain a sense of independence and learn how to rely on yourself. Solo travel can help improve your communication skills, increase your confidence, and provide you with a unique opportunity to explore the world on your own terms.

How can I select an ideal destination for my solo travel adventure?

When selecting an ideal destination for your solo travel adventure, consider your interests, safety, and language. Research various travel guides and blogs, such as Travelpediaonline, to gather more information about the place you’re heading to.

Additionally, research visa requirements, passports, and any other necessary travel documents. Check your passport’s validity and consider obtaining travel insurance that best suits your needs. Find out the best way to get to and from the airport and what to wear during your stay as weather conditions may differ.

What are some safety concerns to address when preparing for a solo travel adventure?

Safety is crucial when preparing for a solo travel adventure. Research safe neighborhoods to stay in and make note of safety precautions to take when you arrive at your destination. Additionally, be mindful of your surroundings and avoid carrying large amounts of cash or valuable items with you. It’s also important to inform someone of your itinerary and check in with them periodically throughout your trip.

What should I do if I encounter language barriers during my solo travel adventure?

Technology can be a valuable tool for addressing language barriers during your solo travel adventure. Utilize apps such as Google Translate to help with communication. Additionally, try to learn a few basic phrases in the local language, such as “hello,” “thank you,” and “goodbye.” This can help you connect with locals and navigate your destination more effectively.

How can I balance planning my itinerary while also allowing for spontaneity during my solo travel adventure?

Maintaining a balance is crucial when preparing for a solo trip. While it’s important to plan your itinerary, it’s equally important not to over-plan. Write a shortlist of activities to do and ensure that you follow through with them accordingly. Leave some free time in your schedule to allow for spontaneity and exploration. Remember, solo travel is an opportunity to enjoy and explore at your own pace, so don’t feel pressured to stick to a rigid schedule.

Are you thinking about visiting Settle? For an amazing adventure, check out our list of the  best things  to do in Settle (Yorkshire, England)

Final Thoughts

Preparing for a solo travel adventure can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. With proper planning, research, and intention setting, embarking on a solo journey can be an incredible and a wonderful experience.

Whether you’re seeking personal growth, self-reflection, or limitless freedom, a solo adventure can offer you the chance to take full advantage of your trip and experience an unforgettable journey for yourself. So, go ahead and take that leap, and don’t forget to embrace every moment of your solo travel adventure.

Travelpediaonline  is committed to using  travel  as a force for an effective travel practice as well as sustainable travelling development.

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How to mentally prepare for a solo trip

How to mentally prepare for solo travel feature

We love all types of travel, whether it’s with a group, our partners or venturing out into a distant land with nothing but our backpacks. While some first time intrepid solo travelers can’t wait to get out on the road, others will no doubt be a bit scared of taking that first step without the safety net of family, partners or friends.

If you prepare yourself mentally, we’re sure that even the most anxious of individuals can take that first out the door and into a life of solo journeys all over the globe. 

We’ve gathered our experiences from traveling solo to some of the least visited countries in the world like Somaliland and Djibouti to prepare some tips for you on how to mentally prepare for a solo trip, especially when you’ve never done it before. 

We know it can be frightening to even think about being alone in another country, but hopefully with the help of this article you’ll see solo travel from a new light and be excited to get out there and start your independent adventures. 

Learn to be in your own company

Learn to be in your own company

One of the toughest things when traveling solo is loneliness. While you are gaining independence and learning how to navigate the world, which are amazing life skills to obtain, you may be constantly in need of human connection. 

So the first bit of advice is to learn how to be in your own company. Learning how to be alone isn’t as simple as binging your favorite show on Netflix or playing games for hours on end – this is escapism. We are talking about truly being alone in the real world with no distractions. 

The easiest way to learn about yourself is to start a regular meditation practice. Meditation allows you to gain insight into your shortcomings as you are forced to confront things like anger, frustration, loneliness and self-pity. 

You also gain some amazing skills from a consistent meditation practice like patience, self-discipline and how to confront boredom – all amazing abilities to have when traveling! And the best thing is that it’s absolutely free and you can do it anywhere in the world. You can even start right now! Start small like 1-5 minutes, then build up to longer practices. 

There are plenty of apps to get your started with guided meditations like The Mindfulness App , Headspace , Calm or Insight Timer . After some practice, you will see that being by yourself is not all that bad and when you get in a tricky situation, you can always return to your breath. You don’t need to be in some tranquil floating bungalow in the Maldives or Bora Bora to be calm.  

If you find that deeper issues are popping up that you just can’t face with meditation, like a phobia of traveling on public transport (known as agoraphobia) then you can always try working through these issues with a behavioral therapist which you can find with companies like BetterHelp . Behavioral therapy is a great way to rid yourself of the fears that stop you from living the life you want as it works through repetition and action. It teaches you how to control your thinking about negative actions. You can’t change things that happen, but you can change how you react to those things. 

Start small

preparing for solo travel

Once you have your mind in the right space through mediation or possibly therapy, it’s time to take that first step out the door. If you’ve never taken public transportation before and are used to being chaperoned by your family or friends, take the bus into a new part of town or even the next city over. 

Spend the day there, get lost, experience new sights, tastes and cultures. Tell close friends and family members where you are going and for how long and tell them to have their cellphones handy in case of an emergency. You can always call for help if you run into trouble or are feeling anxious. 

Once you have done this, you’ll see how easy it actually is and even though some things didn’t go your way, it will be a pleasant experience. Next time try to spend the night away in a new location close to home, always remembering you can return home easily if need be. Or even take a solo road trip around your country or continent if you own a car. 

Learn how it feels to eat alone in foreign restaurants, maybe go on a tour of the area to see how easy it is to meet new people. Start to figure out what you like and dislike about solo travel and always try to keep notes of your adventures as they will be very helpful in the future. 

Learn how to find friends in new places

Learn how to find friends in new places

After starting small, you can now go a bit bigger. Try flying out of your state or province to a brand new area of your country. This way you are still familiar with the culture and fairly close to home, but have extended your travel boundaries starting to learn that they are actually limitless. 

This is also a good opportunity to learn how to make new friends on the road. You can use apps to find friends in your area like Tripr , Patook , Meetup , or if you’re in the LGBTQ+ community you can use GayBFF . 

You should also try to go on a few tours, even if you think you know the destination pretty well. Sites like Klook and Getyourguide provide insightful tours for travelers of all types from culture vultures to foodies to fitness enthusiasts. You’ll see how simple it is to meet new people on the road and who knows you may even find your new bestie to continue your travels with. 

Fill your travel time with activities

Fill your travel time with activities

Speaking of tours, one way to stave off boredom when traveling solo (and meditation is just not cutting it) is to constantly keep yourself busy with activities. Go on tours, hire a car and drive to famous sites, visit museums and monuments, dig into the local scene, explore nature, find new eateries and chat to local artisans or boutique store clerks. 

You’ll find that there is actually so much to do other than the known touristy attractions you find in magazine articles, even in what seems to be the dullest of places that you think you know pretty well. We’ve lived in Singapore for years and even in this tiny country we find new corners to explore from hiking trails to museums and galleries .

No two days are exactly the same, so try to take the road less traveled and explore hidden, unique gems of your destination. You never know who you might strike up a conversation with and where it might lead you. 

As you have no one to answer to, you may even find that you like actually just chilling in your hotel or resort lobby without having much to do. Or you can pick up a new hobby to keep you active like hiking, photography or journaling. It’s always amazing what solo travel does for the spirit.

Study your destination & plan out your trip

Study your destination & plan out your trip

Arriving in a new destination without knowing anything about it can be quite daunting. From experience, we’ve learned that planning takes a lot of time. So the more you get done before your trip, the better. You don’t want to spend 3 hours planning your day while you’re traveling as this is just time wasted. 

Plans will change no doubt, but it’s always good to put in the research beforehand, mapping out the must-see sites. Doing research helps you get the lay of the land and culture. You’ll know which famous sites are close to each other, how far apart others are and what transportation to use to get from A to B. 

Venturing past page 2 of Google results will also take you into a rabbit hole of amazing information with local tips, native recommendations and regional delicacies. The more you study beforehand, the safer you’ll feel about the area and the more excited you’ll get to travel there. Remember to create a brief itinerary for yourself and to save the information of the places you want to visit for offline use in your phone’s notes in case you lose internet connection. 

Plan for emergencies

preparing for solo travel

Last but not least concerns safety. This is one of the top reasons other than loneliness that people don’t like to travel alone. If you plan for safety with the correct precautions you’ll feel much more comfortable leaving home, and you’ll put your family at ease.

Update your emergency contact information and know where your nearest emergency facilities will be should something serious happen, like hospitals or police stations. While traveling alone is usually a fun affair, you always need to prepare for the unexpected. Also let a few people know where you will be and share your itinerary with them. You could possibly make a plan to check in with them at a certain time of day to make sure everything is fine. 

We have had food poisoning in Bali and an eye infection in Siem Reap for example, but because we planned our route to the hospital beforehand, it was not too serious. Remember that these things could happen anywhere, even in your own home. Also make sure your insurance is up to date. If you need international medical insurance, we always recommend World Nomads or Safety Wing . And always remember to pack any medication you may need. 

As the saying goes, “Plan for the worst, expect the best”. 

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Preparing For Solo Travel: Safety Tips And Advice

Hayden McKenzie

As the famous adage goes , ‘The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.’

Solo travel can be an exciting and liberating experience, allowing you to explore new cultures and gain a deeper understanding of yourself. However, safety should always be a top priority when embarking on such adventures. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or venturing out for the first time alone, taking precautions is crucial to ensure your well-being.

Researching your destination is an essential step in preparing for solo travel . This includes researching local laws and customs, political climate, health risks, transportation options, and accommodations that cater to solo travelers.

Pack smart by bringing essential items such as first aid kits, copies of important documents like your passport, and emergency contact information if something happens while abroad. Staying connected with family or friends back home through social media or messaging apps can also give you peace of mind while traveling alone.

Additionally, being aware of your surroundings and practicing self-care can help avoid potential dangers on the road. This article will provide safety tips and advice for preparing for solo travel to maximize your journey without compromising your security.

Page Contents

Research Your Destination

Conducting thorough research on your destination is crucial to ensuring a successful and secure trip.

One of the main reasons it is important to do your research before embarking on a solo travel adventure is that it allows you to immerse yourself in the culture of your chosen destination. By learning about the customs, traditions, and beliefs of the people there, you can gain a deeper appreciation for their way of life and avoid unintentionally offending them.

In addition, researching your destination can help you overcome language barriers that may present during your travels. Residents may or may not speak English fluently, depending on where you are going. Knowing some key phrases in the local language can go a long way toward helping you communicate with others and navigate unfamiliar surroundings more easily.

Furthermore, understanding the language spoken in your destination can help keep you safe by enabling you to read signs, follow directions correctly, and ask for help if needed.

Efficiently organizing your belongings and carefully selecting essential items can enhance your journey experience. Minimalist packing is a popular approach for solo travel, which involves only bringing the essentials and leaving behind non-essential items that could weigh you down. The key to successful minimalist packing is identifying what you need and can do without.

Travel essentials are crucial when packing for solo travel, as they ensure you have everything necessary to make the trip comfortable and stress-free. These include documents such as passports, visas, travel insurance policies, and basic toiletries like toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo. Packaging appropriate clothing for the climate of your destination and any planned activities is also essential.

Additionally, it’s recommended to bring a first aid kit with essential medications in case of emergencies. By efficiently organizing your belongings and packing smartly, you’ll be able to fully enjoy your solo travel experience while staying safe and prepared at all times.

Stay Connected

Maintaining connectivity during a journey is essential to enhance the travel experience, especially when traveling alone. It allows travelers to stay connected with their loved ones back home, as well as access important information about the destination they are visiting.

When preparing for a solo trip, it is important to have a list of emergency contacts that can be easily accessed in an emergency. This should include contact details of family members or friends who can be contacted in an emergency and the location where you will be staying.

In addition to having emergency contacts, it is also important to consider communication options while on your solo trip. Most destinations have reliable mobile networks that allow travelers to stay connected using their phones. However, purchasing local sim cards or subscribing to international roaming plans may be necessary before embarking on your journey. Alternatively, you could use apps such as Whatsapp or Skype, allowing free texting and calling over Wi-Fi connections.

Staying connected while on a solo trip provides peace of mind and helps ensure you have support when needed most.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Awareness of one’s surroundings is a crucial aspect that solo travelers must prioritize. It enhances their understanding of the local culture, helps them avoid potential danger, and contributes to an enriching travel experience.

Solo travelers should trust their instincts and be mindful of suspicious behavior or individuals around them. It is also important to stay alert and avoid distractions such as loud music or excessive use of electronic devices that may prevent one from noticing potential dangers.

Furthermore, solo travelers should always have a plan in case of emergencies. This includes identifying escape routes in crowded areas, knowing emergency phone numbers, and informing someone trustworthy about one’s itinerary.

It is recommended to carry a map with marked safe zones and dangerous areas for quick reference. Taking these precautions can help make solo travel safer and more enjoyable while allowing travelers to fully immerse themselves in their destination without worrying about safety concerns.

Practice Self-Care

Practicing self-care is essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable solo travel experience.

This includes getting enough sleep and rest to maintain physical and mental well-being while on the road.

Staying hydrated and nourished through healthy eating habits is also crucial to maintain energy levels during long days of exploring.

Taking breaks and relaxation time is equally important, allowing some much-needed downtime to recharge before embarking on new adventures.

By prioritizing self-care, solo travelers can stay healthy, happy, and ready for whatever their journey brings.

Get Enough Sleep and Rest

Adequate rest and sleep are akin to a well-tuned engine for the human body, allowing it to function at its fullest potential, which is especially important when embarking on a journey. Not only does getting enough rest help with overall physical and mental health, but it can also aid in jet lag management. Jet lag occurs when traveling across time zones and can lead to feelings of fatigue, insomnia, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. By ensuring you get enough rest before and during your travels, you can minimize the effects of jet lag and enjoy your trip to its fullest.

To get enough sleep while traveling solo, here are some tips:

  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.
  • Bring earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to block out disruptive sounds.

By prioritizing restful nights of sleep during your trip preparation process, you will set yourself up for success when it comes time for adventure.

Stay Hydrated and Nourished

Maintaining proper hydration and nutrition levels during travel is crucial for optimal physical health, as it allows the body to function at its best, providing the energy and stamina needed for a successful journey.

Solo travelers need to take extra care of their bodies when they embark on an adventure because they have no one else to rely on in case of any health issues that may arise.

Healthy habits like drinking enough water, eating balanced meals, and regular exercise should be incorporated into the travel routine. Travelers should carry a refillable water bottle with them at all times and drink water frequently throughout the day to avoid dehydration.

When it comes to nourishment while traveling solo, sampling local cuisine is part of the experience. However, it’s important not to overindulge in exotic foods your body isn’t accustomed to eating regularly.

Travelers can still enjoy local delicacies by gradually incorporating them into their meals or in smaller portions. Fresh fruits and vegetables will aid digestion and provide the nutrients for daily functioning.

Eating small meals frequently instead of larger ones will help maintain energy levels throughout the day and prevent discomfort from feeling too full or bloated while being active on your trip.

Take Breaks and Relaxation Time

Taking breaks and allowing for relaxation time is essential to optimizing physical and mental health during travel, as it enables the body to recover from the stressors of constant movement and new environments.

Mindful activities such as yoga, meditation, or walking can help reduce anxiety, improve focus, and increase self-awareness. Solo hobbies like reading a book or doing puzzles can provide comfort and familiarity in unfamiliar surroundings.

In addition to improving mental health, taking breaks can have physical benefits. Sitting for long periods during transportation or sightseeing can cause discomfort and lead to muscle stiffness. It’s important to stand up occasionally, stretch your legs, and move around.

Planning rest days into your itinerary is also beneficial, giving your body time to recuperate before continuing your travels. Remember that solo travel should be enjoyable, not exhausting – taking breaks and prioritizing relaxation time are simple but effective ways to ensure you get the most out of your experience.

To ensure a safe and enjoyable solo travel experience, engaging in thorough research before embarking on your journey is vital. Familiarizing yourself with local customs and laws can help avoid potential dangers. Packing smartly by bringing necessary documents and avoiding flashy clothing or jewelry can deter unwanted attention.

Staying connected through mobile devices or emergency contact information is also important to maintain safety while traveling alone . Awareness of your surroundings is crucial, especially in unfamiliar areas or late hours. Practicing self-care, such as getting enough rest, staying hydrated, and taking breaks when needed, can aid in keeping a clear mind and reducing stress levels.

In conclusion, for those planning solo travel adventures, remember the importance of Researching your destination beforehand, packing smartly for the journey ahead, staying connected throughout your travels, being aware of your surroundings at all times, and practicing self-care throughout the trip.

By diligently following these tips and advice, you can embark on a safe and enriching solo travel experience filled with discoveries!

[+] Sources

  • https://solotravelerworld.com/travel-safety/
  • https://jessieonajourney.com/17-safety-tips-for-solo-travelers/
  • https://www.theflashpacker.net/safety-tips-for-travelling-alone/
  • https://heyciara.com/safesolofemaletravel/

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A passionate solo traveler, embarking on thrilling adventures to explore the world's historical ruins. Fascinated by the intricate tales woven into ancient stones, she delves deep into the history of each site, unearthing the emotional stories that resonate through time. With every journey, Hayden strives to connect with the human experience of the past and share its profound significance with fellow explorers. Join her on a captivating expedition to unlock the secrets of bygone eras.

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9 Ways to Prepare for Solo Travel

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Editor’s Note: This article was written by Aubrie, also known as the our resident solo female travel blogger at Roamaroo. 

Ever since I was little, I was fascinated by the European Christmas markets. The architecture of the buildings was impeccable, the quaint little tents set up everywhere with delectable and intricately designed cookies and assorted desserts, the Christmas lights, carnivals, snow lightly falling… all of it seemed so magical to me! It all seemed like a real life snow globe, waiting to be experienced. So last year when I found an amazingly cheap flight with Norwegian Airlines to Denmark in December, I knew I had to go! All of my Christmas dreams were falling into place! I decided I would go for a week and visit as many Christmas markets across Europe as I could. Up to this point, I had really only traveled with friends or family members. However, when I started asking around who would want to go with me, no one was seeming interested or they were booked up. I felt so disappointed that I finally had this opportunity to go to the Christmas markets and I wouldn’t be able to go because no one could go with me. Save up to 20% at thousands of hotels worldwide, across 6 Hilton

Around this time, I had started hearing about all of these solo female travelers. I was in a couple of travel groups on Facebook and so many of these fearless females were always posting pictures of themselves in world landmarks…entirely alone! I remember thinking how brave they were and that I would never be able to do that.

As time went on, I started thinking that maybe I could still go to the Christmas markets. The only catch? I would have to go alone. I remember when I told my family and friends they were so nervous and thought that I was crazy. They kept asking, “Isn’t there  anyone  you can go with?” But the answer was no and I was not willing to miss out on something I had always wanted to do just because others couldn’t or didn’t want to go.

As I researched more about Solo travel, I saw that there was a lot of information about what to do once you are actually on your trip, but I wasn’t able to find out much about how to prepare  before  your first solo trip. I then sought out to discover what to do to prepare for solo travel!

 1. Play Tourist in Your Own Hometown

Go to your downtown area or capital if it’s nearby and walk around by yourself and take in all of the sites! Often times, we haven’t really discovered the tourist places in our own backyards. You could also go to other cities nearby. Even though you are alone, you won’t feel as uncomfortable because these are areas that should be familiar or at least semi-familiar to you. If there is a public transportation system, try to master it or familiarize yourself with it to get used to taking public transit on your first official solo travel!

Park City

2. Hike Solo

Whether it’s going to a nearby National park or just a hike near your own backyard. I don’t feel like hiking alone feels lonely or “unnatural” because you can really tune into nature, go at your own pace and spend time taking pictures and maybe even practice taking pictures of yourself! You can bring a tripod along or nature seems to have a lot of “natural tripods” that I often use to perch my camera on for that great shot! Hiking alone will give you more confidence in yourself as well and this is the confidence you need when traveling alone. It will also start to give you the feelings of freedom you feel when traveling solo and the reason many people actually  choose  to solo travel.

Solo Travel

3. Go to an Amusement Park Solo

This one will start to make you feel a bit more uncomfortable. Not a lot of people are at the amusement park alone and often times people will stare, unfortunately these are the same stares you will sometimes encounter if you travel solo. I think it is good to get used to these kind of uncomfortable situations before you head of on your first big solo trip so once you are actually on the trip, you will be used to it, be able to ignore it, or maybe even embrace it! You will be way too busy enjoying the sights any way to really pay attention to it.

Solo Travel

4. Go to a Beach Solo

If you don’t live near a beach, perhaps you could head to a lake or maybe even just a nearby swimming pool. This might sound similar to hiking alone and going to an amusement park alone, but the point is to get out of your comfort zone and learn to enjoy being by yourself. It can also be really peaceful spending the day at the beach alone and you can learn a lot about yourself and prepare yourself for solo travel.

Solo Travel

5. Spend Time Solo on Family or Friends Trips

This kind of happened to me by default because I traveled all around Asia with my brother and his wife and one night they were wanting to go out and be alone- which is understandable.  However, at first, I remember being mad, I’m going to go off on my own? What am I going to do? Is it safe? Looking back, these times spent alone on trips with my family really helped prepare me for future solo trips. I made tons of friends those nights alone and truly never felt unsafe or lonely.

Solo Travel

6. Play the Leader When you are Traveling With Others

I remember when I taught English in Ukraine, there were 10 of us girls so when we would go out exploring 1 or 2 girls kind of just played the leader- reading the metro maps, finding out where we needed to be, figuring out the Cyrillic alphabet and the rest of us just kind of followed along. It definitely doesn’t help to practice being a follower if you are preparing for a solo trip in the future so whether you are with family or friends- ask if you can take the lead! Figure out the metro maps on your own and lead them everywhere for that day. It will definitely give you the confidence you need without going all in yet, if you make a mistake- you have people to fall back on.

capturing kaminents-podilsky

7. Take a Short Weekend Trip

If you are still feeling a little bit weary about solo travel, take a short weekend trip somewhere nearby. This will definitely help prepare you for longer and farther away solo trips. There are certain situations that you will only encounter while traveling and this will definitely give you good practice!

Solo Travel

8. Travel Solo on a Tour or Study Abroad

Once you arrive at your destination, you will be with a group of other people so you won’t truly be alone, but since you technically went alone without any friends or anything, it will help give you the experience of making new friends and help you overcome any feelings of being alone. My first international trip was on a tour to Egypt and Israel. I was going alone, but once I was there I made so many friends and close relationships within the group. There is always some alone time on tours so you can either practice touring around solo or hang out with all of your new friends you’ve made!

Solo Travel

9. Remember, You are Never Truly Alone

Last December, when planning for my first solo trip to the European Christmas markets, I wasn’t too concerned during the planning stages, but the night before, I almost started crying thinking that I had made a mistake- nerves really had gotten the best of me. I honestly was so nervous! I wrote that I would be headed to Copenhagen the next day in a Facebook Travel group I belong to- Girls Love Travel and I had a local girl message me that she would love to show me around! To be honest, even that made me nervous at first, meet a total stranger and have her show me around? I decided to do it and you know what? It was amazing and she showed me to so many local places I wouldn’t have known to go to otherwise! Everywhere I went, I ended up making friends! I went on a tour in Ireland and met 3 other solo travelers and we all instantly became friends! I even made 3 friends at the airport, when our flight to Belgium got cancelled due to the torrential weather in Ireland. We ended up spending all day together in Ireland. So please of course be safe and be smart. But also, remember you are never truly alone.

Solo Travel

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59 comments.

preparing for solo travel

Another tip you can add is go on solo work trips. I used to do that all the time years ago – fly in the weekend before a work trip and just explore the city we were scheduled to be in for the week. My flights were already paid for, so as long as I found reasonably affordable accommodations, I wasn’t spending any more money here leveraging a work trip to travel than I would have just staying at home. Great preparation for a longer solo trips elsewhere if I do say so myself!

preparing for solo travel

That’s a great idea, Ray. Since work is already footing the bill for the airfare, why not make the best of it and enjoy some exploration time beforehand?

preparing for solo travel

That is definitely a great tip Ray!

preparing for solo travel

I have just started. I am a single dad of an eighteen year old who’s trying out his wings. In recent months I have just started solo adventuring. First a 2.5 hour drive from my house, than a trip across Colorado and recently a weekend in Arkansas. I’m working on it feeling natural, not there yet but it’s definitely more insightful and you learn a lot about yourself.

https://niume.com/pages/profile/?userID=20979

This is my blog on Niume about some of my travels. Still charting unchartered waters with finances still. Any advice on the first week of actually going all in? Scary? Exciting? Feels like I’m in free fall.

preparing for solo travel

Hey Steve! That is great that you have been preparing for your first solo trip! Right before I left on my first solo trip, I had sooo much anxiety, but once I actually made it to my destination, I felt so much better. I was just enjoying the new culture and place I was discovering and honestly didn’t have too much time to think about the fact that I was alone! I really hope you enjoy your first trip!

preparing for solo travel

Great article, Aubrie! Awesome suggestions.

preparing for solo travel

Wow this article inspired me to do the things i want to do. i’ll travel as soon as i can. i don’t want to live this ordinary life

preparing for solo travel

thanks for sharing this awesome idea.. its all great information…

preparing for solo travel

inspiring travel..

preparing for solo travel

Such a wonderful post ! Hope people will be benefited from this as i did ! I liked the last one ! I AM NEVER REALLY ALONE ! 🙂 Inspiring ! There is a review of truck bed tent ! Travel lovers, specially who loves camping might wanna check this out ! Thank you 🙂

preparing for solo travel

Thank you so much for the tips you have given on traveling solo. It is a hard thing to get my head around, but your hints and tips have now got me to the point of giving it a go.

preparing for solo travel

It is beautifully written. I like the Idea of solo traveling. Inspired! Happy Posting 🙂

Hii Beautiful Write. Inspiring post. I will definitely go on a solo trip Thanks for the idea Keep Exploring

preparing for solo travel

very inspiring post wonderful post thank you

preparing for solo travel

Hello Aubrie,

Thanks for sharing it. Simply loved it.

preparing for solo travel

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preparing for solo travel

Hi Roamaroo Team!

Such an amazing post I will surely follow these tips while traveling. Thanks for such an amazing post.

preparing for solo travel

Thanking to the Roamaroo team for sharing these such an amazing tips of traveling that really helped me in my travels that i had in my recent time and i will keep continue these tip for my further trip as well.

Once again thanks to the team for your wonderful post.

preparing for solo travel

It really helped me in my recent solo trips and will help in future trips. Thank You so much Roamaroo team for sharing this valuable information.

preparing for solo travel

these tips are good for preparing for solo travel, next year I am going for solo travel to 5 countries. these tips are going to help me a alot

preparing for solo travel

Hi thanks for sharing this wonderful knowledge with us its really glad to be here on your blog or the pictures you have shared brother its appreciable

preparing for solo travel

It’s a really an interesting article. Travelling solo is sometimes boring but thank it’s no longer thanks to these tips:

preparing for solo travel

This article inspires me a lot, especially the last one “remember, you are never truly alone”. I will definitely go on a solo trip. I glad to come across this post. Thanks

preparing for solo travel

Beautiful Write. Wonderful article, I appreciate your thoughts. This is so helpful and TRUE! This blog really speaks to me! Now I will definitely go on a solo trip. Thanks for sharing it with us

preparing for solo travel

really its beauty full article i really like it

preparing for solo travel

Awesome tips there!! Am planning for a beach vacation but I have never tried a solo-travel. I will definitely give it a trial. Thank you for sharing with us these useful tips and travel destinations!!

preparing for solo travel

Great blogs. The shard tips are amazing. Thanks for the share. Cheers!!

Great blogs. The shard tips are amazing. Thanks for the share. Cheers!

preparing for solo travel

Solo Travel is a must! Thinking of one now…

preparing for solo travel

A great blog to read. Going solo anywhere is just amazing. You get altogether a new experience. Thanks for the share. Cheers!!!

preparing for solo travel

Solo travel is really addicting. Year 2016 when I started to travel solo outside my country and travel along Southeast Asian countries. I really enjoyed it and the best part of solo travel is meeting new friends that can keep for the rest of your life.

preparing for solo travel

Great Article Aubrie, you are right we can never truly be alone. It’s an opportunity to make new friends and explore ourselves.

preparing for solo travel

Really it was an awesome article…very interesting to read. it was exceptionally helpful!

Well, The idea of solo travel has always scared me. Maybe because I haven’t done it before. There are a lot of fears that keep you away from traveling alone. But starting with being a tourist in your hometown is a great idea to build the confidence to travel to a new place.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas!

I believe that learning to love spending time in your own company is an incredibly powerful skill that will enable you to plan and carry out your travels more confidently.

Indeed! It shows us what we’re truly capable of 🙂

preparing for solo travel

Travelling solo, visiting local places and making new friends is a great idea to explore the world. As you said there are lots of solo travelers but most of the people afraid to to travel solo, i think this is the best article to boost their confidence. The ways you describe how to prepare yourself before solo travelling is very nice and informative. I think joining Facebook group, Visiting own places 1st & hiking alone making new friends are the best idea to prepare mentally to escape from loneliness during trip. Thanks for sharing your experience about travelling solo. It would be more better if you mention how to deal with emergency situation while travelling solo.

preparing for solo travel

The best article 🙂

preparing for solo travel

Thank you for sharing such a nice post . Really good. Keep going

preparing for solo travel

That is so helpful. This should be published as a designated ‘ TRAVEL SOLO’ guidance kit. I am def trying this because travelling Solo is a thing I am scared of but also I wish to overcome my fear. Thankk you for giving me a hope.

preparing for solo travel

Solo is a thing I am scared of but also I wish to overcome my fear. Thankk you for giving me a hope.

preparing for solo travel

A very interesting blog post.Thanks for sharing with us. We are providing the best taxi and other services. If you want to know about the Taxi service and rates,For any query click the below link. Best online Taxi service in cuba Taxi in cuba Thanks again.

preparing for solo travel

Hello, Great post! It was a very nicely written article. I like to read it. It was totally informative topic you covered here, I am totally agreed with you. I must say that I have learnt so many things from it.

preparing for solo travel

Hey, Amazing Article and awesome suggestions! Keep sharing more articles like this.

preparing for solo travel

A very interesting blog post content quality is also good .Thanks for sharing with us. We are providing the best taxi and other services. If you want to know about the Desert tour and rates,For any query click the below link. Hatta Tour Thanks again.

preparing for solo travel

Thanks for sharing this wonderful article. Solo traveling is really a thrilling and exciting trip in the future I would really love to travel solo.

A very interesting blog post content quality is also good .Thanks for sharing with us.

preparing for solo travel

Wow, this is such a great, informative post and I love your pictures too. I want to go to Africa but I was worried about it because I am alone. This helps me a lot. Thanks for sharing these tips about how women travelling alone in Africa.

It’s all about how you travel.. I travel solo and have the same views as you, you really can do what you want. As bad as it sounds when I was with my ex boyfriend my travelling came to a huge halt. I think travelling solo has it’s pros and minuses. Being a young female travelling alone is different to a male travelling alone.. There is no doubt you will get unwanted attention but it’s just how you deal with it, not making stupid decisions and travelling safe.

preparing for solo travel

I love the first suggestion to be a tourist in your own hometown. Not only do you get a deeper understanding, it’s a great way to be independent yet still have safety within easy reach. After a while, it becomes easy even in a foreign land. Great write up!

preparing for solo travel

thank you, your tips are really useful, I can prepare myself for solo travelers like you, the advantages of a solo traveler save us money, but sometimes there are some challenges when alone

preparing for solo travel

Thanks for sharing such an amazing information with great tips. Really worth reading blog with informative content.

preparing for solo travel

Wonderful experience gathered while I was going through your great article. Keep it up and best of luck at all times.

I have no problem being alone. I actually relish in alone time. I like the distance from other people’s energies to achieve balance and focus. I find I often feel recharged after a little time by myself.

preparing for solo travel

I love these tips. Some I have already tried, like hike solo, go to the beach solo or play tourist in your own hometown. Next I’m thinking of going on a group tour abroad.

preparing for solo travel

very inspiring and wonderful post, The shard tips are amazing. Thank you

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preparing for solo travel

Thanks a lot for sharing this amazing list!

preparing for solo travel

That’s a great idea, Ray. Since work is already footing the bill for the airfare, why not make the best of it and enjoy some exploration time beforehand?

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How To Adventure Solo: Safely Travel Anywhere by Yourself

Best tips to prepare for your next journey.

Adventuring alone is one of the greatest feelings many outdoor enthusiasts find along the way. Solo adventures fulfill both the need for nature and the need for resetting solitude. But getting outside totally alone can also be one of the most daunting feats — which is likely why it’s so rewarding. Going it alone, however, isn’t something anyone should just decide to do one day without preparing.

Know Your Boundaries When Traveling Solo

Be prepared with a backup plan, practice and train for solo travel, what you need.

Emergency Kit

First Aid Kit

Understanding your limits and preparing for the worst is what makes enjoying the outdoors by yourself possible. That’s why you should take stock of yourself, train, and plan before heading out solo the first time — and most times after, too. There are steps everyone should take before setting out on their own in the woods, on a body of water, or on any other type of adventure sport.

Determining your boundaries is vital to adventuring outside alone safely. Not only will these considerations make you safer physically, but they will also help you avoid making anxiety-induced mistakes like getting turned around.

Step 1: Evaluate your Skill Level- Determine what you are particularly good at and what your weaknesses are that can be resolved ahead of your trip. These can be sport-specific, such as navigating the backcountry or maneuvering through rapids. Or they can be more universal such as wildlife safety like bear encounters and snake bites or emergency preparedness like first aid and purifying water. Once you know what skills are your weakest, you can improve them and build up to situations that might call for those skills. The worst thing that can happen to you is getting in over your head when all of your mistakes could have been easily avoided.

Step 2: Evaluate your Comfort Level- Your comfort level might be heavily influenced by safety considerations that are particular to you apart from your environmental safety. Different outdoor adventure activities present their own unique set of variables and safety concerns, but each person also has their own separate set of safety concerns. Some fear wildlife or emergency situations that could cause them to face the elements while others are more fearful of encountering other people who could be dangerous. Start out by placing yourself in situations that safely build your confidence.

  • Going on a solo hiking trip? Here’s how to stay safe while hiking alone
  • Explore Every U.S. National Park with Just One App. Here’s How
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Rock Climbing and What You Need to Know

Whatever your adventure holds, it’s always smart to have a backup plan in mind. That could mean having the proper supplies to get through survival situations like needing to spend the night outside while hiking , having bear spray, or whatever it is you might need in an emergency. To do this, you’ll need to have an understanding of survival tips for the trail, think through your outdoor plans, and pack to be prepared for reasonable risks.

In addition to the right supplies, it’s also important to have an emergency out. While there obviously are no emergency exits for outdoor adventures like kayaking, camping , or hiking, you can think through alternative ways to get home. That could simply mean considering what options you have as alternative trails to reach the bottom of a mountain or additional outs along a river in case the weather turns before you can reach the planned destination.

Step 1: Build your Emergency Kit - If you are hiking in the woods, camping in the desert, or exploring a mountainside, you will need a pack containing all the things you may need. Some of these are things you hope you never have to use, but it is better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Your pack should include food and water (enough for three days longer than your planned trip), a flashlight and radio (both with extra batteries), local maps, a multi-tool, and seasonal clothing.

Pro tip - Instead of carrying 3 gallons of water for a trip, invest in a filtration straw that safely allows you to take advantage of water you find in the outdoors.

Step 2: Build your First Aid Kit - Things happen. The only thing that you can plan for is that your plan will go off the rails. Having a well-stocked and effective first aid kit is not only for you but also for people around you who may or may not have planned ahead. Your kit should include antiseptic pads, gauze, splints, anti-bacterial wipes, ointment, and medications. Also, don't forget scissors, gloves, and bandages. You can find these kits already put together for you in handy all-in-one packs. But having them is only half the battle, learn how to use everything in the kit or they won't do you any good when the situation arises.

In addition to being mentally prepared, it’s also important to practice and train for bigger outdoor adventure goals like a thru-hike, backpacking the backcountry, taking a solo float trip, or long-distance cycling. To accomplish those bigger goals, you can break them down into smaller goals to build up to the big trip. Not only does this allow you to physically train over time for a more demanding trip, but it also allows you to practice the skills you’ll need in a safer and often more familiar environment. Over time as you gradually build up distance and practice in different locations, you’ll increase your confidence, endurance, and ability.

If the trip is going to take place in an unfamiliar environment, then simulating similar conditions can be helpful as you train. For example, if a future hike includes taller mountains than what you have access to, use stairs to train with a weighted pack. If you live in a cold environment and plan to visit a hot one for your trip, try to find places that offer “hot” classes like “hot yoga” or “hot cycling.” This will help your body adjust in a safe space. You can also bundle up in extra layers such as a hat, a long-sleeve shirt, and an additional lightweight jacket or pullover to train so you’ll train hotter and learn what your sport feels like under those conditions. Of course, you will still need to be careful not to overheat and be sure to drink enough water — the same conditions you’ll face once you set off on your journey..

Ultimately, learning to adventure solo is all about being prepared in as many ways as possible. No matter the sport or the risks associated with it, if something should happen, there’s no one else to fall back on for support in some scenarios. So consider what solo adventuring means to you and how you can safely make that dream a reality.

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  • The 10 Best Pieces of Solar Gear for Exploring Off-Grid in 2022

Mark McKee

The lowly tarp doesn’t get much love on most seasonal “hot new camping gear” lists. Yet, it’s arguably the most versatile and useful tool in any outdoorsmen’s quiver. While camping, it can serve as an outdoor mat, an awning, or a footprint for your best camping tent. In a survival situation, it becomes an impromptu shelter, a sleeping bag, or a way to gather rainwater. Most are lightweight, relatively compact, and cheap, which means no man should be without a camping tarp in the backcountry.

Many minimalist or ultralight backpackers use a tarp and their trekking poles to pitch camp in fair weather. With the warmer nights of spring and summer approaching, check out these best camping tarps in 2022 and beyond.

The 2021 holidays are well in the rear-view, and now is the time when the world’s best outdoor brands begin launching their most innovative gear for the new year. To make the best of your outdoor adventuring, you need the right equipment to ensure that you can enjoy it in comfort, safety, and a little bit of style. To that end, we’ve decided that now is the perfect time to take a look at the best outdoor gear for 2022.

The recommendations below have been selected to suit a wide range of outdoor activities and exploration styles. Whether you’re looking to head out on a day hike, car camp, or venture on an extreme backpacking trek, we’ve got suggestions for the best outdoor gear to help you get there.

  • Health & Fitness

One of the most essential components when planning a hike is estimating how long it will take to complete the hike. Whether you’re embarking on a long trek up a mountain or a shorter hike in a local forest to enjoy nature, knowing how long it takes to hike a mile will help you estimate the amount of time you need to allot for your desired hiking adventure. Many hiking guidebooks and apps report the distance of a given trail or route, along with the elevation gained over the terrain. However, for planning purposes, you need to be able to translate the distance of the hike in miles into an estimated time. After all, you want to embark on your hike with enough time to complete the loop or trail and with enough food and water, both of which are informed by knowing how long it will take you to hike by miles, which is also known as your average hiking pace.

Once you understand how to calculate your average hiking pace, you’ll be able to figure out how long it takes to hike a mile, how long it takes to hike five miles, and how long you can anticipate a hike of any length taking so long as you have a sense of the characteristics of the route. So, before you head out for your next exciting hike in the great outdoors, read this quick guide about estimating the hiking pace and how long it takes to hike by miles.

Solo Traveler

Solo travel tips, destinations, stories... the source for those who travel alone.

preparing for solo travel

Road Trip Alone with Confidence: 10 Tips for a Great Trip

Janice Waugh

April 11, 2023 by Janice Waugh

woman leaning out of her car window making a heart shape with her hands indicating that she is loving being on a solo road trip

A road trip means freedom. A road trip alone gives you even more.

A solo road trip also requires you to do all the driving. It can be daunting when you start to plan and physically taxing when on the road. Not to worry. We can help with advice to relieve some of the stress. We have been helping solo travelers take to the road for years.

The benefits of a solo road trip are many. You can take any detour you want, listen to any radio station or audio book that interests you, and you can change your schedule on a whim. The list of advantages goes on. The longer the trip, the more you'll settle in to enjoy these benefits. A cross-country road trip alone is a perfect opportunity to experience the real value of being one with yourself and the road.

I've taken dozens of road trips in Canada, the US, and Europe. On these many trips I've learned a few things about how to plan, pack, navigate, stay safe, and have fun.

Once you read below about preparing for a solo road trip, check out How to Plan a Road Trip: Route Planning, Scheduling & Budgeting and these posts on specific road trips .

view from a car on a solo road trip in monument valley, utah

Table of Contents

How to Plan a Road Trip Alone

Whether you're planning to drive across country alone or across a province or state, if long-distance driving is something you enjoy, and the idea of going your own sweet way is appealing, here’s the rest of what you need to know to prepare for a long drive by yourself.

1. Know your driving limits.

I can drive up to 10 hours in a day, but not two days in a row. Other people have a limit of three or four hours. This can be due to physical problems from sitting for that long or from pure boredom. You need to know your limits. To plan your trip, you need to know how long you can drive each day, what distance you can cover, how many breaks you need, and whether driving at night is an option. All these factors must be considered to get the road trip you want.

2. Set a theme for your solo road trip.

You might want to choose a theme for your trip. In France, it was history for me. I wanted to see the Bayeux Tapestry and also Juno Beach where the Canadians landed on D-Day. In Arizona, it was landscapes. The Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, Monument Valley–could those landscapes from old western movies truly be real? Driving around Lake Ontario, I was visiting wineries. Every road trip I take alone has some sort of focus. Know what yours is and identify the places you just have to get to. Use this information as you plan your route.

3. Set your pace with the ideal drive and explore schedule.

Getting the pace right is a big part of a trip's success. I've found that, generally, I need three days per destination. If I have four destinations, I need twelve days. I might be able to get away with ten but it's important not to squeeze too much into too few days. If you do, you'll miss lots and find that you spend all your time driving, rather than experiencing destinations. I also don't plan to drive too far on any one day. I try to aim for five hours a day. Even though I'm not typically an early riser, I like to set out early in the morning. I'm up at 6:00 am and away by 6:30 am to beat the traffic and arrive at my destination by noon.

woman on a solo road trip giving a thumbs-up

4. Use these tools to map your trip for navigation and points of interest.

On my trip to the American southwest I found myself using two maps. One was a map of the Four Corners by National Geographic called Trail of the Ancients. It had great information on places of interest. There are a variety of National Geographic travel maps to choose from. The other was a standard road map. In addition, I used Google Maps . I especially like road atlases for planning and recording my trip, which makes the atlas a souvenir in the end. Here's an atlas for North America and another for Europe .

5. Book your accommodation.

Now that you've mapped out your solo road trip, book your accommodation. I recommend Booking.com , though if you have a loyalty card with a specific hotel chain you may be better off booking directly with them rather than through any booking site. If you'll be RVing or camping, read Solo Camping: Tent Camping, Safety, and the RV Option .

winding road along the Mediterranean

6. Make sure you're covered.

Travel Insurance. I never travel without it – no matter what. Depending on the coverage you buy, it can reimburse the cost of doctor fees, medical examinations, medication costs, and even hotel accommodations. Possibly more importantly, it may cover the cost of getting someone you love to your bedside during a medical emergency or return you to your home if that’s necessary. For details, read A Complete Guide to Travel Insurance for Solo Travelers .

Roadside Assistance. Whether you run your battery down (as I did in Maine), lock your key in the car, get a flat tire, or worse, it's great to have roadside assistance on your side. If you have AAA or CAA, you’ll be fine in North America. If you don't have it, it's likely a good investment for a long road trip alone.

Rental Car Insurance. If you’re renting a car for your road trip (read How to Save on Car Rentals ), check with your insurance company and credit cards first to find out what kind of coverage you have through them. If you rent a low-end vehicle on a credit card that offers coverage, you should be okay. If, however, you upgrade, your credit card insurance may not cover the more expensive vehicle. It's important to get the details right. If you've determined that your current coverage is not adequate for your rental car, here are the questions you need to ask the rental agency:

  • How much does the coverage cost?
  • What type of collision coverage is offered and what is included in this coverage?
  • Who is insured under the coverage?
  • Is there a deductible associated with the coverage?
  • Is there anything that could possibly void the insurance coverage for the rental car?
  • Is roadside assistance available as part of the coverage?
  • What steps need to be taken if you get into an accident?

7. Pack right for a car trip.

Pack light. I know I say this all the time but whether you're staying at hostels, B&B's, or hotels, you are going to be hauling your luggage in and out whenever you move on to a new destination. Having just one bag to carry makes life much easier. Here's a link to my Bare Minimum Packing  post for a bit of guidance on how to pack light.

8. Use multiple navigation tools to keep you on track.

Navigation when you're on the road alone can be a bit of a challenge. I use Google Maps, however, it chews through a lot of data. Depending on where you are, it could be expensive. In addition, I use the paper map or atlas I bought to plan the trip. I will also use the compass on my phone if I feel lost as it confirms my direction. It's also helpful to know that in the U.S.:

  • Two-digit Interstates often go directly through cities while three-digit Interstates go around them.
  • Odd-numbered highways run north to south and even-numbered ones run east to west.

9. Prepare your vehicle.

Have your car tuned up and inspected at least a week before you leave. This will give you time for any repairs that are required. Car Talk recommends the following items be checked. You can click on any of them to go to the Car Talk site for details.

  • The Cooling System
  • Steering and Suspension
  • Change the Oil
  • Air Conditioning System
  • Check the Tranny

10. Stay in touch.

Let someone at home know your route, when you leave, and when you arrive at your destinations. A quick text message will do. If you have Wi-Fi (McDonald's and coffee shops are always good bets for free Wi-Fi), use any messenger system or send a quick email. That's all it takes. 

map of road trip route between toronto and montreal showing charging stops for electric vehicles

Extra Tips for an Electric Vehicle Road Trip

Taking a road trip alone with an electric car not only gives you the freedom of the road but also freedom from the carbon footprint of a gas vehicle. While the range of travel for EVs continues to increase, there is still the issue that charging stations are not as readily available as gas stations.

1. Find Fast EV Charging Stations for Road Trips.

Not all charging stations are created equal. Fast chargers will make your road trip easier. Where to find them? Electrify America boasts a network of over 3,200 fast chargers and an additional 116 Level 2 chargers. Level 1 is to be avoided as it could take many, many hours to charge your vehicle. Also note, EVs will lose power faster in colder weather than warmer. Keep that in mind for winter road trips and be conservative in your range estimations.

2. Plan for Charging Time in Your Schedule: Apps.

You can't charge an EV in five minutes like you can with a gas vehicle. It takes time to charge and you'll need to plan for that.

A Better Route Planner is good app for this. Enter your vehicle and its year, starting and end points of your trip, and the pace you want based on the quickest way to get there, or if you prefer few but longer stops or more but shorter stops. That kind of information fits perfectly into #3 above, which is about setting your pace. You can download Electrify America's app here. Plugshare has a map of hotels with charging stations.

Man taking a break on a road trip, sitting on top of his car

Increase Your Solo Road Trip Fun

1. take the stress out of your day of driving..

Start your drive early in the morning. You'll be less tired and more alert. The roads will also have less traffic, making the drive more enjoyable. You'll arrive in daylight with time to find your accommodation if you haven't already booked it.

  • When you're driving, make sure your doors are locked and (need I say this?) you're wearing your seat belt.
  • Be mindful of where you park your car. Try to park near an entrance to a mall or hotel. The lot may be busy when you arrive but if it's empty when you leave you won't enjoy a long walk across a vacant parking lot.
  • If your trip takes you along roads with little traffic, consider getting a full size spare tire rather than a donut tire that can only go a short distance. You can get an affordable, decent quality spare tire at a used tire store.

2. Create a playlist.

There are definitely times to listen to local radio, but chances are you'll get bored of it and, possibly, be out of range of a station. Whether your playlist includes audio books, music (you may want to get Spotify), lectures, or all three, be prepared with what will keep you happy, interested, and alert as you explore on your road trip alone. Check out our Solo Road Trip Playlist .

3. Slow down, go local.

Slow down, save on gas, and enjoy the scenery and the scene. On my trip through the southwest I listened to KGHR 91.3 Native Radio. Listening to this station, I learned what was going on in Tuba City, what the Indigenous people care about, the values they hold, and much more. It's a wonderful aspect of travel that is most easily enjoyed on a road trip. Hungry for lunch? Look for the diner in a small town and you're sure to get some local flavor from the people as well as the food. Sometimes a local museum is the one that you'll find yourself telling people about years later. Don't overlook what may appear to be small experiences as they may be the most memorable.

woman leaning against the trunk of her car

14 Great Road Trips: All Solo Traveler Tested

Here's a link to our road trip category . Here are 14 Great Solo Road Trips: All Solo Traveler Tested .

Sharing is caring!

Publisher Janice: info @ solotravelerworld.com

Editor Tracey: tracey @ solotravelerworld.com

Sales Simon: simon @ solotravelerworld.com

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preparing for solo travel

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Solo vacations: the 36 best places to travel alone in 2024.

These fun destinations make traveling on your own simple and spectacular.

Young woman overlooking beautiful valley, Molladalen, Norway.

(Getty Images) |

From beach retreats to artsy escapes, take your next solo trip to somewhere spectacular.

Waterfalls in Norway.

Perth, Australia

Aerial of Beaver Creek at night.

Beaver Creek, Colorado

Diver observing Southern stingrays as they glide over the sand in search of buried crustaceans on the Sandbar, Grand Cayman Island.

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

The Eiffel Tower and River Seine in Paris, France.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Flowers and greenery in the Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, in the summer.

Asheville, North Carolina

Road through green hills of Tuscany, Italy.

Tuscany, Italy

Boats in harbor of Santa Barbara, California.

Santa Barbara, California

Man paddleboarding in Iceland glacier lagoon.

New York City

Toronto skyline across the water.

Seville, Spain

Beach in Naples, Florida.

Naples, Florida

Aerial of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Seattle skyline with Mt. Rainier in the background at sunset.

Portland, Oregon

Lake Quill and Sutherland Falls in the mountains of New Zealand.

New Zealand

Souvenirs on the Jamaa el Fna market in old Medina, Marrakesh, Morocco.

Galápagos Islands

Colorful buildings in Charleston, South Carolina.

Charleston, South Carolina

Aerial of the Sydney Opera House.

Athens, Greece

Beignets and a cup of coffee.

New Orleans

Aerial of river and greenery with Austin skyline in the background.

Austin, Texas

Elephants crossing a river in Sri Lanka.

San Francisco

Crown Alley in Dublin, Ireland.

Munich, Germany

Solidão Beach (Loneliness Beach) in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Florianópolis, Brazil

Whangarei Falls in New Zealand.

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FinanceBuzz

FinanceBuzz

Over 50 and Single? 15 Ways to Prepare for a Solo Retirement

Posted: March 29, 2024 | Last updated: March 29, 2024

<p> Entering the realm of financial independence as a single individual over 50 requires strategic planning and a keen awareness of your unique circumstances.</p><p>You may be <a href="https://financebuzz.com/top-signs-of-financial-fitness?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=1&synd_postid=17060&synd_backlink_title=doing+better+than+the+average+person&synd_backlink_position=1&synd_slug=top-signs-of-financial-fitness-2">doing better than the average person</a> now, but will your financial situation last through retirement? </p> <p> From budgeting to estate planning, here are 15 financial tips tailored to empower those navigating the solo journey in their 50s and beyond. </p> <p>  <p><a href="https://www.financebuzz.com/retire-early-quiz?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=1&synd_postid=17060&synd_backlink_title=Retire+Sooner%3A++Take+this+quiz+to+see+if+you+can+retire+early&synd_backlink_position=2&synd_slug=retire-early-quiz"><b>Retire Sooner:</b> Take this quiz to see if you can retire early</a></p>  </p>

Entering the realm of financial independence as a single individual over 50 requires strategic planning and a keen awareness of your unique circumstances.

You may be doing better than the average person now, but will your financial situation last through retirement?

From budgeting to estate planning, here are 15 financial tips tailored to empower those navigating the solo journey in their 50s and beyond.

Retire Sooner: Take this quiz to see if you can retire early

<p> Crafting a budget tailored to your life goals is foundational. Identify your priorities, whether it's bolstering savings, traveling, or <a href="https://financebuzz.com/retire-early-quiz?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=2&synd_postid=17060&synd_backlink_title=planning+for+retirement&synd_backlink_position=3&synd_slug=retire-early-quiz">planning for retirement</a>.  </p> <p> Aligning your financial decisions with these aspirations ensures that every dollar serves a purpose, providing a road map for financial success in your solo journey over 50. </p> <p>    <p>Each year, the IRS forgives millions in unpaid taxes. If you have more than $10,000 in tax debt, or have 3+ years of unfiled taxes, you could get forgiveness too. You might be eligible to lower the amount you owe, or eliminate your tax debt completely.</p> <p>While most tax companies just put you on a payment plan and file your taxes for you, <a href="https://financebuzz.com/tax-debt-jump?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=2&synd_postid=17060&synd_backlink_title=this+company+talks+to+the+IRS+directly&synd_backlink_position=4&synd_slug=tax-debt-jump">this company talks to the IRS directly</a>. They can help you pay off your tax debt faster while potentially reducing what you owe.</p>   </p>

Budget with goals in mind

Crafting a budget tailored to your life goals is foundational. Identify your priorities, whether it's bolstering savings, traveling, or planning for retirement .

Aligning your financial decisions with these aspirations ensures that every dollar serves a purpose, providing a road map for financial success in your solo journey over 50.

Each year, the IRS forgives millions in unpaid taxes. If you have more than $10,000 in tax debt, or have 3+ years of unfiled taxes, you could get forgiveness too. You might be eligible to lower the amount you owe, or eliminate your tax debt completely.

While most tax companies just put you on a payment plan and file your taxes for you, this company talks to the IRS directly . They can help you pay off your tax debt faster while potentially reducing what you owe.

<p> Embrace the simplicity of the 50/30/20 rule. Allocate 50% of your income to necessities such as housing, 30% to discretionary spending such as dining out and entertainment, and 20% to savings or debt repayment.  </p> <p> This balanced approach provides structure without sacrificing flexibility, offering financial stability while accommodating financial needs. </p>

50/30/20 budget rule

Embrace the simplicity of the 50/30/20 rule. Allocate 50% of your income to necessities such as housing, 30% to discretionary spending such as dining out and entertainment, and 20% to savings or debt repayment.

This balanced approach provides structure without sacrificing flexibility, offering financial stability while accommodating financial needs.

<p> Diversify your income in the solo journey beyond 50. Explore side gigs, investments, or freelancing opportunities to supplement your earnings.  </p> <p> Having multiple income streams not only boosts financial resilience but also offers a sense of empowerment and security and allows you to<a href="https://financebuzz.com/1000-in-the-bank?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=4&synd_postid=17060&synd_backlink_title=grow+your+wealth&synd_backlink_position=5&synd_slug=1000-in-the-bank"> grow your wealth</a>.  </p> <p> This proactive approach ensures you're well-prepared for the uncertainties of solo life, providing both financial flexibility and peace of mind. </p> <p>  <a href="https://www.financebuzz.com/supplement-income-55mp?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=4&synd_postid=17060&synd_backlink_title=Make+Money%3A+8+things+to+do+if+you%27re+barely+scraping+by+financially&synd_backlink_position=6&synd_slug=supplement-income-55mp"><b>Make Money:</b> 8 things to do if you're barely scraping by financially</a><br>  </p>

Consider other income streams

Diversify your income in the solo journey beyond 50. Explore side gigs, investments, or freelancing opportunities to supplement your earnings.

Having multiple income streams not only boosts financial resilience but also offers a sense of empowerment and security and allows you to grow your wealth .

This proactive approach ensures you're well-prepared for the uncertainties of solo life, providing both financial flexibility and peace of mind.

Make Money: 8 things to do if you're barely scraping by financially

<p> Tackle outstanding debts head-on to secure a more financially liberated future. Prioritize high-interest debts and develop a systematic repayment plan.  </p> <p> By reducing financial burdens, you not only save on interest payments but also pave the way for increased financial freedom, allowing you to make more choices aligned with your personal goals. </p>

Aggressively pay down debt

Tackle outstanding debts head-on to secure a more financially liberated future. Prioritize high-interest debts and develop a systematic repayment plan.

By reducing financial burdens, you not only save on interest payments but also pave the way for increased financial freedom, allowing you to make more choices aligned with your personal goals.

<p> Explore budget-friendly travel options that still satisfy your adventurous spirit. Opt for off-peak times, consider group discounts, and leverage loyalty programs for cost-effective travel.  </p> <p> Being single gives you the flexibility to plan spontaneous getaways and take advantage of last-minute deals.  </p> <p> Smart travel choices not only satiate your wanderlust but also preserve your financial well-being, ensuring your solo journeys are both fulfilling and financially sustainable. </p>

Find ways to travel more cheaply

Explore budget-friendly travel options that still satisfy your adventurous spirit. Opt for off-peak times, consider group discounts, and leverage loyalty programs for cost-effective travel.

Being single gives you the flexibility to plan spontaneous getaways and take advantage of last-minute deals.

Smart travel choices not only satiate your wanderlust but also preserve your financial well-being, ensuring your solo journeys are both fulfilling and financially sustainable.

<p> Cutting back on restaurant expenses can significantly impact your budget. Cook at home more often to save money and enjoy healthier meals.  </p> <p> This simple adjustment not only contributes to your financial well-being but also allows you to embrace the joy of preparing your favorite dishes. It's a practical step toward financial independence, and you might discover a newfound passion for cooking along the way. </p> <p>  <a href="https://www.financebuzz.com/top-high-yield-savings-accounts?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=7&synd_postid=17060&synd_backlink_title=Earn+More%3A+Boost+your+savings+with+one+of+the+best+high+yield+savings+accounts&synd_backlink_position=7&synd_slug=top-high-yield-savings-accounts"><b>Earn More:</b> Boost your savings with one of the best high yield savings accounts</a>  </p>

Dine out less frequently

Cutting back on restaurant expenses can significantly impact your budget. Cook at home more often to save money and enjoy healthier meals.

This simple adjustment not only contributes to your financial well-being but also allows you to embrace the joy of preparing your favorite dishes. It's a practical step toward financial independence, and you might discover a newfound passion for cooking along the way.

Earn More: Boost your savings with one of the best high yield savings accounts

<p> Being single in your 50s means you have the freedom to shape your retirement exactly as you envision it. Take time to reflect on the lifestyle you desire and the activities that bring you joy.  </p> <p> This clarity will guide your financial decisions, ensuring you allocate resources to realize your unique retirement goals. Whether it's traveling, pursuing hobbies, or enjoying a serene home life, understanding your vision enhances financial planning precision. </p>

Consider your vision for retirement

Being single in your 50s means you have the freedom to shape your retirement exactly as you envision it. Take time to reflect on the lifestyle you desire and the activities that bring you joy.

This clarity will guide your financial decisions, ensuring you allocate resources to realize your unique retirement goals. Whether it's traveling, pursuing hobbies, or enjoying a serene home life, understanding your vision enhances financial planning precision.

<p> Being single means solely relying on your financial resources. Establish a robust emergency fund to weather unexpected storms and unexpected expenses. Aim for at least three to six months' worth of living expenses.  </p> <p> This safety net provides peace of mind and financial resilience, allowing you to navigate life's uncertainties independently. Whether it's a medical emergency or unexpected home repairs or a job layoff, a well-padded emergency fund ensures you're prepared for any financial curveballs that come your way. </p>

Build your emergency savings

Being single means solely relying on your financial resources. Establish a robust emergency fund to weather unexpected storms and unexpected expenses. Aim for at least three to six months' worth of living expenses.

This safety net provides peace of mind and financial resilience, allowing you to navigate life's uncertainties independently. Whether it's a medical emergency or unexpected home repairs or a job layoff, a well-padded emergency fund ensures you're prepared for any financial curveballs that come your way.

<p> While it might seem early to plan your estate, being proactive ensures your wishes are honored. As a single individual, consider drafting a will, designating beneficiaries, and establishing powers of attorney.  </p> <p> This not only safeguards your assets but also provides clarity for your loved ones in managing your affairs. It's a responsible step that brings peace of mind and guarantees that your legacy is managed according to your intentions. </p> <p>  <a href="https://www.financebuzz.com/seniors-throw-money-away-tp?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=10&synd_postid=17060&synd_backlink_title=Avoid+These+Money+Mistakes%3A+6+ways+seniors+are+throwing+away+money+every+day&synd_backlink_position=8&synd_slug=seniors-throw-money-away-tp"><b>Avoid These Money Mistakes:</b> 6 ways seniors are throwing away money every day</a>  </p>

Start planning your estate

While it might seem early to plan your estate, being proactive ensures your wishes are honored. As a single individual, consider drafting a will, designating beneficiaries, and establishing powers of attorney.

This not only safeguards your assets but also provides clarity for your loved ones in managing your affairs. It's a responsible step that brings peace of mind and guarantees that your legacy is managed according to your intentions.

Avoid These Money Mistakes: 6 ways seniors are throwing away money every day

<p> With a longer investment horizon, consider a diversified approach that balances risk and return. Take advantage of retirement accounts and explore investment options aligned with your goals. Consult with a financial advisor to fine-tune your portfolio.  </p> <p> Being single doesn't mean financial independence is out of reach. Smart investments can significantly enhance your financial security, providing a comfortable cushion in your golden years. </p>

Invest wisely

With a longer investment horizon, consider a diversified approach that balances risk and return. Take advantage of retirement accounts and explore investment options aligned with your goals. Consult with a financial advisor to fine-tune your portfolio.

Being single doesn't mean financial independence is out of reach. Smart investments can significantly enhance your financial security, providing a comfortable cushion in your golden years.

<p> Solo living underscores the importance of comprehensive health care planning.</p><p>Evaluate your health insurance coverage, factoring in potential long-term care needs. Understand Medicare options and consider supplementary insurance. An emergency health fund can provide added security.  </p> <p> Proactively managing your health and finances ensures you're well-prepared for any unexpected medical costs. </p>

Health care planning

Solo living underscores the importance of comprehensive health care planning.

Evaluate your health insurance coverage, factoring in potential long-term care needs. Understand Medicare options and consider supplementary insurance. An emergency health fund can provide added security.

Proactively managing your health and finances ensures you're well-prepared for any unexpected medical costs.

<p> As a solo dweller, assess your homeownership needs. Consider downsizing to a more manageable property, reducing maintenance costs.  </p> <p> Alternatively, explore co-housing or renting for increased flexibility. Factor in property taxes, insurance, and potential renovations.  </p> <p> Whether staying put or exploring new housing options for retirement, your home choice should be in line with your financial goals, ensuring that homeownership remains a positive aspect of your financial journey. </p> <p>  <a href="https://www.financebuzz.com/top-travel-credit-cards?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=13&synd_postid=17060&synd_backlink_title=Earn+Points+and+Miles%3A+Find+the+best+travel+credit+card+for+nearly+free+travel&synd_backlink_position=9&synd_slug=top-travel-credit-cards"><b>Earn Points and Miles:</b> Find the best travel credit card for nearly free travel</a>  </p>

Homeownership considerations

As a solo dweller, assess your homeownership needs. Consider downsizing to a more manageable property, reducing maintenance costs.

Alternatively, explore co-housing or renting for increased flexibility. Factor in property taxes, insurance, and potential renovations.

Whether staying put or exploring new housing options for retirement, your home choice should be in line with your financial goals, ensuring that homeownership remains a positive aspect of your financial journey.

Earn Points and Miles: Find the best travel credit card for nearly free travel

<p> Prioritize your retirement savings by maximizing contributions to retirement accounts. Catch-up contributions are available for individuals aged 50 and above.</p><p>Leverage this opportunity to accelerate your retirement savings. Assess your risk tolerance and adjust your portfolio accordingly.</p> <p> By taking advantage of catch-up contributions and strategic planning, you enhance your financial security, empowering a fulfilling solo life and a comfortable retirement. </p>

Maximize retirement contributions

Prioritize your retirement savings by maximizing contributions to retirement accounts. Catch-up contributions are available for individuals aged 50 and above.

Leverage this opportunity to accelerate your retirement savings. Assess your risk tolerance and adjust your portfolio accordingly.

By taking advantage of catch-up contributions and strategic planning, you enhance your financial security, empowering a fulfilling solo life and a comfortable retirement.

<p> As a solo individual, understand the nuances of Social Security benefits. Timing matters when claiming benefits, and delaying until age 70 or at least your full retirement age can result in higher monthly income. </p><p>Evaluate your health, financial needs, and life expectancy to make an informed decision. It’s wise to seek professional advice to optimize your Social Security strategy.</p><p>This ensures you receive the maximum benefits tailored to your unique situation, contributing to financial stability and independence in your solo journey.</p>

Social Security optimization

As a solo individual, understand the nuances of Social Security benefits. Timing matters when claiming benefits, and delaying until age 70 or at least your full retirement age can result in higher monthly income. 

Evaluate your health, financial needs, and life expectancy to make an informed decision. It’s wise to seek professional advice to optimize your Social Security strategy.

This ensures you receive the maximum benefits tailored to your unique situation, contributing to financial stability and independence in your solo journey.

<p> Financial landscapes evolve, and so must your strategies. Stay abreast of economic trends, investment opportunities, and legislative changes that impact your financial health. You may need to reassess your goals, adjusting your plans as needed.  </p> <p> One way you can prepare yourself is by embracing lifelong learning and leveraging resources like financial publications and seminars.</p><p>Being informed empowers you to make sound decisions, fostering resilience and adaptability on your solo financial journey. </p>

Stay informed and adapt

Financial landscapes evolve, and so must your strategies. Stay abreast of economic trends, investment opportunities, and legislative changes that impact your financial health. You may need to reassess your goals, adjusting your plans as needed.

One way you can prepare yourself is by embracing lifelong learning and leveraging resources like financial publications and seminars.

Being informed empowers you to make sound decisions, fostering resilience and adaptability on your solo financial journey.

<p> Navigating financial independence in your 50s and beyond as a single individual requires strategic planning. </p><p>Prioritize budgeting, diverse income streams, and smart investment choices to ensure you’re on the right track — heck, <a href="https://financebuzz.com/retire-early-quiz?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=17&synd_postid=17060&synd_backlink_title=maybe+you+can+retire+early&synd_backlink_position=10&synd_slug=retire-early-quiz">maybe you can retire early</a>! </p> <p> Are you in your 50s and single? Consider these 15 financial tips which offer a road map for achieving stability and security while empowering your finances at the same time. </p> <p>  <p><b>More from FinanceBuzz:</b></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://financebuzz.com/supplement-income-55mp?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=17&synd_postid=17060&synd_backlink_title=7+things+to+do+if+you%27re+scraping+by+financially.&synd_backlink_position=11&synd_slug=supplement-income-55mp">7 things to do if you're scraping by financially.</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.financebuzz.com/shopper-hacks-Costco-55mp?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=17&synd_postid=17060&synd_backlink_title=6+genius+hacks+Costco+shoppers+should+know.&synd_backlink_position=12&synd_slug=shopper-hacks-Costco-55mp">6 genius hacks Costco shoppers should know.</a></li> <li><a href="https://financebuzz.com/offer/bypass/637?source=%2Flatest%2Fmsn%2Fslideshow%2Ffeed%2F&aff_id=1006&aff_sub=msn&aff_sub2=US_SideHustle_ROAS_6523447166_79551754995&aff_sub3=earn%20money%20online&aff_sub4=feed&aff_sub5=%7Bimpressionid%7D&aff_click_id=Cj0KCQjwvr6EBhDOARIsAPpqUPHiRL0SszrkkvaCz5pimn0aDMt94FZhFMxu5sRAPiEuNhsSNkwq3CEaAg1qEALw_wcB&aff_unique1=%7Baff_unique1%7D&aff_unique2=pE24Oi50OX4E4FtjAsAr&aff_unique3=6523447166&aff_unique4=79551754995&aff_unique5=%7Baff_unique5%7D&rendered_slug=/latest/msn/slideshow/feed/&contentblockid=2708&contentblockversionid=24895&ml_sort_id=&sorted_item_id=&widget_type=&cms_offer_id=637&keywords=&ai_listing_id=&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=17&synd_postid=17060&synd_backlink_title=Can+you+retire+early%3F+Take+this+quiz+and+find+out.&synd_backlink_position=13&synd_slug=offer/bypass/637">Can you retire early? Take this quiz and find out.</a></li> <li><a href="https://financebuzz.com/choice-home-warranty-jump?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=17&synd_postid=17060&synd_backlink_title=Are+you+a+homeowner%3F+Get+a+protection+plan+on+all+your+appliances.&synd_backlink_position=14&synd_slug=choice-home-warranty-jump">Are you a homeowner? Get a protection plan on all your appliances.</a></li> </ul>  </p>

Bottom line

Navigating financial independence in your 50s and beyond as a single individual requires strategic planning. 

Prioritize budgeting, diverse income streams, and smart investment choices to ensure you’re on the right track — heck, maybe you can retire early !

Are you in your 50s and single? Consider these 15 financial tips which offer a road map for achieving stability and security while empowering your finances at the same time.

More from FinanceBuzz:

  • 7 things to do if you're scraping by financially.
  • 6 genius hacks Costco shoppers should know.
  • Can you retire early? Take this quiz and find out.
  • Are you a homeowner? Get a protection plan on all your appliances.

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The state of tourism and hospitality 2024

Tourism and hospitality are on a journey of disruption. Shifting source markets and destinations, growing demand for experiential and luxury travel, and innovative business strategies are all combining to dramatically alter the industry landscape. Given this momentous change, it’s important for stakeholders to consider and strategize on four major themes:

  • The bulk of travel is close to home. Although international travel might draw headlines, stakeholders shouldn’t neglect the big opportunities in their backyards. Domestic travel still represents the bulk of travel spending, and intraregional tourism is on the rise.
  • Consumers increasingly prioritize travel—when it’s on their own terms. Interest in travel is booming, but travelers are no longer content with a one-size-fits-all experience. Individual personalization might not always be practical, but savvy industry players can use segmentation and hypothesis-driven testing to improve their value propositions. Those that fail to articulate target customer segments and adapt their offerings accordingly risk getting left behind.
  • The face of luxury travel is changing. Demand for luxury tourism and hospitality is expected to grow faster than any other travel segment today—particularly in Asia. It’s crucial to understand that luxury travelers don’t make up a monolith. Segmenting by age, nationality, and net worth can reveal varied and evolving preferences and behaviors.
  • As tourism grows, destinations will need to prepare to mitigate overcrowding. Destinations need to be ready to handle the large tourist flows of tomorrow. Now is the time for stakeholders to plan, develop, and invest in mitigation strategies. Equipped with accurate assessments of carrying capacities and enhanced abilities to gather and analyze data, destinations can improve their transportation and infrastructure, build tourism-ready workforces, and preserve their natural and cultural heritages.

McKinsey Live event: Faces, places, and trends: The state of tourism & hospitality

McKinsey Live event: Faces, places, and trends: The state of tourism & hospitality

Thursday, June 13 at 10:30 a.m EDT / 4:30 p.m CET

Now boarding: Faces, places, and trends shaping tourism in 2024

Global travel is back and buzzing. The amount of travel fell by 75 percent in 2020; however, travel is on its way to a full recovery by the end of 2024. More regional trips, an emerging population of new travelers, and a fresh set of destinations are powering steady spending in tourism.

There’s no doubt that people still love to travel and will continue to seek new experiences in new places. But where will travelers come from, and where will they go?

We share a snapshot of current traveler flows, along with estimates for growth through 2030.

The way we travel now

Which trends are shaping traveler sentiment now? What sorts of journeys do today’s travelers dream about? How much are they willing to spend on their trips? And what should industry stakeholders do to adapt to the traveler psychology of the moment?

To gauge what’s on the minds of present-day travelers, we surveyed more than 5,000 of them. The findings reveal disparate desires, generational divides, and a newly emerging set of traveler archetypes.

Updating perceptions about today’s luxury traveler

Demand for luxury tourism and hospitality is expected to grow faster than for any other segment. This growth is being powered in part by a large and expanding base of aspiring luxury travelers with net worths between $100,000 and $1 million, many of whom are younger and increasingly willing to spend larger shares of their wealth on upscale travel options. The increase is also a result of rising wealth levels in Asia.

We dug deeper into this ongoing evolution by surveying luxury travelers around the globe about their preferences, plans, and expectations. Some widely held notions about luxury travelers—such as how much money they have, how old they are, and where they come from—could be due for reexamination.

Destination readiness: Preparing for the tourist flows of tomorrow

As global tourism grows, it will be crucial for destinations to be ready. How can the tourism ecosystem prepare to host unprecedented volumes of visitors while managing the challenges that can accompany this success? A large flow of tourists, if not carefully channeled, can encumber infrastructure, harm natural and cultural attractions, and frustrate locals and visitors alike.

Now is the time for tourism stakeholders to combine their thinking and resources to look for better ways to handle the visitor flows of today while properly preparing themselves for the visitor flows of tomorrow. We offer a diagnostic that destinations can use to spot early-warning signs about tourism concentration, along with suggestions for funding mechanisms and strategies to help maximize the benefits of tourism while minimizing its negative impacts.

Six trends shaping new business models in tourism and hospitality

As destinations and source markets have transformed over the past decade, tourism and hospitality companies have evolved, too. Accommodation, home sharing, cruises, and theme parks are among the sectors in which new approaches could present new opportunities. Stakeholders gearing up for new challenges should look for business model innovations that will help sustain their hard-won growth—and profits.

Unbundling offerings, cross-selling distinctive experiences, and embracing data-powered strategies can all be winning moves. A series of insight-driven charts reveal significant trends and an outlook on the future.

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