Anxious for your first solo trip? Here’s everything you need to know on how to prepare for your first solo trip!
Embarking on your first solo trip but don’t know where to start? From deciding on your budget to accommodations and itinerary, here’s 10 simple steps to help you prepare for your first solo trip!
1. Decide Your Budget
No money, no talk right? First, you need to decide on your budget, how much you are willing to or can afford to spend on this trip. This will affect the country of your choice, your accommodation plans and even your travel itinerary!
Your budget should cover flight, accommodations, transport, travel insurance, meals, tours, and of course emergency credit card or cash.
If you are looking for a cheaper travel destination, looking at countries in Asia would likely be within your budget. Perhaps Krabi, Bali or Ho Chi Minh City? On the other hand, if you have a more generous budget, you could consider European countries such as France or Italy.
2. Choose Your Destination
Apart from your budget, you would want to go somewhere that interests you. Perhaps you love Japanese culture, or the Swiss Alps is on your bucket list, or you’re just determined to see the set of the Game of Thrones in Croatia.
You’re responsible for your own safety, especially as a solo traveller on your first trip. Research on the countries that are safer for solo travelling, such as New Zealand or Austria. Here’s 7 safety tips for travelling alone.
Though not the most crucial, it remains as an important consideration! You could still travel to Vietnam without knowing a word of Vietnamese and just rely on Google Translate. However, if you’re worried about language barriers, perhaps try out a country that speaks your native tongue.
3. Book Your Flight
Now that you’ve decided where you’re heading, it’s time to book that flight! If you don’t book it, you might just chicken out from your first solo trip.
When booking your flight, remember to consider the departure time and the airport you’ll arrive at. For example, though a flight at 6am might be cheaper, you’d have to factor the cost of arranging a transfer to reach the airport. Also note that certain cities have multiple airports and some are less accessible, so you might have to take a train.
The cheaper the better right? Here’s some holiday booking hacks to score the best deals!
4. Book Your Accommodation
As a solo traveller, you’ll be staying on your own, with no one to look out for you. Hence, the safety of your accommodations are of utmost importance. Rule out districts that might be more dangerous or have a higher crime rate.
Ensure that the area you’re staying at isn’t too far from wherever you plan to visit. This way, you can save time and money on travelling!
I recommend staying in a traveller’s hostel, as you can save money and also meet other solo travellers as well! Travel hostels also tend to be in the heart of the city, so it shouldn’t be too far from the attractions you plan to visit. Do read the reviews on TripAdvisor or any other forums before booking your accommodations!
5. Book Your Transport
Coaches, trains or flights? You may decide to visit more than one place in your holiday country. For example, if you’re going to Italy, perhaps you would want to visit Rome, Florence and Venice. You’d then have to book your train tickets in advance, and print them as required by the service provider.
Or perhaps, from wherever you are staying, you need to book a coach to the airport before you can board your flight to your next destination. Certain countries have midnight coaches to airports, so do some research on them to save on hefty cab fees. Always double check your online tickets, you don’t want to end up with a ghost flight!
6. Purchase Travel Insurance
Now that you have a general outline and idea of your trip, don’t forget to purchase travel insurance. Better safe than sorry! If you’re an adventure junkie looking to trek or bungee jump, make sure your travel insurance covers these activities. Always remember to choose the travel insurance best suited to your needs!
7. Plan Your Itinerary
Well, depending on what type of solo traveller you are, that’ll determine your activities and how detailed you want your itinerary to be. Read online reviews, ask your friends for recommendations, search Instagram for location tags and hashtags.
Many cities now offer free walking tours – it’s a great way to explore the city, learn it’s history and also meet new people! Alternatively, you could also sign up for day tours to take you away from the city, to the nearby farms and mountains.
Personally, I like to plan my route on Google maps. Starting from my hostel to each attraction, including food spots, and then back. This way, I don’t walk around in circles.
8. Pack Your Bags
It’s almost time for your trip, what do you need? This depends on the country of your choice, weather, and your travel style. Whether you’re going for a solo trip to trek the mountains, or simply wander around the city. Here’s an essential solo travel packing list to get you started.
9. Plan Your Money Changer Trip
Before you head off, you still need to plan your trip to the money changer. It’s always good to have some cash on hand.
When is the best time to exchange currency? How do I decide with fluctuating exchange rates? Simply monitor the rates and look out for the best money changers. Even so, stay vigilant and beware of fake foreign currencies at the money changer.
10. Psych Yourself
Now that all your planning is finally done, it’s time to turn your lens to the main focus of your solo trip: Yourself! It’s completely normal to be worried, anxious, nervous before your trip.
To reduce your anxiety, always plan in advance. If you worry you might miss your flight or train, always double check to ensure the time and plan your route to the airport in advance.
If you feel lonely, go out and meet people! Start a conversation at a cafe or bar, talk to your bunk mates in hostel or the people in your tour group. Keep in contact with your friends and family back home as well.
That’s it, just follow these 10 simple steps and you’ll be ready for your first solo trip! Even if your solo trip ends up a mess, remember that bad experiences make great stories. And if it turns out great, the rest of the world is your oyster. Go forth and conquer!
Enjoy a worldwide fees-less travel experience!