There are many advantages to solo travel.
You have the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want, and you’ll learn a lot along the way. You might be out of your comfort zone, but you’ll soon begin to adapt and surprise yourself.
The thought of planning a solo trip abroad is daunting, but take it step by step and you’ll be ready to jet off before you know it. Here are seven ways to prepare.
1. Choose your destination(s)
The best place for solo travel is subjective since it depends on what kind of holiday you like to go on and which countries or cities are at the top of your travel list.
However, since this is your first trip alone; you may want to choose a popular destination which has been visited by many solo adventurers in previous years. Not only will there be lots of advice out there, but you’re more likely to meet fellow travelers along the way.
2. Find your flights and accommodation
Compare the cost of flights before you make a decision (be sure to turn off your cookies so airlines can’t charge you more) and book flights at the weekend and the beginning of the week if you can — the prices are proven to be cheaper. Read the Telegraph’s guide, Never Book Flights on a Friday, for more advice.
As for accommodation, hostels cost less and offer a fun, social environment, while a homestay or family-run guesthouse will give you an authentic look at local life; not to mention an inside look at your destination.
3. Scan your travel documents
Save copies of your flight details, travel insurance policy, and any tickets or booking details on a cloud, and email them to a friend or family member. If any of the paper copies you take with you go missing or get stolen; you’ll still have all the information you need.
It’s also worth scanning a copy of your passport; having all the details to hand will make it much easier to replace it if need be.
4. Let friends and family know where you’re going — and stay in touch
This will stop them from worrying quite so much, and it means someone will have a rough idea of where you are in case of emergency.
5. Pack wisely
The number one rule for solo packing? Keep it light. Now is not the time to throw extras into your bag just in case you need them — they’ll only weigh you down, and chances are you won’t use them anyway. The one exception to this rule is underwear and socks, which you can never have too many of, as echoed by the Secret Traveller.
Before deciding what to take with you; look up the average temperature for your destination at the time of your trip, and make sure you’re aware of any regulations when it comes to clothing. Some countries have certain etiquette or restrictions, especially for females, which limit what you can wear, particularly in Eastern countries.
6. Swot up on scams
Solo travel is safer than you might think, but you should still know which scams are popular in the places you’ll be visiting, and stay vigilant. You’re less likely to be targeted if you don’t wear anything flashy and walk like you know where you’re going, so hold your head high and check directions away from the view of the public.
7. Get comfortable in your own company
It’s natural to feel some anxiety about traveling solo — spending time by yourself can be strange at first; especially if you’re eating alone. Luckily, you’re not the first person to feel this way and over time; you’ll learn to be content on your own. The best way to get used to it is to spend more and more time on your own; until it seems normal and you start to enjoy it.