So you’re thinking about jet setting and taking your first solo trip to your dream destination? Good for you. Time to start planning.
Solo travel can be scary. It’s a big step in life if you have never done it before. But rest assured that you are in for an adventure and possibly the best trip of your life.
Solo travel means you will be spending a lot of time alone. If you aren’t used to this yet then it could be an adjustment. Luckily, you will likely encounter a ton of interesting fellow solo travelers along the way who will be eager to share stories and explore with you.
Solo travel doesn’t require a ton of planning but it’s always a good idea to plan ahead a little bit. Let’s jump into this some more before discussing how to plan a solo travel adventure.
Solo travel certainly can be fun. It could be the time of your life and something you will talk about into old age. It can also be daunting, lonely, and nerve-wracking. We tend to stick to the positive aspects however if you want to have a good trip, and avoid danger, then planning is absolutely necessary.
There may be infinite reasons for someone to travel solo. Perhaps you are stuck in a rut at work and need to escape. Maybe your relationships aren’t what they used to be and you need a break. Or you just want to seek adventure and find out who you really are. I could go on and on.
When you’re thinking of how to plan a solo travel adventure you may have your own reasons. Just remember to be safe, have fun and plan ahead.
The first step in planning a solo trip is to stop thinking about it and commit. There are several ways to commit, the first would be to actually book a flight to your starting destination. You can think about a solo trip for years and never take action. Take action, book something and you won’t regret it!
Choose your first destination wisely. Whether you are going for a 2-week solo trip or a 6-month solo backpacking adventure, it’s best to find the cheapest flight to your dream destination. From there you can branch-off and find new adventures. But a major key to planning is picking the starting point. To help you decide – here is a list of the best countries for solo travel.
If you want to remain somewhat flexible with your plans it is wise to only book the first few days of your trip. Sometimes Booking.com has deals on hotels if you book the same day you arrive. Here are some hotel hacks to save money. There are many places to stay as you travel so you don’t have to worry about accommodation. Having a loose plan gives you something to look forward to but things may change along the way.
If you really want to learn how to plan a solo travel adventure then be ready to spend lots of time alone. You may make a lot of single-serving friends along the way however alone time will become the norm. That means eating alone, visiting sites alone, and possibly going to bars alone. If you are not accustomed to this then try doing a few solo adventures in your hometown. Go to a movie, museum, or restaurant solo… it feels a little awkward at first but then you get used to it. Practice makes perfect. Don’t feel ashamed for a second about being alone.
Traveling solo means traveling light. You want to be wise about what you pack and what you bring along on your journey. Make sure you have all the essentials when you leave. The right backpack can make a huge difference when traveling.
Here is a basic list of solo travel essentials:
– The right backpack for you
– A water Bottle
– Waterproof jacket
– Enough clothes
– Comfortable shoes
– Money belt
– The list goes on!!!
Don’t get bogged down with a heavy backpack. Buy a kindle if you’re a reader vs carrying a bunch of books around. Create a packing list of your essentials and don’t exceed that. Try to keep everything in a carry-on-sized bag if you can. Skip the “just in case” clothes, for example: if you are traveling through SE Asia you can literally buy any type of clothes at markets for super cheap. So pack light!
Learn how to budget. Travel has a lot of costs associated with it. From flights to hotels, food & excursions. You need to set a budget (unless you hit it big in the crypto market). What are you willing to spend per night on accommodation? How about food? Add it all up on an excel spreadsheet and make sure you have enough funds, plus some more to cover all your costs for the trip. You don’t want to end up out of cash in the middle of your travels.
Some of the best adventures when solo traveling come from word of mouth once you reach your destination. You can do all the research in the world and still not find out about the best places to visit. If you are someone who likes to have an itinerary for your trip then, by all means, itineraries are great. But a loose itinerary is one where you can interchange activities so you can get the most out of your travels. This solo travel bucket list is a great place to draw planning inspiration.
World Nomads are a great source of travel insurance. Travel insurance is pretty much a “must-have ” if you are traveling abroad. Accidents happen and some are unavoidable. In many countries, hospitals might not admit someone without travel insurance. While it is an added cost, especially if you are on a tight budget, I would put it in the same category as airfare and hotel costs in terms of importance. Consider yourself warned!
Finally, and most importantly – get out there and have fun. Solo travel teaches us so much about ourselves. We learn lessons that could take years to learn back home in only a short period of time. The things you learn and the friends you meet could change your life for the better and stick with you for years. It’s an adventure you will not forget. Hope this helped you learn how to plan a solo travel adventure.
In a recent post, we covered this topic in some depth (read more). Solo travel is a wonderful way to learn some important life lessons. Not only do you get to experience other cultures and meet new people but you gain a ton of confidence in yourself, independence, and find comfort in your skin.
When you plan an amazing solo travel adventure you will get out of your comfort zone in ways you could never imagine. It is a life-changing experience.