Travelling the globe is an exciting prospect; whether it’s a short holiday to the Bahamas or a 6 month trek across Europe. However, if you are considering taking your first solo trip abroad, the likelihood is that your next adventure is both a thrilling and daunting one. With the amount of solo UK travellers doubling over the last six years, you aren’t alone in your pursuit of some alone time abroad. More and more people are taking an interest in solo travel, whether it’s to learn more about themselves, broaden their experiences of the world or simply have a break from the daily routine and treat themselves. However, when planning your first solo trip, it’s not always as easy as it looks. There are a variety of things to prepare for to ensure your first solo trip goes off without a hitch.
Step 1: Dip Your Toes into Solo Travel
As the phrase goes, “Don’t run before you can walk” and that’s very applicable to all the keen solo travellers who are just itching to trek across the world on their very first solo expedition. However, there are many good reasons not to go right into your adventure before first exploring places a little closer to home. Firstly, many people don’t realise how isolating it can be to spend days on your own; even if you do end up meeting new friends on your travels. See if there are any challenges you need to overcome before jetting off by booking a short weekend away by yourself in the UK or Europe. Not only is this research helpful for your big solo trip – but it’s also a chance to have another little holiday!
Step 2: Plan What You Want to Do
This trip is all about you, so decide what it is you want to get out of it. One of the great advantages to booking a holiday without anyone else is you have total free reign to do what YOU want to do. Plan out the places you want to see, what you want to do, and – most importantly – what you want to have achieved by the end of it. Is this a trip to learn about other cultures? Do exciting things you can’t to do at home? Or maybe gain some confidence and meet new people? Whichever you choose, keep this in mind whilst planning your journey so you can make the most of it.
Step 3: Choose the Right Destination
Now you’ve decided what you want to do, you need to figure out how to do it. Check out the destinations you want to explore and see if they offer what are looking for in terms of both experience and price. Read up on the place and find out what other travellers have said in terms of experience, and if there might be any challenges such as cultural differences of language barriers. Join a tour group or pre-arrange to meet up with other lone travellers. In terms of price, accounting for all of your costs during your first solo trip can be tricky. Visiting sites such as Just You which is made for solo travellers can be very helpful for the planning of your trip.
Step 4: Don’t Overspend
One problem you don’t want to run into on your travels is running out of money. Budgeting for your journey is essential from the smallest to the largest expenses:
- Mini Holiday: If you plan to take a short break in preparation for your travels, don’t forget to budget for this too. As well as sites such as Solo Holidays which offers small breaks in Europe at small prices, you can compare prices on hotels and airport parking online with Parking At Airports to find the best deal.
- Big Expenses: Of course, the first thing to budget for is the big things; flights, hotels/B&B’s, travel insurance. Find the best deals by shopping around online and try to book early so you don’t accidently miss out on a good deal.
- Travel & Activities: Now you can start to budget for the things you are going to do whilst travelling. Make sure you have enough for local bus or train travel and are aware of the prices of any activities you plan on doing.
- Everyday Items: Add in the cost of any items you might buy whilst there (food, drink, souvenirs) and anything you need to buy before you go.
Make sure you budget for an emergency fund too, just in case you run into any issues. When budgeting, it’s always a good idea to over-save than under-save, then if any problems arise – or if you find something else fun you want to do but haven’t budgeted for – you won’t have to miss out.
Step 6: Stay Safe
One concern when travelling alone is that there is no one there to watch out for you, so keeping yourself safe is vital. Before you go, make sure you consider any potential dangers of the destination you are travelling to by doing background research online. Going onto your government website gives you a reliable overview of what you need to be aware of, from the documentation you need to local laws and customs. You can keep your money safe by securing it in a money belt, and ensure you take essential safety accessories such as a whistle (which you can wear around your neck as a trendy looking necklace), a mini torch, a keychain alarm and an Easylock to secure your valuables. Take all the precautions you can, and if possible, arrange to talk to family members or friends at specific times so you have a line of contact.
Step 5: Have Fun
Finally, enjoy yourself! Even if you run into problems, going abroad alone is something few people have the confidence to do, but those who do always get something out of it. Whether it’s a new found confidence, learning to be more independent or just seeing parts of the world you never thought you would. Try to connect with other travellers, don’t be afraid to ask questions and make an effort to go outside of your comfort zone.
Booking a solo break can be incredibly beneficial for many travellers, helping increase confidence, overcome new challenges and experience what life is like in other places. Properly planning your trip can help tremendously not only with the practical side of things, but also the psychological. Having knowledge about your destination, checking that you’ve budgeted well and ensuring you are staying safe is sure to put your mind – and your family and friends minds – at ease so you can enjoy your holiday.