Top Tips For Solo Travel

Embarking on your first solo trip can be an incredibly exciting and fulfilling experience. It’s a chance to step outside of your comfort zone, explore new places, and create unforgettable memories. However, planning your first solo trip can also be a daunting task, with so many decisions to make and unknowns to navigate. In this article, I’ll share my top tips for making the most out of your first solo adventure, from choosing the perfect destination to staying safe on the road. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time explorer, these tips will help ensure your solo trip is a success.

  1. Research your destination: Before you travel, research your destination thoroughly. Learn about the culture, customs, language, and any potential safety concerns. This will help you feel more prepared and less anxious when you arrive.

  1. Plan your itinerary: Plan out your itinerary in advance, but leave some flexibility for unexpected opportunities and experiences. This will help you make the most of your trip and feel more organized.
  1. Try not to tell people you’re travelling solo – especially when you first arrive somewhere new and you are all filled with excitement and adrenaline. Always say you’re meeting a friend, or your partner is running a few minutes late, etc. In some countries it can actually be beneficial to wear a mock wedding ring, even if you’re not married. 

  1. Print out all your documents and bring them with you – you can’t always rely on there being internet at your destination and I have lost count the amount of times I’ve had to show copies of a reservation (or an address of a hotel to a taxi driver – useful when you don’t speak the language!). Screenshots on your phone work as a good back up too. You may also need to show proof of an onward flight and accommodations to border officials if you’re travelling abroad. 

  1. Take a copy of your passport and hide it somewhere different than your passport. If for any reason your passport is lost or stolen while away it is incredibly helpful if you have a photocopy of your passport to present to the embassy. Worth noting down your home country’s embassy phone number and address in the country you’re going to as well. 
  1. Tell someone back home where you are and what your itinerary is – this can be as simple as using an app like Life360 which shares your location in real time with others in your group. A list of your proposed hotels and flights can also work to (or a detailed spreadsheet if you’re type A like me and revel in the planning aspect of travelling). 

  1. Get travel insurance – I can’t stress this enough. It is so important, takes less than 10 minutes to set up and can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars. I’ve had friends have an accident while abroad and needed to be airlifted back to the states for medical treatment, an expense that cost over $100k, but with insurance, $0. There’s various plans and coverage options so I like to use Square Mouth to compare different companies. Safety Wing is one of the easiest to set up and great for digital nomads. Print out a copy of your insurance card when you travel which has the international service number on, should you need to call while you’re away. 

  1. Don’t be walking alone at night – this goes without saying, but be smart and don’t be walking alone at night. Anywhere. I wouldn’t do this in my home town so don’t do it somewhere you’re not familiar with. Either stay in or go with others and organize a taxi ahead of time.
  1. Don’t share your location on social media in real time – wait until you’ve moved onto the next location, or better yet, wait until you get home.

  1. Be open to meeting people – staying at hostels or joining free walking tours are a great way to meet people. And if sharing a room is not your thing, many hostels now have private rooms; so you can still have your own space but have the community feel of a hostel. 

        Top products for solo travellers 

        • Portable Door Lock – this can give you an extra peace of mind when travelling, especially if you are staying in a room that doesn’t have a dead bolt or an extra lock other than the room card. Mistakes can be made with creating room cards and it’s not uncommon for two different people to be given a room card to the same room.
        • Personal Safety Alarm – pretty self explanatory but a very useful tool to have when solo travelling. Discreet and affordable.
        • UV Sanitizing Water Bottle – if you’ve been following for a while, you know I love this water bottle. At just the touch of a button, this water bottle sanitises tap water so it is safe to drink. I took it all around Mexico and it worked famously (for all that don’t know, you can’t drink the tap water in Mexico). No more late night runs to pickup bottled water. Pack one of these and you’ll be set. 
        • Noise Cancelling Head Phones – these are great for on the plane, but also if you plan on staying in a busy city where the travel noise will be exaggerated. Also a life saver if you staying in a hostel and sharing a room. 
        • Microfiber Travel Towel – a real space saver and is incredibly lightweight. It also dries quickly and never picks up odour. Especially useful in hostels, when the supplied towels can be somewhat questionable. Also great to bring on water based excursions as it dries so fast! 
        • Hidden Pocket Scarf – this really is a genius idea – it’s an infinity scarf that you can wear that has a hidden pocket concealed to house all your valuables without having to worry about them being nabbed from a bag or pocket. 
        • Door alarm – another nifty tool that can be placed behind the door in your room that will sound an alarm when the door is opened. Just remember to remove it before you open it yourself! 

        General checklist to complete before travelling 

        • Notify your credit card company/bank that you’ll be out of the country. Some credit cards don’t require this anymore but it’s worth checking with them beforehand to avoid any problems abroad.
        • Set up auto-pay on your bills and/or credit cards, especially if you know you may have limited internet. Don’t risk getting dinged on your credit for a late payment.
        • Order you foreign currency from your bank before you leave. Currency exchanges at the airport have notoriously bad rates. Another option would be to use the ATM at your destination country.
        • Get your mail paused if going for extended period of time – super easy to do online now and very handy if you plan on travelling for a while 

        By following these tips, you can have a successful and enjoyable solo trip. Remember to stay flexible, stay safe, and most importantly, have fun!

        Disclosure: participates in affiliate advertising programs as a way to earn revenue. Some links to products and services are affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you click an affiliate link and finalize a purchase. Thank you for your support.

        Leave a Reply

        Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

        You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

        Facebook photo

        You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

        Connecting to %s