How to travel solo, your ultimate guide

Your ULTIMATE Guide On How To Travel Solo

Introduction on How to Travel Solo:

You’re going to travel alone for the first time and your not sure how to travel solo, where to start, or what to do?

You may have some concerns and plenty more questions. But worry, this guide is here to help you!

I have been traveling solo for over 2 years and have visited over 5 countries alone. I know the hesitations, questions, and challenges that you are going through, because I had them myself not too long ago.

Which is why I want to help you! 

On my first solo trip in iceland
On my first solo trip in Iceland

Traveling alone has been one of the best life-changing decisions that I have ever made. So I want to help you, and other solo travelers, overcome your fears and hesitations on how to travel solo.

In this ultimate guide, you will understand how to travel solo, and gain valuable solo travel tips to make your first solo travel adventure unforgettable!

So let’s dive in!

Why Do People Travel Solo?

This is probably the first question that you or many of your family members and friends may have when you first think about traveling alone.

Well, for many travelers, this is their preferred way to travel!

You have the complete freedom to do anything that you want! It is your itinerary on your time, and you don’t have to answer to anyone! 

Other travelers may enjoy the countless benefits that traveling alone brings, such as an improved mental well being, self discovery, and enjoying financially cheaper trips!

Top 5 benefits of solo travel
The benefits of traveling alone that I have experienced.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds amazing to me! 

For others, traveling alone isn’t just an option; it’s often a necessity. Especially for those who lack travel companions due to various reasons. 

Whether it’s financial constraints, limited time off from work, or a lack of shared interests in a particular destination, solo travel offers the freedom to explore the world on your terms. 

All of the reasons above are why I decided to journey solo for the first time over 2 years ago to Iceland. I didn’t have anyone that wanted or could travel with me. But I didn’t want that to stop me from exploring the world.

So I decided to travel alone. Which was unheard of in my community. But it was ultimately the best decision of my life!

Now, I have traveled to over 5 countries alone and I want to help you gain the confidence to journey solo. 

Is Traveling Solo Safe?

Yes, traveling solo is safe! 

However, traveling alone is just like any other form of travel, such as with your partner, family, or group, and will have some degree of risk. All travelers should take the appropriate precautions to ensure they have a safe trip, especially in an unfamiliar place. 

One of my best pieces of advice for staying safe when traveling internationally, is to register with the STEP Program offered by the U.S Department of State.

You can inform the local Embassy of your travel plans and you will be alerted any time there is an emergency, whether it’s civil unrest, natural disasters, etc. So you and your emergency contact can always stay connected when you’re traveling. 

My second biggest advice is to get one of these best travelers insurance. Trust me, the worst thing that can happen is that an emergency comes up and you have no idea what to do or where to go.

So regardless if your traveling alone or with a group, by having travelers insurance you can protect yourself against common travel issues or emergencies.

As a frequent traveler, I never leave home without it, so you shouldn’t either.

By knowing the best solo travel safety tips and investing in travelers insurance, you can have a safe and memorable trip!  

How Does it Feel to Travel Solo?

Pie Chart of how I felt during my first solo travel experience
How I felt when I first traveled solo!

When you first travel alone you will have mixed emotions on how you should feel. Which is totally normal!

As I was first standing alone at the airport in Iceland, I remember feeling a mix of nerves, excitement, and freedom. This was the first time that I truly felt free and independent to make any choice that I wanted. I could explore locally, relax at my hotel, or find a nice coffee shop.

The choice was all mine, and I didn’t have to rely on anyone.

Which may seem scary at first. But as you step outside of our comfort zone, you will realize just how confident and capable you are.

In fact, did you know that a study from the National Library of Medicine found that solo travelers reported significant increases in self-confidence, problem-solving abilities, and adaptability.

So travel with an open minded, as you may be surprised on how much you love to travel by yourself! 

Is Traveling Solo Lonely? 

No, I find it quite the opposite! 

In fact, by traveling solo, you may meet people and make more new friends than if you were traveling with others. This is because when you are traveling with a group, you may have a tendency to stay inside your bubble and never socialize with other travelers. 

When you travel alone, you are more open to meeting new people and experiencing new cultures. This allows you to push yourself out of your comfort zone (which enables personal growth) and connect with more travelers or locals. 

While it may seem scary at first to talk to strangers, I promise that it’s not. 

Try to connect on common grounds, such as in the activity or place that you are both doing. 

If all else fails, crack a joke or a smile, and the conversation will follow! 

Remember, just because you are traveling solo, does not mean that you are alone!

How to Travel Solo and Meet People? 

Tips on how to travel solo and meet people? 
Tips on how to travel solo and meet people

I have said it time and time again, meeting new people is probably one of my favorite things about traveling! 

If your worried about feeling lonely then rest assured, it’s extremely easy to meet other travelers when traveling alone! 

Try to enhance your adventures by participating in an organized tour, try a free walking tour, or perhaps join a cooking class. Chances are, you may meet other fellow travelers, and possibly your next lifelong friend! 

You may even want to explore the night life of your destination, by attending concerts or visiting local events. 

These experiences are great for social interactions while deepening your love and appreciation for the places you visit!  

If you are traveling internationally for the first time, then I would highly recommend learning the local language, even if it’s simple phrases. This goes a long way when communicating with others and the locals will greatly appreciate your effort and be nicer or help you out more. 

When I was in Kenya, I learned common phrases and spoke Swahili (as much as I knew) to the locals. They were always thrilled to communicate back with me, and I even got huge discounts from local restaurants and shops! 

This is because of my effort to communicate with them in their language and the friendly bond we created. 

If you do not know the local language, then don’t worry. Just smile. 

Smiling is a universal language that portrays friendliness, which may help you initiate a conversation with someone. 

Tips for traveling alone and meeting people: 

  1. When you are dining alone, never sit at a two person table or a closed booth. Instead, try sitting at countertops or communal tables. This will allow you to engage with other solo travelers and start up a friendly conversation.
  2. When you’re eating alone, try taking a book or some paper and pen with you. You may seem more interesting and approachable to others. Plus, by finding common ground in your book or writing, you will be able to break the ice and start up a conversation!

Were You Should Go During Your First Solo Trip?

Your choice of destination for first-time solo travel is extremely important.

As you want to ensure you are checking off your bucket list of dream destinations while choosing a safe country that will boost your self confidence.  

Research is essential when preparing for your first solo travel trip!

If this is the first time you are traveling solo, then I would recommend considering best solo travel destinations in the world. As these big cities consider important factors for you such as their safety levels, the different activities available to you, and the affordability level. 

If you feel uncomfortable, or unable to travel outside of the United States of America, then try visiting the best places to travel solo in the US. Again, these destinations considered the state’s safety levels, different activities offered, and affordability. 

Solo Travel Tips: If you are hesitant about traveling solo, then travel alone in your own backyard before traveling abroad! 

Try watching a movie or going out to eat alone. This can help build your confidence before you travel to a new city.

Plus, by traveling around your own country first, you may find it easier to navigate, meet people, and feel safer.  That way you can build up your confidence and traveling expertise before traveling halfway across the globe for the first time, like I did.  

Should You Travel Solo or With A Group First? 

Comparison chart to help you determine if traveling solo or with a group is right for you
Comparison chart to help you determine if traveling solo or with a group is right for you.

At this point, you may seriously be considering if you should travel solo or with a group first

Well, both options are great, and you should try out both at least once! 

I have traveled with numerous tour groups to many different countries across the world. I would highly recommend these best tour groups if you are seriously concerned about: 

  • Being alone, 
  • Your safety,
  • Finding the time to plan,
  • Navigating a foreign city,
  • Missing out on important highlights,
  • And getting lost

Especially if you are new to traveling alone or traveling in general, then going with a group tour may be a great way for you to explore new countries while having the luxury of doing very little to no travel planning.

One of the best parts about traveling with a group is that you can make new friends based on your similar interest levels.

You can also pick to travel with the best women only tours, so you can feel comfortable at all times, while traveling the world together!

Did you know that you can still have the traveling solo experience while traveling with a group tour?

If you want to still gain the confidence of traveling alone, then I would highly recommend traveling a couple of days before or after your tour date starts. This way, you still see all the places that you wanted to that may not have been included in the tour agency’s itinerary. 

Plus, you will gain tremendous knowledge from your local tour operator and have the inside scoop on where you should go. 

Either way you travel, you are sure to have a great experience! 

How to Travel Solo and Plan a Trip for the First Time 

If you’re worried about planning a solo trip, then don’t be. It is extremely easy and just like planning for any other trip. Except, you can do whatever you want (without feeling guilty about it).

Planning a solo trip
A quick guideline to planning your first solo trip

First Things First:

You should get an idea of where you want to go, how long you want to stay there. Then figure out how you are getting to the country, how you are going to travel when your in the country, and where you are going to stay. 

Secondly, make a budget. Know how much you can spend on your housing accommodations and transportation. Depending on your preference, these cost may be the most expensive part of traveling. But, with a little extra planning, you can travel on a budget in easy and simple ways.

So it is essential to create a budget and stick to it!

Know what you need: Before you leave, make sure you have all of your international travel essentials. Be sure you understand the visa or vaccine requirements and spend a few moments understanding the currency exchange. 

If you are not sure what you need, don’t panic. Instead, you can check all entry requirements for your country by checking out the Travel State Gov Website

Book your accommodations: Start looking into how you will arrive in the country and where you will stay when you get there. Are you going to get a private room in a hotel or use hostels? Are you going to fly or use public transportation? 

Make sure that you arrive in your country at least several hours before dark. This allows you time to safely check into your hotel before dark. Plus, you can even have some extra downtime to explore the city!  

Tips for Planning A Solo Trip:

Try not to plan too much on your first day. Take time to settle into your accommodations as you get to know a little bit about the city by doing some exploring! 

  • Try not to plan too much on your first day. Take time to settle into your accommodations as you get to know a little bit about the city by doing some exploring! 
  • Make sure to arrive to your destination well before dark. This gives you time to safely arrive to your hotel and scope out the area. Then if free time allows, you can explore the local area.
    • Trust me, you do not want to try to navigate a new area by yourself in the dark. So make sure you arrive to your destination with plenty of daylight to spare.

What If You Don’t Like Solo Travel?

Solo travel isn’t for everyone, and that’s totally okay. 

If you find that you don’t like to travel solo then don’t be discouraged. Instead, be proud of yourself for taking a leap of faith and for overcoming some of your fears!

You can always try again next time, or seek advice from other solo travelers! The best thing about traveling is there are countless ways to explore the world and you can take many paths to explore it! 

Conclusion: 

Learning how to travel solo can potentially be one of the best decisions that you ever make. 

You will be able to explore the world, on your own terms, while gaining self confidence and independence!

So embrace the freedom and flexibility that comes with traveling solo. Most importantly, enjoy the destination and the lifelong memories that you will make!

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FAQ’s on How to Travel Solo:

Yes, traveling alone can be safe. However, as with any form of traveling, you should always take the right precautions. Research your destination, stay in well-reviewed accommodations, share your itinerary with people you trust, and stay aware of your surroundings.

  1. Pick the perfect destination that is safe for solo travelers and is within your budget.
  2. Identify how you will travel to and throughout the area.
  3. Pick accommodations that have good reviews and are centrally located.
  4. Start budgeting for your trip.
  5. Understand the local culture.
  6. Make an emergency plan and always share your itinerary with trust ones.
  7. Start traveling and having fun!

Typically, solo travelers spend on average between $1,000 to $2,000 per week of traveling. However, these cost will greatly vary based on your destination, travel style, and budgeting skills.

It’s normal to feel lonely sometimes, especially if it’s your first time traveling alone. However, I find it much easier to meet new people and make more friends when you’re traveling solo. Even if you’re introverted, you may find that traveling solo allows you to build your confidence to speak to strangers and build a connection that you otherwise wouldn’t.

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