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Unlock the Secrets to Planning a Solo Trip Like a Pro!

Planning a solo trip

Summary:

  • Choose the Right Destination
    • Decide where you want to explore! 
    • Consider your safety, budget, language barrier, activities, and cultural norms.
    • If this is your first solo trip, then try traveling in locally first to build your confidence.
  • Identify your Transportation
    • Know how you will get to your destination, the mode of transportation while in the country, and how you will get back home. 
  • Pick your Perfect Accommodation:
    • Pick accommodations based on think its security, location, and other available amenities
    • Always prioritize your safety and security. 
  • Budget for Your Trip
    • Try budgeting: 20% Transportation, 20% Accommodations, 17% Food and Drinks, 15% Activities, 6% Souvenirs & Shopping, 5% Emergency Fund, 4% Travel Insurance, 2% Miscellaneous.  
    • Tip for budgeting your trip:
      • Booking flights in advance  
      • Set a daily amount for your food
      • Shop around for better prices. 
  • Understand Common Scams/Threats

Interested in a stress-free trip with little to no planning on your part? Traveling with one of these best tour companies for solo travelers is awesome for those who want to travel solo without much hassle. 

Introduction:

Are you feeling frustrated, confused, or don’t even know where to start planning a solo trip? 

I get it. Planning a trip in general is stressful, let alone planning an entire trip by for yourself. This can add a lot of pressure and stress, especially if you’re planning a solo trip by yourself for the first time. 

But don’t worry! 

As a solo traveler, I have been there and planned numerous trips by myself. 

So I can help guide you throughout your entire solo trip planning process. From picking the right destination to budgeting your trip, gain all the best solo travel tips

So you can turn your frustrations and uncertainties into confidently booking your first solo trip. 

Before Your Trip:

Choosing the Right Destination

When you’re choosing the perfect destination, let your imagination run wild. 

Are you relaxing at an exotic beach, hiking through the mountain tops, or experiencing thrilling adventures along the countryside? 

As you start dreaming of your perfect destinations, narrow down the ones that prioritize safety, budget, language barrier, activities, and cultural norms. These items are all based on personal preference, but you can use these considerations to help guide you through your decision. 

Factors to Consider:

Safety:

Safety should always be a top priority. Do some research on your dream destinations and see how they are in terms of safety, especially for solo travelers. If you’re unsure where to go, then try exploring these best destinations for solo travelers.

Budget:

Try to identify the cost of living and traveling in your desired country and if it aligns with your budget. 

Language Barrier:

While navigating a foreign language can be a fun challenge (and a great story to tell later!) it’s also wise to understand the local language. Consider if your native language is widely spoken or if you’re willing to learn common phrases. You can also download a translation app or keep a pocket dictionary handy.

Culture: 

Make sure the place you’re considering aligns with what you want to do and see. If you’re looking for art and history, maybe a trip to Rome? Adventure and nature? Perhaps New Zealand. 

Wherever you go, the place is sure to have new cultures and adventures for you to explore! 

If you have never traveled abroad, or if this is your fist solo trip, then I highly recommend starting by traveling locally around the United States. If you start traveling around your own country first, you can build your confidence and travel like a pro when you start traveling in a foreign country. 

Identifying Your Transportation

How are you getting to your chosen destination? And once you’re there, how will you navigate the new area? Not to mention, making your way back home.

Getting to Your Destination:

Are you thinking of catching a direct flight, or do you want a layover? Sometimes, direct flights are cheaper and can reduce your travel fatigue (especially if you’re traveling across the world). 

However, by having layovers, you can quickly enjoy a new downtown area during your downtime. 

Traveling Within the Country:

Once you arrive, how are you getting around the country? Most hotels offer free airport shuttles, so try looking into that when booking your solo trip! 

Also consider if you will be taking a road trip, renting a car, or relying on local taxis? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, so choose what aligns with your travel style and itinerary.

Pro Traveler Tip: If you’re considering public transport, then try getting a local transport card. It’s often cheaper and more convenient than buying single tickets each way. 

Heading Back Home:

When you’re returning home, decide if you’ll return the same way you came or if you want to switch things up. Maybe catch a different airline or route?

Pick Your Perfect Accommodation:

When picking your perfect accommodation, consider where you want to go and how your accommodations fit into that. From hostels, hotels, to bed-and-breakfasts, and Airbnbs, the choices are endless.  

For many couples and single travelers, hostels are a great way to travel on a budget while meeting new people! Within a hostel, you can typically book a bed in a 4 to 10 person room and share common areas such as bars, kitchens, workspace areas, pools, etc. 

These dorms can be co-ed, or you can book specific dorms to your gender, or opt for a private room. That way you still have privacy while enjoying the social experience a hostel has to offer. You can easily meet up and socialize with other travelers, and maybe even explore the local area together! 

I personally stayed in hostels that were so luxurious it put even hotels to shame. And I am not alone! Other solo travelers even swear by hostels, stating that they love the vibrant community that a hostel can bring. 

If you are traveling in a busy downtown city and want to be close in proximity to everything, then booking a hotel room may be a safe bet. As you can save time and money by avoiding high transportation costs since everything is within walking distance. 

If you’re looking for luxury, then some hotels even offer all-inclusive resorts, so you can relax as everything is taken care of for you. 

When picking your perfect hotel, think about its security, location, and other amenities like free Wi-Fi, included meals, and guest reviews. While preferences vary, one thing’s non-negotiable, your safety. 

As a solo traveler, your safety and comfort are of the highest priority even if that means you have to pick the more expensive option. So don’t feel afraid to invest in a slightly higher budget to ensure that your accommodation prioritizes your safety and meets all of your other criteria. 

Trust me, despite how tempting it may be to go on the cheaper route, NEVER compromise on your safety. 

Budgeting for Your Trip:

Ahhhh, the dreaded B-word. Budgeting. 

When you’re planning a solo trip, every dollar and decision rests on your shoulders. While this can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be and we will break it down for you. 

Planning a solo trip budget
Planning a solo trip estimated budget

Planning a solo trip estimated budget:

  • Transportation (Flights, Local Transport, etc.): 30% 
  • Accommodations: 20%
  • Food and Drinks: 17%
  • Activities (Tours, Entrance Fees, Excursions, etc.): 15%
  • Souvenirs and Shopping: 6%
  • Emergency Fund: 5%
  • Travel Insurance: 4%
    • Cost can vary depending on coverage
  • Miscellaneous (SIM cards, Toiletries, etc.): 2%

Especially during your first solo trip, try to use the pie chart above to help your budget during your first trip. 

The majority of your budget will most likely go to your accommodation and transportation. Again, never compromise on your safety, and allow yourself to spend more on a secure accommodation and transportation system so you can have a safe trip. 

Budgeting Tips for Solo Travelers:

  • Book Those Flights Early: Airline prices can skyrocket near your travel dates. So it’s always best to secure your airlines around 100-90 days before your trip. 
  • Food Funds: Set a daily budget for your meals. Whether you enjoy street food or fine dining; knowing your budget can help keep your food expenses in check.
    •  Plus, a great way to save money is to skip out or make breakfast at home, pack a lunch to go, and splurge on a nice meal in that cool place everyone is talking about. 
  • Shop and Compare for Deals: Don’t jump on the first price package that you see, do a little research and compare the prices. 
  • Plan Activities: Personally for me, I spend a significant amount of money on activities that are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Whether this is an activity that I do at my own pace or with a group tour, I allocate a higher budget on these solo adventures. 
  • Especially if you know you will never visit that city again, then it‘s worth saving up so you can enjoy yourself without having any regrets on your trips! 
  • Balance between Saving and Splurging: Sometimes it’s okay to treat yourself, especially on things you enjoy. 

In the end, traveling solo means your wallet and your choices. But with a little planning, you can splurge or save as much as you want!

Do Right Before Your Trip:

Get Travelers Insurance:

Travel Insurance coverage questions to ask yourself

Have you ever lost your luggage, missed a flight, or had a last-minute trip interruption? These are all common travel issues, however, when you travel alone, these minor problems may feel like the end of the world. 

Or worse, you are traveling alone in another country and have a medical emergency and you don’t know what to do. 

This is why getting one of these best solo traveler’s insurance is essential during any domestic or international trip. 

I never travel to a foreign country without having all of these international travel essentials, and you shouldn’t either. As it helps provide tremendous peace of mind and security when you need it the most.  

While we can’t prevent accidents when traveling, you can prepare for them. So trust me, and get travel insurance so you can sleep better at night. 

Understand Common Threats:

Before you travel anywhere, it’s always best to know the best scams and potential threats in the local area. 

From the “broken taxi meter” scam to unsolicited tour offers, each destination has its share of threats. 

It’s sad to say (but it’s a harsh reality), that other people may see a solo traveler as an easy target. 

But you’re not. 

You’re a smart and confident traveler, and by quickly searching up these common travel scams, you can easily spot these schemes and protect yourself. 

Before your solo trip, register with the STEP Program offered by the U.S. Department of State. By quickly registering online, you can stay informed about safety conditions in your destination country. It will also help the U.S. Embassy contact you in case of an emergency, whether a family emergency, natural disaster, or civil unrest.

During Your Trip:

Safety While Traveling:

Solo Travel Safety Tips- Know during your trip
Solo Travel Safety Tips- Know during your trip

During your solo trip, it’s essential to know these best safety solo travel tips, so you can prioritize your safety at all times. 

You can share important travel documents and your itinerary with close friends or family so they can do daily check-ins with you. 

Ladies, a little extra caution doesn’t hurt. Stay alert, especially during night outs, and always trust your instincts. If something feels off, it probably is.

And when in doubt, always prioritize your safety over politeness.

Other essential tips- Never put all your money or important documents in one place. Instead, put important documents and money in different bags and areas so you don’t lose all of your items at one time. 

Solo Trip Must-dos:

During your trip, this is the time to explore and allow yourself to do whatever your heart desires! 

Try that new spontaneous adventure, or eat out at that famous rooftop bar. 

Dive headfirst into the local culture and pick up a couple of phrases. As you travel alone, don’t feel afraid to make new friends and try something you have never done before. 

Now is the time to take a dive into exploring yourself and discover new parts of the world.   

Facing Challenges:

As you’re planning your first solo trip, or as you’re on a solo trip right now, understand that you will face challenges. Whether it’s a missed bus or navigating outside of your comfort zone, face these challenges head-on. 

But remember, every challenge is a story in the making.

And if you feel like you have an obstacle that you cannot overcome, then call your family members back home or ask a stranger for help! 

Conclusion: 

Overall, when you’re planning a solo trip, choose a destination that calls to your heart and pick safe accommodations that match your travel style. 

While sticking to a budget is great, try to splurge on the things that matter most to you (that’s why you’re on vacation anyway). 

Always do your due diligence, know common threats and insure yourself while on vacation.  

Again, if you ever feel overwhelmed by planning your first solo trip, then try booking one of these best travel groups for women for a hassle-free trip.

Cheers to the solo trips ahead! 

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