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I love solo travel, I love travelling alone and the idea of going to a destination with just myself is like second nature to me, I never question it.
If I want to go somewhere, 9 times out of 10 I’ll book it alone, occasionally I’ll ask a friend if they want to come or after I’ve booked it I’ll ask a friend, but to be honest my friends are all so busy with their lives and their travels that they often aren’t available to go away with me. The quote ‘I was never going to go if I waited for someone to come with me’ rung true to me in 2010 and still does.
Solo travel is my primary way of travel and always has been.
It’s something I just do. I’m good at it, I enjoy it and although I know this is not the case for some people I tend to struggle to give tips on how to travel solo because I just.. do it!
However, something I have been thinking about recently is that there is lots of advice online with solo travel tips- how to make friends when travelling solo, tips on how to stay safe as a solo traveller for example but what about before you even go on your trip, what about the issues that are faced when trying to plan a solo trip so that’s what I’m going to talk about in this post!
Tips for Planning Your First Solo Trip
Planning a trip as a solo traveller is very different from planning a trip with friends, family or a partner.
When you travel alone, all decisions fall on YOU. YOU have to decide everything!
Firstly you need to make the decision to actually go, stick to it, hold yourself accountable. Then you need to decide the best places to travel alone, where to go, when to go and that’s just the big decisions.
There are many other decisions like what day to fly, what time, how much to pay, who to fly with, what accommodation to stay at, where to visit first, second, third etc.
Planning a trip takes A LOT of decision making and when you travel solo, you have to make EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE DECISIONS!
It can get quite overwhelming I’m not going to lie, but it’s also so freeing and empowering!
I had a think about the ways in which you need to plan, prepare and book a solo trip before actually going on it, some issues that may come up, and ways around these solo travel problems, so here are my solo travel tips for planning your solo trip so you actually go on it!
Holding Yourself Accountable.
I think this is the biggest negative side about deciding to travel solo because if you want to go on a trip but are quite nervous or have other things going on in your life it’s easy to back out. It’s easy to do some research into solo travel destinations, look into options, maybe tell your parents or some friends and then never get around to booking it, leaving your job or even just handing in your annual leave form depending on how long the trip is.
When you’re planning a trip with someone else you have each other to speak to, someone to get excited about it with. I think you’ll be more likely to go ahead and book flights without too many thoughts beforehand and you can hold each other accountable to save enough money and make sure you go.
My best solo travel advice to help you book a trip is to tell people you are going, get them to hold you accountable even if they are not coming with you. If you keep it to yourself it’s much easier to back out!
Where Do YOU Really Want To Go?
Now you’ve decided you want to go travelling or go on holiday by yourself. Where should you go?
The best thing about solo travel is you can do whatever you want and go wherever you want. You have no one else opinions or dreams to worry about. Only yours! When you tap into this feeling it’s such a freeing and empowering feeling!
I’d recommend searching online- Blog Posts, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and see what destination make you feel giddy with excitement? Where has been on your bucket list for years. Write it down.
Use these places as ideas and inspiration to decide where to go.
If you want to go somewhere but think its unattainable as it’s too expensive, not a good place to travel alone or not safe for solo travellers, don’t take this thought as fact. Do more research, you’ll be surprised how many places can be visited on a budget and just how many places are perfectly safe for solo travellers and female solo travellers.
I like to talk about the cost of travel and you can read my budget travel posts here!
I also post lots of YouTube videos to get your Wanderlust going!
Drown Out The Noise.
Depending on your life situation you may have people around you who suggest that you don’t go travelling, maybe your parents think it’s irresponsible to quit your job to backpack or if you’re a women think it’s not safe for women to travel alone. Maybe your friends think it’s weird that you’d go on a City break alone, maybe your boyfriend or girlfriend isn’t a fan of the idea of you going on holiday for a week without them.
Block that out!
Booking a trip with a friend or partner brings a lot fewer opinions I think because there’s two or more of you. I feel like parents are less likely to question going away with friends or a partner over going away solo whether it’s due to safety which likely isn’t valid or due to thinking it’s not sensible.
My advice here is to connect to people around you or online who have travelled. If you’re looking online there are so many Facebook groups you can join to ask advice in. If you’re going to South East Asia – South East Asia Backpackers is a great group.
Look Into a Tour.
Solo travel doesn’t mean that you have to travel on your own completely. Tours are a great idea for those who want to visit somewhere but don’t have time to plan the trip or don’t want to, people who want to see a lot in a smaller amount of time and travel with pre-made friends as a solo travel group.
I’ve done a few organised tours and I’ve loved all of them! I’ve travelled with Travel Talk Tours who are great for European Trips with a more budget focus. Contiki is great for offering high-quality trips all over the world and most recently I travelled with The Dragon Trip around China and they also offer tours to other places in Asia.
If you have 2 weeks annual leave you could do a week on a tour and a week on your own. If you’re starting a backpacking trip for a few months you could start on a tour and then carry on your own having met some people and got a feel for travel in the area of the world you’re in.
I also run tours, they are in India right now but I am expanding the locations so check my tours page out here for what tours are on sale!
Ask a Travel Expert, like me, for Help and Guidance
I hope this post helps you feel more confident about solo travel BEFORE actually going on a trip because like I said at the start I think it’s an important side of solo travel that isn’t spoken about as much.
In addition to my above points, I also want to add that I have a travelling planning and advice service that I run. If you have questions or worries about travel and solo travel specifically you can speak to me directly over the phone, email or WhatsApp for £20.00 per session and I can be the person to hold you accountable, to help you decide where to travel to based on the time of year and what you want out of the trip.
I can fill you with encouragement, help you look into alternative ways to travel on your own, give you my best travel tips and keep you accountable too. Email me on email@example.com to book in a spot.
- Other posts of mine you may like are:
- My Tip’s on Staying in Hostels if You’re an Introvert and Solo Traveller!
- Why You Travel More When You’re Single!