Solo Travel: 10 Tips for Enjoying Your First Solo Trip
Updated: Jan 15
Solo travelling is one of my favourite things to do and I think everyone should try solo travelling even if it's just once, it's a great opportunity to get to know ourselves better. I was one of those people that was intimidate by the idea of travelling alone and never thought that I would do it since it was out of my comfort zone, until I was out in a situation where I had to do it. I met amazing people while travelling solo and had the best experiences and the memories are great. This is a great opportunity to see the world and have a good time and meet new people from different countries, you can do what you want whenever you want, you have full freedom which in my opinion is one of the best things.
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1. Plan Your Arrival
Plan your route from the airport to your accommodation before you land, meaning schedule your airport pickup. Make sure to arrive during the day! You do not want to be arriving at night for your first solo trip in a foreign country. You can easily be comfortable and gain your composure, arrange your transportation, and also stay safe during the day. So make sure that your flight arrives during the daytime.
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2. Plan Your First Few Days
For your first solo trip you will be thinking: Where do I even start? Where should I go? Who should I talk to? It will feel intimidating arriving in a foreign country all alone, so it is crucial to plan out your first few days. Make sure of course to book your accommodation prior to your trip, also arrange a few tours to go on, schedule your airport pickup, make sure to do plenty of research, and take the necessary steps to make things easy in the beginning for yourself.
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3. Free Walking Tour
Do a free walking tour on your first day to get oriented, learn about the culture, and meet people. When I was in Prague I did a free walking tour and it was great, I enjoyed it and met a lot of people and also made friends that I hung out with for a few days, and I did another tour with a local guide and became friends with her. So the best way to meet people and make new friends is by going on a walking tour, and it is also a great way to familiarise yourself with the city your are visiting.
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4. Utilise Technology
When you travel solo then you have to fully rely on yourself, but it doesn't have to be hard because you have a lot of technology to rely on. There is nothing wrong in pulling out your phone when necessary! Using apps like Google Maps to look for direction, using Google Translate to understand signs or communicate with others, and many others great apps. You will save a lot of time for yourself by taking advantage of these apps and resources, and they will make your trip easy and reduces stress.
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5. Do Your Research
It is a must to do your research prior to your trip, make sure to know everything there is to know about the country you are visiting to not get overwhelmed when arriving. Doing your research will also make you feel prepared and have an idea about what to expect. Here are some of the things you should research prior to your trip:
Visa requirements and necessary documents
Vaccinations if needed
How to get from the airport to your accommodation and vice versa
How to move around the place you are going to meaning transportation
What to wear depending on the country and what's appropriate
Best and safest neighbourhoods to stay in
Local common scams
What to know when you arrive
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6. Try New Things
Try new things, even if you aren't sure you'll like them but make sure to stay safe. I did a lot of spontaneous activities because I would meet people during a trip and we just come up with things we want to do at the moment. It turns out great and I always enjoy it. So don't be scared and try new things because you probably will enjoy them in the end, but make sure that you are comfortable and safe!
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7. Keep a Balance
Plan your trip but be spontaneous, have tours booked or tickets to specific sites, but have some free time where you can do whatever you want, and also it is great to have free time for when you meet people because you can join them as well. I know you will probably feel like you wan to do everything for this newfound freedom, and you will book a lot of things, but you need to have free time. Plan out your 'must do' activities and leave time for spontaneous ones. Give your self a chance to take it all in.
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This is really important, you can't just walk around looking worried or scared or even uncomfortable, you also can't be always looking at your phone. You need to SMILE! This will help you meet people and make friends., but of course you don't want to do anything that is outside of your comfort zone. You will feel at moments that you are scared or uncomfortable but that is normal, and also not everything will go according to plan, but that's fine trust me I know that because I've been there. Make sure to enjoy every moment.
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9. Do Your Own Thing
There is actually no right or wrong when it comes to travelling solo, so do what you want! This is your trip and you get to choose what to do and when to do it. Do not compare yourself to others, and I know it will be hard to do because of social media, but just don't. Create a checklist with the things you want to do, enjoy the freedom you have, discover new places, meet new people, and enjoy every minute of it. You can even discard the list of things you want to do and do something else if you feel like it, this is YOUR trip.
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10. Let Go of Expectations
Don't have expectations for how your trip will look like because you can never know, I've had trips that were ruined and my plans were canceled, but then I ended up meeting people and hanging with them and having these trips being the best and most enjoyable ones. You don't know what's going to happen and don't think about it or worry, just go with the flow, and everything will work out fine in the end, and you will love it. Remember to STAY POSITIVE!
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