What to consider when planning for solo travel

Traveling alone, especially for the first time, gives you the opportunity to do what you desire to accomplish, without being on any other schedule besides your own. Plans are set solely to provide you with where you would like to go, what you want to see and how you want to feel. Solo travel is an experience of empowerment and reward, but requires more attention than any other type of travel.

Here are some tips to consider when planning for solo travel.

Setting a budget

Establishing a financial plan is essential in determining what you will be able to afford during your solo excursion. You can run out of money pretty quickly if you’re not careful about your spending and saving habits. If you have specific plans in mind and places you must experience, ensure your current budget aligns with its affordability. Search for cheaper accommodations in the areas that you are traveling to, or even take out a personal loan to assist you with the strict budget you may have to follow. The more organized you are with your expenses, the less stress you’ll feel when planning ahead of time.

Researching your locations

As much as traveling to a new place can evoke a whirlwind of exciting emotions, it can be quite a culture shock at the same time. Being surrounded by new languages, currencies, food and people are changes that can take some time to adjust to before feeling comfortable with the lifestyle. After determining the locations you want to visit, take the time to research the specific details, so that you’re confident in navigating the area and interacting with the locals.

Packing light

Packing only what you need can be difficult, but as a solo traveler, it will be totally worth it. Yes, having a variety of outfits to choose from is nice, but when it comes to lugging your belongings around with you, heavy cargo is not something that you’ll want to deal with. Reduce the temptation to over pack by limiting yourself to a small carry-on bag or backpack instead of wheeled-luggage. Focus on neutral colored clothing staples that you know you’ll need. This way, you can mix and match your clothing to create more outfit options throughout your travels. If you’re worried about everything fitting into one bag, pack your apparel appropriately to take up less space.

Your safety

While exploring new places, it is critical to stay aware of your surroundings, particularly if you don’t have a travel buddy. Trust your instinct, and if you feel as though you’re lacking confidence in someone who you’re communicating with, leave the situation. As a precaution, leave a list of emergency contacts with a close family member in case someone needs to get a hold of you. It is inevitable that a relative or family member will want a check-in from time to time or on the daily, so whenever you are staying in a hotel, going to a new place or meeting up with friends for a night out, let them know, so that a reliable person knows where you are in case of an emergency.

Establishing a source of communication

Your cell phone can be affected from one place to another due to data restrictions, internet and messaging. To prepare, download a texting app that is compatible in every country. Other than to post beautiful photos from your travels, take advantage of social media direct messaging to communicate with others too. It is essential to talk with your cell phone provider before leaving to clarify any questions you have about your phone usage and plan. That way, you won’t run into the risk of a mobile device mishap while you’re away from home.

Meeting new people

While immersing yourself in a culture other than your own, interacting with the locals is an essential activity you don’t want to miss out on. Learning from others not only helps you adapt to a new lifestyle, but results in self-growth as well. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to stay curious about person’s way of life. Isolating yourself will only take away from the countless opportunities you’ll encounter through acquiring knowledge about someone else’s culture.

Getting in your own photos

Before globetrotting, you may be thinking about your photography techniques and how to best capture an incredible moment. Often times, solo travelers take images of sites they see, the food they eat and the people they meet, but forget to include themselves in picture. The great news is that there are a variety of ways to handle this situation. Ask people to take photos of you, use a selfie stick, or the timer feature on your smartphone. Remember, only a small percentage of a photo comes from how it’s taken, so utilize editing apps and software’s to increase its aesthetic as well as to finalize an eye-catching photograph.

We hope these tips can help you prepare better for your solo travel.

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  • sunlight4

    Hi I am introducing myself as Claire. I am a single female over 40 years of age who travels solo at times on my holidays and in my work. I feel your article is useful, especially in giving advice about safety. I personally do not bring my telephone with me, but I always know where I can make a call, such as a hotel or hostel reception or an internet cafe and friendly locals have offered me their phone on a number of times. I would not go out to an isolated area on my own without technology. I feel when travel alone its up to you. I tend to get more attention and have had invitations to family homes, VIP areas and simply ‘drinking tea together’. If you respect the locals they will help you and show you the best places and after a trip I sometimes take a few new email addresses, in case I am their again or to network or it might be the case, that individual visits your city, town, village and may want to meet up. I met a traveller from Malta 13 years ago in Sousse in Tunisia, We still regularly communicate by email, thanks to technology and I also communicate with a Turkish resident whom I met five years ago in Bodrum in Turkey. I may not see them much, but I may be back their again who knows. When travelling alone you have to be organised and remember everything, Why I say this, is I have seen a group of travellers forget the address of their hotel abroad, no one thought to remember the area, or bring the holiday booking with them. They could not remember the name as a few had similar names such as hotel dreams, hotel dreamland, hotel dreamworld. They did remember a statue near the hotel and again it was a local who assisted them in their endeavours. If I have alcohol when travelling alone. I will naturally go to the bar with them to get a drink as do not want drink spiked, but so far ok. I have wandered abroad around festivals at 3am in the camping fields and felt quite safe indeed.

    • Girlswanderlust

      Hi Claire, thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us. We are happy to read that you have traveled solo several times on your holidays and in your work and that you have nice memories from it. We hope you will gain many more great solo travel experiences. Wishing you all the best!

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