My first solo trip was in 2018 to Thessaloniki. To say I was nervous would be an understatement! I had no idea what to expect but I went anyway, knowing it was time to take the plunge. Since then I have done three more solo trips and I feel like I’ve gotten into a nice groove with it! So now I feel it’s a good time to share some of my top tips for taking your first solo trip.
1. Change your Perspective
You’re probably already doing a lot of things alone where you live. Think about it, you might go to the cinema alone, grocery shopping, even go to restaurants/cafes by yourself. Solo travelling isn’t that much different when you put it in perspective! You just need to apply the same attitude to solo travel.
If you’ve never done anything alone, a great way to prepare for solo travel is to start! Go grab lunch by yourself or go exploring near where you live solo!
2. Research Before Your Trip
It’s super helpful to know the basics of where you are visiting. Entry requirements, any cultural norms, current news on the city, the currency, and so on. When you know what you’re doing and where you’re going, you’re WAY more confident. When you look confident people are less likely to try to take advantage of you!
Read my post on Preparing for your First Solo Trip for some tips to help you prepare!
3. Keep it Short
Another one of the great tips for taking your first solo trip is to simply, keep it short. My first solo jaunt was a 3 day trip and I would fully recommend a similar amount of time for a first timer. It’s enough time to see the city, you feel less nervous because you’ll be back home soon and also get your feet wet with solo travel in a comfortable way.
4. Try to Blend In
I know you want to wear the brightest colours for your Instagram pictures. BUT, travelling solo isn’t quite the time to do that, for safety reasons. You want to try to blend in with the locals as much as you can. So aim not to pack any super bright coloured or culturally inappropriate clothing. Obviously, if you’re a person of colour there’s only so much blending you can do but toned down outfits could help with drawing less attention to yourself.
I mean, this one is definitely left to you to decide but I would advise it.
5. Join Group Tours
One of the best ways to meet people when travelling solo is through group tours. On city breaks, a free walking tour or even a group cooking class can be a great way to start your trip. Then you could end up making friends with some people from the group and hang out with them during your trip! That’s the way I’ve met people when I’ve travelled solo.
6. Have Backups
One of the biggest tips for taking your first solo trip is to have backups! Keep the address to your hotel/accommodation somewhere with you, in case your phone dies or you get lost. Take extra money in your luggage or carry it with you as a buffer. The back of your phone (if it’s a solid case) is one place I’ve used to hide money.
Save a list of contact details such as your bank, emergency contacts, a copy of your passport and any visas you need for travel in your email. Take a copy of your passport and/or visa with you.
7. Stay Central
Where you stay while travelling solo is pretty important and staying in a central enough location is even more important! When choosing, read reviews and see what multiple guests have said about the place, check what the public transportation is?
Staying central is great because you don’t have to think about last buses/trains or getting stuck and if you do get lost, it’ll be easier to ask for directions.
8. Stay Safe
For some reason, we tend to drop our guard when we’re travelling and we do things we normally wouldn’t do at home. So when that happens, just ask yourself, “What would I do at home?”.
Be cautious of what information you share with people and don’t leave your valuables with strangers. Don’t immediately announce to people that you’re solo. If I’m ever in an uncomfortable situation, I just say I’m with my husband and he’s on his way to meet me lol. Feel free to steal that. Essentially, don’t be too trusting!
If you happen to meet someone cute on your solo trip, still be cautious and take your time! If you go on a date, take your things with you to the bathroom and don’t let them buy you a drink when you’re not there and don’t leave it with them alone. You need to stay alert.
There you have it, my 9 top tips for taking your first solo trip! Travelling solo is one of the most nerve wrecking but amazing decision that I’ve ever made! I hope you feel inspired and these tips help you actually take the plunge!
Are you considering solo travel for the first time? Share your fears or whatever’s on your mind in the comments. If you’ve already done solo travel, share your experience in the comments too! If you’ve found this helpful, please share to hopefully help other people!
Until next time,
Enjoy solo Travel!