Shared travel experiences can be fantastic, but solo travel is an entirely different beast. It can be exhilarating, liberating and eye-opening, helping you learn more about yourself and see the world in a whole new way.
But solo travel can also push you far outside of your comfort zone. It can be daunting, and cause plenty of pre-trip jitters and anxieties.
Luckily, we’re here to soothe your nerves and help you plan a safe, fun solo adventure that’s everything you want it to be. Here are our top tips for fabulous travel experiences for one:
Know yourself before you go
Solo travel isn’t for everyone, and some people are filled with fear at the thought of being thrown in right at the deep end. But with a little self-awareness, you can tailor your trip to your strengths.
For example, extroverts who love socialising should pick destinations where they speak the language, so they can make lots of new friends. Travellers who want to broaden their horizons – without massively pushing the barriers of their comfort zone – can plan ahead and add a few guided ‘adventurous’ experiences to their itinerary.
Research and planning is key
Unless you’re an utterly fearless traveller who loves to keep things completely spontaneous, planning and research can be crucial to a great solo adventure. Think about what you want from your trip, and then you can work out the best way to get it.
Advance planning can also help soothe any pre-travel worries, as you’ll have an idea of what to expect. But don’t do too much homework – you don’t want to ruin the surprise!
Take sensible precautions
It’s not the most thrilling part of travel, but safety is one of the most important as a solo traveller. Sensible steps to take:
- Saving local emergency numbers in your phone
- Downloading location-sharing apps
- Knowing how to ask for help in the local language
- Packing a first aid kit
- Getting comprehensive travel insurance.
Prepare for the worst, and you won’t have to worry about things going wrong. You can just relax and enjoy the experience, with the peace of mind and confidence that you’re covered if something happens.
Stick to recommended accommodation and guides
If you’re new to a destination, it’s a good idea to stay in recommended hotels, hostels or campsites. This is a particularly smart move if you’re planning to stay in shared accommodation, which is great for meeting people. The same goes for taking tours and excursions – stick to the official providers at least at first and you’ll be guaranteed a safe, enjoyable experience.
We’ve talked above tips to keep you safe as a solo traveller, and have a trip that meets your expectations. But don’t forget about the one biggest advantage of solo travel – unadulterated freedom. You can go anywhere and do anything, basking in the sheer joy of having the whole world as your playground.
So, make sure you don’t lose this sense of freedom in endless lists, itineraries and pre-travel precautions. Mix things up a little, change your plans if you want to, and live in the moment.