Travelling as a whole seems like a dream. But when ample opportunities to go abroad arise, you consider taking a solo trip. However it can be daunting and stressful to plan if you’re never travelled alone.
It may feel daunting knowing that you’ll be solely by yourself in a foreign country and attempt to navigate your way around a particular location. However I find solo getaways very liberating and wholesome once I’m exploring a new destination.
If you’re thinking about taking a future solo trip in 2018 or in future years to come, here is some advice on how to prepare for the first journey abroad on your own.
Ask yourself if you are fully capable of travelling by yourself
I find that a lot of people want to take the plunge of going on a solo trip however anxiety, nerves and fear kicks in. Firstly, you have to be truly honest with yourself and question if you can really go abroad without a companion and if you’re comfortable in enjoying your own company.
Prior to going abroad, do things on your own, whether it’s going to the cinema, a spa weekend or visiting to another city in your home country. Building confidence in being on your own will definitely give you strength and a peace of mind whilst travelling abroad.
choose a destination close to home
I always recommend taking solo travel in baby steps. I wouldn’t encourage someone to travel somewhere so far flung as a first solo trip unless they really wanted to go.
Visiting a destination not far from home would be ideal as the travel duration is short, the likelihood of you meeting other travellers from your home country is quite high and you could quickly return home if you get cold feet during your trip.
If you live in the UK, consider locations in Portugal, France, Belgium or Germany as a first solo trip.
Keep the trip short
Your first solo trip doesn’t have to be a week or a month long. As your first getaway outside your home country alone, I would keep it short. A first solo trip can be an overnight stay, a weekender or a 3 to 5 day break. It’s all down to you and subject to the destination you decide to visit.
Keeping a first solo getaway brief could ease anxious thoughts with you knowing that you’ll be home in a few days rather than waiting another 5 or 10 days.
Consider staying in a hostel
You’ll be likely to meet and mingle with other solo travellers whilst staying in a hostel during your getaway alone.
Hostel properties abroad are not only affordable but they provide a great haven for socialising and getting to know different people with amazing backgrounds and experiences. You could end up spending the rest of your trip with a new friend you’ve met whilst staying in a hostel.
Think about your interests and hobbies
Engaging in your hobbies abroad would be a great way to calm nerves and even serve as an ice breaker when interacting with locals and fellow travellers.
Whether you like reading in a quiet corner in a coffee shop, taking a serene bike ride or simply walking around, you could easily do these things abroad in your own company.
If you love cooking, attend a traditional cooking class. You enjoy painting so wander around an art gallery. You like photography so uncover unbeaten paths and snap amazing spots. You adore shopping so head to the popular fashion districts and enjoy some retail therapy.
You could even discover new hobbies and activities to do on your own. This could include quad biking, snorkelling, scuba diving or wine tasting. I find that engaging in my interests abroad really helps me settle in a foreign destination and allows me to enjoy what I love doing in amazing settings.
Have your emergency contacts on standby
You’re never truly alone when you’re abroad by yourself if you have a smartphone or a tablet with you. It’s always good to check in with people back home, to hear their voices, see their messages and let them know that you’re doing okay.
It’s important to ensure that you have someone to contact in case an urgent situation arises that goes beyond your control. This could be your parents, siblings, friends or partners. Even with social media, you can still keep up to date with ongoing events at home whilst abroad so you are aware.
Do your destination research
I cannot stress this enough. It’s very important to research and know some details about any destination you decide to travel to by yourself.
There are some places in the world that are not solo travel friendly so it’s worth taking the time to ensure that the destination chosen is fairly easy to get around on your own.
Especially for women, please consider a location where you think that you would feel safe and secure to explore and roam around comfortably by yourself.
Solo travel isn’t for everyone but a lot of travellers including myself enjoy doing it so often as it brings fresh and amazing memories. If you wish to take a future trip abroad alone for the first time, don’t be afraid to embark on that journey. It can be a very fulfilling, liberating and enjoyable experience. A solo trip you won’t forget.