Tips for Planning Your First Solo Trip

Traveling alone has its perks. From the freedom to make your own schedule to the option to prioritize the sights and activities that interest you the most, the best thing about a solo trip is that it can be anything you want it to be. Whether you like having a detailed itinerary or you prefer to leave some things up to chance, if you’re a woman traveling alone, it’s always smart to plan ahead and make sure you’re prepared for anything. If you’re planning your first solo trip, here are our best tips for traveling alone as a woman.

Choose your destination wisely

Choosing where you want to go is the first step towards taking the solo vacay of your dreams. You’ll want to consider your budget, the time of year you’re going and, of course, how you prefer to spend your time. Want to chill out and relax? An all-inclusive beach resort is right up your alley. Looking to experience something new? Backpacking through Europe or a cross-country road trip will come with plenty of opportunities to step outside your comfort zone.

Once you’ve decided where to go and when, the next step is to decide how to get there and where you’re going to stay. If you’re flying, check out Skyscanner and Hopper to find deals on flights. The great thing about traveling alone is that you can make quick decisions about departure times and jump at the best deals without having to discuss it with anyone else. 

For accommodations, browse Airbnb and Vrbo for a more authentic experience, Booking.com and Kayak.com for a traditional hotel, or Hostelworld for private and dorm-room-style hostels. Once you’ve decided where to go and have the basics covered, you can start researching the area and get a better understanding of what you’ll need to do next.     

Plan your itinerary

Since you’re the sole decision maker, your itinerary can be anything you want it to be. Even if you’d rather go with the flow, there are still a few ways to make sure you’re maximizing your time. Here are a few things to consider:

-If you’re going to a popular tourist city, many tourist attractions can have long lines or sell out early. Book ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
-How are you going to get around? Research how walkable the area is, the public transportation system, and find out if Uber or taxis are available.
-Google Maps allows you to download maps that can be used offline, so you don’t have to worry about missing anything because of a weak signal. You can also star and save locations on downloaded maps.
-Signing up for a walking tour within the first couple days can help you get oriented in a new place and you might meet other solo travelers.
-If you like being super organized, the Wanderlog app can help you keep all your travel plans in one place.
-Always remember to pack a bag with a reusable water bottle and a few snacks. 

      Pack strategically

      One of the most important tips for traveling alone is making a conscious effort to pack light. Keeping track of a bunch of different bags can be overwhelming when you’re on your own. Not to mention, there’s no one to watch your stuff while you use the washroom or stop for a coffee. If you’re planning to use public transportation, you also want to be able to keep all your bags close.

      Two pieces of luggage on boardwalk                             

      If you’re flying, sticking to just a carry-on luggage can help cut costs, and you’ll spend less time in the airport if you don’t have to worry about checking and collecting your bags. Packing cubes, dedicated toiletry bags and travel organizers are a great way to pack as efficiently as possible and stay organized on the go.

      Rolling luggage is usually a no-brainer but if you’re really determined, it’s possible to pack for a seven-day trip in a single backpack

      Meet new people along the way

      Just because you’re traveling solo doesn’t mean you have to keep to yourself the whole time. Joining a walking tour can be a natural way to be social and meet other travelers. Or browse Airbnb’s Experiences feature and sign up for excursions and activities run by locals.

      If you’re a foodie, look for local food tours or connect with a group on Meetup to find out about restaurants or bars that are more off the beaten path. Apps like Eatwith or BonAppetour are two more options to find the authentic, local food experiences you’re craving.

      Put safety first

      No matter where you’re going on your solo trip, remember to always share your plans with people back home and keep in touch along the way. Check in often either by text, email, or an international travel-friendly app like WhatsApp. Daily check-ins are also the perfect opportunity to send some photos from your adventures — because you know everyone back home will be wondering what you’re up to!

      You’ll also want to keep close tabs on your passport and wallet to make sure they’re secure when you’re out and about. Use a bag or wallet with zippered pockets for peace of mind. Luggage locks can also come in handy if you’re staying in a hostel. The key to a safe holiday is all about being prepared, so do your research and get ready to have a great time! 

      Traveling alone has its pros and cons but with a little planning, your next solo trip could be one of your most memorable adventures yet.       

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