Your First Solo Trip
About to get on a plane solo. Exciting, right?
And a little terrifying too? Most people feel that niggling bit of trepidation when they set off on something new, and traveling to the other side of the world by yourself certainly qualifies as something new. Here are a few things I’ve learned after many months traveling solo.
Is there something local you’ve been wanting to do? Take yourself out to a restaurant or plan a weekend trip within a few hours drive. Get a feel for spending time with just your own company. After that success, consider going to a country with a well established tourism and transportation infrastructure and many English speakers. These are some easy ones:
Get your ducks in a row
- Email a copy of your passport and itinerary to a trusted person back home (thanks Mom!)
- Put a travel notification on your credit/ debit cards
- Consider taking a personal safety device. I like this noisemaker.
- Get travel insurance, at least for major medical, medical evacuation, and repatriation. This site compares your options.
Talk to strangers
This may sound counterintuitive, and I certainly don’t mean talk to that creepy guy on the street corner, but smile and say hello to the pleasant people who cross your path.
- Many major cities offer free walking tours
- Meetup offers every possible activity group under the sun
- Do the things you enjoy regularly – these places will be filled with people of a similar mindset
- Join a tour group for a day
Ask for help
If you’re lost, find a friendly face and ask for directions. Most people want to help.
Practice Camera Karma
You know when you walk by a family and the Dad’s the odd one out taking the family photo? Or the couple awkwardly trying to take a selfie because they both want to be in the shot? If you don’t want a thousand selfies on your trip say hi and offer to take their photo. They will reciprocate. Win win.
Cut yourself some slack
You will probably get on the wrong bus, overpay, or end up in the wrong city (or country!). It’s okay! It’s all part of the journey. You will find your way. It might just take a little longer than you anticipated.
Remember: You are stronger, smarter, and more capable than you ever imagined.
Any questions about traveling solo? Leave a comment! I’m happy to help.