If you are finally convinced about the positive impact solo travel can have on you, it’s time to start planning your trip. Most of the planning is exactly the same as a trip with a friend. Though, there are a couple of extra things you should keep in mind.
For me, a trip starts when I booked it. So this is also when I start to plan the activities and hotels/hostels. As a solo traveler, you can add a couple extra layers for your own comfort and safety.
Do a bit of planning
This helps you to get the most out of your trip. You don’t want to be stuck at your hotel losing valuable time researching when that one museum opens.
Let people know where you are
Let friends or family know where you are. In case something goes wrong, a disaster happens, or you disappear, they know where you are. Of course, this is almost never necessary. But in the off chance something does go wrong, well… they’re informed.
During the trip
Dare to go out your comfort zone
You are traveling alone, so if you fail miserably at something no one will ever know! So go for it. Try something you never did before. Drink that one drink you always wanted to. Eat insects without your friends laughing at you gagging.
Talk to strangers
This is such an underrated activity. Talk to the bus or taxi driver and ask for tips about the city. Have a chat with the waiter of the restaurant you are eating at. Maybe even flirt with the reception personnel at the hotel.
Stay at a hostel (and make friends)
Take the ‘talking to strangers’ tip even further and get some in your room. No, you don’t have to invite them off the street. That would be weird. Just book a bed in a dorm at a hostel. Once there, you can start and talk to your roomies. You will discover how easy it is to bring someone to a trip you had planned or to grab dinner together.
Do whatever you like!
There is no one there to judge you. There is no friend who doesn’t want to do that one thing you like to do. So all options are on the table, for once. So pick the things you want to do and actually get to do them. Hooray!
Tell strangers you are meeting someone (and explain your lie if necessary)
Talking to strangers can always get you in an awkward situation. They want to hang out more or invite you to their place. And you never know what they are up to. So it’s okay to tell a (white) lie like: “I can’t, I’m meeting up with a friend.”
It’s better to explain your lie afterward if they do seem okay. You don’t want to get raped, murdered, or worse… expelled. Do you?
Do have a couple of extra tips for first-time solo travelers?