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4 tips for planning your first solo travel

Let's tackle your fear of being alone together!

By The Simple TravelPublished about a month ago 5 min read
4 tips for planning your first solo travel
Photo by Bluewater Sweden on Unsplash

So, you want to start travelling more, but your PTO or break from college is not compatible with the schedules of your friends, partner or relatives. If that's your situation, you might consider to go alone.

Like everything in life, there is always a first time for solo travelling, too, and it might not be the easiest: where do you go? How do you keep safe? Will it be lonely?

To answer these and other doubts, here are some tips to plan your first solo travel:

1. Choose a destination within your country or in a country where you speak the local language.

Since it is your first time alone, you might have some concerns about how to navigate difficult situations on your own. However, doing so in your own country or in a place where you can express yourself without many language barriers can help ease this overwhelming feeling.

On social media, solo travellers are often depicted as very adventurous people who visit countries that have nothing to do with their own ones, but you have to consider that they're also experienced travellers.

Therefore, as a first-time solo traveller, it's important to understand that this trip is going to be your chapter 1 and their content is probably their chapter 60, so it's completely fine to start small and play it safe.

2. Visit a city.

Speaking of playing it safe, why would you want to go in the middle of nowhere for your first solo travel?

Not only it is not recommended for activities like mountaineering, but it might not help calm down your safety concerns. In a city, you have public transports and Uber as well as more accessible hospitals in case of any emergency.

Moreover, it can also be of greater help if it's your very first time planning a trip in the first place, as it's easier to find a more diverse range of accommodation types as well as guided tours and activities.

3. Set your intentions and boundaries.

Once you've chosen your destination, selecting what to do during your vacation can be quite overwhelming.

Which is why I recommend setting your intentions and your boundaries.

By "intentions" I mean the particular aspects of your destination that you want to focus on: do you want to taste local dishes? Do you want to visit museums? Do you want to attend a particular event?

By asking yourself these questions, you will be able to narrow down the list of the possible activities, thus simplifying the planning process.

The other side of this process is boundary setting. By "boundaries" I mean a list of things that you will commit to in order to protect yourself. This may vary according to your personality and your perception of danger.

For example, my boundaries include staying sober for the whole trip, avoiding dating and hook-ups, and avoiding drunk people while alone at night. Therefore, I end up excluding clubbing, any activity related to alcohol or the "night life" in the traditional sense from my plans.

Whatever your boundaries may be, it is important that you fully commit to them, regardless of the situation. Sometimes, you might find yourself being pressured to make exceptions, but it's important not to give in. It's better to stay safe and maybe missing out on certain things than ending up stuck in a dangerous situation or in a situation where you do not feel at ease.

The not-so-nice part is, indeed, that setting these boundaries does not always come easy, and sometimes it could make you seem less likeable, however in these cases prioritizing your comfort should be your main concern. If you have any doubts on them, you will have plenty of time to discuss this with a therapist or a trusted person at the end of the trip.

While on vacation, try to accept your sensitivity as it is in the moment instead. If there's anything that you feel like changing or fixing, at most take note for when you're back home, but do not force that upon you during such a delicate time.

4. Pack a luggage that you can carry by yourself.

This does not necessarily mean that you have to pack lightly, but you have to pack a luggage that you will capable of carrying by yourself in any situation.

If you do not drive to your destination, chances are that you will either find a fellow passenger or a crew member willing to help you, but you might have to take a connecting flight, train, or bus, and in that case it could not be as easy to find someone to help you, and it would not be safe to ask a random stranger for help. Sometimes, you may even have to run with your suitcase or backpack in order not to miss your connection.

Therefore, packing smart is key to make sure that you do not end up being slowed down too much or even seriously hurting your back and arms while moving around.

If you have enough time ahead, I would also recommend training to enhance your strength and endurance so that you can protect your muscles.

Despite training, the key factor in this regard is still the type of luggage that you chose, and if you haven't travelled a lot before, it's likely that it is going to give you some issues even if you pack it smart. Indeed, finding the perfect luggage is a matter of trial and error and requires a lot of experience in a variety of situations, which you might not really gain solely from your first solo trip. I am not an exception - I still get my legs bruised from my sports bag bumping onto them, and I still have to find the perfect backpack to fit in everything that I want. We're going to figure it out as we go, I promise!

The bottom line: all about comfort

At the end of the day, planning your first solo trip is not hard, but there are extra steps to make it less overwhelming. Solo travelling is great, but it is completely valid if the idea of it makes you anxious. After all, it's a new experience and every novelty comes with some degree of discomfort.

What you can do, in this case, is make sure that being alone is your only source of discomfort, by tackling the parts of the planning process that you can control: your luggage, knowing what you want and what you don't want to do, choosing a place that still has some familiarity and where you can find any kind of help quickly and conveniently.

Once you've clarified these details, I can guarantee you that your plan will start making more and more sense and you will feel way more relaxed than you would have expected. You got this!

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About the Creator

The Simple Travel

Hi everyone, I'm Simona and this is my travel blog where you will find some tips and opinions about:

💰 Travelling on a budget

💻 Balancing travelling with a 9-to-5 job

🗺️ Solo travelling


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