how-to-plan-a-trip-tips

Are you looking to cross “traveling alone” off your bucket list? Solo travel has many benefits. You have plenty of alone time to explore, visit new places, and learn about different cultures. When you finally decide to take that step, it’s okay to get nervous and feel discomfort at first, especially if it is your first solo trip. Luckily, here are 10 tips to boost your travel confidence.


Plan Out Your Trip in Advance

Take some time and reflect on the reasons why you want to go on a solo trip. Before choosing a destination, do your homework about the most visited places and what you want to see. Pick a destination that is easy to explore on your own.

Research the traditions, languages spoken, and sceneries in different places before making a choice.

Choosing the right place to visit is key. Your destination should be tourist-friendly, easy to navigate, and with people speaking a language you understand. It is also important to familiarize yourself with the laws of the destination you’ll be traveling to and the weather conditions.


Pack the Essentials

The less you pack when traveling alone, the better it will be for you. Without someone else helping to watch over your stuff, it will be difficult to keep an eye on everything, so only pack what you need. While at it, consider the activities you’re going to take and the length of your stay.

Adopt a minimalist mindset to help you stick to the essentials. If you don’t need expensive tech during the trip, leave it at home.

Bags with many compartments come in handy to keep your stuff organized, making it easy to find everything.


Be Deliberate About Your Safety

In a foreign land, your safety should be the number one concern. Take time to study the place and prioritize safe transport routes, accommodations, and neighborhoods. Don’t agree to share accommodation with strangers.

If possible, get a room on the lowest floor level or one that is close to the hotel lobby. After checking in, keep your hotel room closed at all times and only open for hotel staff.

Remember to check your surroundings, especially when leaving the hotel.


Embrace Technology

Tech gadgets can help you connect with the embassy, hotel, and people at home in case something happens. Ensure you download offline maps whenever you have access to the internet. Get an electronic SIM card online or a local one at the airport upon arrival.

Connect to the internet and download apps that will help you in your journey, like navigation maps and Google Translate. Remember to take as many pictures as you can on your trip; you’ll need the memories.

Photos will keep your experience alive after you return home from your journey.


Leave Someone You Trust a Copy of Your Itinerary

Before embarking on a solo trip, create an itinerary laying out all the activities you’ll do on each day in detail.

Remember to send a copy of it to a friend you trust back home so that you have someone keeping tabs on your every move at all times. For U.S. citizens, it is important to sign up on the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) before embarking on a trip.

It’s a system to communicate with the Department of State if an emergency arises.


Avoid Reckless Behavior

When you’re on a trip, you want to make the most of it. However, this should not be at the expense of your safety. Avoid partying late into the night, binge drinking, and walking alone when it’s dark.

If you decide to drink, always keep the beverages in plain sight and pay close attention to everyone around you.

Do not break any laws; some might have serious consequences, such as deportation and barring from future entry.


Keep Your Important Documents and Valuables Safe and Secure

Your freedom of movement depends on documents such as a passport or permits, which are also your gate pass back home. To avoid getting stranded, keep all your important documents secure. Make copies and store them separately from the original ones. Take only copies when leaving the hotel to minimize the risk of losing the original documents. Consider making digital copies and uploading them to the cloud as well.


Create a Backup Plan

Things don’t always go according to plan. Having something to fall back on is a great way to deal with disappointments that pop up along the way, like canceled reservations or a lost credit card.

Remember, traveling alone means that you can only rely on yourself in the event things go haywire. A backup plan doesn’t necessarily mean planning for an entire trip.

It could mean brainstorming ideas of what to do in case a situation like a lost passport comes up.


Make a List of Emergency Contacts

You should have a list of emergency contacts readily accessible for unprecedented situations. It should include the numbers of your next of kin back home, best friends, and other pertinent phone numbers as you deem fit.

The list can also include hotlines of your insurance company in case you fall sick, are hurt, hospitalized, or lose your possessions.

Before traveling, find nearby hospitals and offices you may need help from so that you have an idea of where to run to when necessary.

In case you need someone’s contact details, use Nuwber, a people search website that gives access to people’s phone numbers and email addresses.


Go with Your Gut

Whenever you are in a new environment, it may be hard to distinguish between an innocent scare and imminent danger.

Instincts send signs to the body like chills down your spine as a natural way to steer you away from danger.

Although the signals are different for everyone, they work the same way and could be a lifesaver. When a situation doesn’t sit right with you, it’s probably a good idea to avoid it.


Conclusion

When traveling solo, some things might not go as planned, and you will be stranded. However, the fear of traveling alone should not make you stay at home either.

Most tourists describe their first solo trip as the most unforgettable one. It’s not as dreadful as some people make it out to be.

Put the fears away and give solo travel a chance. Get out there, indulge yourself fully, and create memories of a lifetime. 

Leave a Comment