Embarking on your first solo trip is an exciting and exhilarating time, however, you have a lot to organize, plan and prepare if you want your travel journey to be a smooth and successful one.
Yes, a certain amount of spontaneity is a good idea, but there are several elements that you need to arrange before you go, or you risk having to jump on the first flight home before your adventure has even begun.
So, if you want to come back with memories rather than malaria, stories to tell rather than stories that fail, check out the below steps for ensuring your first solo trip turns into a trip of a lifetime.
Do your research
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From choosing the best accommodation for a solo traveler, to ensuring that you can explore your chosen destination safely; make sure that you carry out plenty of online research before you book the most important elements of your trip as failure to do so could result in a lot of unnecessary stress, plus it could put your safety at risk.
Although embracing your destination’s public transport can seem like a good way to immerse yourself in the local culture, it is not the safest option for a solo traveler. Instead, look into renting a car for the duration of your trip; enabling you to explore whilst at the same time keeping you safe. Click here for more information on affordable car rental abroad and in the U.S.
Leave your itinerary with someone you trust
Another advantage of planning your trip before you go is that you can give a copy of your planned itinerary to a close friend or family member so that they can raise an alarm if they do not hear from you within an allocated amount of time.
It is also advisable to let the hotel concierge or receptionist know where you are headed for the day, just in case the worst does happen.
Not only is there no one to help carry your luggage when you are traveling alone, but you are also entirely responsible for all your belongings, so if you lose something, you have to deal with the consequences on your own.
Most people overpack in general, and if you are planning a solo travel trip, you need to be even more ruthless with choosing what to leave behind.
As a general rule, avoid packing any items that are too heavy, that are worth a lot of money or that can easily be broken. You do not want to draw attention to yourself as you struggle with lots of heavy bags; pickpockets will be on the lookout for solo travelers just like you.
Another way to avoid being targeted by thieves is to act confident and approachable. Talk to the locals and act as though you have been to your chosen destination many times before. Tourists who appear alone and lost are the ideal victim for pickpockets and worse.
If you don’t feel particularly confident; just pretend. It will start to come naturally as you familiarize yourself with the local surroundings and start to meet like-minded travelers and welcoming locals alike.
Not with your safety of course, but with your choice of experiences. A solo trip is the perfect time to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and try new activities or sample the local cuisine. You want to return from your trip with some unforgettable memories, not a list of regrets.