Solo travel can seem like a daunting experience. Many people brush it off as an option because they don't think they're brave enough or they picture themselves holed away by themselves in a grimy hotel room. Both of those assumptions could not be further from the truth!
Solo travel is a perfect way to be justifiably selfish and also grow immensely as a person. You get to choose where to stay and what to do! Yes, things will scare you, but nothing that you can't handle! I've compiled a few easy tips that helped me to plan my first solo trip and let it run smooth as a baby's bottom. I love taking trips on my own and hope that everyone gets the chance to try it for themselves!
Let me know if you have your own solo tips or where you're planning to visit next!
Step 1: Figure Out What Scares You
Do some soul searching and figure out what is holding you back from doing your own trip. Is it safety? Is it loneliness? Is it the food? Whatever it may be, foolish or not, I can guarantee it is not worth giving up on this dream and it is absolutely worth conquering. When you know what scares you then you can do extra research to figure out what ways you can eliminate the problem.
Step 2: Where Should You Go?
This may be a no brainer if you have a dream destination but, since you're on your own you get full power in deciding where to go! If you've always dreamed of visiting the Amazon but could never get someone to come along then this is your chance! There are plenty of countries that are especially welcoming to solo travelers, but the choice is ultimately yours!
Step 3: On Your Own or With a Tour Group?
Going independently is the ultimate in solo travel, but if you're really nervous you can always take a tour. You wouldn't have your travel companion per-say but you'll still be surrounded by people and the guide can handle all the stressful situations. Most tour groups require solo travelers to pay a "solo supplement" which totally sucks and makes tours undesirable to most travelers but it is possible to find a tour that will match you up with another solo-er so you can forgo that cost.
Most hotels/hostels will set up day tours for you which is the best of both worlds. No single supplement but you can also let the guide and driver handle much of the pressure.
Step 4: What to Do & Where to Stay
Want to #treatyoself? When going solo you can stay as luxurious or basic as you want. Your budget is your own and you don't have to contend with another person's financial situation.
Hate the beach? Love the beach? Love bungee jumping? Hate heights? Do what you want to do. No pressure to "waste" time and money on things you find undesirable.
Step 5: Have a "Check In" Buddy
Have someone back home that you periodically check in with. You don't have to talk every night or constantly text them, but just so someone in the world knows that you're still breathing is important. Also, bonus tip if you can leave some extra contact numbers/emails for that person if you happen to not check in.
Step 6: Document Your Journey
This sounds kinda sad but, you're the only person who'll remember this trip so it's important to document it. Bring a journal and write about what you did, take tons of photos, or start a blog. When you travel with others it's easy to bounce memories off each other but on a solo trip it's only you who can recall that kind fruit vendor who told you that funny joke about the man and his fainting goat.