Traveling Alone: How do I Plan my First Solo Trip?
Traveling alone means: You make all the decisions, don’t need to justify for that and you can learn what you really want. This freedom seems to turn into something negative for some people: Because it means as well that you take all the risk, all the responsibility.
How you can start traveling alone, I will tell you now:
#1 Choose Your Destination Wisely!
Not every destination is apt to be the destination for your first solo trip. I normally recommend to ask three questions:
In Which Languages Are You Able to Communicate?
If you speak the local language it will make your travels a lot easier. Still today, I prefer to travel in Latinamerica for this exact reason. I love to have the possibility to talk to whoever I like. There are no language barriers for me there, which I really hate – see now why I became a translator and interpreter? That’s why I choose South America to be my first region to travel to for my trip around the world: I started out in Brasil and made my way down to Argentina and Chile.
Of course, you will be able to talk English to other travelers and to people working in hostels (at least mostly!). But in the taxi, at the train station or simply in the supermarket – you probably won’t. And I tell you: There is nothing better than a small talk to a local at the bus stop. Encounters are what make a trip unique. Sure: It works talking with your hands, with gestures and a bit of help of Google Translate. But language is making it so much easier.
Are You a Beach or a Mountain Type?
I feel like the sea is calling me. I so much love to wander along promenades or to sit under a palm tree in the shade and watch the waves. That’s why I would never have chosen to go to Nepal on my trip around the world for example. Now I start thinking of going there, but there are so many beautiful places at the sea where I want to go first. You should make a list of your priorities!
Same counts for the climate: Choose a place where you know you will feel at ease. If you love the fresh mountain air, you will probably not enjoy Jericoacoara as I did, even if millions of digital nomads tell you that it’s a perfect place. Then you should check out Artenara – a beautiful village in the mountains of Gran Canaria.
What About Your Budget?
It doesn’t matter that you really want to go hiking in Canada… It’s a great choice for first-time travelers for sure, but if your budget is between 500 and 1000 Dollars a month, you should go somewhere else. If you want to know how to travel with little money in your pocket, check out my ebook: Traveling on a Low Budget.
With a little help of Google and Facebook groups, you can find out how much money you should calculate for a country. I was for example totally surprised to find out that Israel and Jordan are really expensive.
Traveling on a low budget
- for transportation
- for housing
- for food
- for your leisure time (sightseeing etc.)
I did a trip around the world with 8.000 Euro including all flights. With my tips, you can do it, too! Be prepared for what is waiting for you and plan your trip better.
#2 Choose Your Style of Traveling!
How you travel is mainly dependend on your budget. Are you more a backpacker or do you prefer traveling in style with a suitcase? Do you like staying in a city or are you in love with road trips? There are many different types of traveling:
I was traveling as a budgetpacker for quite a long time. With a budget of 30 Euro per day it’s not always easy to get along. Budgetpacker are mostly staying in hostels and cook in the hostel’s kitchen. In South East Asia I could afford staying in a private room though – very special! But to save money and meet locals many traveler with a low budget do couchsurfing.
With a bit more budget, but still with a backpack, you’re a flashpacker. If you can spend around 50 Euro per day, that’s how you can call yourself. Flashpacker normally get private rooms in hostels or go in cheap hotels. And they like Airbnb.
You love big cities? Rome, New York and Hong Kong are high up on your bucket list? So perhaps you’re not the typical backpacker. Keep in mind that cities are very often more expensive than villages. On the other handside it’s probably easier to get along with English, even if this is not the national language.
I actually don’t know anybody who doesn’t like road trips. To drive along the coast or through a whole country… it’s just a lot of fun. But there are additional costs. Renting a car (or buying one?!), gasoline and eventually the highway fees. Sleeping in a car is not allowed in many countries, so you will often need to get a place in a camping lot.
If you’re yawning already and think that all this sounds super boring, then you’re probably an adventure traveler. You start feeling alive when your phone has no signal anymore, when it’s a long walk to the next real village or city? Then do an adventure trip. But perhaps not as your first solo trip?!
#3 Plan Your First Solo Trip!
Ok, now you know where you want to go and how you want to travel. That’s a lot! The next step is planing the trip.
Option 1: Search For a Travel Agency to Plan the Trip For You!
If you’re still not sure where to start and you don’t went to spend ages with Google, I recommend to ask a travel agency to plan the trip for you. They normally create individual tours tailor-made for your wishes. If you have the budget: Go for it!
Option 2: Traveling Alone – Planing Alone!
If you like the freedom to decide spontaneously where to go next, do what I did! For my trip around the world, I had nothing booked than the very first night. After that, I had ideas, but no realy plans, no bookings, no commitments.
I normally use Google Flights, Skyscanner, Momondo or Kiwi to search for flights. I watch them there and can even put alerts if I want to get informed in case the price changes.
I book accomodation on Hostelworld or Booking. Sometimes I use Airbnb also – espesially when it’s for a long-term stay. That’s how I did it in Cabarete.
In most cases, I decide when I am there what I want to see. I would ask in my hostel or at the local info point. Although in Prague they did a really bad job telling me to buy a ticket for the hop on hop off bus.
Traveling alone made easy: Those were my tips for your first solo trip!
If you’re still not convinced you should get my ebook Travel Solo:
If you still have doubts wether to take the step or not – this book is perfect for you! Because I will show you how solo traveling can change you…
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