How to plan a solo trip. do you have the same question on your mind ? If you are first time solo travel such queries are genuine to have.

Therefore based on my experience traveling solo, let me help with a step by step guide on how to plan a solo trip. Several aspects like selecting destination, itinerary planning, accommodation, things do to etc will be discussed in this blog.

How To Plan For A Solo trip

Planning for solo trip might feel overwhelming but it certainly is not. With this step by step guide I hope that it makes it easier for your plan and embark on that solo trip that you are nervous and excited about at the same time.

Also Read – Disadvantages of Solo travel

How to Select The Destination For Solo Trip

If you are an experienced solo traveler, I don’t think selecting or finalizing a destination would ever become a problem. But in case you are newbie solo traveler let me help with some tips.

  • To start have an idea whether you want to visit beaches, mountains, cities etc
  • Your initial solo trips can be short and closer to home
  • Once you that idea finalize the country or the region or the state etc.
  • Read and research about your preferred destination on the internet.
  • Select a destination which is accessible and tourist friendly to start with
  • Keep in mind the budget and also select the destination accordingly

To give an example, Lets say I want to head to the mountains. Well, almost every state in my country, India has some sort mountains, but my preference is The Himalayas.

There are primarily 5 Indian Himalayan states namely Union territory of Jammu Kashmir, Union territory of Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh.

Now If I were a newbie solo traveler I would do some research first. After researching, lets suppose I understood that Himachal Pradesh is one of the most solo traveler friendly state out of all. So I select that.

Then I will research about the destinations that are solo traveler friendly in Himachal. So Manali, Spiti, Mcledoganj, Kasol in Himachal are solo traveler friendly.

Now if you have basic idea before hand researching and finalizing the destination becomes very easy. Therefore, starting out visiting places closer to home all alone is always a great for future solo trips in terms of confidence.

How to plan for a solo trip

Manali, The Most Popular tourist resort of Indian Himalayas.

How To Create An Itinerary Or Plan For A Solo Trip

While the most fun part of going solo is too not have rigid itineraries or plans, but initially for your initial solo trips have the plan for the very first day at your destination and have rough plan for the rest of your trip.

  • Read blogs, watch videos to create a plan
  • Make a plan to accommodate certain bucket list places
  • Keep an accessible destination base and try creating a plan around that.
  • Strike a balance and keep your itinerary/plan flexible to accommodate suggestions from the locals.
  • Do not have a rigid itinerary and book accommodation for every destination for your trip.
  • if your plan involves hopping from one destination to another every few days, ensure that you figure out about the commute part.

So with tons of information available on the social media these days chalking out a plan for your solo trip should not be a problem whatsoever.

But what’s the fun in traveling solo if you have everything booked and rigid plan with no room for flexibility. That can  bring you disappointment.

For instance, for my very first solo trip, I had a few places in mind and had created a rough plan around it. I had just booked accommodation for one day as I was not really sure how much I would like the place.

But I loved the vibe of the place so I ended up staying there for the entirety of my trip and was able to explore the places I like thanks to the suggestion of the host. Along with a couple of places I had in my mind.

When it comes my current trips, I still have a rough idea in my mind, but never book anything except for my first destination.

How to Reach the Destination As A Solo Traveler

Once you are done finalizing the destination and creating a rough plan. Now you also need to figure how you would reach your potential destination.

Based on where you are headed, just get an idea of potential modes of transport available to reach the destination from where you are going to start your journey.

Also if going too lesser-frequented areas, you need to also figure out on how you would reach your main destination. Like what kind of transport is available for the same.

For instance, lets suppose I plan a trip to Manali, a tourist resort in the Indian Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh. And Lets say I start from Mumbai, one of the biggest metropolitan in India. How will I reach Manali.

  • A basic research will tell me that first I need to reach Delhi.
  • Now to reach Delhi the primary options are via train and flight
  • Based on budget and time in hand, I would decide between the two
  • Now once I reach Delhi from Mumbai, I further come to know that I can reach Manali by flight or overnight buses
  • Flights to Manali are so super expensive, So I choose the cost effective buses
  • Some more research and I find that there are a lot of budget volvos which run overnight from Delhi.
  • Therefore, based on my budget I’ll book necessary transport option to Delhi and then to Manali
  • Rent out a home in case you are going to stay for months as a remote worker or a digital nomad

In a such a manner you have to do your research on how to reach your destination which you selected. Again this might sound overwhelming but it is not. Especially If you’re already somewhat familiar with how transport works in that country or region.

Therefore, my initial advice was to select a region which is familiar to your for your very first solo trip.

Commuting by local buses, trains etc is one of the best ways to commute as a solo traveler.

How to Budget For the Solo Trip

Budget is a very important part of traveling solo. If you don’t pay enough attention to your expenses, you’ll end up a substantial amount. Always keep certain range in your mind of much you want to spend per day on accommodation.

While traveling in cabs, eating in fancy cafes, staying in resorts might seem enticing, but only if you’ve a big budget that is actually viable. For most solo travelers, traveling solo and on budget often goes hand in hand.

For instance, lets say my upper limit is INR 1000 per day for traveling in the India Himalayas, then what I do is try to opt for budget homestay which costs me around INR 600 – INR 800 along with meals. That way I’m able to not exceed my limit.

Something similar you can also keep in my and try stay in that limit. Its okay to exceed by a few bucks here and there but not having a cap in mind will become a problem.

If you are traveling solo and are traveling on budget, here are some tips you could use for traveling on a budget.

  • Stay in hostels, budget homestays rather than staying at hotels
  • Travel using public transport
  • Don’t eat all your meals at fancy cafes
  • Take trains and buses and avoid flights

How To Find Accommodation For A Solo Trip

While solo travelers usually go for hostels as they can opt for a dorm, but hostels are not the only options out there. Budget homestays can also be a good option for authentic experiences.

I personally prefer not book accommodation as there chances I could find a better deal just by searching for places. But for you first day, you can surely go ahead and book.

Finding a place is on of the most easiest things to do, With social media, travel websites like hostelworld, airbnb, its more easier then ever. But here are some tips.

  • Based on your budget Search on social media and travel websites for accommodation options
  • A bed in a dorm is generally cheaper than a hotel
  • You can also for budget homestays/ couch surfing
  • Sometimes at a touristy destination a private room could be cheaper for those who don’t like hostels
  • Before booking go through the reviews/social media page to understand the vibe of the place
  • Don’t pre-book accommodation for every single destination of your trip
  • Also select your accommodation based on the accessibility to the bus or train stations.

For my very first solo trip, I had booked a dorm in a hostel which was actually a homestay at that time. But my preference has changed since I had a not so pleasant experience at the very same hostel.

Now I don’t stay at hostels at all and opt for homestays instead. I usually find homestays through local contacts, friends and last social media

The beautiful Zostel Homes at a remote village of Lahaul valley, Himachal Pradesh. Homestays are one of the best accommodation for solo travelers. You get to eat local cuisine, interact with locals and fellow travelers. All in All pretty fun.

Where To Eat On A Solo Trip

Again depending on where you intend to stay, like hostel, homestays, hotels it could change. At hostels, you have either common kitchen or in-house cafes. But usually the in-house cafe’s are on the expensive. You can also choose to eat outside of the hostel.

In homestays, usually you get all the meals. Being able to try local food and home-cooked is one of the best reasons to stay in a homestays.

While in hotels, you can opt for in-house restaurants or you can just go cafes or eateries outside of the hotel. Here are some tips that might help you.

  • Research about popular eatries or cafes to have an idea.
  • Don’t eat at fancy cafes all the time
  • Eat at small food joint and eateries
  • If in doubt, take suggestions from hosts about budget eateries
  • Never hesitate to try local cuisine
  • opt for homestays if you love home-cooked food.
  • Self-cook if you looking for a longstay at a particular destination

I personally have stopped eating at cafes altogether during my trips. Its not that I don’t like cafe food, but cafes are quite expensive, plus eating cafe food all the time when are traveling for months isn’t viable.

Eating a Local delicacy at my second home Yuthok Homestay. Perks of staying at a homestay you always get good locally grown home-cooked food for most of the times, way better than eating at cafes which anyways costs a fortune sometimes.

How To Discover Things to do & Places To visit On A Solo Traveler

Well if you are visiting a popular destination, this shouldn’t be a problem. The social media is flooded with such information these days. Plus a quick search will give you a list of several such blogs and youtube videos.

But following that religiously completely  defeats the purpose of solo travel or travel in general. But its fine if you do that for your initial solo trip.

What I personally would advise is try to strike a balance. Keep that information handy, but never refrain for taking suggestions from the locals about not so conventional things to do or not so conventional places to visit.

Safety Tips for Traveling Solo

This might sound harsh, but it is a fact that your safety is your own responsibility as you are the most vulnerable when you are traveling.

But that fear should not stop from exploring, In fact If travel with a good heart with a little bit of caution, then I don’t think solo travel is unsafe.

Of course, there are certain things you surely need to keep in mind while traveling and also remain cautious. Therefore I’ve curated a blog which talks about 29 super useful safety tips for traveling solo. Make sure to check it out..

Must read – Safety Tips for Traveling Alone 

To conclude, I hope this blog will surely help you on how to plan a solo trip. In case you have any questions on how to plan a solo trip, do drop them in the comments below and I’ll respond to the best of my knowledge and experience.