How to Travel alone for the first time. Is a very genuine question to have for newbie solo travelers when you’ve amassed courage to travel alone. And its first time leaving all alone is a surely an anxious experience
Therefore let me help to calm those nerves down by providing with 29 tips on how to travel alone for the first time based on my experience traveling solo.
How To Travel Alone For The First Time – Solo Travel Tips For First Timers
Being is nervous or anxious before your first solo trip is completely understandable. But here are 29 super helpful tips that will definitely help you on how to travel alone for the first time.
|1. Select a familiar region for your first solo trip|
|2. For your first solo trip, select destination with proper facilities|
|3. Research about your destination for your first solo trip|
|4. Your destination should be accessible for first solo trip|
|5. Pack light whenever traveling solo|
|6. Have at least a rough itinerary for your first solo trip|
|7. Stay in hostels and budget homestays|
|8. Don’t eat in fancy cafes all the time|
|9. Travel in public transport|
|10. Travel in off season if you are on a shoe-string budget|
|11. Have rough Idea how much you want to spend per day|
|12. Check the reviews while booking for any accommodation|
|13. Check multiple websites, social before booking an accommodation|
|14. If booking a hostel check what kind of a hostel|
|15. Always find or book your first day of your trip|
|16. Don’t book accommodation for all the days|
|17. Explore on foot for the best experience|
|18. Carrying your identification documents|
|19. Carry enough cash but not too much|
|20. Have conversations with locals for offbeat exploration and things to do|
|21. Carry a day pack for exploration trips|
|22. Try tagging along with other solo travelers for explorations and hikes|
|23. Always hire a guide for well-defined trails|
|24. Be punctual for those early morning buses, trains, flights|
|25. Confirm the timings of buses, trains etc before hand|
|26. Don’t get too intoxicated|
|27. Make sure to carry medicines for common ailments|
|28. Don’t always rely on internet, blogs, videos explore on your own|
|29. Make sure you finish exploring before dark|
Select A Familiar Region For Your First Solo Trip
For your first solo trip, the one thing which will give confidence and make your trip a bit easy if you visit a familiar destination. For instance, it could be a different place in the same.
This would ensure that you already know how the people are, how good or bad the public transport is, how the places of stay are etc.
For my first solo trip, I planned a trip to Indian Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh, which I had already been to a couple of times earlier.
This ensured that I was never too anxious or nervous and had a surreal experience which paved way for how I like to travel.
For your first solo trip, select destination with proper facilities
While going remote is a different experience altogether, but ensure for your first solo trip, make sure you don’t venture too remote. Make sure the destination you are visiting has proper stay options, public transport, eateries etc.
First get acquainted with how it is to travel solo and only once you’ve that experience take that step forward if you have inclination of visiting remote like I have.
Again this one the more things to consider on how to travel alone for the first time.
Research about your destination for your first solo trip
Before heading on your first solo trip, once you are decided on the destination you wish to visit, Ensure that you do a research of the destination by reading blogs, watching videos etc.
This will help calm your nerves down in case you were and gives you an idea what to expect. For instance, you can get to know about the kind of places to explore, cafes to visit, stay options, nature of locals etc.
Basic research is fine. Digging too much will result in less excitement.
Your destination should be accessible for first solo trip
The recent advent of short form content like Reels, Instagram might entice you towards visiting offbeat or remote destinations, but just make sure the place you are visiting is accessible.
For instance, there once came a group at one of the remote village no road connectivity to a homestay I was staying. The had literally brought suitcases along with them. Don’t make that mistake at least for your first solo trip.
Bring a Rucksack & Pack light Whenever traveling solo
I can’t emphasize how important it is to carry a rucksack as a solo traveler. A lot of solo travelers bring suitcases along with them and later struggle when they don’t all the luxuries as a solo traveler.
Packing light is another important aspect one needs keep while packing for their first solo trip. You don’t want to pack unnecessary things and then constantly be weary from all the lifting you did while commuting.
Carrying too much weight especially in the mountainous terrain like Himalayas becomes a huge ask.
Have at least a rough itinerary for your first solo trip
While I personally don’t follow any sorts of itinerary these days, I still have a rough plan in my head if I going on trips and not working remotely.
I advised you the same on your first solo trip. Plan only your initial couple of days but have a rough itinerary in your mind. Based on how much you like the places, locals recommendation etc your mind might changed.
But don’t just without any sort of plan, that might lead to confusion. During my initial solo trip I had a rough idea of what I wanted to see. But based on homestay hosts recommendation I was able to explore based on my liking.
Stay in hostels and budget homestays
Staying in hostels and homestays is one of the best stay options on your first solo trip. Going solo and choosing a hotel may result into loneliness.
At homestays you have local families or hosts to interact with. At hostels you meet like-minded travelers to tag along. So in both the cases loneliness with the last thing you’ll have to worried about.
Don’t Eat in Fancy Cafes all the Time
Eating all your meals at fancy cafes may result into spending a fortune. Unless you have a huge budget, make sure you don’t eat at fancy cafes all the time.
Having a meal twice or thrice is okay, but if you keep eating all your meals, your food expense might be more that your stay expense. Therefore, have most of your meals at small eateries instead.
Travel in public transport
Skip the private cabs and taxis and go with public transport. Public transport in the form buses, trains, metros might be a little inconvenient but if you have to sustain as a solo traveler on a budget, public transport is the way go to.
I travel almost exclusively using public transport, which has results into spending so much less on commute if I would’ve used public transport.
Travel in off season if you are on a shoe-string budget
Another tip I would like to give first time solo travelers related to budget is travel in off season. Apart from major cities, at most of the destinations there is period of 2-3 months where the tourist influx is at its peak.
This is generally the time when the weather is good or its time of festivities. For instance tourist resorts in India himalayas experience peak influx during summer months of April to June.
If you avoid that peak season rush, traveling on budget will be way easier.
Have rough Idea how much you want to spend per day
Before going on solo trip for the first time, ensure that how much you want to spend for your entire trip and just have a rough budget in your mind. That way, you’ll always keep a check on your spending’s and avoid unnecessary things and expenses.
For instance if your entire budget for the trip is around INR 10K. And your trip is around 10 days long. That means you should not exceed your per day expenses by more than 1K.
Check the reviews while booking for any accommodation
Before booking for any accommodation be it hostel or homestay or guesthouse ensure that you’ve gone through their online reviews. It gives a fair about how the place will.
Or if they are no online reviews, just check out their social media page and try to get an idea. This would ensure that get to know about the red flags if any and don’t have any unpleasant experiences that might spoil your first solo trip.
Check Multiple Websites, Social before booking an accommodation
Going on just one website and checking accommodation through that might result in you paying not having seen all the options.
If booking a hostel check what kind of a hostel
If booking a hostel check its online reviews, social media handles to know what kind of hostel that actually is. Let me explain. There are some kind of hostels which is kind of party hostel.
Where as they are some hostels where like-minded travelers have a very good and usually tag along together. If the vibe of the hostel does not match your liking, you might end up having unpleasant experience.
Always Find Or Book Your First Day of Your Trip
For your first solo trip, ensure that you’ve already booked accommodation at least for the first day. The reason, being that commute to reach the destination usually makes you all tired.
And on the top of that if you’ve search for an accommodation it becomes very difficult as you are very tired.
Don’t Book Accommodation for All the Days
Lets say your total trip is going to be of 10 days long. I would recommend not to book for all the days. Because only after you reach a destination you can really get a hang for it.
So booking everything for everyday will make your trip rigid and in case you like one destination more than the other, you might not be able to change your plan since you’ve already booked.
On my first solo trip, I just booked accommodation for one day, I liked the place and just stayed there for the entirety of my trip.
Explore On Foot for the Best Experience
I personally feel that exploring on foot is one of the best you can do on your trips. I personally always try to explore on foot.
As a solo traveler exploring places on foot, gives a better understanding of the place. And always makes acquainted travel locally. Also enables to discover cool spots, eateries etc.
Carrying Your Identification Documents
I’m sure this is a no-brainer, but ensure that you carry all your Identification documents. Apart from of course immigration and other processes, usually identification documents are asked at the place of stay.
Sometimes you also requires permits for visiting certain areas, this definitely needs identification documents. Therefore, ensure that you carry for the same.
Carry Enough Cash But Not Too Much
Even the in countries like India where UPI is now widely accepted, its always safe to carry enough but not too much cash.
Enough cash will suffice in case the online payment is not accepted or doesn’t. While too much cash will result you being constantly worried about the same.
Have Conversations With Locals for Offbeat Exploration And Things to do
When having a solo trip for the first time, you might completely rely on internet, blogs, videos for exploring around and things to do and that’s fine.
But having conversations with locals or hosts is best way to escape the conventional things to do or the places to visit. So don’t just rely on social and internet, ask the locals and have an amazing first solo trip.
I personally asked for suggestions of places to visit during my first solo and the host suggested me exactly the kind of places I personally like.
Carry a day pack for exploration trips
Carrying a day pack for exploration trips or day hikes is one of the best tips I can give if you are traveling solo for the first time.
A small 10-20 litre day pack comes in really handy in keeping certain important things like power bank, water bottle and food items. I personally always make it a point and it is convenient every single time.
Try tagging along with other solo travelers for explorations and hikes
While you may be traveling solo, but you need no travel all alone on your solo trip. At hostels, homestays you meet fellow travelers, with whom you can definitely tag along if the match your vibe.
Therefore on your first solo trips trying tagging along with such like-minded people. But don’t make it a compulsion if you are not comfortable with somebody else, just explore on all alone.
I personally find traveling all alone really therapeutic.
Always Hire A Guide For Trails That Are Confusing Or Not Well-Defined
Not sure about the western countries, but in Indian Himalayas, there are a lot of trails and hikes which are confusing or not well-defined. In such cases trying to hike or trek all alone can be dangerous.
So ensure that you hire a local guide or go in a group in such cases and don’t venture all alone. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Be punctual for those early morning buses, trains, flights
For that early morning bus or flight or a train, remember one thing, that you yourself you have to wake up or get ready to make it on it.
Failing to do so will derail all your further plans in case the transport to the destination you are heading is not frequent and also cost you money if you had pre-booked.
Confirm the timings of buses, trains etc before hand
Confirm you have to move from one destination to another or you need to catch a local bus to explore a nearby destination. In such cases always make sure that you confirm the frequency and timings of the same beforehand.
Failing to do so beforehand could result in your plans getting derailed. So do keep this in might and have that information before hand.
Don’t Get too Intoxicated When Traveling Alone
Again, this one is a no-brainer. When you are out of senses how are you going to care of yourself. When traveling alone, your safety is your own responsibility.
A couple of drinks here and there is fine, but getting to intoxicated can certainly have bad consequences. People around you could really take advantage of such a situation if they realize the same.
Make Sure to Carry Medicines for Common Ailments
When traveling solo whether for the first time or any number of times, always ensure that you carry medicines for common ailments as prescribed by your doctor.
Being, if are not healthy during your trip, it will ruin your experience, Plus you yourself will need to manage the situation as there is no one to support you.
Trust me this is one of the most important tip I can give you on how travel alone for the first time. This is coming from a personal experience.
Don’t Always Rely on Internet, Blogs, Videos Explore On Your Own
For your first solo trip, relying completely on internet, blogs, videos is fine, but I would suggest against it. Yes go ahead and research about the destination to have a fair idea. But relying on it too much, meaning you’re restricting yourself.
For instance, during my first solo trip, I had a rough idea about what I wanted explore, but after having conversations with host, I was actually able to explore the places I personally liked apart from going to the conventional places.
Again this another I tip I suggest you follow on how to travel alone for the first time.
Make Sure You Finish Exploring Before Dark
Whether you are traveling for the first time or have traveled solo before, always ensure that you complete your explorations or hiking trip before it turns dark.
Staying out or roaming around in the dark is not advisable in lesser-frequented and remote locations along with big cities as well if you are all alone.
This brings to the end of this blog, I hope you now have a fair idea of how to travel alone for the first time with these tips and hope they come in handy for super delightful first solo trip.
In case you have any more queries on how to travel alone for the first time, do drop them in the comments below and I’ll be happy to help.