Tips & tricks: traveling solo for the first time

Travel tips

I was a bit nervous about traveling solo for the first time. Wouldn’t it be boring? Would I be able to meet and connect with other travelers? But I did go and had a blast. In this article, I’ll share all my tips and tricks for traveling solo, and I’m sure you’ll have a great time as well!

This article is also available in Dutch

Pick your dream destination

traveling solo for the first time - Australia

My whole life, I’ve always wanted to go to Australia. Unfortunately, no one of my friends had the same dream or could take more than four weeks off. So I decided to go by myself and booked a ticket to Cairns. Best decision ever. I think everybody has a bucket list filled with countries and places you’d love to visit someday. You can ask around if someday wants and has the time to join you, but that may take forever. Why don’t you just go by yourselves? If it’s your dream destination, I’m sure you will love it. And the best thing: you can do whatever you want to do, without consulting anyone.

Check out this article: 5 reasons to travel alone

Make preparations for your first day

When you’re traveling alone, the first day can be a bit weird. You still have to get used to traveling solo and to the destination. Especially when you’re in a country you’ve never been before, you have to learn all about the rules and how things work. Everything might be a bit overwhelming that first day, so prepare for it. I always book a great accommodation for the first night and make sure how to get there from the airport. I also check Google Maps for nice restaurants, ATMs, and supermarkets around my accommodation, so I know where to go when I arrive. When you survived the first day, you can handle everything.

Use public transport

traveling solo for the first time - public transport

When you’re traveling solo, it’s usually cheaper to use public transport than taking a cab or renting a car. And did you know it’s also easier to meet people when you’re traveling by public transport? You can meet locals who can give you lots of inside information about your destination and there’s a big change you’ll also meet other travelers.

Stay in hostels

As a 30-something I prefer staying in hostels over staying in hotels or Airbnb. You will meet so many like-minded people! There’s always somebody to have dinner with and you will get a lot of travel tips. You don’t need to stay in large dorms, my experience is the smaller the better. I’ve met the best people in dorms with just four or six beds. It’s also easy to meet people in a common room, so you can also stay in a private room if you’d prefer that. It’s impossible to feel lonely when you’re staying in a hostel, so if being alone scares you, you’ll know what to do.

Check out this article: How to survive a hostel? Hostel tips for 30-somethings

Take a tour

Traveling solo for the first time - tour Inca Trail

Another way to avoid loneliness and boredom as a solo traveler is taking a tour. It’s impossible to get bored because most tours are filled with activities and have a guide who can tell you everything. It’s also a great place to meet people and when you’re on a multi-day tour (like the Inca Trail) it’s like they are becoming your family. And the best thing: you always have something to talk about, because you’re having the same (hopefully great) experience.

Just do it!

I understand it’s hard to decide if you want to travel solo or not. But you’ll never know how it’s like if you never travel solo. So if you’re considering it: just do it!

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