The thought of undertaking some solo travel often fills people with a mixture of excitement, fear, and awe. Whilst it certainly isn’t for everyone, taking trips alone can offer some of the most rewarding travel experiences. Properly preparing for a long solo adventure is very important; you will be spending an extended period of time out of your comfort zone, away from family, friends, and familiarity, and relying almost exclusively on yourself for all decisions.
Some top tips to help when planning for a solo journey include:
Be Mentally Prepared
The first thing that you need to do long before heading off for a solo adventure is to be mentally ready for it. It may help to practice doing things alone to check that you have the confidence and are comfortable – it is better to find out closer to home that being alone really isn’t for you than when you are halfway across the world!
Consider taking an overnight trip somewhere by yourself, spending the night alone in a hotel. You could also spend a couple of nights in a nearby hostel to see how you enjoy the communal atmosphere and mingling with others. Some people find eating alone daunting – go and eat lunch or dinner by yourself in a busy restaurant or café. Spend a day exploring a new city alone and relish the feelings of total freedom.
Remember that there will almost certainly be times during your trip that you feel stressed and lonely … prepare yourself for this and have an idea of what you will do to tackle it.
Check Your Finances
This is definitely an essential tip! Think realistically about how you plan to support yourself through your long solo adventure. Know how much you have saved up and prepare a rough budget sheet, with ample research, for your journey. It is also well- worth researching potential ways to make money whilst on the road just in case you find that your funds are running low. Make sure that you have a backup plan for emergencies – an emergency credit card, an amount of money set aside in a separate account or left safely with friends or family back at home, for example. Being stranded abroad and broke really is no fun at all. During your trip you will have to be pretty strict with yourself about keeping track of your spending and remaining funds.
In-depth Travel Research
Of course, you cannot know a place inside-out until you visit it. But, thanks to the power of the Internet, you can gather a decent amount of information before actually visiting a place. Not only will this help you to feel more at ease upon arriving, but you will also have a good idea of some of the best places to stay, eat, and visit. Many people like to book at least the first night’s stay in a new place. Make sure that you check out local customs and dos and don’ts to avoid inadvertently getting into bother. Transportation is another area for advance research, and things to pay close attention to include the times of arrival and availability of onward transport – arriving in the dead of night is not wise and you don’t want to find yourself stranded!
Copies of Documents
Make sure that you leave copies of your important documents at home with a trusted relative or friend, and carry several copies with you as well. Having electronic backups are strongly recommended – even if you are carrying no devices with you, email copies to yourself or store them in cloud storage to be able to access them if needed at anywhere with internet access. Know where your important documents are when on your trip and keep them safe and secure.
These tips should assist with preparing for a long solo adventure and help you to have a memorable and amazing experience.