6 Crucial Tips For Finally Taking Your First Solo Travel Trip

We asked the expert (me).

I love doing things alone. I adore being in my own company. I like sight seeing, dining, and walking with only me, myself, and I. I also love doing all of those things in a city that I’ve never been to.

Embarking on your first solo trip alone can be daunting. It can maybe even be one of the scariest things you’ll ever do. But if going abroad alone is something you’re intending to cross off your 2023 bucket list and don’t know where to start, fear not.

We’ve got six tips and tricks worth following if you’re heading off alone for the first time, and happen to be a bit nervous about it.

1. Choose somewhere non-daunting not go

If this is your first rodeo, you’re hardly going to jet off to South-East Asia for a month long jaunt along the Mekong (or maybe you will, who’s to say?).

If traveling alone is a bit of a worry for you, pick a destination where you know you’ll feel safe and comfortable. It could be a weekend trip to London, a quick couple of days in Berlin after your girls trip there last year, or even a night or two somewhere in Ireland, where you don’t even need to take a plane.

Keep the far away, forward planning trips for you and your mates, and go somewhere that will require minimal stress and that you know you’ll enjoy.


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2. Book the appropriate accommodation

Depending on the type of trip you’re hoping to take, make sure that you book somewhere that you feel comfortable and where you won’t feel lonely.

If you want to make friends, staying in a hostel is always a good shout, but be aware that you will always risk sharing a room with someone who is a bit loud or messy. Most European cities will have many hostels great for solo travellers with common spaces and nightly events ideal for meeting new people.

If you fancy staying somewhere a little more upmarket, check out the local hotels and Airbnbs. Make sure the place you pick is close enough to the city centre, or wherever most of the activity is. Walking for an hour or two is fine when you’re with a group of mates, but when you’re alone, make sure that you’re never too far away from home.

Do your research and read the Google Reviews for anywhere you’re thinking of staying. Reviews on booking sites will generally be a bit more positive so type the name of your hotel, hostel, or guesthouse into Google and see what comes up before making your decision.


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3. Go on a walking tour

On the first day, just do it. A walking tour is a great way to get your bearings and figure out what spots you want to return to and what areas pique your interest.

Get Your Guide or Sandemans do great (and free) walking tours in a lot of cities, so you’ll know you’re in safe hands. You could even go the extra mile (literally) and book yourself a specialised walking tour, like a ghost tour, or a beer focused one.

Walking tours are also great ways to meet new people, many of whom will most likely be travelling alone too. Strike up a chat about that super old church you just visited and you’re golden.


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4. Plan out your days – meticulously

If you’re busy, you won’t be worried about being alone – and you’ll also be having a great time too.

Strolling around and seeing what takes your fancy is ideal when you’re confident in your solo travel abilities, but if this is your first time away alone, make sure you’ve plenty of things on.

The beauty of solo travel is that if you decided to change your mind, you can do that. Easily. No needing to convince a friend to stay that extra hour in that cool café you found – you can just do it. No questions asked.


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5. Google is your best friend

Never leave home without it, not that you could.

One of the key reasons why so many people fear taking a solo trip is the worry that something could go wrong. You get lost, your train is cancelled, you can’t find the hotel… so many problems, so little ability to solve them unless you’re with a friend or partner.

In reality, you’re probably better placed to do such problem solving if you’re on your own, can take your time, and don’t have someone else beside you, also panicking.

If something goes wrong, take a deep breath, calm down, and take out your phone. Google Maps will tell you exactly where to go, and most likely how to get there. Google Reviews will tell you whether a particular restaurant is decent or not when you can’t get a seat in the one you’d planned on going to. Google Search will tell you, well, pretty much everything else.


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6. Believe in yourself

Taking the solo travel plunge can be a difficult one. If every fibre of your being is telling you that no, you wouldn’t feel comfortable taking a holiday by yourself, then don’t go. But if a tiny part (even a teeny one) is curious as to how you’d get on, you have to do it.

Be confident, be brave, and be assured that you have the tools to spend a bit of time by yourself in a new city… and enjoy yourself too.

Solo trips can come with a lot of stresses, but if you believe that you can do it, then you can.

And trust me, nobody is judging you. If anything, they’re wishing they had the confidence and comfort to be able to do the exact same thing.


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