Solo Travel not only teaches you how to love the world but how to love yourself.With more and more solo travelers venturing out of their cocoons to see the world, there is a sudden surge in the number of solo travelers. Thanks to thousands of travel blogs mushrooming and media romanticizing the solo travel, we see people from different walks of life exploring the world all by themselves. I myself belong to this small tribe. Whenever I post any article I often get queries on how to plan your first solo travel and other questions like
- “How do you find the courage to solo travel ?”
- “How did you start solo traveling?”
- “How do you fund your solo travels?”
- “How do you convince your family?”
- “Is it safe to travel all by yourself?”
- “Don’t you get bored while solo traveling?”
- “What are the solo travel friendly destinations?”
- “What is it to travel solo?”
Well to cut the long story short Solo Travel means Freedom.
Solo travel rids you of your fears, prejudices and makes you responsible for your actions. You get a boost of confidence and empowerment, which reflects in everything you do thereafter. This post is an attempt to answer all those queries and help you prepare to take that leap of faith. So lets begin to solve the puzzle of how to plan your first solo travel.
MENTAL CONVICTION – WHY I WANT TO TRAVEL SOLO?
Before you get on the road or try to convince your folks, you have to convince yourself. Start by reading personal experiences of solo travellers. See documentaries. Talk to solo travelers. But most importantly talk to yourself. Honestly answer why you want to travel solo. If your answer is to join the bandwagon then you are doing it wrong. The reason cannot come from anyone else but you. Once you have a strong reason you won’t have to work hard towards convincing others. First thing solo travel teaches you is to improve your decision making.
PLANNING THE PLAN – WHERE TO GO ON YOUR FIRST SOLO TRAVEL?
Once your mind is made up, decide the destination. Don’t get carried away by glossiness. First solo trip is not to get too adventurous but to make you comfortable with solo traveling. Don’t attempt anything that is out of your comfort zone. Take baby steps. Decide the kind of experience you want – adventure, nature, culture, wildlife, heritage or something else. Once you have zeroed upon your interest then look for safe and comfortable options. Doing the touristy stuff on your first solo trip isn’t a bad idea. Try with a weekend trip in conditions not alien to you. Do an in-depth search and have at least two itineraries ready. Work around holidays or a long weekend. Start saving money in advance. All my trips are self-funded. I don’t spend on clothes, eating out, parties and other city life frills. I save that money for my future travels. Remember money saved is money earned.
GARNER SUPPORT – HOW TO CONVINCE YOUR PARENTS?
Once you have made up your mind, it becomes very easy to convince others. Your family and friends oppose your solo travel because they are worried about your safety and well-being. But once they see the conviction in you they won’t stop you. Be thoroughly prepared to convince them. Don’t leave any room for doubt. Brace yourself to answer all kinds of questions – how many days, why this place, why solo, where will you stay, safety of the place, how will you travel, who have traveled solo to that place, how will you manage your expenses, how will you stay in touch, what activities will you do, how will you travel, what are the emergency contact numbers etc. Show conviction, have confidence, and promise to stay in touch throughout your trip. I am sure you’ll pass their viva with flying colours.
EXECUTE THE PLAN – HOW TO ENJOY WHILE STAYING ALERT?
The success of your first solo trip will determine the rest of your solo journey. So be extra cautious. Follow the practical travel tips for solo travellers. Stay in a hotel/hostel at a prominent location, which is highly recommended by travelers (look for reviews on TripAdvisor), is well connected by public transport, has all basic facilities and whose customer care is prompt to respond. And most importantly, choose a place, which has a good Wi-Fi connection. Once you have decided the place, make your itineraries. Always have plan B and C. Take feedback from travelers who have been there before. Download the necessary travel guides, make notes and save important information in your mobile. Pre-book everything.
Check out cheap flights on Skyscanner, look out for flight sales, participate in travel contests, install travel apps like triposo, holidify. Invest is a good backpack and travel gear from Decathlon. Check out travel hacks, pack light and avoid taking your flashy gadgets. A mobile camera is good enough for your first solo trip. Stay in touch with your folks on daily basis. Be slow in trusting strangers. Get the local information from chaiwallahas, hotel staff, and taxi drivers without revealing too much about yourself.
INSPIRE OTHERS – HOW TO SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE?
Once you have successfully completed your first solo trip, be an inspiration to others by answering their question of how to plan your first solo trip. Nothing motivates people like hearing real life experiences. So be that inspiration to someone who would be in a similar boat that you were before. Content is more important than presentation. You can share it either through your blog on WordPress, blogger, tripoto, medium, on FB travel groups, Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagram feed or any other medium you prefer. Say it through pictures. Let people see it to believe it.
Hope I was able to answer your question of how to plan your first solo travel.
So go ahead and plan your first solo travel. There’s nothing like Solo Travel because when you travel solo you explore things not just in the outside world but also within yourself.
Check out my top solo travel-friendly destinations in my next article.
And once you have decided to take the plunge, don’t forget to read these Top 10 Travel Packing Tips to stay smart on the road by Continents Condiments