It takes a huge leap of faith on an individual’s part to embark on a solo trip. It can as exciting and scary as hell, at the same time. Of course, you can go solo even with a travel agency, which has its own set of pros and cons. But where there is a will, there is a (solo) way. How can these first solo trip jitters be reduced? These things may prove helpful.
Research, Research & Some More research
Okay, we are assuming at this juncture that the country or city to be visited has been shortlisted. Getting as much as information about that place will be great to begin with. Thanks to the National Geographic, Lonely Planet magazine, Conde Nast traveler and so many other websites, it is extremely easy to get in depth information about touristy and non-touristy things to do and places to see. Tripadvisor is another fantastic resource. When it comes to booking accommodations, some of the best known websites are airbnb, booking.com, Agoda, Trivago and a few more. They have extensive listings for a traveler to choose from, from the most basic hostel to a suite in a luxury hotel. The best part, especially about booking.com is that you can pay when you reach the hostel/hotel. Once you zero in on a place to stay, Google for places around it and check out the street views. Checking distances of places of interest from your hostel on Google maps helps.
When I told my family I wanted to take a solo trip, I was very firm on it. If I would have been shaky and hesitant, probably they would have got the same vibes. But seeing that I was confident and really wanted to do it, even though they were a little worried, they were absolutely supportive of the idea. All you have to do is just decide and prepare yourself mentally. Reading about experiences of solo travelers also helps in getting interesting insights about their journeys can be considered.
Comfort and Convenience over Fashion and Glamour
Hello, those Carrie Bradshaw fans and other fashionistas, here is something very important. When traveling solo, it is a good idea to pick comfort and convenience over fashion, 8 out of 10 times. Of course it also depends on what kind of a trip you are planning to go for. But you generally end up walking and running a lot when you go solo. This is of course not undermining the importance of a classic LBD for girls and a nice blazer for guys while traveling. You never know whom you might bump into right?
Pepper Sprays and Other Safety Devices et all
If you are an ardent fan of Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan and know your roundhouse kick from a back kick, well, then you are all set. Otherwise a pepper spray or any other safety device can be handy, for women. Safety needs to be at the top of the list if you are planning a solo trip.
Hold on Tight to Your Passport & Money
Okay, this may sound very clichéd and daft. But if you are travelling out of your country, please don’t let your passport out of your sight even for a minute. For Potter fans, consider it like your wand or the marauder’s map, which needs to be guarded with all you might. The same goes with money, whether you are traveling within your country or outside. One needs to be all the more careful with foreign currency.
And finally, just let go! Trust the universe and go on that trip. Do all you can to have unfiltered fun and simultaneously be open to a whole new set of experiences – good bad and ugly.
One thing is for sure, though. Ultimately, all these, will teach you something you will never learn from sitting in classrooms or going through a pile of books. Bon Voyage!