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New to solo travel? 7 Tips for Your Next Adventure

User Avatar Author: Kevin Wright
5 months ago - November 17, 2023

Reading time: 8 mins

Traveling alone can be an incredibly liberating and transformative experience. It’s an opportunity to explore the world at your own pace, discover yourself internally, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

However, how to solo travel and embark on this adventure comes with a unique set of challenges and responsibilities. In this blog, we’ll give you essential tips for traveling alone to ensure that your next solo travel experience is memorable but also safe and enjoyable.

Tourist photographing the citadel of Machu Picchu

Tourist photographing the citadel of Machu Picchu

How important is it to research my destination(s) before I travel solo?

Knowledge is imperative when it comes to travel. The more you know, the better equipped you are—mentally, physically, and emotionally—for what awaits you in a foreign country, especially if it’s your first time. In this section, we’ll break down the answer to this question with a list of tips for how best to approach this fundamental aspect of solo travel.

Tungurahua Volcano, Ecuador

Tungurahua Volcano, Ecuador

Tip 1: Decide on where you want to go

Choosing the right destination is the crucial first step in planning, as you’ll want to avoid ending up in a place that doesn’t suit your interests or potentially even poses risks to your safety. To figure out how to solo travel, brainstorm a list of exciting destinations. A good way to do that is by thinking about what kind of experience you want. Here’s a couple of brainstorming questions:

By process of elimination, you can begin narrowing down what types of destinations you don’t want to go to and, in doing so, begin uncovering the ones you do prefer and envision yourself in.

 

Tip 2: Get acquainted with your destination(s) of choice

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, delve into the cultural aspects of each destination. Learn about local customs, traditions, and social etiquette. Understanding and respecting these differences can significantly enhance your travel experience and, upon being in your destination(s) of choice, help you connect with the local culture when traveling alone.

Tip 3: Check local and international travel advisories

When deciding on the destination you will venture to, remember that safety should always be a priority when going on a solo vacation. Check for travel warnings issued by your own and local governments, reputable travel sources, or recurring comments from tourists who have traveled to the same place. Make informed decisions about where and when to go, especially if traveling to a region with recent natural disasters, health alerts, or other problems.

How do I plan my itinerary for solo travel?

Planning your itinerary is essential to getting the most out of your solo travel while staying safe and organized. The best way to start is by making a comprehensive list of the activities and attractions you want to explore in your chosen destination. Think of this as a travel “checklist” of places you must-see, or activities you must do, to make your trip as fulfilling as possible. Having a well-thought-out list that best matches your interests and desires will help you make the most of your time and allow you to come away from your solo travel experience feeling more satisfied than disappointed.

Beautiful view of Plaza Grande in Quito, Ecuador's capital

Beautiful view of Plaza Grande in Quito, Ecuador’s capital

Tip 4: Allow room for flexibility in your plans

While having an itinerary with set times is essential, don’t over-plan. The right way to solo travel is to have the freedom to change plans whenever you want. Leave room for spontaneity, because you might discover hidden gems or unexpectedly connect with locals and other tourists along the way.

Tip 5: Keep your loved ones informed

Share your itinerary with a trusted friend or family member before you go. Make sure to provide them with the details of your solo vacation, including accommodation options you’ll be staying at, transportation options, and contact information. This way, someone can know how to track you down in case of an emergency.

Informing yourself is more than just a job during the planning process

Staying informed is essential to enjoying safe and enjoyable solo travel. Keeping up with local news about current events and happenings at your destination will reduce any unnecessary bit of stress and keep your worries at bay. That’s why we always recommend paying attention to any political or security issues that may arise before the trip. Once you’re there, being aware of your surroundings is crucial to staying safe and making informed decisions.

Maintain regular communication with friends, family, or partners in your country. As mentioned in previous tips for traveling alone, share your itinerary and report any changes in plans with someone you trust. Having someone at home who knows your whereabouts can be a lifesaver in an emergency.

Sangay National Park, Ecuador

Sangay National Park, Ecuador

Tip 6: Keep emergency contacts handy

Always keep emergency contacts handy in case you need help with the itinerary or any change that could come up during your trip. Knowing how to contact your country’s embassy or consulate at your destination—should any problems arise or help of any kind be required—is valuable information to keep handy.

Tip 7: Take the stress out of all the above by booking your solo travel experience with a seasoned Tour Operator

Shop around for a Destination Management Company (DMC), if possible. Extra points if it’s local! These companies specialize in the organization and logistics of travel within a specific destination. Let’s get into why it’s a very good idea to book your solo travel trip through one of these agencies.

 

The Best Solo Travel Tip: Book with a local, vetted Destination Management Company

Choosing a local Destination Management Company (DMC) can indeed make solo travel a breeze. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Local Expertise: DMCs are experts in their local area and/or region. They know the best places to visit, eat, and stay at. They can guide you to experiences that you might not find on your own.
  2. Logistics Management: From airport transfers to accommodation and tours, a DMC takes care of all the logistics. This means you can focus on enjoying your trip instead of worrying about the details.
  3. Customized Experiences: DMCs can tailor your itinerary to suit your interests and preferences. Whether you love history, adventure, food, or culture, they can create a unique travel experience just for you.
  4. 24/7 Support: If anything goes wrong during your trip, a DMC is there to support you. This can be particularly reassuring when you’re traveling alone.
Naturalist guide explaining Galapagos fauna

Naturalist guide explaining Galapagos fauna

Book with confidence through Destination Experts

These well-trained and experienced professionals are the best source of information for a Solo Traveler. Often associated with a Destination Management Company (DMC), Destination Experts can be incredibly beneficial for solo travelers, as they possess extensive knowledge about the specific location they are based in. This includes firsthand knowledge about hidden gems, optimal times to visit popular spots, and local customs and traditions. As a result, they can provide in-depth safety advice, helping you understand which areas are safe to explore alone, and which might be best to avoid. If any issues arise during your trip, a Destination Expert is there to offer solutions, whether it’s a last-minute change of plans or even a lost passport.

They can also recommend activities and experiences tailored to your interests, whether you’re a foodie, a history buff, or an adventure seeker. In addition, they can handle all the logistics of your trip—from arranging transportation to booking accommodations and tours—making your travel experience as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Plus, they can provide valuable insights into the local culture, etiquette, and traditions, helping you navigate social situations and truly immerse yourself in the destination. It’s important to communicate your needs, preferences, and concerns clearly to the Destination Expert to ensure they can assist you effectively. With their support, solo travel can be a rewarding and hassle-free experience.

Explorers admiring marine iguanas in the Galapagos Islands

Explorers admiring marine iguanas in the Galapagos Islands

Step Into Your Adventure with Confidence

How to travel alone is sometimes a difficult question to answer. Taking the initiative to start traveling alone isn’t just about heading off to new places—oftentimes, it’s a journey of personal growth and empowerment. By following the eight tips outlined in this guide, you can make your solo travel experience foolproof, and open the door to a journey that is sure to be profoundly enriching.

So, pack your bags! Accept the challenge! And embark on your next exciting adventure enthusiastically and confidently. Having your own solo vacation allows you to step out of your comfort zone, connect with people from different cultures, and create memories that will last a lifetime. With proper preparation and a sense of adventure when traveling on your own, this trip may very well be the beginning of a new chapter in your life. Bon voyage!

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