You’ve taken the plunge and booked your first solo trip! Congratulations! There are so many great reasons why to take a solo trip (and I’ve just taken my first!) but now that it’s approaching, there are a few logistical things to consider.
Having just finished my first solo trip, I wanted to share a few pointers to get you started on your own solo travels:
- Do your research: Just because you’re on your own doesn’t mean you don’t need some kind of agenda / plan / idea. You will still get caught in tourist traps, eat in the wrong places, and walk down the wrong streets, so accept that. If you really want to have the kind of trip that you want to have (regardless of what that means to you), you’ll need to do some planning in advance to know what to see, where to go, where to eat, etc.
- Make reservations: If there is somewhere really nice that you want to eat (I would recommend doing this even just once in your trip), have high tea, or book a spa appointment, do make a reservation, even if it’s just for yourself (and if the restaurant allows it). I did my digging and picked out a fantastic restaurant in the neighborhood I was staying in Quebec City (Battuto, if anyone has gone or is going!). I planned on going late, thinking that would help my chances, but since it’s such a small place, they actually only do two seatings per night, and I was hitting right as the second seating was beginning, and was ultimately turned away as they had no room. Especially with very small restaurants, having even one seat open in a night is a big deal, so make sure you claim your spot if it’s somewhere you’re really wanting to go!
- Get ready to walk: When it comes to packing, shoes are absolutely the most important (personally, I also have a huge aversion to being cold, but that’s another topic!). If you’re traveling on your own, chances are that you will be walking a ton. Pack the right shoes, and even better, pack more than one pair so you can give your feet a bit of a rest by wearing something different from one day to the next.
- Personal favorites: Sperry sneakers and Sorel wedge boots for the rain / snow. Yes, these are wedges, which may seem counterintuitive, but they were actually really nice for walking the hills and super comfortable to walk in all day (rainboots would kill me if I had to wear them all day – they’re so clunky and heavy) while still looking stylish.
- Tackle your logistics: How are you getting where you’re going once you arrive at the airport? Are there taxis or Ubers where you’re going? Public transportation? Chances are, you may not have cell service / internet, so it’s something to consider in advance.
- In a similar vein, consider if you need to exchange currency. Depending on where you’re going, it might make sense to get some of the local currency at your home bank (you can typically order in advance). You can almost always exchange USD for another currency in the airport, or you can withdraw local currency from an ATM at your final destination. Before choosing this last option, consider where you’re going. Are there going to be banks / ATM’s easily available? If the ATM isn’t working, how “stuck” are you? If the answer is “pretty stuck,” then you should consider having local currency on you before you set foot out of the airport.
- What do you need to feel safe? You’ll be on your own, so consider what will make you feel safe in your destination. Does that mean leaving your jewelry at home? Carrying something for protection? Using a different purse / bag? Be smart and make sure that whatever you’re planning on bringing is 1) legal to bring in an airport and 2) legal to have with you in your destination.
- Personally, I have a hard time sleeping in new places on my own (always afraid of someone trying to break in!). I bought a DoorJammer on Amazon ($29) that I can slip under the door of my Airbnb just to give myself that extra level of comfort and reassurance. It’s most likely overkill, but if it helps you sleep at night (quite literally in this case), it’s worth it!
- A HUGE note on this. Solo travel is absolutely safe. Like anything else, be mindful of yourself and your surroundings. Don’t put yourself into a risky situation when you’re traveling, just like you wouldn’t when you’re at home. You should not feel unsafe just because you’re traveling on your own, but if there are small things you can do to feel more secure while traveling, think about those in advance so you can make the most of your trip!
This trip should be a memorable and enjoyable experience, so don’t let a few logistics or lack of planning derail you! Think through the basics and then enjoy having flexibility in your plans when it comes to determining what you want to do each day, where you feel like eating, and how much self-care you plan for the trip!
Have you taken a solo trip and have some additional advice to share? Please share below!