How To Kick Start Your First Solo Adventure

09/01/2016 04:53pm ET | Updated September 2, 2016

Going on your very first solo trip can be very daunting. But it is not as hard as you think. Chances are you have either been that Type A person who had done all the planning herself anyway or the one who just went with the flow. Either way, you’ll be fine. A little bit of both certainly would be beneficial.

Ask The Where And When Questions

The planning and research for your first solo trip will depend on the location and time of your planned adventure. You need to figure out visa requirements (which might also might put your trip at a later date), check if there are times when you should avoid to travel (don’t go to Australia’s North between December and March as it’s raining and there are box jelly fish in the ocean) and read up on the general safety levels of where you’re going. Know what you will be signing up for when you plan your first solo trip.

You're never too old for wonders. Photo with @vorarlberg and #Österreich Tourismus.

A photo posted by Annemarie (@travelonthebrain) on

Get Only Some Bookings Done In Advance

If you can, get your bookings sorted out in advance by which I mean your flight (or other means of transportation) and your first stay. The beauty of solo travel is that you are able to talk to strangers and fellow travelers much more easily and then ask them about advice and great places to travel to next. I made my way through New Zealand this way and it was one of my most favourite journeys. Plus, it’s also more comforting to hear actual stories from recent trips than to google every leg of the journey in advance. And who knows, you might want to stay longer in a place? So be flexible and go with what you enjoy.

Level Up Your Packing Skills For Your First Solo Trip

No matter how long you are traveling, you need to learn how to pack the basics. Get yourself a packing list (I have one prepared for you to download and print), place everything neatly on the floor to be completely stunned by all the stuff you own and then take away what you can and then some more. Don’t be tempted to put things back even if there is still space. You’ll regret it! To get the most out of your luggage space, roll your clothes, stuff shoes/hats and little bags you packed with your underwear.

Share Your Plans

To be on the safe side and reassure your loved ones of your sanity, give them the rundown of your overall itinerary idea for your first solo trip (and you are allowed to change it halfway through). Then keep them updated on your whereabouts and plans via email and by giving them access to a shared dropbox folder in which you put all your travel bookings, security scans of travel documents and insurance.

Get Into The Mindset Or Just Don’t Think About It

When you travel solo you need to check your expectations because it will be an entirely different experience to how you traveled before. So the first step is to be aware of the fact that you will be alone and that that’s ok. And then forget about it. Just do everything as planned, prepare your bags, have your travel documents ready, be punctual for your connections, check into your accommodation and then head out into the streets to explore. Don’t think, just enjoy the experience. It is easier than you think. Overthinking can be such a buzzkill.

Sort Your Budget Out

Since you have no one to split costs with, such as accommodation or food, you have to maybe work a little harder with the budget you’ve got. But that is not really a problem as there are a lot of travel hacks out there for getting cheap flights, reducing food costs and more. In fact, there are so many I even made a list of 90+ saving hacks. Now it would take more than a blog post to show you all of them, so here is a 5 day mini crash course for free.

Tell me: What do you think is the trickiest part when preparing for a first solo trip?

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