Start Planning Your First Solo Trip: Step #1
Ready to take the plunge and plan your first solo trip? Have you been reading what’s important and what’s not in traveling solo and feeling confused or overwhelmed?
Don’t let fear hold you back. Use this first step in planning your first solo trip to make it a success.
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Your Solo Trip
Having done a lot of online travel research myself, I, too, have come across others’ opinions on how much they prepare, or don’t prepare, for a solo trip.
I notice some that write, “I like to be adventurous and wing it.” I can identify with that feeling as an experienced solo traveler, but personally, I normally feel that if I’m returning to a place I know as a solo traveler.
To a new place, however, I’m not the “wing it” kind of person. As a first-time solo traveler over 50, I wouldn’t recommend it for you either.
More Solo Travel Tips
- How to Choose Your First Solo Trip Destination
- How to Create a Solo Travel Budget
- How To Save Money for Solo Travel
- Top 10 Tips on How to Do a Solo Beach Trip
- 10 Must Know Planning Tips for First-Time International Travel
How to Plan the First Solo Trip: The Personality Checklist
There are different points of view, so for your first time traveling solo, my humble advice would be to stop and ask yourself some basic questions first:
What kind of person am I?
Are you the type of person who likes to know where you are at all times, or do you revel in just wandering and getting lost?
Am I usually the designated planner or organizer?
Do you find the “devil in the details” fun, or is it too stressful to have to try to think of everything?
How do I enjoy my relaxation time?
Is being surrounded by a lot of people your idea of fun, or do you prefer to be in small groups of people, or even alone? Additionally, even if you prefer to be around others, are you OK being alone?
Is money (and/or time) “no option”?
Is this your “once in a lifetime trip”, or do you know you can always go back?
More Solo Travel Tips
- 6 Tips on How to Avoid Airport Lines
- How to Travel Carry-On Only
- Five Easy Tips for the Novice International Traveler
- 2 Tips to Improve Your International Travel
Solo Travel Packing Essentials
Making a small checklist of your answers to the above questions will help guide you on how to proceed to book a solo trip that is right for you on your first time traveling alone.
For example, say you are fine being by yourself at all times. You enjoy the freedom of doing whatever you want whenever you want but don’t mind hanging out with groups sometimes. You are saving all of your pennies for this trip and want to make the two weeks (or whatever amount of vacation time) the best they can be because you don’t know when you’ll get this opportunity again.
If this is you, then I would suggest planning as much as possible, from flights down to the days’ activities and costs.
Solo Travel or Group Travel?
Travel Prices and Activities
Research some group tours just to see what they offer in terms of activities, and cost compare against as if you were to do all of the planning and booking on your own. You may find that you can see all you want to see in a fraction of the price that a group tour may charge or vice versa.
Plus, when you are with a group, remember you may not have the flexibility to take off for a day on your own if you’re feeling up to it. Keep these things in mind when you plan your first solo trip.
If you really want to go alone on your first solo trip, don’t be afraid to consider a one-day group tour, such as those found on Viator.com or Get Your Guide. As a solo traveler, I find they have many great options to choose from at reasonable prices, which I love. Who doesn’t like being a savvy traveler?
These daily tours also give you a chance to meet like-minded people, which I also love. After all, a solo travel benefit is having the opportunities to meet new people.
For example, at the last minute I found an amazing one-day wine tasting trip to the Wachau Valley outside Vienna, Austria and met a lovely, solo, female traveler from Denmark. When we returned to Vienna she and I went out for dinner and drinks. We are also connected on Facebook.
Solo Travel Guides and Itineraries
- Best of Barcelona in 3 Days
- 1 Day in Coimbra Portugal Itinerary & Guide
- Pamplona Solo Travel Guide & 1 Day Itinerary
- Best 4 Days in Vienna
- How to See Italy and Austria in 2 Weeks
- The Ultimate 4 Days in Munich
- 3 Days in Brussels (5 with Day Trips!)
- How to See Germany and Austria in 14 Days
Make Solo Traveling Easy
Say you’re the person who finds looking for hotel deals or researching the best museums monotonous. You know you want to see the city highlights but could not be bothered with where you’re going to eat or if the Louvre is better than the Musee d’ Orsay. I would say you may want to try a group tour.
Whether or not you enjoy groups, you can find tours that are geared towards smaller numbers (groups of 10 instead of 30). Even if money is no option, I always recommend shopping around for the best deal. If you feel the trip didn’t “do it for you”, ask yourself what you thought could have gone better? You can address those trip “misses” on the next visit (nudge, nudge).
Prioritize Your Solo Trip
No matter if you do a group tour or travel solo on your first solo trip, I would still advise at least knowing your tourist “bucket list” of activities, and your “backup” activities, before even booking a trip.
Don’t be afraid to ask for opinions or details on websites – most travel sites and bloggers provide areas for comments or reviews for a reason.
Ultimately, the goal is to try get what you hoped for from the trip. If you wish to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower but your tour group will only be on a bus driving by it, then you’re obviously going to feel disappointed in Paris.
It would be a waste to feel disappointed in Paris. Trust me.
Let Me Hear From You
I would love to hear if these tips to planning your first solo trip were helpful to you. Post me your thoughts or questions in the Comments section below. Thank you!