Making the decision to head off on a trip of your own for the first time can be as exhilarating as it is nerve-wracking, but there’s nothing holding you back from taking the solo trip you’ve always wanted! On the contrary, there is all the reason in the world to stop waiting and just go for it! You may learn some things you didn’t know about yourself while learning about your destination. Vacationing with friends and family is always a great way to bond, but traveling with an entourage can also be complicated, costly, and time-consuming. Here are just a couple of tips to keep in mind when you’re ready to ditch the squad and venture out on your own!
Whether or not you look back on your solo voyage as a triumphant success or series of misadventures can be largely dependent on the steps you take to prepare yourself before leaving, along with the attitude you have when setting off.
Before setting off to Europe for the first time, the piece of advice I wish I could share with my younger self is this; people will try scare you. DON’T listen! There will also be those who are well-meaning but will inevitably pop up every time you are about to leave on an epic excursion.
People always seem so eager to remind you of the inherent dangers of traveling, of being foreign, of being female, of being old or young, or of being in an unfamiliar place. They genuinely mean well, to scare you just enough so that you make smart choices while far from home. They will remind of thriller movies that picture women being taken or taken advantage of while abroad.
It’s better to leave the fantasies to the Hollywood directors and focus on real logistical issues which could help ensure the success of your solo trip. Do enough research to make sure you know where you’re going to be staying, who you will be staying with if you’re sharing lodgings, and how you’re going to be getting there. Having these details all arranged before you set off will save you a lot of headache and stress during your trip rather than trying to find accommodations or buy a train ticket last minute.
Another thing to keep in mind as you prepare to go on any trip, especially a trip you will be taking by yourself, is to make sure to tell someone where you are going, and when you are planning to be back. It is best to leave behind contact information for wherever you will be staying and a travel itinerary with someone you trust back home, whether that be a friend, family member, or colleague. It is important that folks that you care about are able to reach you in case of an emergency.
One of the most beautiful and freeing things about traveling by yourself is that you get to dictate your itinerary with complete freedom. Take this chance to be brave – don’t let fear hold you back from doing the things you want to do. It is so easy to have one’s feelings overshadowed or to swallow your personal opinions in favor of group harmony. When you’re traveling with a party of one you dictate every single moment of the adventure, from the smallest most insignificant choice to the most consequential decisions. From where and when to eat to what to do and where to go, you are the master of your own decisions. Do exactly what you’d like regardless of the feelings or expectations of others – no one is there to judge you if you’re flying solo! What a marvelous feeling it is to be free!
The last thing to keep in mind when taking your first big trip by yourself is to be bold in the pursuit of your own pleasure. Do things that make you excited, don’t be afraid of new people and above all – try new things! You didn’t go on a trip just to do the same old things, after all! Say yes to everything your unfamiliar surroundings have to offer, and what the heck, if you don’t like it at least you’ve got another travel story to add to your repertoire.