4000 Islands, Laos - Travel Alone, Travel Far, Stay Alert and Stay Safe
Solo Travel

How to prepare yourself for Solo Travel – Part 2

If solo trip is in your to-do list, but you are unsure about how to prepare yourself for such adventurous ride, read on!

I have listed, in total, 11 ways to prepare yourself to travel alone for the first time. This post is in continuation to my previous post How to prepare yourself for Solo Travel – Part 1 and contains the remaining 6 ways to get used to solo travel.

Ready for onward trip to Laddakh after spending few days on house boat at Nageen Lake in Srinagar, Kashmir
Ready for onward trip to Laddakh after spending few days on house boat at Nageen Lake in Srinagar, Kashmir
6. Pick your destination carefully for your first solo trip

Once you get used to solo travel, you can select whichever destination you want, be it a popular place or an off-beat destination; but, while selecting the destination for your first solo trip be extremely careful!

Always prefer a destination which is popular for tourism. The reason being such destination would already have basic infrastructure and amenities in place. A popular destination is also an ideal choice for a first time solo traveler because language would not become a barrier and you will get plenty of food options.

Also, choose a destination which is considered relatively safer for tourists.

Namikala Pass on Kargil-Leh highway - I picked Laddakh for my first 10-day solo trip as it is tourist friendly
Namikala Pass on Kargil-Leh highway – I picked Laddakh for my first 10-day solo trip as it is tourist friendly
7. Do basic research and manage logistics

One of the most important part of any kind of traveling is planning the trip. Get some experience of doing basic research before embarking on any solo travel.

Never miss out on an opportunity of planning a trip whenever you travel with family or friends. Such research might include identifying various points of interest available in or around the prospective place of your travel, selecting the places you would want to visit based on your preference, searching places to stay, finding out how to reach the accommodation, etc.

Do the booking for conveyance and accommodation on your own.

Find out about the local public transport system and get comfortable using it.

Doing things by yourself, right from planning to execution, is really fruitful in the long run as it saves a lot of cost and gives ample freedom to customize your trip based on your preference.

Franz Josef Glacier, South Island, New Zealand - Basic research helped me to narrow down what all places I wanted to see in New Zealand
Franz Josef Glacier, South Island, New Zealand – Basic research helped me to narrow down what all places I wanted to see in New Zealand
8. Be a little tech-savvy

In today’s world, almost all the information you might need is available online; starting from the information that is required at the stage of planning, to arranging your conveyance and accommodation.

Being tech-savvy also gives you the freedom to make your own plans and change them at whichever stage you want, without relying on any agent or third person; it also helps in case of any emergency.

You don’t have to be an IT ninja, but do have a general idea about where to look for necessary information, what are popular apps, and how to use them.

This does not mean that a person who is not comfortable with using technology cannot travel alone. In fact, my husband is a very good example of such travelers – whenever he travels abroad, he doesn’t even carry a mobile phone; basically, he does a technology detox. He prefers doing everything old-school; he would go to the station to get the tickets (forget online booking!), book accommodation only after reaching the place (left with limited choice of hostels/hotels), go everywhere after asking people around, etc. Too much efforts for me…. ehhh…!!

So, to cut the long story short, I believe, technology definitely helps in making our lives a little more convenient. Make full use of it!

Shwe Indein Pagoda, Inle Lake, Myanmar - I could pull off this impromptu trip only because of last moment bookings done via mobile
Shwe Indein Pagoda, Inle Lake, Myanmar – I could pull off this impromptu trip only because of last moment bookings done via mobile
9. Prefer hostel over hotel

Almost in all the famous and tourist-friendly destinations, good hostels are available. In fact, few hostels can even put some hotels to shame.

Hostels are perfect for solo travelers. They provide super-friendly atmosphere and a great opportunity to interact with like-minded people. So, although you might be traveling solo, hostels don’t make you feel lonely.

Hostels are more pocket-friendly as well. Staying in hotels can become quite expensive when travelling alone as most of the time only double-bed rooms are available. On the other hand, hostels usually have dorm facility.

Since there is less chance of you staying alone in a hostel, they are relatively safer than hotels.

Tribee Hostel at Hoi An Old Quarter, Vietnam - While traveling alone, my first choice is always a hostel
Tribee Hostel at Hoi An Old Quarter, Vietnam – While traveling alone, my first choice is always a Hostel 🙂
10. Be confident

No matter what others say or think, just be confident in your own decisions (of course, do your homework properly).

Ask any solo traveler, and they will confess that each one of them were not sure about their first solo trip; however, they were excited and were willing to take challenges head on. Don’t forget, confidence keeps building up day after day.

I was no exception to such nervousness after taking the decision of solo travel. But one thing that gave me comfort was the thought – “if I don’t like it, I can always come back.”

So, it is okay if you don’t feel fully confident about yourself or about taking that big leap of traveling alone. But, have a positive attitude and be confident in facing challenges.

As they say, fake it till you make it; slowly and steadily you will get the confidence and courage to do things, which you earlier thought were not possible.

A small hike at Cat Ba National Park, Vietnam
A small hike at Cat Ba National Park, Vietnam
11. Be smart and stay safe!!

Irrespective of your gender, safety is a primary concern for any traveler, and traveling solo doesn’t give any ease.

To a certain extent, our safety is in our hands – we just need to be more aware and diligent. There is good and there is bad. We should not be negligent on our part.

Since this is a broad topic in itself, do check out my separate three-part blog post on 25 Safety Tips for Solo Travelers, especially for female solo travelers.

4000 Islands, Laos - Travel Alone, Travel Far, Stay Alert and Stay Safe
4000 Islands, Laos – Travel Alone, Travel Far, Stay Alert and Stay Safe

A successful solo trip, to a large extent, is based on all the little things you learn from your previous group/couple trips. There is no perfect time to start your solo trip, you will always have to take that leap. You will face a lot of hurdles, but that is the fun of it, and in the end, it will all be worth it.

Are you planning your solo trip? Are you scared of taking that leap of faith? What is that one thing holding you back? If you have already traveled solo, how did you prepare yourself? Is there anything else which helped you in preparing yourself for your first solo trip? Share in the comments section below.