The first time I planned a trip abroad by myself, I was incredibly excited but also almost debilitatingly terrified (I hid it well!) I was convinced absolutely any and everything that could go wrong, would. I can’t take away all of your fears, but I can share my own experiences with solo travel, particularly solo female travel and give you some great tips to help you along the way.
My number one tip is NOT to book with any company before you go.
My Travel Tips for You
- Don’t book a trip with a company before you go.
Now, before I lose you right from the start, hear me out. When you arrive in a travel destination, there will be hundreds of people vying for your attention and your money. This is good news for you. If you wait until you arrive to book your tours and activities, you will end up saving a significant sum of money. For example, when I traveled to New Zealand, I knew I wanted to travel with Stray because their model best fit my needs. I booked in advance because I thought I had found a great deal. Had I waited until I had arrived in New Zealand, I would have saved nearly 50% of the cost of the trip!! Don’t make the same mistake.
- DO book your first night of accommodation.
If you book nothing else, do book your first night of accommodation. Why? Many places fill up and you’re going to be tired. You aren’t going to want to lug all of your belongings around trying to find a good deal. In fact, I highly recommend you book a nicer, private hotel room for your first night, even if you plan on backpacking. You will be able to get a solid night of sleep and start your trip refreshed rather than exhausted. I cannot recommend this highly enough. I booked a hostel for my first two weeks in Australia, including that first night. After landing at 11pm (1am for my body clock), all I wanted to do was get to bed so I could explore in the morning. Instead, I wound up being poked and prodded (literally) until I agreed to go down to the bar with my hostel mates. I appreciated them wanting to include me, but I would have been far happier to have had a good night of sleep!
- Don’t bring a sleeping bag.
Unless you are planning to be camping in the woods for days at a time, do not bother bringing a sleeping bag. I brought one and I used it twice in 6 months on my first solo trip abroad. The rest of the time, it took up valuable space. Even when you do find you need one, they can nearly always be rented for a nominal cost, so unless you are planning to be camping the whole time, it’s not a worthwhile investment.