Listen up future first time solo travellers, the results are in. We asked the YourLifeChoices community what would be the one piece of advice they’d have given themselves before their first solo travel experience. Of the 2119 responses, here are the most reoccurring answers.
- Trust your instincts.
- Be prepared, organise what you can before you leave.
- Be open to meeting new people and having new experiences.
- Be kind to yourself and try not to panic.
- Keep a diary and stay in touch with family.
- Preparation is key.
- Be brave but don’t throw caution to the wind.
- Research destinations before leaving and talk to the locals to get the most from the experience.
- Pack lightly.
- Take care, buy travel insurance and keep all important documents in a safe place.
The one piece of advice I’d add to the list is learning to appreciate things on your own. If you’re used to travelling with friends or a group, then you’re probably used to sharing remarkable places and experiences with them. This may be a more important part of your travels than you thought and being expected to draw it all in on your own and having no one with whom to share your awe can be both over-and underwhelming. It may seem harder to make memories when you don’t log them with someone else.
I bought a sketchbook and pencil (even though I’m not much of a drawer) which allows me to record the ‘conversations’ I’d normally have with my friends in a book, instead.
Also, the importance of ‘trusting your instinct’ can’t be underestimated, especially when you’re alone and don’t have the ‘back up’ you would normally have. If something feels dodgy, don’t be polite, back right out, and if your instincts say to explore an area, do it!
What do you think of our final list? What other advice would you give a first-time solo traveller?