Six mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

Solo travel is an incredibly rewarding experience. It gives you the opportunity to learn more about yourself, explore new places and gain long-lasting experiences without the hassle of travelling with other people.

One of the most significant advantages of travelling alone is the sense of empowerment that it provides. Solo travel gives you the confidence to navigate new situations with certainty and a sense of accomplishment.

Here are some of the most common mistakes people make while travelling alone and how to avoid them.


Most people who overpack tend to do so for the reassurance that they will have everything they might need on the trip. However, overpacking typically leads to the stress of lugging heavy bags around.

Pack according to the itinerary of your trip and add one or two extra outfits as a backup. This will ensure you have enough room in your luggage for any souvenirs you pick up on your travels.

Micromanaging your schedule

Many people make the mistake of over scheduling their trips when they travel alone. It is important to be open to changing your plans and give yourself some extra time to account for unexpected situations, whether it is traffic, flight delays, or weather changes.

Filling your schedule to the brim can be exhausting. Instead, factor in some downtime to travel from place to place while relaxing and recharging between activities.

Not doing enough research

Researching and learning about the local culture and customs before your visit will stand you in good stead. Remember to look up the tourist entry fees, accommodation reviews, weather conditions, dress codes, and public transport facilities in order to curate and follow a fun itinerary.

Researching your destination beforehand will also give you an idea of how to deal with any unexpected situations, such as losing your belongings or being targeted by a mugger.

Not staying connected with loved ones

While taking a break from the stress of social media and technology is a major perk of travelling, remember to check in with your friends and family every now and again to keep them informed of your whereabouts.

This will give them peace of mind, and if anything happens they’ll know where to find you. 

Alternatively, you can share your itinerary with someone and keep them informed in case of any major schedule changes during your trip. 

Not carrying enough money 

Running out of money on a solo trip can lead to stressful and potentially dangerous situations. To avoid this, plan a realistic budget and include all expenses such as accommodation, transport, food and attractions.

Do not rely solely on cash or one single card, and always carry more than one form of payment. Keep them in different locations, such as your luggage or hotel safe, in case one is stolen or misplaced. 

When using an ATM, be aware of foreign transaction fees or taxes and keep track of your expenses.

Not being cautious and prepared for emergencies

If you’ve done your research and packed well, it’s likely everything will go to plan and you’ll have a great time solo travelling. But emergencies can happen so ensure you’re prepared.

Keep an offline map and emergency contact information with you in case of network or wifi issues, and do not compromise your safety by travelling late at night.

Always carry a hard copy of your passport and travel insurance in your bag, along with basic first aid items such as pain relievers and bandaids.

Finally, keep some extra cash on hand in a separate location, so you have access to money if your wallet is lost or stolen.

Are you a fan of solo travelling? Are there any other tips you would add to the list? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Also read: Best destinations for solo travellers

Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.
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