7 Tips for Traveling Solo for the First Time

California Coast photo

I was petrified, but excited, when I took my first solo vacation across the country.  I have always HATED going pretty much anywhere on my own….but for some reason the thought of heading to a new state seemed intriguing.  After my first solo trip……I was ready to do it again!

Here are a few tips that might help you take the plunge and feel better when taking a solo vacation.

 

1.  START SMALL

If you’re like me and have never been one to venture off on your own, start small.  Try visiting a new city in your home state by yourself.  Just slowly acquaint yourself to the new surroundings and that there are new people all around you.

2.  GO SOMEWHERE SCENIC

This might sound like a strange tip, but if you go somewhere scenic and outdoorsy, you’ll find yourself wanting to get out and explore.  If you go to a big city, it might be a little scarier for a first solo trip.  California was my first solo trip and it was a perfect choice.  I drove up Pacific Coast Highway and got to take in the incredible scenery.  There is no reason to be crammed indoors there.  The weather is perfect and the surroundings are amazing.

3.  LET LOVED ONES KNOW YOUR ITINERARY

One big mistake I made when I went to California on my own was not telling anyone that I was going to be spending the day venturing up highway 1……all day…….where there is no cell service.  Hours later when I got back into town and turned my phone on, I had a ton of worried texts and calls.  My family was actually close to calling the cops because they couldn’t get ahold of me.   Oops.

If there is even a slight chance you won’t have any cell service….be sure to update people at home that might be expecting to hear from you.  Or else you might have a search party after you.

4.  KEEP RECORD OF EVERYTHING FOR YOUR TRIP

Before I leave for my trips I make sure I have everything printed.  I have my car reservation information, hotel confirmation, flight information, and even a list of locations I want to see.  Try it, It will give you some peace of mind knowing that you have your ducks in a row. and that you’re well-prepared.

5. BE OPEN TO MEETING NEW PEOPLE

Traveling solo is the BEST way to meet new people!  People are always more willing to talk to someone who is alone on a plane, on a hike – pretty much anything.  Some of my best memories have been on my flights!  Also, if you meet natives from the place you are visiting, they can give you fantastic advice as to places you should see…and even places you shouldn’t.  I absolutely love meeting people while traveling solo!

6. DON’T OVER PACK

I don’t think I can stress this one enough.  It’s going to be you.  Only you.  That means no one is there to help you with the luggage.  I try to limit myself to 1 checked bag and 1 carry on bag.  It makes it a lot easier when I’m packing the rental car and roaming the airport(s).

7. TAKE IT ALL IN!

Really take time to take in the experience!  There is nothing like driving aimlessly, especially when you don’t have other people telling you where to go or what to do.  It really is incredible how much confidence you build after traveling solo!

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