Solo Travelers Travel Tips – Are You Ready for Solo Travel?
Are you ready for solo travel? Here are the best Solo Travelers Travel Tips to consider and start your checklist to help you decide. Have you been thinking about going by yourself? Review this are you ready for solo travel checklist before you set out on your first trip. It covers some of the things I have learned during my adventures. I hope this article will give you the right perspective to tell if you are ready to go it alone.
The Wall Street Journal’s recent article, Over 50? Never Been an Expat, But Would Like to Try Living Abroad, explains how solo women travelers can live abroad today. This article made me think about who and why female travelers go it alone?
Solo Travelers Travel Tips
I found most articles focus on the under 35 crowd. It’s somewhat unusual to be a solo female traveler, past child-bearing years and traipsing around the world. But now is a superb time, more women are traveling alone. Most of the articles I have read are about 26-year-olds and how to actively participate. These ideas are good to read at any age. Actively participating is a must if you are going to have fun. Life isn’t going to happen unless you are present. How do women fiftyish decide, ‘Should I just go for it?’ How do you tell if you are ready for solo travel?
Are You Ready for Solo Travel
It starts with ‘Why?’ Many women are traveling, as an extension of work, alone on treks or with another woman. Now, women 40 – 50 and beyond are going on trips, more because they can. They never had the chance to follow their dream to see the world. I approach the topic from a different point of view. Let’s look at the question to see if you are ready. These are the things that I learned from traveling to 47 countries since 2007. I want to offer my perspective on being ready and what it takes to get ready.
Are You Ready for Solo Travel – Solo Travelers Travel Tips
How to Decide if You Are Ready?
Ask yourself these questions. I call it my ‘are you ready for solo travel’ checklist.
Do you have the time?
- Is your family OK without you? Are your kids grown? Do you have fewer obligations to pets or children?
- Are you OK with absence from your friends and key relationships?
- Are your friendships intimate enough to be able to pick up where you left off when you return?
- If you are looking for a partner, are you OK knowing that traveling might make it harder to find that particular partner?
- Are your pets OK with your trip?
Solo Travelers Travel Tips
Solo Travelers Travel Tips – Questions to Consider
- Are you OK with the style of the journey that your budget can afford?
- Are you OK with setting a budget and sticking to your budget?
- How do you handle jet lag?
- Are you ready to ditch your expectations? Can you accept that things don’t go as planned?
- Can you make a plan or go without a plan?
- Are you ready to compromise?
- How flexible are you?
- Are you impatient?
- Can you wait for other people when you want to be doing what you want to do?
- If a problem arises are you willing to spend a little extra?
- Are you ready to share with another person?
- Are you prepared to ask for help, and more importantly, can you accept help?
- If you are going on a long trip, what will you do with your stuff?
Three travel tests
My recommendation is to start small and try out a few of the options below to verify the water. Don’t do everything all at once. Think about travel as taking baby steps and growing with your plan.
1st Option: Use an agent to help plan your solo trip.
2nd Option: Join a small travel group and use the group plan.
3rd Option: Take a local solo trip to see how you like solo travel. If you love it, it will give you confidence.
Maybe consider one of my recommendations. Try an international or American Tour. Tour companies can help you plan a reasonably priced solo or small trip with a friend.
Pick the friend wisely. Traveling together can end the best relationships.
How to Build Your Confidence
My first solo travel destination was a jazz festival located a two-hour drive away from my home, in my state. It was fun. Next time, I went further. Now, very few places give me anxiety. I still worry. However, I find that my travel fears lessen over time. I’m not fearless, but I try to be confident. My itineraries are posted here to help you feel confident about your individual travel plans.
Plan on ‘hitting the easy button’ whenever possible
The hardest part is planning the trip
- Planning makes the journey ‘your experience.’
- There is no right or wrong way to travel
- Simplicity, price, and value are the most important factors for travel decisions
Solo Travelers Travel Tips
Planning takes time
- Remember, there are many roads to Rome — literally
- There is no fast way to plan a trip
- Even buying a tour takes time to buy the right one
Here is my advice for venturing into solo travel
- Start small. Take small steps. Get comfortable.
- Travel a local trip first
- Move on to an international trip
- Learn as you go, like I did
There are no guarantees that my trips will work for you. If you want to use a travel agent to help you, tour companies can be a good value. I like a few tour companies and recommend good ones because I have experienced the bad things.
Have a contingency budget
Unexpected things happen when you are traveling. You will need some spare cash just in case you need to buy an extra pass, pay an unexpected fee or switch hotels.
Passports and visas
- Make sure your passport is current
- Make sure to check if you need a visa for the country. I have used CIBT and the countries online visa process
My trip destinations were safer when I did them. Nowhere in the world is actually safe. Please, always check the security of an area and the religious holidays before you travel. Always check with the American Consulate for current risk assessments. Always register with the STEP Program, if you are leaving the USA. The STEP Program is “The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.” It is a free service to allow US citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.
Solo Travelers Travel Tips
The US American Consulate is for any US citizen who has a problem when traveling in that foreign country. Don’t call about silly things. The American Embassy will help if you need a new passport, you have been hurt or need to get out of the country. Bottom line: Register your trip with the STEP Program.
Here are Rick’s suggestions – for you to consider. Rick Steves – Tips for Solo Women Travelers
Are You Ready for Solo Travel – Use Common Sense
- Whenever possible, use public transportation
- Locals are your friends; they will give you local knowledge and help
- Don’t buy products that are knockoffs — you’ll regret it
- Do go to the favorite brand(s) discount stores and deals
- When in doubt, I don’t pursue the situation. That means if my gut tells me no, I listen to my intuition.
If it is probably too good to be true, it’s probably not true
If you feel unsafe, listen to your feelings. There is no harm in leaving an uncomfortable situation. Alternatively, staying could get you in trouble. Therefore, follow this rule: When in doubt, you’re out. Take time to assess the situation. Be kind to yourself. Sounds easy but it can be very hard to do when you are traveling.
Solo Travelers Travel Tips – How to Save money
Keep a Plan B budget in case it’s needed
- Contingency funds are for emergencies
- Carry two credit cards
- Carry a secret cash stash
Shopping, meals, and accommodations
- When needed, don’t stress about it, splurge
- Scrimp on something else
- Pick an expensive solution from time to time as a treat
- If it is a high value, get it. You will be on a ‘once-in-a-lifetime experience,’ and many practical items you can buy abroad will last for years at home.
Travel is an investment the benefits are worth it
- At times, you will have to spend money to solve your problem
- If you can’t solve your problem any other way, use your contingency fund
Solo Travelers Travel Tips – Resources
Try these articles if you are still undecided:
Traveling solo as I have done is not for everyone. When you are traveling, you’ll have to think like you are 26 years old again.
Do you want to do that again?
Can you do that?
Why travel alone?
Should I go alone?
Can I go alone?
ONLY – You are the final judge.
Be willing to put yourself out there if you want to be successful. You have to be friendly. Are you prepared to be an active participant and to have a few failures to gain some giant life experiences? The one thing I believe is that when you come back, you won’t be the same.
I believe every woman should travel solo or as part of a small group at some point in her life. You just have to find the way that fits you.
I have some trusted agents, and I’m considering posting their contact information. My advice is to interview the agent carefully and select the right one that fits your needs and personality.
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