Transitioning from being a semi-solo traveler to a legitimate solo adventurer can be scary. After all, doing most things alone takes a certain amount of courage! Thankfully, experienced travelers are here to help make the transition easy. Recently, men and women met in an online discussion to reveal essential tips that will slowly push you to accept your fate as an incredible solo traveler.
1. It’s All About Desire
According to many men and women, you either want to venture out alone or you don’t. After all, only some people are cut out for solo travel. “The only trick to pull the trigger is desire,” one avid solo traveler confesses. “If you have the desire, you’ll buy the ticket, book a room, and plan the trip. But don’t overplan! At the very least, narrow it down to a few places you want to see, how to get there, where to stay, and what your budget is going to be.”
2. Walk in Somebody Else’s Shoes
Make no mistake: The notion of taking an entirely unknown journey is stressful. However, there is a way to combat this: By following in someone else’s footsteps — literally! If blazing your trail feels too daunting, that’s okay; there’s no shame in recreating someone else’s adventure. By doing this, you’re taking the element of surprise from the equation. If you know someone who recently completed a trip, don’t be afraid to copy as many aspects of it as you like.
3. Take Baby Steps
Not every commitment has to be a “tear off the bandage quickly” situation. You can travel at your own pace by going slow and taking baby steps. “Take a couple of short trips by yourself to some close-by areas that you haven’t been to,” advises one woman. “Once you do that a couple of times, go to a place farther away. Then farther, then farther, and so on.” It’s a great strategy!
4. Start Saving Now
Have you considered that part of the reason you’re so anxious to travel completely solo is because of the associated costs of doing so? It’s understandable, but the sooner you start saving, the more peace of mind you’ll have once the trip comes. Start saving now; your wallet and mind will thank you!
5. Consider Meditation
Sometimes, getting into a different headspace can work wonders when making a significant decision, like traveling solo. “Honestly, meditation works for me, even if it’s only for five minutes,” admits one man. “I find it helps me with motivation for the day. I started planning things more, and then I had a better experience. I just returned from a solo European trip, and it was my best so far.”
6. Don’t Overthink It
If you’re anything like me, you’re a classic overthinker. With that in mind, the best advice is to stop overthinking and overanalyzing your situation and just book the trip. Your anxiety may always be part of your decision-making process, so get the most problematic part over with and schedule the trip. Trust me, there will be plenty of other things to worry about!
7. Set Clear Goals and Expectations
Setting clear goals and what you expect to get out of traveling alone will help speed up the process. It’s always easier to analyze a situation once you can properly assess the data. “Define your travel goals, and everything will come into view,” professes one traveler. “What do you want to achieve or experience during your trip? Whether it’s cultural immersion, relaxation, or adventure, having clear goals can motivate you.”
8. Connect With Other Like-Minded Travelers
One of the most important things to realize is that you’re not alone: Each year, millions of semi-solo travelers debate making the jump to “the big leagues.” Countless men and women report that reaching out to friends (or strangers through the internet) with solo travel experience helped remove boundaries in their decision-making process.
9. Choose a Sensible Destination
Your eventual solo trip will hinge primarily on where you decided to visit. Do your due diligence: Research destinations that align with your interests and budget as closely as possible. Don’t sign up for a trip where you know you’ll have difficulty adapting to the culture or language; if you’re afraid of being uncomfortable, book a trip in a place that won’t stress you out!
10. Get Creative
There’s no shame in wanting the best of both worlds! The transition from semi-solo traveling to full-bore solo adventuring is most effortless when it happens quickly. “The way to get your feet wet with solo travel is to plan a trip with a friend or sign up for a small group tour and then plan to remain in the country for a few days afterward,” reveals one savvy traveler. “It’s a small commitment, but enough to see if it’s fun for you. If you do it at the end of your trip, you’ll also be a little acclimated to transportation and cultural norms.”
11. Create a Budget
Like most life-changing decisions, creating a budget can help ease your anxiety. Planning a budget for a solo trip is no different. You can better anticipate expenses once you put numbers down to paper and establish how much money you have to spend on a solo trip. Trust me; you will feel much less wishy-washy about your trip once you realize you have money to do some genuinely fun things while traveling!
12. Do Research
The more knowledge you have about a potential solo adventure, the better you’ll feel about finally pulling the trigger and committing to one. Do yourself a favor: Take in as much information as you can. Research as much as humanly possible. Leave no stone unturned! Before you know it, you’ll be an expert (or close to one) and have all the confidence you need to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
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