Have your first solo trip planned? Or your 50th? This is for you!
We know how daunting traveling on your own can be. Whether it’s your first solo trip or your 50th, butterflies before are super common. We’ve helped countless people embark on their first solo adventure and learned a lot through our own experience. That’s why our cofounder, Meesen Brown, shared her top solo travel tips for you, from her 10+ years of travels.
Meesen’s Take on Solo Trips
Traveling solo can feel downright overwhelming. New places, faces, and spaces can feel like a lot of change. However, there are countless benefits to traveling alone. From getting to choose what you want to do, when you want to do it, to moving at your own pace. Also, you get the opportunity to meet new people, experience new things, and grow and learn along the way.
I’ve experienced these benefits, and many more, firsthand from my years of solo travel. They are a large part of the reason we started Behere, to make it easier for you to experience new places while maintaining your routines. So I’m sharing my top tips for solo travel to make it less daunting, and more fun! Happy solo trave time!
1. Download ebooks, podcasts, music etc.
For long flights, train rides or an afternoon relaxing — having time to yourself is essential when traveling by yourself. You might feel the need to make new friends and be social, but make time for quiet moments. Having alone time while traveling is underrated — make time for it.
2. Share your itinerary with family or friends
Paying special attention to staying safe while traveling alone is essential. To do this share where you’ll be and when with trusted loved ones. That way they know where you are and when to check-in. Don’t forget to send friends and family a quick update, or call but also remember to not live on your phone, rather enjoy the moment and where you are.
3. Explore the city on foot
Taking an Uber or cab might be more convenient or faster, but you see more of the city on foot. It’s also a great way to see how people live. Plus you’ll save money, get some exercise and find unique places that you wouldn’t have found otherwise — happy walking!
4. Be cautious, especially alone at night
As much as I believe people are kind, you can never be too careful when in a new place. Do some research on areas/neighborhoods that are safe and always try to arrive to a new place during the day. Also, plan your transportation route ahead of time and learn the local emergency number, just in case.
5. Purchase a local sim card or get a roaming plan
Safety when traveling is always the number one priority. I recommend getting your phone unlocked before leaving your home country, then purchasing a local SIM card. That way you can access the internet, use Google maps and translate, plan on the go, and call home. Also, it’s important to have the local emergency number saved, and the contact details of wherever you are staying.
6. Book your accommodation ahead of time
I always try to book apartments vs hotels for a more authentic, and comfortable feel. I always do research to find the best/safest areas of the city. Then I choose the more expat-friendly areas vs the touristy one. That way I can find more local cafes and shop at local markets and stores vs being pushed around in overpriced tourist markets/cafes. This is a key reason why I started Behere, to help you feel more comfortable, safe and settled from day-one in a new city.
7. Keep a routine
I’ve said this time and time again, maintaining a routine while traveling keeps me productive and grounded. I always do research ahead of time to find local fitness or yoga studios, or use Behere. It can also be a great way to meet people in the city and find a community feel. If you prefer running, look up some running routes around the city. Running is also a great way to explore a new place.
8. Work from a coworking space
If you’re bringing work on your trip, working in coworking spaces is a great way to meet new people and attend events. It’s always wonderful for building your network and learning about business in that country. It’s how I’ve met great friends, brainstormed ideas and connected with brilliant people at masterminds. Also, we’ve shared helpful tools to stay connected with your team while you’re traveling here.
9. Find local communities & meetups
Attending meetups and events for things you’re interested in, is a great way to meet people. I love finding and connecting with female-focused/founder communities while traveling and always try to cohost meetups and events with them. There’s often meetups in English, so if you don’t speak the local language, don’t be afraid to sign up.
10. Pack light and roll your clothes
As much as you think you might need 12 t-shirts, you won’t. Pack strategically and lay out all your clothes beforehand. If there’s anything you haven’t worn in a while, take it out – you won’t wear it. Remember to pack for the weather of your destination, and wear a few warm items on the plane (saves suitcase space). Most things can be purchased where you’re going. That said, remember to pack any medication or toiletry items you know you can’t find elsewhere. Also, roll your clothes before putting them in your suitcase. This gives you more room and ensures they come out less wrinkled.
11. Learn a bit of the local language
Knowing the basics and common phrases will go a long way in your experience in a new place. Practice a bit beforehand using apps like Duolingo, and Google Translate (you can also point your camera at a menu and it will translate for you). Don’t be afraid to try, people will appreciate the effort and might even help with your pronunciation.
12. Have a meal on your own
This may seem strange, but there is something delightful about dining out by yourself. Taking the time to just enjoy the meal and observe, teaches you about the culture and people of that city. If dining out isn’t your thing, cook for yourself and take it to a park to watch daily life go by. People watching is a great way to learn about the local culture and take a break while in a new place.
We hope these help you get excited and feel more at ease before your first (or next) solo trip. If you’re ready for a solo trip, but want some help planning, and finding reliable accommodation, use Behere or get started choosing a city below!