Deciding where to go for your first solo trip can be overwhelming – the world is a vast place, and you want to see A LOT of it! But there are some critical factors you need to consider when choosing a destination as a solo traveler.
But before you read more, I want to make sure you have a travel bucket list. And not just an in-your-head hypothetical list. I mean a physical written or typed out list that you can continuously look at for motivation and inspiration.
Once you have this list, then you can keep reading to choose which place on your travel list you should visit for your first solo trip.
If you need more inspiration for your bucket list, then here are the Best Destinations For Solo Female Travelers.
So here’s the best process for deciding where to go for your first solo trip!
Don’t go to the other side of the world
Consider going to a closer and less remote destination that you can reach by a direct 2-3 hour flight or a 5-6 hour train or bus ride.
Doing this will minimize your stress getting to and from your destination, make you feel like you’re not as far from home, and has fewer possibilities for travel delays or changes.
Staying in your current continent or region of the world means it’s more likely people will speak your language where you’re going and that the culture, food, customs, and what you’ll wear will be familiar to you.
Start closer to home and then “work your way up” to those remote and more hard-to-get-to destinations.
How much time do you have for your trip? Can you ocean-hop, or do you need to stay in your current hemisphere? The answer to these questions will help you narrow down your choices. For example, it’s not worth the time and money to fly from the U.S. to New Zealand if your trip is only five days long.
You also need to think about what the weather will be like in your potential destinations. If one of your dream trips is to be laying out on a Greek isle in a swimsuit, but your first solo trip is in February, then you need to save the Greek isles for another trip.
Pro tip: remember that seasons are reversed in the northern and southern hemispheres. So don’t forget about this when you’re considering your destination!
What’s your budget for this trip? Can you afford a Western European trip, or do you need to consider somewhere else? We all wish we had unlimited amounts of money to travel whenever we want wherever we want in luxury.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have amazing trips on more of a budget; it just means we need to choose our destinations more carefully. Your budget that might cover a hostel room and group walking tours in an expensive destination could translate to a mid-range hotel and private excursions in another part of the world.
Determine what your budget is, decide how you want to travel, and then choose a destination that will let your budget match the trip you want to take.
Don’t change accommodations too frequently
A city-hopping trip can be incredible, but changing your “home bases” adds more work and logistics to a trip. Changing housing (hostel, hotel, Airbnb, etc.) is also one of the things solo travelers say stresses them out the most. It’s comforting and easier to come back to the same accommodation night after night.
So I’d recommend a trip where you’d have a maximum of two “home bases” with only one move (at the most). For first-time solo travelers, I always recommend staying in a central location and doing day trips instead of moving accommodation every other night.
If you do choose to city-hop, though, keep in mind that your transportation arrival and departure times might not align with check-in and check-out times, so be prepared to store your luggage.
Is a destination popular with other solo travelers?
Research your shortlist of destinations to determine if they’re places solo travelers commonly go. Get on Pinterest and Google to see how many people are sharing their stories about visiting a particular country or city alone. If you can’t find many people going to a destination alone, then you should consider saving this place for a later trip.
But even if a lot of people are traveling alone to a place, make sure that their travel experiences were positive. If lots of people are going to a place alone but not recommending it to other solo travelers or giving positive feedback, then you should probably save this for a future trip when you’re more comfortable and experienced with solo travel.
If you’re a woman, then you need to do the above research on other solo female travelers. Women don’t need to know if a place is good for men to travel alone. You need to know if a destination is comfortable for women traveling alone.
I’ve taken trips where I intentionally chose a remote destination with limited access to technology, phone service, and public transportation. These types of trips can be rejuvenating and freeing, but they can also be mentally taxing because most of us are used to having modern amenities consistently available to us.
Reliable internet, transportation, electricity, and running water make for a more enjoyable and less stressful first solo trip. You’ll feel more connected and more comfortable.
So I recommend choosing a destination with a well-established tourist infrastructure.
Is a destination a conservative country?
Conservative countries require men and women to dress specific ways and to follow certain etiquettes. And, often, the dress and etiquette aren’t optional, which can be uncomfortable or difficult for some people to adopt.
You need to consider your comfort level and adaptability when choosing whether to visit a conservative country for your first solo trip. This might not be a problem for you. In which case, go ahead and book your first solo trip to a more conservative country!
But if you think it might be hard to adjust your mindset to travel in a conservative country, you might want to save these destinations for later trips.
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I’m so excited for you to take your first solo trip! Tell me where you’re wanting to go in the comments!
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