I’m not going to lie … travelling alone for the first time is scary. You don’t know what to expect and you have no one to lean on except yourself. I was kind of thrown into solo travel after a bad experience in Iceland that left me travelling solo for the first time. I had no idea what to do but my instincts kicked in and I was able to make friends, go on fun adventures and make the most of my time there! So how was I able to gain this confidence? And can anyone be confident while travelling solo? Today I’ll be sharing my top tips for solo travel confidence and hopefully inspire you to travel on your own!
Solo Travel Confidence Tips
1. Choose a place where you know you’ll have fun:
Have you been dying to get somewhere but you don’t have friends to go with you? Or maybe you’re just ready to travel on your own? Pick a place where there’s no doubt you’ll have a good time. I always recommend South East Asia for first-time solo travel, as it’s incredibly easy to do on your own. You’ll also have no trouble making new friends, getting around and finding a place to stay. Oh and did I mention you can travel on practically any budget in South East Asia?! When in doubt, pick Asia as a starting point.
2. Ask a friend for advice:
Chances are, you probably know someone who’s travelled alone and will be willing to share their tips on solo travel confidence! If not, reach out to people online. There are countless online communities of travellers, one of my favourites being Girls Love Travel on Facebook. You can also search for Facebook groups based on specific places and can connect with people who are living or travelling there. When you have more information, you’ll realize that it’s not that scary to travel to a new place alone and you’ll find a lot more confidence.
3. Plan ahead:
Now I don’t mean you should plan out every single detail. In fact, I recommend you don’t do that because you’ll meet people along your travels and you might want to change your plans. When I suggest planning ahead, I mean downloading apps that will help you get around such as Maps.me, Grab (Asia’s equivalent to Uber) and more! I always suggest planning out your accommodation for the first night or two of your trip as well. This will ensure you have a bed when you’re just getting your bearings in a new place.
4. Be safe, not scared:
You’ve probably heard about a million different horror stories from people backpacking or travelling solo. While bad things can happen when you travel alone, bad things can happen if you walk down the street at home alone. It’s important not to focus on what could happen to the point where you’re scared.
Instead, be safe and educate yourself about a new place before you go there. My 23 solo female travel safety tips is a great place to start if you don’t know how to go about travel safety!
5. Learn some of the local language:
Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you go ahead and become fluent in Japanese (unless that’s something you want to do 🤷🏼♀️). Simply learn how to say a few phrases or hello, thank you and so on in the local language. You can ask a local working at a hostel or learn ahead of time. Doing so is not only seen as a sign of respect but it’s sure to help boost your solo travel confidence.
6. Remember the benefits:
Sure, travelling with friends can be a great time but solo travel comes with endless benefits. First, you can make all of the decisions. Don’t choose to look at that as a negative but a positive. Here are some of the things I like most about solo travel:
- You can do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to! If you want to spend an entire day at the beach, you can spend an entire day at the beach. You’re the only person in charge.
- You’re responsible you for you and only you. That means you don’t need to worry about other people slowing you down or taking care of your drunk friend all night long.
- You’ll meet people you never would have met otherwise! Solo travel opens you up to a world of possibilities, including people you’d only come across while island hopping in the Philippines, sleeping in a dorm room of 20 people in Vietnam or hiking in the mountains in Switzerland!
- You’ll become more confident, independent and learn how to love yourself.
7. Join a tour:
If your solo travel confidence hasn’t quite peaked yet, try out a tour. Many tour operators such as G Adventures, LifeBeforeWork, Contiki, TopDeck and more make travel so easy. I started out doing a G Adventures tour in Thailand and it gave me the confidence to travel on my own afterwards. I’ve also done short 1-3 day tours while travelling in Australia alone and I made heaps of friends along the way!
You can find endless tour options through hostels, including free walking tours – which are my fave.
8. Embrace a new adventure:
One of my favourite things about travel is that there’s always something new to do or a new place to explore. Start embracing adventure now, even while you’re still at home. Start planning little adventures for yourself near where you live and as you gain more confidence, slowly expand your circle and venture to further places on your own. You’ll start to see just how fun it can be to experience a place for the first time by yourself!
9. Know that you’ll ALWAYS make friends:
One fear everyone experiences before they travel solo is that they won’t make friends. Don’t let that fear stop you because you will always make new friends! If you’re open to meeting new people and stay in hostels, it will never be a problem. I’ve made some of my best friends through solo travel and I wouldn’t change it for the world!
Check out my blog on how to make friends while travelling for specific tips.
Are you ready to embrace solo travel?
I’ll fill you in on a little secret. While keeping all of these tips in mind will help you become more confident, solo travel confidence only comes with the experience of travelling alone. You can prepare as much as you’d like but the confidence will only come through your willingness to face your fears and seek discomfort.
My FREE EBOOK is here to help get you started with budget and solo travel! Download it today and feel free to reach out with any travel-related questions!
Psst … remember, sharing is caring! ✌🏼