If you are planning a solo trip, especially if it’s your first one, I know from experience that it’s a daunting task. Figuring out how to get from one country to another, trying to understand each cities internal transport systems, where to buy tickets, understand the fares. Everyone is different and each person will have different struggles, but here are a few tips to help survive that first solo trip.
1. Plan ahead! And this is going to be the most important tip I can give you. The internet is full of information and I guarantee that no matter where you are going, someone else has done it before and has something to say about it. As soon as you get off the plan, know where your heading, know which train or bus you need to get into the main city or final destination, otherwise you’ll waste time hanging around an airport.
2. Research your hotel or hostel and make sure your happy with it! Travelling alone can really take you out of your comfort zone. If a day in a strange city starts to feel overwhelming, you’ll need to retreat back to your hotel or hostel and you need to make sure it’s an environment that you can relax and feel comfortable in. If your a very private person and not used to sharing a room, you’re probably going to find hostel life very overwhelming and barring locking yourself in a toilet, will not find much privacy.
3. Have your itinerary ready. Especially if you are only in a city for 2 or 3 days, you don’t want to waste an entire day whilst you “get your bearings”, a phrase which should be redundant in this day and age! Make the most of your time! That said, and I have fallen into this trap before, don’t jam pack your day with more things to do than you realistically have time for.
4.Book your excursions ahead of going, well I would say that wouldn’t I, since I’m pushing the, on this website! But seriously though, most tour providers (like Get Your Guides) have a downloadable app, which stores your electronic tickets ready for you to have at the ready. When you book tickets, if you can book them that are not time restricted (I.e. you can turn up at any time during that particular day) then do so.
5. On your first day, do a short guided walk/tour or book an hour or 2 with a “local friend”. This can be a great way to get to know the city, get a brief overview and some helpful travel tips at the same time as seeing some of the cities most interesting and historic buildings. Booking a tour with a local, you’ll find them on this website is where you’ll pay around £15 to meet up with a local/native from the city who’ll show you around, and will base an hours worth of activities based on your likes. It gives you the opportunity one on one to ask any questions about the city, get them to tell you the best places to see based on your own interests. Well worth the money!