Rebecca writing for Bookmundi.com, shares some destination ideas and tips for planning the perfect solo trip.
The thought of exploring the world on your own is an intoxicating one—but it can be a daunting prospect. Striking out on your own on a solo trip takes a lot of courage and planning, especially if you are a first-timer. To make things easier, here are some insider tips from me to help you plan your solo trip.
So many ways to travel solo
Solo travel doesn’t necessarily mean travelling alone or doing it all on your own. There are plenty of ways to go on a solo trip. Group tours are specifically designed for solo travellers where you can meet new people and travel together. This is a great way to test the water if you’re a first-timer.
For those looking to travel independently, pre-packaged tours can help you lessen planning and booking hassles – all the while letting you travel on your own with ease.
And if you are confident enough about setting out on your own and doing all the figuring out yourself, you can take on the challenge of flying solo, literally!
Learn more about all the ways below:
- Join a group tour: There are plenty of companies that run group tours for solo travellers around the globe. You get to travel along with like-minded strangers and share your mutual excitement of exploring new places and trying new things. All your accommodations, transport, and other logistics are sorted out for you. This is a great choice if you’re planning your first solo trip.
- Find an independent trip: An independent trip comes with a pre-designed itinerary. Your departure dates, accommodations, transfers and activities will already be planned out for you. You’ll be on your own for the most part of the trip, including travelling between destinations and exploring each site—making for an easy solo trip without the fuss of planning. It is a great stepping stone between group travel and taking the leap into flying solo.
- Custom trip by travel experts: While a customised trip can be slightly expensive, considering that the itinerary is designed to cater to your every need, it does take away the stress out of your trip planning process. You can simply look forward to your solo holiday and enjoy it. Work with bespoke trip designers like Bookmundi, who offer a customised trip-planning service to help you shape your itinerary and sort out all the logistics for you.
- Fly solo: This is probably the purest form of solo travel, as you’ll be completely on your own. You find your destination, plan out the itinerary, organise all the logistics, and head out. It’s definitely a liberating experience and gives you a ton of flexibility. But take it from us; it can be scary and chaotic as a first-timer. Best to do thorough research before heading out.
Determine your budget:
Being a solo traveller often comes at a premium. Hotel rooms are predominantly priced based on two people staying, so if you want to travel and stay in higher-end accommodations, you’re going to get stung with single supplements. This is also true if you are looking for private transfers in between cities, as taxis or rental cars get expensive if you have no one to split the costs with.
On the flip side, if you’re travelling solo on a budget, you can stay in dorm rooms in hostels, which are normally filled with other solo travellers. Transport-wise, public networks are going to be the most cost-effective way to get around. This is also why many solo travellers pick destinations that are solo traveller-friendly.
Decide on the destination
Once you have decided how you’d like to travel, all you need is the right destination. When you’re travelling solo, especially for the first time, some destinations are more solo traveller-friendly than others. Here are some of the best destinations for solo travel in 2023.
- Iceland: As one of the top safest countries in the world, the Land of Fire and Ice is a great destination for stress-free solo travel. Its sheer amount of awesome hostels and organised day trips provide a brilliant travelling experience for solo trips on any given day. The country’s capital, Reykjavik, sees a whole host of tour buses filled with solo and group travellers journeying to the Blue Lagoon, the black sand beaches and other attractions. Iceland is low on violence, high on security and abundant with mesmerising places to explore. It is also an ideal place to chase some of the best Northern Lights.
- Costa Rica: Costa Rica is the safest country in Central America and has a wonderful reputation for solo travelling for both men and women. The locals are exceptionally welcoming and always ready to help. Costa Rica also has an excellent public bus network between all major cities and tourist locations that is easy to use and pocket-friendly. With crystal clear beaches, wild forests, volcanoes and adventure sports like zip-lining and rafting, the country boasts tons of activities and destinations fit for solo travellers.
- Italy: Traveling solo to Italy is easy thanks to its massively well-connected transportation, safe community and availability of day tours. Trains and buses go almost everywhere in the country, and the cities are largely walkable. Among many locations, the trail at Cinque Terra is highly popular among solo travellers. Other travel places include the Archaeological Park of Baratti and Populonia, Recco in Liguria and Malborghetto-Valbruna, in Friuli Venezia Giulia.
- Thailand: Thailand is one of the most popular destinations for solo travel. Tourist buses leave the major cities and locations pretty much every day, and extremely affordable accommodations make it a great place to visit solo on a budget. You can visit Chang Mai – a popular spot for solo travellers or head to Pai – a top backpacker town. From budget travel to luxury vacationing, Thailand is well-equipped for solo trips. It gives you the best of both worlds with its bustling cities and tranquil beaches.
Tips and tricks for solo travel:
- Share your itinerary: One big thing that intimidates many people about solo travel is safety, especially if you’re a female solo traveller. Before you leave, give someone back home your full itinerary, complete with where you’re staying in different places. This way, you can have peace of mind on the road.
- Check reviews: Not all hostels and hotels are created equal. Sites like Hostelworld have detailed review sections that include the age range and gender of the reviewer. This can help you figure out if the hostel is a good fit.
- Ask for guidance: A great thing about solo travel is meeting people along the way. And when you do find someone trustworthy such as a fellow traveller in the hostel dorm or your hotel manager, ask around for recommendations or route advice—you might get some golden insights.
- Check for free city tours: Whether you’re on a budget or not, free city tours are always a great place to start. You can get your bearings in the city, accompanied by a local so that you don’t spend your time getting lost later in your trip.
- Have a contingency fund: Like with any trip, when you’re travelling solo, things can go wrong. Make sure you have a contingency fund of around 10% of your trip. If you haven’t booked a return flight, make sure you have the rough amount of a ticket in a separate account in case of an emergency.