Planning to go travelling alone at first can be quite daunting. It's something i think everyone should do at least once in their life. It really is enriching. And as cliche as it sounds i think you can actually better yourself from it a great deal. So here are my top 10 tips for you first time travellers, things that would've helped me, and maybe would've been nice to know before i took the jump.
1. Don't Plan To Much- Yeah so it's good to plan a little bit, so you can decide what you want to do and have a rough idea of where you're going. But Don't plan too much, be open to changing your plan. Going somewhere different, or trying something new. This is one of the great ways you meet and end up travelling with new people, by changing your plans, and doing something a little different.
2. Don't Worry About Meeting People- So many first time travellers worry about meeting people. I think this was my biggest worry. I think i was in the hostel less than an hour, and was already meeting new people and making plans. Try to stay in hostels whenever possible, because there will be loads of people to talk to and meet, that are doing the exact same things as you. This is something you definitely shouldn't worry about. Of course you're going to be on your own sometimes, and in some places, it's going to be easier than others to make friends, but overall you'll be fine.
3. Pack as Light as Possible- Try not to take to much stuff, the more lightweight you go, the easier your travelling experience will be. Just take what you need, research the place you are going, and find packing lists. It will make your life a lot easier. For my complete packing list click here.
4. Have Back Ups- Make sure you have back ups of all your important documents scanned and printed out in hard copy, and in your email. Such as your passport, visa and flight information. This could end up saving the day. If your phone dies you're going to need a print out. So make sure to have these in your backpack with you. Here is a lost of what documents i would recommend to take with you.
5. Do Your Research- Research where you are going a little, find out information on the place, the weather, things to do, how much money you will need, and other little useful tips. This could end up making your trip a lot more enjoyable. I always like to have a list of things i want to do, for each place i'm visiting as it saves me time planning and looking when i get there.
6. Be Aware of Your Surroundings- Of course just be aware of your surroundings the same as in most places. But like don't leave your bag alone, lock your valuables away when possible. And just take extra care with important things like money, passports etc.
7. Try to Say Yes Most the Time- Saying yes more can massively influence your first solo trip. Don't be afraid to say yes to things you wouldn't usually do. Of course be careful and don't say yes to stupid things. But don't be afraid to go somewhere new, or go out with people, or go eat with locals. This will make your experience a hell of a lot more enjoyable and a much more enriching experience.
8. Ask Yourself 'What do i Want to Do- You're on a solo trip, you're free to do whatever you like, go where you want, for as long as you want. When you wake up in the morning, it's up to you where you go or who you speak to. Make the most of this freedom, because it doesn't come around often in life.
9. Be Friendly and Smile- The friendlier you are, the more people you are going to meet and the more fun you're going to have. Don't be scared to speak to people or smile. Make conversation, approach random people, locals and in your hostels, of course be careful and use precaution, be but friendly and outgoing and you will have a lot more fun, than if you were to be shy and quiet. A smile goes a long way.
10. Don't be Afraid to Ask- And finally don't be afraid to ask. This is a huge one for me, so many people i meet seem to be scared to ask for things. It's as if humans are scared of humans. Ask for directions if you're lost. Ask locals for help and information. Ask people if you can try things. The worst someone can say is NO. And then you just carry on with what you were doing. So many of my own incredible adventures have all happened just because i asked. From just asking to try some food, to then end up cooking with the locals in Asia, to asking to join in playing football on the beach in Brazil. So to finish off don't be afraid, ask if you want something, be friendly and confident, and that first solo trip will be unforgettable.