40 Mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

If you have always travelled with friends or partners, you will see that travelling solo is an entirely different experience.


You can like it or hate it. Most people like it. That is why it is so popular among travellers. You are on your own, free do to whatever you want and go wherever you want.


But, there are some mistakes that first solo travellers make at the beginning (some of them I did myself on my first solo travel) that can completely change the trip or even ruin it.


Here is a list of mistakes to avoid to ensure your solo travel will be a success.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 40 Mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

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Valentina's Travel Guide, 40 Mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

1. Don't Listen to people who have never travelled alone:


Only those who have already experienced it can give you advice. So do not listen to whoever will tell you what to do, plan, etc., because most of the time, they don't know it.


And by saying this, I don't mean to don't listen to your family and friends when they tell you to be constantly vigilant, to be careful and safe. They are right to worry about you (they love you after all, so let them show you their love).


I am talking about practical advice. Travel solo is completely different from travel with other people, and it can also be more dangerous in some cases.


But don't worry, on my website you will find everything you need about every type of travel.

More Destinations Travel Guide and more Travel Tips are added regularly, so click the subscribe button at the end of this article to be constantly updated about new articles.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 40 Mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

2. Don't Be scared or shy to ask other solo travellers some tips:


Who better than someone who already did it, maybe many times, can give you some precious advice?

Remember, listen to everyone and then make your own choices. Do what you think would suit you better. And remember that only because someone did one or two solo travels doesn't make them experts, so keep asking around and do your research about it.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 40 Mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

3. Don't think you have to stay in a hostel:


Many people think that solo travellers have to stay in hostels, but it is incorrect.


If you do not fancy sharing a room with other people and prefer the comfort of a hotel, book it.

There are also many different options, like Couchsurfing or Airbnb.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 40 Mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

4. Do not book accommodation far from the city centre or in an unsafe area:


Safety first, always! Do your research to check which area is the central and safer (not every central area is secure, unfortunately). Book your accommodation there. I prefer to spend a little more but stay where it is safe.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 40 Mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

5. Don't Book the wrong accommodation:


Make sure to have an idea of what kind of accommodation you prefer to stay in.

Are you looking to meet other solo travellers, maybe young people who want to party?

Then choose a hostel.


Are you looking for peace and relaxation with a big room all for you?

The hostel is not for you then, look for a nice hotel.


Many people think that solo travels are only for young people, but they are far from true. You can travel solo at any age and have a lot of fun.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 40 Mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

6. Don't Book accommodation without reading the reviews:


Reviews are not always fair, and every point of view is different.


So read the latest reviews carefully, and if eight people give five stars and only one gives two, read that review but remember that experiences and perceptions are different.


Find the accommodation that suits you better.

For example, many reviews say that the accommodation is in a noisy area, it is probably true.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 40 Mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

7. Don't Plan too much for your first and last day:


These are the two days of your travel where it is better not to plan anything because you might arrive tired late (flight delays unfortunately happen).


You might have to wait for too long to get to your room (remember, in that case, you can ask the receptionist if you can leave your luggage somewhere safe, and while you wait for your room, you can explore the area or go out for lunch).


Or, as sometimes happen, you might not have enough time to see something during your vacation, so you can still see it on your last day because it is entirely free.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 40 Mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

8. Don't Follow other people itineraries 100%:


Don't do as other people did before you. Keep your mind open and do some more research yourself because you might find something interesting you would love to add to your itinerary.


For travels between cities, I always book transportation on Trainline and on Omio, where I can see all the transport available, at what costs and time.


An excellent option to move around a city is using Google Maps or my favourite City Mapper (the most brilliant navigation app for towns). Use the voice instruction to get to your destination. In this way, you will keep your phone inside your pocket and only need to follow the voice to move around.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 40 Mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

9. Don't Plan a too-tight schedule:


This is a big mistake, and I know it because I did it.


I understand if you want to see everything, but you also have to consider how much time you have.

So make a list of everything you want to see. Plan a daily itinerary with things to see and do in the same area. Calculate the time you need to see them, the time you need to go from one place to another and make sure to be free after 4 pm.


In this case, if you need more time, you still have it, or if you are tired, you can go back to your accommodation and rest before dinner in case you plan to stay out late at night.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 40 Mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

10. research what there is to see and to do:


Too many times, I met someone who went to a place I had already visited, and while talking to me about it, they found out they had seen only half of the most impressive attractions available.


Not because they did not want to see them or they did not have enough time, but because they did not know about them.


This is also one reason why many people told me I should start a Travel Blog. Because I am a super organized traveller, and when planning to visit a place, I turn into a Travel Guide, and I end up knowing more about that place than local.


Valentina's travel guide

So do your searches, start as soon as you decide your destination. This way, you will have all the time you need to plan a perfect trip.


Check out if I have been to the place you want to visit. If I have, you will find everything you need to know on my website, from what to eat and where, what to see and do, hidden gems, museums and much more.


More Destinations are added regularly as I started this Travel Guide after travelling for more than twelve years, so I need time to write everything, but I am doing my best.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 40 Mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

11. Don't overcomplicate your travel:


You have to remember that you will be alone, so make things simple.


Do not run like a spinning top around the city because you did not plan properly. Don't book specific accommodation if to get there from the airport you have to change four buses.


Don't schedule a guided tour at 8 am when you know that it would be difficult for you to wake up early and so on. Don't plan to see and do too many things if you don't have enough time to see everything.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 40 Mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

12. Don't forget to share your itinerary with someone you trust:


Think about your safety first, always. I am never going to stop saying it.


So plan an itinerary and give flights and accommodation details to someone you trust. So they will always know where you are. This is not about them checking on you. It is in case something happens they will know where to find you.


About that, you can easily do it with Google Map location sharing, where you can share your live location with chosen people even when you don't use the app. You only need to activate it and keep your GPS ON at all times. There is an option to share only for one hour or till you turn it off.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 40 Mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

13. Don't forget to buy travel insurance:


One of the things to do as soon as you book your travel is to buy travel insurance. It could save you and your bank account in case of emergency so never forget to buy it.


This is something you should never save money on. Good travel insurance is essential when travelling so please never forget to get one.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 40 Mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

14. Do enough research about safety:


It does not matter if you think the place you will visit is safe. Always do your research, make sure to book your accommodation in a secure area, check if it is safe for you to go out at night, etc.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 40 Mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

15. Don't Plan to arrive or leave at night:


Always avoid arriving or leaving at night, unless you hire a taxi that will take you from the airport to your accommodation.


Avoid bus or train stations at night at all costs when alone. Also, some hostels, hotels or Airbnb do not check-in at night, so make sure to arrive during the day.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 40 Mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

16. Book skips the line tickets:


It is already a pain to spend one hour queuing (even with some friends) to visit an attraction. How fun can it be to do it alone?

Always book a skip the line ticket. It will save you time that you can invest in doing something else.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 40 Mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

17. Don't forget to make copies of your documents:


Always carry copies of your documents with you. Keep the original at your accommodation in a safe place (it can be your room safe if there is one, inside your dirty clothes bag, or even inside your tampons purse as I did a couple of times).


Always carry the copies with you while exploring. I also advise you to send yourself a picture (or a scan) of all of them by email, just in case, so you will always have a copy of all your documents anywhere you will go.


I also always have my favourite prepaid card, Revolut Card, with me to leave my credit cards at my accommodation. In this way, if my bag gets stolen, I still have documents and cards to finish my travel and go back home.


With Revolut Card, you will have three cards in one. One is the physical card, the virtual card to use for online transactions, and the third is the online shopping card that gets terminated every time you use it and replaced with a new one at no extra cost to you.


Through the Revolut app, you can top it up, freeze it if you cannot find it and unfreeze it when you find it. You can exchange money in 19 different currencies in just a few seconds, always at the best rates. Check out here Revolut Card. You won't be disappointed.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 40 Mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

18. Don't forget to tell your bank you are going abroad:


Most banks tend to block your account when they see some weird purchases abroad.


So if you do not want to risk ending up without money because your cards stop working, just make a phone call before leaving and let your bank know where you are going and when you are planning to go back.


This is also why I always use Revolut Card when Travelling. The app is connected with my phone GPS to see where I use my card. There is also an option to freeze and unfreeze your card anytime you want if you cannot find it.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 40 Mistakes to avoid when travelling solo

19. Don't pack too much:


Packing too much is a mistake most travellers make at the beginning (I did it too).