43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers

More than ten years ago, I decided to do my first solo travel (it was a 22 days tour of the south of Spain), and I remember to have been so unprepared about it that I ended up making more than a few mistakes.


It was a success anyway because I proved to myself, my family and friends that I could do what I loved the most, without the need to find someone who would come with me.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers

But it also gave me the chance to learn so much that after that first solo travel, I decided to do it again and again because there is no better way to learn about yourself and other cultures than travel solo and get involved.


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Planning your travel

Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers, Buy an anti-theft bag and a backpack

1. Buy an anti-theft bag and a backpack:


Buying an anti-theft bag and backpack is very important because you will be alone and not have someone watching your back, so be careful with your belongings.


There are plenty of pickpockets in the tourist areas ready to cut your backpack or purse to steal something from you so, buy something useful.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers, visit a safe country

2. Chose to visit a safe country:


You will already be alone, so why risk your safety? If it is your first solo travel, choose a place where you will feel safe. Feel and be safe must be your priority when choosing your destination and will make your trip more enjoyable.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers

3. If you feel insecure, choose a country where you know the language:


It does not have to be a foreign country. You can easily choose to explore your own country. You will not be too far from home, and you will also communicate with everybody.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers

4. Book accommodation like a hostel:


For some solo travellers, it is essential to meet people and feel connected. For others, it is better to be alone.


So it is only up to you to choose how you want to experience your travel. If you prefer to meet people, the best way is to book a room in a hostel, meet other travellers, and make friends who might join you and spend some time with you.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers

5. Plan an itinerary:


One of the first things to do before a solo trip is to plan an excellent itinerary to arrange to see everything you want and not miss anything but, most importantly, to know where you will be.


Remember to always share your itinerary with your family or friends, so someone will always know where you are. Safety first, always.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers

6. Ask Facebook travel groups for some advice about your destination:


There are so many travel groups where you can ask for any advice.


Like places to see, safe areas to book your accommodation, where to eat local, etc. There are also some city groups where you can find primarily locals so, who knows the city better than someone who lives there?


Don't be shy. If you are a female solo traveller, contact only girls to make you feel safer. In this way, you will have some friends to go out with during the evening and don't feel scared to be out late at night.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers

7. Always give a copy of your itinerary to your family or friends:


This is a must to do. Do not ever forget to give a copy of your itinerary to someone you trust, so in case something happens, your family will always know where you are supposed to be or where to find you.


Remember, when travelling, safety is the most important thing. Sharing your location is a must. My advice is to share it with Google Map location sharing (when on the Google Maps app, click on your profile, then "location sharing" and choose for how long you wish to share your location and with whom).

Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers

8. Always travel during the day:


Make sure to plan to arrive at your destination during the daytime and not at night. Most of the time, bus or train stations are not safe at night so try to avoid them.


Plan to catch a plane that will arrive at your destination during the day.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers

9. Learn some local language sentences:


This is very important.

Always learn some basic sentences, like good morning, good evening, how can I get there, etc.


You are already advantaged if you already speak English because staff speak English in most tourist spots, hotels, restaurants, and museums.


But not in some local shops so, if the local language is challenging to learn, write everything on paper or download google translate offline and make it your best friend.


Learning some basic sentences will also make locals more friendly because you will show to be interested in their country.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers

10. Email yourself a copy of your identification documents:


Anything can happen, you might lose your luggage or somebody might steal it, but if you have a copy of all your documents, tickets, etc., you can save your travel with it. Just email it to yourself so that you can access it from anywhere.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers

11. Make a paper copy of your identification documents to take with you:


Never go around with your original documents. Always leave it at your accommodation in a safe place and go out with just a copy of them.


If something happens, you can always return to your accommodation and get them. Or, in case somebody steals your bag, you will not lose the originals.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers

12. Apply for a prepaid card:


There are so many prepaid cards available that apply for one would make you save money in fees but also in case your bag would be stolen you will not lose the credit cards that I advise you to leave at your accommodation.


I personally always travel with three cards: a credit card, a debit card, and a prepaid card.

My favourite prepaid card is Revolut, which is, in my opinion, the best one. I tried more than once in the past few years, and Revolut Card is absolutely the best one.


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.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers

13. Make a communication plan:


Nowadays, it is so easy to find free wifi that it will not be a problem to communicate with your loved ones. So decide a time to call or text them to let them know you are ok at least once a day.


Another good option is to get a free pay-as-you-go sim card so you will always have access to the internet everywhere you are in the world.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers

14. Get travel insurance:


Good travel insurance is one of the most important things to do before leaving for a trip. Make sure to get the best one for you, and please never try to save money on safety.


If something terrible happens, you might end up paying a lot of money, so choose it wisely.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers

15. Take with you your laptop or tablet:


If you know already you will have a safe place to leave it, take it with you. In this way, you will enjoy a movie at night.


Only because you are away from home does not mean you have to go out every night and at least you will have something to do when you get back tired at your accommodation.


If you are looking for some good movie streaming sites, look at Apple Tv+, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. They always offer great deals, and new movies and Tv series are added regularly.


If you love Documentaries like me, you should definitely check out CuriosityStream, where you can find thousands of documentaries.


If you are a sports supporter, you should look at Fubo TV where you can find more than 150 channels and their live shows. Fubo Tv covers all major soccer games happening around the world. You can watch it in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Packing for your solo travel


Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers

16. Pack light and intelligence:


If it is your first travel, I can guarantee you will end up packing much more of the necessary. It happened to all of us.


Keep in mind if you will have to walk between the airport and your accommodation, and between destinations. If you plan a tour, carrying a 20 kilograms backpack will not suit your shoulders and will only make you tired.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers

17. Do not dress up as a tourist:


The easiest way to get pickpockets' attention is to look like a tourist. They know tourists carry expensive gear and money so dress up like you would when back home or as it is custom in the country you are visiting and you will not have any problems.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers

18. Do not bring valuables with you:


Leave all your expensive jewels and clothes home because you do not need them while on holiday.


Avoid bringing with you something significant, not only costly but also sentimentally, because as much as you can be the best travel planner, unexpected events happen all the time, so be aware of it.


When you arrive at your destination:

Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers

18. Connect with your accommodation staff:


Please introduce yourself and ask as many questions as you have, do not be shy or afraid because it is part of their job to help you make the most of your holiday.


They always know where to eat locally, spend a lovely evening with live music or the best way to get somewhere.


Also, ask for a business card, to always carry with you. In this way, if you get lost, it would be easier for you to ask for directions (if you don't speak the local language) and in case you hire a taxi to go back to your accommodation, it will make sure your taxi driver will take you to the right place.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers

19. Ask your accommodation if they have any safe to rent for your valuables:


If you are staying in a hotel, there is a high chance there will be a safe in your bedroom but if you are staying in a Hostel, make sure there is a locker where you can leave all your important things.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 43 Essential Tips for Solo Travellers

20. If you stay at a Hostel, ask if they organize any tours or activities you can join:


This is one of the best ways to meet people (if you want to) while travelling—some Hostel plan free city tours or evening activities.


So give it a try and join one or more of them. You will have the chance to spend some time with locals and other solo travellers that are probably looking to meet new friends as you do.

While exploring