Solo Travel

Tips for the First Time Traveler

So, you're setting off to travel the world for the first time. Are you excited? Anxious? Nervous? Traveling for the first time can be a whirlwind of emotions. You don't know what to expect, heck, you don't even know anyone that knows what to expect. You'll probably make some rookie travel mistakes (we all have) but if we could sit down and give first time travelers some advice, this would be it.

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Pack Light

The way you pack can have a massive influence on your trip. That being said, there tend to be two types of travelers -- those that pack light and those that wish they had. Do your best to stick to one suitcase or backpack. Remember, if you forget something or realize that you need an item during your trip, you can buy basic necessities at virtually any travel destination.

Be Prepared

Do the research. Have a plan. This doesn't mean you need to have an detailed itinerary (we are all about flexibility) but you should research your destination, things you might like to do, any problems or difficulties you might encounter, and try to become familiar with basic customs and some simple phrases.

The Boring Stuff

Notify your bank that you will be traveling abroad and call your cell service provider to understand your restrictions and fees for using your phone abroad. Always have travel insurance. Lastly, make sure you have a cushion on your travel budget for expenses or emergencies you didn't account for.

Don't live & die by your guidebook

Guidebooks are great! We think they are a huge help when planning an epic adventure. They give you quick information around budgeting, must see sites, must do activities and way more. But if you're looking for truly unique and authentic travel experiences, don't live and die by your guidebook. Be open, take recommendations,  get off the beaten path, discover your destination for yourself.

Make an effort

Make an effort to learn a few words or phrases in the host language. Make an effort to pick up on the cultural norms. Make an effort to meet new people and be open minded. You will learn more and feel a stronger sense of connection to your destination.

Slow Down

Our instinct while traveling is to maximize our time. More destinations, more adventures, more hotels, more pictures. BUT, if you step back for a second, you may realize how much more you can get out of traveling by slowing down. Slow travel is all about taking more time in each travel destination, in order to experience a truer rhythm of life.

Go with the flow

It's easy to over-plan and get overwhelmed when traveling. Be flexible with your itinerary and take the stress out of your travels. Plan the most important parts of your trip, know your options on other things that you might like to do, and go with the flow.

Be Adventurous

Travel is all about new experiences. Even if you aren't really the adventurous type you will benefit by putting yourself out there a little bit while traveling. Go on that sunrise hike, eat all the street food, talk to the locals, challenge yourself. Practice feeling comfortable with being uncomfortable. It is a valuable skill to have outside of travel as well.

Don't be so shy

We get it, it takes courage to strike up conversation with strangers and its easier to just keep to yourself. Don't let that stop you from meeting a new friend or getting some good travel advice. Take the first step and say hello - sometimes, its as simple as that. You really don't have anything to lose.

You Can Go Home Any Time

If, for whatever reason, you are truly hating traveling and are not having a good time, stop and rest for a while - maybe in a big city or wherever feels most comfortable to you. If you are still hating it when you get back on the road, it is totally fine to head home early. There is no shame in admitting to yourself that travel, or that travel experience, wasn't for you.


Head over to our SHOP page to get your very own Adventure Assist travel notebook and plan out your DREAM trip.

Tips For Traveling Solo

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Why Travel Alone

Your first time traveling alone can often feel like a spiritual experience. So many new sites, smells and encounters without secondhand influence can be powerful stuff. It's okay to indulge, traveling alone is worth it. 

Of course, traveling alone has its cons as well - like loneliness or safety concerns. But common sense and good planning should take care of those situations. We're of the mindset that everyone should travel alone at least once. Not only will you see your destination from a new light, but you'll also learn a ton about yourself in the process.

Meeting People

Traveling alone often makes meeting new people (locals or fellow travelers) even easier. Strike up a conversation with your waiter, make friends with likeminded travelers at your hostel, etc. Solo travelers will often make friends and travel together for parts of their trips which can be a good option if you're feeling lonely. Meeting new people is a great part of traveling by yourself but don't be afraid of staying solo, you might learn to love your own company.

Travel With Purpose

Want to learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? Travel to Brazil and train with the pros. Want to learn everything about wine? Book a stay in the Tuscan countryside of Italy. Want to learn to speak Spanish? Enroll in Spanish classes in Costa Rica. There are a million ways to travel with a purpose they will all help you make local connections, have amazing experiences and take some pressure off of traveling solo.

Eating Out

Don't miss out on an amazing meal because you are embarrassed about eating dinner alone. Most people won't even notice and if they do, who cares!? Some solo travelers prefer to sit at the bar but honestly, anywhere will do. You can always bring a book that you can read if you start feeling a little awkward.

Staying Safe

This is often the biggest deterrent for travelers thinking about a solo trip. But safety in numbers isn't always true as solo travelers can usually blend in better than a group. While traveling solo can be perfectly safe, always be aware of your surroundings, watch your drinks, be aware of local scams and use common sense. It is also a big help to learn at least some basic words and phrases in the local language. 


Get your very own Adventure Assist travel notebook over on our SHOP page and start planning your solo trip!