Monday, 18 June 2018

Top Tips to Plan Your First Solo Travel Trip

“Travelling solo does not always mean that you are alone. Most often, you meet marvellous people along the way and make connections that last a lifetime” - Jacqueline Boone.

Thought it would be fitting to put in a cute little quote there, ever since my first solo travel trip to Rome last year I am constantly being inspired to travel. Travelling has always been popular throughout the years, but especially this year, with the sad recent passing of Anthony Bourdain who inspired so many to travel.

Across Twitter I have seen so many people that were touched by his work and it really shows the motivation for everyone to travel. It certainly did for me, so I thought I would round up some advice for those looking to book their first solo trip. My trip changed my life and I made so many memories, so keep scrolling down if you want some advice on booking your first solo travel adventure!

1 - Decide Where To Go

If you have already decided where you want to go… fab! Just keep reading to the part about research! For those undecided, I am not surprised seeing as there are 195 countries in the world and over 4,000 cities comprising them.

Firstly I would whittle them down to your top 5 countries/cities, take a 10 minute break or more, then break that down into 3. Here is the fun part (for me anyway), because it is time to research! Compare the weather in the cities, the prices and any pro’s and cons you can find. Whichever suits the time of year you are going, the goals for the holiday and what seems more advantageous go for that one!

Once you have decided where you want to go (for me it was Rome), then research what that city offers and any tourist information. So I made a list of easily over 40 things to do in Rome, free and paid tours. I also read A LOT of articles on what to expect from Rome so I wasn’t so shocked when I went. That included times to eat, transport etc. You may not have enough time if you only spend a few days, so being prepared means you will not waste 3 hours in your hotel room looking for things to do!

2 - Documents

Being in the UK, visas in Europe aren’t needed, but obviously travelling to other parts we need visas for. My trips are around Europe but I am very aware of extra paperwork I would need if I travelled to Australia for example.

If you do require a visa make sure to get it sorted before you travel (sounds stupid and obvious I know), but even if you plan to get it a year before, it is better safe than sorry!

Before we move onto booking flights and accommodation, make sure your passport and any medical insurance is valid! You would hate to end up at the airport on your first solo travel trip finding out that something important is out of date

3 - Booking Flights

I can’t decide if booking flights or accommodation are my favourite, but I love flying so I get way too excited when booking them. If it is your first time booking flights for a solo travel trip, do not worry! I booked my first solo travel flight on the Spanish translation of the Ryanair site, so if i can do that anyone can book it in their native language.

My personal favourite way to find flights is through Google Flights, you can see average prices to different countries and they give comparable prices from different companies. Once you choose the destination, time frame and the price it will take you straight through to the website (Ryanair, EasyJet ….)

Make sure to have your passport on you as you may need to add in your details, it changes with each company. Online checking in has made life a hell of a lot easier! Again, some companies let you check in 30 days before, and others 48 hours before but it allows you to skip that long queue.

Top Tip: If airports allow it (most do) get whatever airlines app and download an E-Boarding Ticket! But if you want to be extra safe, print them out too!

4 - Booking Accommodation

I also love this part because accommodation really does make your stay even better if it is a good service! The cities I am going back to in September (Rome and Barcelona) one of the main reasons going back is because of the hostels I stayed in!

Disclaimer: I do not book to go into Hotels, if I had more money I would but I don’t and also I prefer the hostel vibes. Each to their own! I stayed in a hotel in Amsterdam which was beautiful! Hotel Inner if anyone wants to know (amazing lighting). Back to the point, we went through and got discounts to so many attractions and was easy to book!

To my strong point, hostels are my fav to stay in because they are so social! I do recommend Hostel World because they have a wide range of hostels, easy navigation and you only pay a booking fee at first (pay the rest on the day of arrival). Perfect for those needing to save up! I am booking through them for Paris and Barcelona in September (Rome I am doing it through the hostel), it is quick and easy and perfect for your first solo travel trip!

5 - Transfers

My fear whenever I go somewhere new is knowing how to get from the airport to the hotel. Barcelona and Rome I know it down to a T, but Amsterdam we spent 10 minutes looking like idiots trying to find the bus. Do your research before!

Usually there will be shuttle buses that take you to the centre of the town for a budget option, or the accommodation you stay at may have a private taxi service (may work out more expensive). Some cities have trains running through to the airport or you can save the stress and pay a little more with a taxi! If you go to Italy, there are Terravision coaches and Barcelona a coach that runs right into the centre called Aerobus!

My downfall with Amsterdam was doing no research. Believe me, it was not fun being hungover, not sure if my E-Bus Ticket was valid and nearly crying freaking out I would miss my transfer home. Thankfully, the bus driver let us on for free trusting that we bought a ticket - we did! That wasn’t even a solo travel trip!

6 - Money, Money, Money

Now more than ever I make sure I look at how the pound is in relation to other currencies, especially euros due to the recent Brexit vote… controversial topic! Also, if you do use cards abroad there may be a percentage charged depending where you go. There is also a perception that most cities are going cashless too (doesn’t seem to be happening) so I like to know what currency situation anyway.

Just make sure that you have a goal with how much you want to spend on your trip and try to stick to it, maybe exceed it. As well as having cash, do take your cards or travellers checks just to be safe. It would suck to lose all your cash and have no access to a bank account.

The good thing is nowadays most places take all major credit cards, and all ATM’s allow you to take cash out - some without a charge on it.

7 - People

Finally, easily my favourite part of travelling is meeting the people! This is why I recommend staying in hostels, because you meet people in your rooms and social areas!

If you don’t fancy that option, I suggest you download an app called Meet Up! It takes your hobbies and interests and finds groups that you may like to join! I have met so many people through this app and really helped me settle into moving abroad, and no doubt is the same when travelling!


I hope you enjoyed my post and that it offered you first time solo travellers some tips on how to book your first trip! The first solo travel trip you do will offer so many experiences and learning curves! One final top tip …. Make use of Pinterest!!!

Hope you all have had a wonderful week, if you need a catch up on my blog check this post out on Why to Visit Bournemouth! I am currently in London for the day, expect some typical inspo shots ;)

Mol xo


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