How to Prepare for a Solo Trip

As a seasoned solo traveler, I know firsthand that preparing for a solo trip can be a lot! Especially if you have never taken a solo trip before. I’m about to go on my next solo trip abroad to Portugal and Spain in less than a month. Solo travel is an incredible way to explore the world, discover yourself, and embark on an adventure at your own pace. But where do you begin? In this comprehensive guide, I am sharing tips and tricks you need to prepare for a solo trip.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means that I get compensated a small amount if purchased through one of these links. This is always at no additional cost to you. I always only link products I truly love and any profit made goes to running this blog. Thank you for your support! For more on my disclaimers, you can click here.

How to Prepare for a Solo Trip

Choose a Destination

Choosing a destination is the first step towards planning and preparing for your trip. If you’re new to solo travel, I recommend starting slow and picking a destination closer to your home. Living near Portland, Oregon, I took my first solo trips to San Diego, California, and Austin, Texas before going abroad. A weekend getaway, domestic destination, or shorter trip can help you acclimate to traveling alone and work out any kinks.

When choosing a destination, you will want to think about what kind of trip you want. Do you want to explore a new city or spend time at the beach? Be sure to research the language, crime rates, safety ratings, and cost when choosing a destination. If you want to travel to Europe, you can read my blog post on the best European cities for solo female travel here.

Take Care of the Planning and Logistics Ahead of Time

Once you’ve picked a destination, I recommend working on a budget. Solo travel can be as affordable (or expensive) as you want it to be. Know yourself and how you like to travel. Do you prefer to have a luxury experience when you travel, or do you want to get by on a shoestring budget? To cover all your bases, plan out expected costs for transportation, accommodation, food, and activities. You may also want to build a buffer for any unexpected costs.

After coming up with a budget, book transportation (flights, trains/buses from destination to destination), and accommodation. While booking any accommodations and transportation, you can plan your itinerary loosely to have a general idea of the flow of your trip. I always book refundable to go with the flow in case plans or prices change.

If you’re someone who needs to have a solid plan, once you have the structure of your trip you can plan for each day and any activities that you want to do. I tend to take a more flexible approach and have a general idea of what I want to do, but figure out the day-of what I’m feeling up to.

Safety When Solo Traveling

Safety is so important when you’re solo traveling! Before booking any accommodation, be sure that you’re booking in areas that are considered safe. Once you do have a plan set in stone (or a good idea of where you will be and when) let your friends and family know. You can also share your location on your phone with friends and family in case anything was to happen.

Some other tips for safety to prepare for your trip:

  • Get travel insurance or use a travel credit card for travel insurance which can provide peace of mind during unexpected events.
  • You can research scams that are common in your destination, or other things to be aware of such as the risk of being pickpocketed.
  • Make copies of any important documents and keep them separate from the originals.


Unlike when traveling in a group where you can divvy up the necessities, you will be carrying everything yourself during a solo trip. Since you’re traveling solo, you will want to decide how much you’re able to carry (comfortably) by yourself while still navigating after your arrival.

If you’re staying in a hostel, keep in mind that luggage is often stored in lockers or bins under the bed that you’ll need to lock yourself. Hard carry-ons typically won’t fit in the lockers and I recommend traveling with a backpack when staying in hostels. Don’t forget the lock as well.

Other tips for packing when traveling solo:

  • When packing, be sure to respect the climate and cultural norms of the destination. If you’re visiting any religious sites, you will want to pack clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.
  • By packing versatile clothing or a capsule wardrobe, you can create multiple outfits with fewer items which can save you luggage space.
  • Pick a comfortable pair of walking shoes that can be used for activities, nights out, and lots of walking!
  • If you’re traveling in hostels, pack fabrics that are less likely to wrinkle and can dry quickly!
  • Be sure to bring a daypack or purse that you can use when out and about during the day.

During Your Trip

Embrace the experience, especially if it is your first trip! Be open to meeting others (if you want to meet new people), relax, and enjoy the freedom! Things don’t go as planned when you’re traveling solo. Be prepared to go with the flow and roll with the punches!

How to Prepare for a Solo Trip

If you have even the slightest interest in traveling solo, I highly recommend giving it a chance! Your first solo trip is always the most nerve-wracking since you don’t know what to expect. However, it is so worth the experience and becomes much less intimidating! I hope this guide on how to prepare for a solo trip helps you to plan out your solo travel!

Thank you so much for reading! If you want to get notified when I post new posts, be sure to follow my Instagram @maddie_deer here or like my Facebook page here. If you have any tips for how to prepare for a solo trip, be sure to leave me a comment below!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *