Like the words from the Burt Bacharach song, make it easy on yourself.
If your first solo trip is churning up your insides like there’s no tomorrow, there’s no reason you can’t do this without some training wheels (metaphorically speaking of course!).
The first thing to remember is that not everyone travels the same way and some people are just more comfortable travelling alone from the get go. So don’t listen to everyone else’s prejudices – do what makes you comfortable.
Now, if you are incredibly uneasy about your first solo trip, the point of your first trip is to ease yourself into it. And this is how I did it.
Choose an easy destination. Whether this means that you choose a country where they speak the same language as you, or the destination is close to home (it doesn’t even matter if it’s in the same state – the point is to just do it), or if it’s somewhere you’ve visited before with others – choose somewhere that you think you may feel comfortable travelling to. That’s why I chose Japan for my first trip – it was relatively close to home, I had been there before so I felt I could remember my way around a little (and without getting too lost in Shinjuku Station!) and I knew it wouldn’t be too much of a culture shock.
Of course, we usually spend a bit of money when we travel, so if you really want to go somewhere far abroad and wonderful – why not join a tour? If you really don’t like the idea of travelling by yourself, this can be a great way to get the best of both worlds – as long as you choose the right tour company for you! Although I didn’t do this for my first trip, I did use them on part of my trip to Europe last year and I am about to do so again for my next trip to Europe in August. Now, I had already travelled with Intrepid Travel twice before with friends, so I already knew that their tours had a great blend of solo and group activity time. There was just the right amount of hand holding for me, plus all your accommodation and transport is taken care of. A good idea is to jump onto one of these group tours and then add some extra time onto the end of your trip, once you’ve found your groove.
Stay tuned for Tip 2: Solo Godsends!