13 Tips For First Time Solo Travellers

Travelling can be a scary thing. Travelling alone can be an even scary thing. It’s so daunting thing.. You’re full of excitement, you’ve finally drawn up the courage to book your flight and it feels like you are making the bets decision. You’re packed, you have your outfits laid out, your tickets printed and then it’s time to leave. By yourself. I a place you’ve never been before. I know when I flew to Australia by myself I was nervous. So nervous that the flight attendants saw me with wide eyes looking around like a lost bunny and took me from my seat on the airplane and put me in the back where no one was sitting. I scored free food, headphones, water and the flight attendants kept checking to make sure I was fine. Basically my fear was completely plastered on my face. I guess it kind of worked out because I was moved from being squished into people to have the entire back of the plane to myself.

Even my second time travelling alone was scary. I was in Vienna leaving to London and I remember I got to the airport to early (Vienna airport sucks) and there was nothing there but over priced coffee and muffins. I’m a nervous flyer and it was a 5am flight, and I was all by my lonesome surrounded my men and I was about to fly to one of the busiest places in the world on a hungry stomach. The thoughts of “What am I doing?” definitely crossed my mind more than once. But because I always went through with it I have learned so much! Hopefully this list of 13 tips for first time solo travellers will help you prepare you for your first solo exploration!



1. If you’re going to a place where you don’t speak the language- Don’t speak. It will make you less of a target and draw less attention


2. Ditch the Backpack. Nothing says tourist like a giant backpack does! Opt for a small suitcase and duffle bag to make it look like you are coming home from a trip!


3. Always screen shot your hostel or hotel’s address on your phone. Better yet, screen shot it on google maps from your arriving destination. i.e. from airport to place of stay. This was you can show someone if you get lost.


4. Only pack basics. You know that shirt you’ve never worn but think you will on your trip? Don’t bring it. It will take up space. I swear I bring 5 pairs of high wasted shorts with me when I travel and I NEVER wear them. I convince myself that today will be the day but nope, they just take up room and I have to deal with the bulk.


5. Buy clothes there instead of over packing. The first time I went travelling I brought my closet with me only to wear the same 3 pieces over and over. Now I usually leave my suitcase half empty when I go travelling. I tell myself I won’t buy any clothes but that’s a lie. You will buy clothes even if you think you won’t and it helps having space for unpredictable weather.


6. Bring bandaides. You’ll probably need them from all your excited walking! Comfy shoes is a must!


7. Always pack snacks. I’m a snack queen. It’s easy to get side tracked while travelling because you’re so busy doing other things that you forget to eat. If you’re like me by the time you realize your hungry you’ll be 5 steps away from hanger and the world will start chasing around you till you can find something proper to eat. Packing snacks can help prevent irrational thinking and save you from choosing a bad restaurant out of hunger. There’s nothing worse than eating food that’s not worth it!


8. Learn how to say, “Hello.” “Please.” and “Thank you.” in whichever countries language you’re in. This is polite and the thought can go along way!


9. Take flights that arrive later at night. Travel days are exhausting and you’ll never get a good rest on a plane so when you arrive to your destination you can grab a proper meal and go right to bed! Doing this you can start reseting your internal clock and get over your jet lag quicker.


10. Get special meals on the plane. Your food will arrive first! Be weary fellow vegetarians.. You will most likely get some concoction of Indian food i.e. rice and 3 pieces of spiced veggies or beans and some sort of starch. Tip: You need to preorder it 18 hours before hand (I found out the hard way and had to starve on my flight to Tokyo).


11. Workout a few hours before your flight. This will help your bodies circulation flowing and help keep your energies even. I also just feel better knowing I worked out so when I’m stuck on a 12 hour flight I don’t feel so guilty or cooped up.


12. Be as friendly as you can in hostel. My first time in a hostel was kind of a nightmare, especially for an awkward introvert who has no interest in yelling or drawing attention to themselves. I learned that hostels aren’t always the easiest to meet people even though that’s what they’re made out to be. Being friendly in dorm rooms is your best shot at making friends and if that isn’t working out try the hostel bar. A tip I learned is that if your at the bar and its crowded don’t be afraid to ask someone if you can sit with them! People can be just as shy as you 🙂 Read more about making friends here! If I can do it you can 😛


13. Don’t leave any travel plans for last minute unless you have a solid backup plan. Spur of the moment decisions are often costly! On my first trip to Europe I felt uncomfortable in Vienna when my boyfriend, Aaron left, because the night before he was leaving there was a scream in the building so I had such bad anxiety! The next day when he was gone I had a good cry to my mom and I booked a ticket to London shortly after for $500. While it was the right choice for me it definitely took a chunk out of my bank account.


What are some of your guy’s travel tips! How did your first time travelling solo go? Sharing is caring ♥

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  • Reply
    June 29, 2015 at 5:47 am

    Great tips! Have read a few of your blog posts and they are really good 🙂

    Zoe || www,thefashionhighlife.co.uk

  • Reply
    June 24, 2015 at 6:05 am

    Great tips! If I ever travel solo I will definitely use some 🙂

    • Reply
      June 28, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      Thank you! I hope they come in handy 🙂

  • Reply
    June 23, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Hey Shelby my dear 🙂
    hahaha I had to laugh when I read this one –
    ‘You know that shirt you’ve never worn but think you will on your trip? Don’t bring it. It will take up space’
    I learnt that that hard way, as I took probably the most ridiculous things overseas for my year and a half adventure! Example number one: a pair of pink silk marabou slippers with little fluffy pompoms on the top, like something Marilyn Monroe would wear! What was I thinking? I have been back home in NZ for about a week, and in that time I have truly realised how little I need. Traveling has made me into a bit of a minimalist – so I ended up giving away more than half of my stuff.
    This is a very well thought out list, and certainly should be a go-to for any newbie :)!
    I cannot agree more about getting flights that land later in the afternoon – then you have just enough time to find your hotel and go to bed. Travel days were the worst. I called them ‘moving days’ and I think I turned into the incredible hulk on those occasions.
    Much love to you Shelby 🙂
    xx Zoe | http://life-gazing-and-wildstrawberries.blogspot.com/

    • Reply
      July 4, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      I know! Those slippers sounds cute tho. I brought a bath robe once.. on what planet was that a good idea?! Wow that’s a big step in giving stuff away! I get so emotionally attached to clothes that it makes it difficult to give things away but you’re right- travelling helps make you into a minimalist.
      And I’m glad you agree about the flights Aaron and I had different opinions on this one. I personally rather just go to bed and wake up refreshed then force myself around all day and not really take things in. It’s a good thing we have patient boyfriends haha
      Thanks Zoe you to!


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