Solo Traveling: What I Wish I Knew Before I Started

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Solo Traveling is one of the great joys I’ve found in life. Solo traveling as a woman is often seen as dangerous and scary so today I want to address why you should solo travel, and what I wish I knew before I started. As someone who didn’t know anyone that liked solo travel, let alone traveled alone, I found that reading articles like this really helped me prepare for my first trip alone.

Book the Ticket

The hardest part of solo traveling is that you’re the only one that can get you out the front door. It takes courage to book a trip as that means you must go. So, do your research on where you want to go and buy the ticket. Once you’ve purchased the ticket, it’ll motivate you to research more about your destination.

Research before you go!

When you’re going somewhere new it can be hard to feel at peace. So, going off of what I last said, make sure you research the basics for the place you’re going to.

  • What is the currency? Do you need cash or do they accept cards at most shops?
  • What do the locals wear? What traditions are going on while you’ll be there?
  • What language do people speak? Learn key phrases! ¿Dónde está el baño? will help more than you know.
  • What are common scams in the country you’re going to? Is it offering to take a photo for you, is it pickpocketing? Learn what to avoid!

Relax and Enjoy Solo Travel!

I have been told on multiple occasions that I look like a deer in headlights when I’m nervous. AKA everyone knows when I’m not okay. As a traveler, I try to avoid being nervous by learning the area. But at the end of the day, it’s best to take a deep breath and take it as it comes. Life is too short to stress about the little things. Focus on the great adventure you’re taking and learn from your surroundings.

If you’re bad with directions, like me, take a pair of headphones and put them in when you’re walking to your destination and connect them to google maps. If you’re using data, it’ll speak out where to turn. This way you don’t have to keep looking at your phone. If you’re not using data, before leaving your accommodation, write down in your notes where to turn. Use Google maps street view to look at what the street will look like and focus on that when walking.

Hostels are amazing. I know there is a stigma that hostels are horrible as you have no space but I’ve found that there are great hostels all over. Not only are they cost effective but many of them come with great amenities. When I was in Killarney I stayed at The Black Sheep Hostel which was the best experience of my life. Not only was the hostel well located between the parks and city center, but they offered free breakfast, free tea, bike rental, and laundry services. Plus, they had the cutest dogs on property along with chickens that gave fresh eggs for breakfast. I met the most amazing people at this hostel.

Remember why you wanted to travel in the first place.

Do you travel to see the world? Do you want to get to know yourself? Remember why you’re traveling and keep going. If you’re feeling doubt, investigate joining a solo travel group on Facebook. Not only will this give you a sense of how big the world of solo travelers is, but it’ll remind you that you’re not alone. Solo travel is for all ages, all genders, all ethnicities.

It is a big and beautiful world. Most of us live and die in the same corner where we were born and never get to see any of it. I don’t want to be most of us. – Oberyn Martell, Game of Thrones


Looking to read more about solo travel? Check out Female Solo Travel After Trauma and How to Stay Safe When Solo Traveling.

Make sure to like, follow, and share with your travel buddies! Thank you for reading and if you want to learn more about travel and minimalism, make sure to check out a few of my other posts! Have questions about solo travel? Send me a message on my Facebook Page: Watch Me Go and I’ll be glad to answer any and all questions.

Until next time,

Colleen Rose

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