So you have finally decided to take off on your much needed vacay. Only this time, you are going to be the boss, doing everything your own way and at your own pace. And you’re really really looking forward to this mega upgrade of your “me time” and a break from everything usual.
Yes, I’m talking about your first Solo Trip!
Few things in life are as exciting, transformative and personal as a solo trip. And the first one is certainly a special memory. Planning your first trip might seem a little overwhelming at first, given that you have to take care of every single detail yourself. But trust me, it’s really simple. Being clear on a few elements can narrow down your planning process so much, you won’t even remember why you were (probably) stressed about the whole planning!
How many days do you have?
This is the first question you have to ask yourself. Do you have just the weekend off or the whole month to yourself? Or are you one of those lucky few without any particular time limit? Knowing how much time you have can help you pick the right places you want to go to. For example, if you just have 3 days, the best idea would be to travel somewhere close by or some place you can get a direct flight to. This way you can save the commute time to reach the place making the most of your trip!
What is your budget?
You’ve probably come across viral internet posts saying “You don’t need any money to travel the world”. Well, what they really mean is that you don’t need “that much” money to travel the world. But how much money is really enough? If I break it down, travel expenses come to four things: flight/ travel tickets and commute, accommodation, food and experiences (eg: Bungee Jumping). Knowing how much money you have can help you choose a place that fits your budget.
What’s the weather of the place like?
Is it raining cats and dogs or is it breezy and pleasant? If you already have a favourite destination, when is the best month to visit? What kind of clothes should you carry along? These are some things to be prepared for especially while packing your backpack. Most beautiful places are also known for seasonal weather changes, so ensure that you are going in the right month.
What is the culture of the local people?
If you’re travelling far from home, especially abroad, it can get quite overwhelming. Culture shocks and difficulty getting adjusted to the local cuisine are common. So researching a little about the place really helps, if you’re planning to spend a longer time at a place. Knowing things like hand gestures to use and avoid, and whether the locals can communicate in English can help make your travels more comfortable.
Nonetheless, even if you can’t speak the local language and have no idea about what goes around, don’t worry. Keeping your mind completely open and your face with a full smile can help you have a great time too!
What experiences are you seeking?
What is your idea of travel or vacation? Is it all about reading books and cycling around towns? Or about attending music shows and trying street food? Do you want to laze around at the mountains or surf into the deep blue ocean? Or do you want to make your trip a purposeful one and volunteer?
If you have no idea where to start, just head to a place and then you can figure out the rest. You never know what could surprise you!
Think about sustainability
Planet Earth is getting warmer and warmer each day and even Zinkies from Planet Boomerang like me are a little worried about Earth’s future. Plastic pollution is the biggest concern when it comes to the travel industry. So when you head to a beautiful destination, think about the flora and the fauna there.
Do you really need to buy packaged water bottle from the local village store? And leave it behind for the villagers to burn the plastic? Do you really need to take a flight to a place that can be reached by public transport?
Your small shift in choices can make a huge difference to this world. With the added bonus of making your travels feel more fulfilling.
A positive mind is the beginning of positive experiences!
Lastly (read firstly), be happy that you have chosen to give yourself this amazing opportunity to travel on your own. And remember that this Planet is full of amazing souls just like you, waiting to meet you. The world is more than what news and media portray it to be. So have an open mind, stay friendly and remember: If something has to go wrong, it will even in your regular day-to-day life; if something has to go right, it certainly will even in times of extreme crisis. So stay positive and be ready to travel the world with your love.
The universe has your back!
Author: Lalitha Mahaadevan
A curious soul who quit her job to travel, Lalitha has spent the past
two years exploring different parts of the world outside along with her own inner world. Apart from running her own travel blog 'Happy Shoes', Lalitha is keenly involved in conversations about Self-Love, Nature and Environment. And is on a quest to spread Good Vibes wherever she goes. You can follow her Journey through Earth on her Instagram and Facebook handles.
For any queries and special travel tips, shoot her a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org