Updated: Sep 24, 2018
Should you travel alone if you are not able to find a travel partner? Hell ya! It could be daunting as well as overwhelming to decide where, how and when you should travel to on your first solo trip! If you are going solo or contemplating on doing so, let me share some quick steps on doing it right!
On a monsoon evening sitting at my desk I decided that I was going on a solo trip soon, but i did not know where? I began my research and started reading about different cities that I could possibly visit.
Researching about places can make you more confused than you were when you began. So take a breath and consider these steps!
1. Identify when can you travel.
You don't need to fix the dates of your travel right away but figure out based on your budget & personal/professional commitment on when would it be best for you. It's important to make sure you won't be digging a hole in your wallet before, during or after the trip. After all you don't want to go on frugal first trip. It's also important to make sure that your boss isn't unhappy while you are trying to find happiness in travel. Make sure you inform and apply for leaves well in advance and equip your stand-by with all the necessary information to function while you are gone.
2. What's the weather like?
Once you've identified some dates when you can travel it's easy to decide where to head out to! If you are new to this you could start by searching "where to travel in the month of ...." The choice now depends on what kind of an experience are you looking for. If you are willing to experience winters in Kashmir, you can visit in January but if you are craving for long scenic bike rides and hate monsoons then Goa isn't your ideal destination from June to October. So consider your personal preferences and what you plan to do wherever you visit.
3. Talk to people!
Did your friend go on a amazing Leh bike trip and you just can't get over the pictures he/she shared on Facebook? The best place to start is the friend talk to him/her about the travel, how did they go about it? What hotels to stay at? etc. Tell them you are planning a solo, if you're lucky he/she might share experiences of their own or narrate some. All this will help you make smarter choices even if your destination might not be as the one in conversation.
4. How are you getting there?
If you are short on time, you might want to fly to the nearest possible airport. If you have plenty of time at hand you might take a train or bus. Based on the two C' - Cost and Convenience you can choose your mode of transport.
Tip: You can keep track of flight rates to your shortlisted destinations by creating alerts on www.google.com/flights or on www.skyscanner.com
5. See? Do?
If your destination/s is/are fixed then you need to list down places to visit and things to do. This will help you decide the number of nights you will spend at all these places. A handy guide on things to do is available at https://www.google.com/destinations
6. Searched for a hotel online?
Trivago! (No pun intended!) Regardless, try searching for hotels on multiple website independently too, you might be surprised with a one time deal for new user registration or a flash sale or something of that kind! Make sure you read reviews (recent ones) to judge the hotels better.
7. Hard code an itinerary.
This might need a little effort but trust me this will help you plan better. You can simply download a Travel Expense Template on Excel and start entering details of your travel, stay and food and in the end you will have a clean view of your travel plan. After you become a pro at traveling solo you will realize how easy your life gets with planning things in an excelsheet.
8. Happy Travelling!
You're almost set, now all you need to do is pack your bags and leave on your adventure. It would be an unforgettable one for sure!
I still remember how I decided I wanted to visit the Taj Mahal and ended up planning a week and half long trip that started from Jabalpur and ended in Delhi. Read about it here..