Written by Henry Moore
If you are ready to see the world by yourself for the first time, congratulations. Traveling is an experience that everyone should have an opportunity to enjoy. However, there is much more to it than booking a hotel room and throwing your suitcase in the trunk. Keep reading for practical tips on how to plan your first outing on your own. Remember, whether you were just going down the road or across the ocean, preparation is the key to success. Also included, a few enjoyable activities that all young travelers should experience.
Before you go
Your first and most obvious goal is to decide where, exactly, you want to go. So, spend some time thinking about your likes and dislikes. If you are not a fan of oppressive humidity, Brazil is probably out of the question during the summer. Hate the snow? Steer clear of Alaska in February. While these might be common sense, you also want to consider activities that you would like to try or historical sites you want to see.
Plan your budget
According to Forbes, the average American has no problem going into debt for a vacation. However, while this amount averages just over $1,100, there are many factors that determine your total vacation budget. What you spend is heavily swayed by your destination. If you want to fly to Italy, for example, you can expect to spend at least $300 but might be on the hook for much more if you fly during the peak season. Before you start booking, however, look at your bank account and determine how much you can actually afford to set aside each month. This will help you figure out how long it will take you to save for your trip.
Plan for the extras
Once you figure out your budget, it’s a good idea to add 10 percent for additional expenses. A few things that you don’t want to be without are an international calling plan (if you’re traveling out of the country) and travel insurance. The right plan can keep you out of a bind if you get lost along the way and will ensure that you can call mom and dad to let them know you are okay. Although it’s an added expense, putting the international option on before you go will keep you from racking up lots of roaming fees. Travel insurance is another expense that is an asset. Nationwide explains that travel insurance can help recoup your prepaid expenses if you wind up having to miss your trip for unforeseen reasons. Many travel insurance plans also cover foreign hospital stays, lost luggage, and early return if needed.
What to do and where to go
While you have virtually unlimited options, the vast majority of us live in the suburbs. Experiences that you should start with are those in a city or off the beaten path. Anytime you do something out of your comfort zone, you may want to hire an experienced guide. This is even more important when you are deep in the woods and not within earshot of help if you need it. If your solo sojourn plan is to be surrounded by high-rises, follow the local news and learn how to take public transit in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, or other cities.
Traveling alone for the first time doesn’t have to be intimidating, and, with a little planning, you can make it a trip to remember for all the right reasons. Start by knowing your budget and make sure that you have everything you need to avoid losing money if the unexpected shows up to interrupt your excursion.
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