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Have you ever dreamed of going on a trip but you aren’t sure where to actually go? You’re not alone. First-time travelers to seasoned travel veterans aren’t always confident where their next trip should be. If you’re US-based like me, I know my initial thought used to be, “I need to go to Europe, of course” because it’s easy and somewhat common. But in hopes of helping you think outside the box, below are five helpful questions to ask yourself as you start planning your solo trip. This is different than beach vs mountain. I want to help you find your dream destination!

1) How much time do you have?

Time may only be an illusion for some lucky travelers, but you still need to figure out how much time you are willing to travel. Regardless if it is a weekend or a year-long jaunt, think about the amount of time you want to be gone from your real life. This will help decide how far away you want to go, how long you want to actually be traveling, how much money you can spend, and so much more.

2)How much money are you ideally wanting to spend?

Many countries around the world having different costs associated with traveling to them. Summertime can be expensive to go to Europe, while the winter months in the northern hemisphere means summer in the Oceanic region. So think about the country and the cost of traveling there. Some are just naturally more cost effective than others! If budget is a concern, think about heading to Southeast Asia. It is a great option with more bang for your buck!

I have an entire post on how to save money for your solo trip. Check it out! 

3) Do you like adventure or leisure travel?

If you want to lay on the beach all day, good for you! That’s relaxing and you deserve that. But if you are looking for more adventure in your day-to-day, plan on looking for locations that provide that kind of fun.  Think about the following:

  • What do you hope to gain from your travels?
  • What experiences do you want to have?
  • How do you want to remember this trip? Is there a lasting impact you’re hoping for?

All these questions will help you decide how action-packed you want it to be and what you want to do while you’re there. Knowing what you want to get out of a trip will help you decide what kind of trip to go on in the first place.

 4) What kind of weather do you want?

Weather can be a deciding factor in how much adventure and leisure you have outside. Google the average temperature for the month and place you are considering going. Know that things can change, but it is probably a good indication of what to expect. Not looking for a super warm vacation? Consider going to parts of the world that are in winter, for example.

5) What time of year do you plan on going?

In a similar idea to the above, the time of year can make a big difference in the cost of travel. Summer months are particularly expensive for European countries, while over the holidays like November and December can be expensive everywhere. Consider the time of year

This may be important… 

Do you want easy access to English language speakers?

Regardless of how often you travel, and with people or by yourself, safety is always a concern when traveling. (I wrote a whole post about it here). But for some, being with people who speak your language makes traveling a whole lot easier when the people in that destination speak their native language. It is totally not a requirement, but sometimes you feel better and more safe when this is a priority. I love listening to different dialect, so this is not something i Consider, but I wanted to give you all the options as you begin looking for your next trip.

No matter where you decide to go, know you are going to have a good time and it is exactly where you needed to go!   Every trip is an adventure, and you are setting out on some of the most eye opening of your life as a solo traveler. So enjoy it!

Have you had an opportunity to check out the Pack This Journal yet? It was made with YOU, the traveler, in mind! Want to learn more about it? I have a whole post on it HERE!

The post How to pick your solo trip destination appeared first on A Little Bit Adrift.

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Hi friends! As of today, I have 384 posts in the archives of A Little Bit Adrift. Um. Whoa. I have been writing on this blog for a long time – or over eight years to be precise.

As much as I’ve worked on ALBA’s layout to make it easier to navigate and find old posts, it still means that there are a zillion (ya know, give or take) posts that no one ever sees. To help, I compiled 10 of my most popular posts that I’ve written about solo travel and traveling abroad.

These helpful tips that get you through the day (and your trip) so that they’re easy for you to find and read. Woo! I hope they’re helpful for you and a few on the list that you have never seen before.

As always, I am constantly updating the log, so please keep checking back every Tuesday for new updates!

Enjoy!

  1. How to survive a red-eye flight
  2. Why Should You Consider Traveling Solo?
  3. Money Safety Tips for Solo Travelers and Ways to Keep your Money Safe While Traveling
  4. Why You Should Volunteer Abroad  (and Paid vs. Free Programs)
  5. How to decide where to stay when traveling solo
  6. Hostels: Female or Mixed Dorms?
  7. 5 things to collect in your travel journal
  8. How to Plan Your Solo Trip – Immunizations & Health Insurance 
  9. How to Create a Travel Journal Worth Reading Again and more about the Pack This Journal
  10.  Solo Travel Safety Tips

Solo travel is unique in that things are always changing… and getting better. Are there any travel tips that have been game changers for you lately? Anything you’d love to learn more about? I’d love to know in the comments so I can share them on the blog!

Have you had an opportunity to check out the Pack This Journal yet? It was made with YOU, the traveler, in mind! Want to learn more about it? I have a whole post on it HERE!

Learn more about A Little Bit Adrift.

The post 10 Popular Solo Travel Posts appeared first on A Little Bit Adrift.

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Planning trips is one of my favorite things to do on the planet. I like it so much my best friend Shanelle once told me I should start charging people to plan their trips for them. Is this next business venture? Probably not. But do I have a true passion for planning and executing any type of trip abroad? Absolutely.

Because there are many ways to go about planning any trip, it can feel super overwhelming to most people.  And while there are many ways to plan a trip, I am going to break it down for you in simple steps over a few handy posts. So let’s get started with how to PLAN your solo trip!

Breaking It Down

Like I mentioned in this post, breaking down where you want to go and how you want to go is the first step to any trip.

So first, I you to consider the following three questions:

  1. Where do you want to go?
  2. How much money do you have now?
  3. How much money do you need to save?

By answering these simple questions, you can get to the core of what you need to do. Breaking it down, and getting the answers to these questions, will help you a great deal. See, you just took the first steps for your first solo trip!

Itinerary Planning

OK, now you have your budget and where you want to go.  Now it is time to start working through the days that you have available. From 3 days to 3 months,  you need to roughly map out where you want to go in the time you have. Planning to just sit on the beach the whole time? No problem! But you want to make sure you allocate for any day trips or sites you want to see. Think about all of this, and the best days to go. For example, the coliseum in Rome probably isn’t best to go to on a Saturday at noon. If you are Rome for a week, consider going to the hot tourist spots on off days and times so you don’t have to wait in line so long. Consider time and date for all items on your list of things to do.

Where to stay

Picking the spot where you can lay your head for the night that is safe and affordable is important. But as I mentioned in this post, I don’t think this should be your biggest worry. Yes, safety is always a concern, especially when your traveling alone, so consider this a priority, but then think about all the other options you can consider. Are you into couch surfing? Air BnB? Or maybe the top hostel in Lonely Planet? I have tried them all and recommend them all, and this let’s you get outside your usual hotel bubble. This will give you more options and more places to stay throughout the journey. Now write these all down for each designation you are going on

Buy your flights & train

Now that you sort of know where you are going, and how long you are staying there, and that they have a place for you to sleep, book those plane, train, and bus tickets. You need to get there, right? And once you get the plane tickets booked this is the main structure of the flight. The bones, as I like to call it. You know when you are leaving home, arriving at your location, and when you need to leave. Now fill in everything else. Fill in where you want to go, where you want stay, and what you want to see. Remember to keep that budget in mind!

So this is it. Part one. You have the bare bones of what you need to stat planning your solo trip! Congratulations!

Next, we will start talking about what you can do while you’re there, and tying up any loose ends at home. But for now, see below for an update on my latest adventure…

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Have you seen the Pack This Journal yet? It was made with YOU, the traveler, in mind! Perfect as you plan your next solo trip. Want to learn more about it? I have a whole post on it HERE!

The post How to Plan for Your Solo Trip – Breaking it down appeared first on A Little Bit Adrift.

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Aw, money. One of those things so few people like to talk about. But I think this is an important aspect of travel worth discussing. I have done a similar post to this about money, and how I save it for solo trips. But now I want tell you how you can keep your money safe before you leave, while on your trip, and things to think about as soon as you get home. Let’s dive in!

Before you leave  Make copies

The first, most simple thing you can do is photocopy your passport or other ID, the front and back of tickets, and each credit and debit card you plan to carry. Leave copies with someone back home and keep additional copies locked in your hotel room safe. It is just good to have if you need it in a pinch, if your wallet gets stolen, and knowing exactly what you brought along with you.

Carry two different cards 

Its also good to to carry at least two credit cards, just in case one is lost, stolen or otherwise compromised. The cards should be issued by different payment networks, such as Visa or MasterCard. This helps if one kind isn’t accepted where you are.

On your trip Use the Multi-Stash Method

If you need to rely on cash, never carry all of it in your wallet. Instead, break it up and hide various amounts of it in different spots to reduce the impact of theft. For example, you might keep some money in your wallet, and hide the remaining funds in a shoe or sock inside your suitcase. Or, you can keep money inside a hotel room safe, if one is available. If you have to bring a lot of cash when sightseeing, ask one of your companions to carry some of this money in his or her wallet.

Organize before you go out

Always remain aware of the people around you. Whether you’re shopping, going on an excursion, or dining at a restaurant, never pull out large sums of cash in front of others, as this can draw attention to you. Organize your money before heading out, and only bring what you need for the day.

Avoid Secluded ATMs

Secluded ATMs can welcome trouble, as any machine that isn’t visible from the street or nearby locations can give a would-be thief the right set of circumstances to steal your money. Use money machines located inside your hotel or near busy areas, and plan your ATM visits wisely. Do not visit machines at night or in the early morning hours. If you have a vehicle, make use of drive-up ATMs. Keep your engine running and lock your doors, and ask a friend to accompany you. There is strength in numbers, and you’ll be less of a target with another person.

Don’t leave your stuff out!

This may be a no-brainer, but always lock valuables (electronics, medications, passports) in your hotel room safe whenever you leave the room. Do not leave cash or credit cards lying around your hotel room. Theft doesn’t only occur outside the hotel – hotel workers have access to your room! Just be mindful of your belongings.

When you get home

When you arrive home from your trip, it is always good to double check all your changes on your credit card and bank account when you return home, and everything has cleared. It has happened to me a few times that venders accidentally charged me twice, or I see a weird number for the foreign transaction fees. If this is the case, make sure you call your bank to inquire. They may be able to assist you.

Keeping all of the above in mind will help you keep your money safe before, during, and after your trip. What do you do to keep your money safe? Let me know in the comments below!

Have you had an opportunity to check out the Pack This Journal yet? It was made with YOU, the traveler, in mind! Want to learn more about it? I have a whole post on it HERE!

The post ANSWERED: Ways to keep your money safe while traveling appeared first on A Little Bit Adrift.

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