In August 2022, I embarked on my first solo trip to Jordan and Croatia. I'd always really wanted to go on a solo trip at least once in my life but had never got round to it. That was until... I broke up with my longterm partner of 8 years, and I thought "f**k it", what better time to go on a solo trip than now. So, I started looking for flights to loads of different destinations and after finding a really cheap flight to Jordan, I spontaneously booked it leaving the following month.

That month flew by and before I knew it, I was at the airport waiting to board my flight. Now don't get me wrong - I absolutely love travelling, and I was, on the most part, excited for this trip but when I got to the airport that day, I was terrified to go on this solo adventure. If you also feel this way before your own solo trip, it is completely normal! It's quite a scary thing - you are going to a destination that you've probably never been too, you probably know no one at that destination and you only have yourself to rely on but don't let that stop you from going. Now bear-in-mind, I am a 29-year old woman and I actually phoned my Mum at the airport crying because I was so worried I was going to be lonely... but oh boy I couldn't have been more wrong if I tried!!

My first solo trip was exactly what I needed at that point in time. Every place I went to, I met soooo many people from all over the world and they were all like-minded people who I instantly connected with because they were also on their own solo-trip or going through similar life experiences (like break-ups, quitting their jobs and going travelling etc).

There is so much to gain from going on a solo trip - you'll meet new people, you'll step out your comfort zone, you'll get more comfortable spending time alone, and not to mention, the memories of actually travelling around another country. It's an experience that'll stay with you forever and I think everyone should go on a solo travel trip, even if it's just the once.

So, I've had a wee think about things I did on my own solo trip which helped me and in turn they should hopefully help you on yours!

Here's 8 pieces of advice I would give to anyone going on their first solo trip...

1. Consider joining a group tour

If you are worried about safety in your chosen destination, navigating your way around the country, or if you generally want to ease yourself in to solo travel, why not consider joining a group tour. They can be quite expensive but they are also a fantastic way to see a country, meet other like-minded people (of similar ages) and your trip is also fully planned for you, so all you need to do is show up.

For my own first solo trip, I booked a group tour through G Adventures for the Jordan portion of my travels and then, went fully solo for Croatia. I'd never been to the Middle East before and even though, I'd heard Jordan was pretty safe to travel around, I decided on a group tour just to be safe. It was a great decision because the tour included all the highlights of Jordan (including Petra and Wadi Rum) and I also met some other lovely solo travellers too.

2. Stay in hostels

One of the best ways to meet people whilst solo travelling is booking into hostels. Hostels come in all shapes and sizes so you can find one that suits you! Some hostels offer free pizza and pub crawls, whereas other hostels have a more chilled vibe. However, what they all offer are a great social experience. Even if you don't fancy staying in the dorm rooms, you could book a private room.

3. Be sensible

There's things you just shouldn't do, not at home or abroad. Main things include avoid travel destinations you know could be unsafe (especially for solo female travellers), avoid flashing your money or valuables and avoid walking home alone at night (especially if you've had a drink and are going to be walking down dark, less crowded streets). If a taxi is more convenient and you think it'll be safer, then just spend the extra money. If you've done research and you've been warned about some neighbourhoods or areas, then just avoid them. Try to stay in the more touristy areas. Essentially, use your common sense when solo travelling.

4. Put yourself out there

To get the maximum out of solo travelling then you'll need to put yourself out there. This means exploring your surroundings, signing up for or doing things (including activities and events) especially ones you wouldn't usually do and talking to as many people as possible. Talking to locals and other travellers is so beneficial, not only do you get to meet new people and learn about their life, but they can also provide you with so much information about things to do in the area and must-sees. Basically push yourself out your comfort zone, so much can come from this, you'll gain a lot of confidence and you'll come away with a more fulfulling travel experience with a lot more memories.

5. Embrace it

Going on your first solo trip will not be all sunshine and rainbows. Don't have unrealistic expectations that it's going to be all perfect. You will have good days and bad days and you'll probably feel every emotion and that's more than ok! This is actually a great time to embrace everything and you'll learn so much about yourself. Even if you not fully enjoying your first solo travel experience, appreciate how big an achievement it is that you are doing it anyway!

6. Inform people of with your travel plans

Inform people of your travel plans, whether that's friends or family back home or even, accommodation staff. On my solo trip, my family wanted me to message them everyday with an update on how I was getting on. It helps ensure my safety but it also, alleviates worry for them too. Make sure you will have cellular data in the country you are travelling too with your mobile provider or have access to WI-FI at your accommodation to allow you to message people back home.

7. Go on free walking tours

This is a great way to save money, see your travel destination and also, meet people. I did a free walking tour in Warsaw and most of the cities I visited in Croatia including Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik. You learn a lot about the city as the tour is usually led by someone who lives there, the guides also provide you with local recommendations of places to eat/drink and the tour usually takes you past all the main tourist attractions.

8. Slow down and enjoy the little moments

On your solo trip, you are totally and utterly free to do whatever you want! You make all the decisions so, slow down and soak it all in. Go for a coffee and people watch, sit and enjoy a nice lunch/dinner, sit on the beach (if there is one) and watch the waves roll in, watch the sunset or read a book. Just enjoy all the little moments.

Did these pieces of advice help you on your first solo trip? Please let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog post.

Kirsty x