There are a few things I like to do when I am preparing for a trip to make it a more enjoyable experience. These are my 8 top planning tips for a solo holiday.
- First, decide what sort of trip you want.
What are you looking to achieve from your trip? Are you looking for adventure? Do you want to get away from it all for a while? Maybe you want to get up close with nature? Think about exactly what sort of trip you are looking for. Once you have decided on the purpose of your trip, consider how long you want to be away from home for.
- How long do you want to be away from home?
If you are planning a short trip, try to avoid booking accommodation that is a long way from the airport or train station, depending on your mode of transport. If possible, also try to choose accommodation close to the area you wish to explore. That way, you can maximise the time at your destination.
If you are considering a longer trip, you could try hotel hopping or even island hopping, to explore a few areas. This is good if you have a combination of things you would like to accomplish and they can’t all be achieved in one area. I have hotel hopped a lot on visits to Antigua. For example, if there are a couple of areas that have a few local activities you are interested in, book a hotel for a few days in each area. This then gives you the chance to explore the areas more without the need for lengthy taxis or bus journeys, making it more cost effective too.
- When planning your solo holiday, check if you require a visa or immunisations?
Once you have chosen a destination, check if a visa or immunisations are required.
Immunisations sometimes require a few injections over a period of time or may need to be ordered in. Some malaria tablets need to be started a few weeks before travel.
Some countries will require a visa to allow entry. Visas will often need to be applied for in advance and can take a little time so make sure you check if one is required ahead of your trip.
- Is your passport still valid
This may seem like an obvious one, but there are a lot of countries that will not allow entry unless you have 6 months left on your passport, from the day you are due to return home.
- Research Your Solo Holiday Destination
If you are thinking of visiting somewhere new, research the area first. Wherever possible, if I am thinking about going somewhere I haven’t been before I will follow a local newspaper, tourist information, restaurants in the area etc. on Twitter. This gives me the heads up on current news and places I might like to visit while I am there. It may also highlight any ‘trouble spots’.
Foreign Travel Advice
Click on the foreign travel advice link. This will take you to the Government’s website giving you all the latest foreign travel advice for countries. The countries are listed in alphabetical order and give you up to date information on the following topics.
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Entry Requirements
- Natural Disasters – such as hurricanes
- Travel Advice Help and Support
- An events calendar of the area
Very often you will find an events calendar online for your destination and you will be able to see main events taking place for a given period. There may be an event you would love to attend and this may influence your travel dates.
If your chosen destination does not speak your mother tongue then try to learn the basics of the language before you go. Being able to say please, thank you or order a drink in a foreign language goes a long way. I can recommend Duolingo. Duolingo is a free app through Play Store. You can choose daily lessons 5, 10 or 15 minutes long. It teaches you how to read, write and pronounce words and phrases in a fun way from your phone! You can also take part in a language club which allows you to connect with other learners to chat online. Read my language tips blog post for more information and further ideas.
- Travel Insurance
Make sure you have valid travel insurance and check you are covered for any sports, cruising etc that may require additional cover.
Suggested Further Reading:
I hope you have found this post on planning tips for a solo holiday useful. You may also be interested to read my Solo Travel Tips page which offers links to other posts useful for solo holidays, dining solo or solo activities.