K.J. Around the World

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How to Survive Your First Solo Trip Abroad

December 30, 2017
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I traveled solo many times as a child. Traveling back and forth from Antigua to the United States for summer vacations every year until the age of eight. But as an adult I’d only taken short weekend trips that were apart of my degree program. My first solo trip abroad was to Iceland this past October and I have to say, it was one of the best travel experiences I’d had in a long time. The experience has taught me to be open to being alone, especially in a foreign country. The experience has also taught me travel works well when you plan ahead. Check out my tips below if you plan on taking a solo trip abroad in the near future. 

How to Survive Your First Solo Trip Abroad:

Get Yourself a Tripod!

A tripod will be your best friend on your solo trip. Although I was lucky enough to find some really kind fellow travelers who were willing to take amazing photos of me. Sometimes this might not always be the case.  So get yourself a sturdy tripod or a flexible one like the one pictured below, to get those great shots you’ll have for years.


Choose a Hostel!

My first solo trip abroad, I also did things differently when it came to my accommodations. I stayed in a Hostel for the first time which was definitely different than any experience I’d had staying in a hotel in the past. Booking your accommodations with Booking.com gives you a chance to read reviews and find out where the best Hostels are located in a particular city. I found Kex Hostel using the tools on Booking and realized once I was there I had chosen one of the best Hostels in Reykjavik.

Don’t be Afraid to Eat Out! 

Eating out when you travel solo for the first time can be nerve-wreaking sometimes. But I find eating out when your solo to be an opportunity to meet new people. It’s a great opportunity to meet locals as well. If you decide to stay in a Hostel, eating out is a great way to connect with your Hostel-mates. Within an hour of arriving at Kex I was invited to coffee by one of my Hostel-mates who was actually from Montreal, Canada. I continued to meet several people the rest of my time in Iceland while eating out. So I have to say this is definitely a great way to meet people when you travel.

Take a Local Walking Tour!

Taking a local walking tour during your first solo trip abroad is a great way to connect with the city your visiting, while meeting new people. And what could be better than taking a tour that’s FREE!


I hope my tips help you to navigate your first solo trip abroad. If you’ve taken trips abroad alone in the past tell me your experiences below. How were they similar or different to my own.



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  1. Great tips! I think solo travel offers a completely different travel experience than going with a friend, family member or significant other. It gives you the space to follow your every whim and sometimes I find it easier to meet new people when I am alone.

  2. Brings back memories of my first solo backpacking trip in Europe. You hit the nail on the head with hostels. Great place to meet fellow travelers. Although I wish I saw your post on tripods before I left. 🙂

    1. Definitely. I know how that feels. I didn’t have my tripod when I went to Mallorca on honeymoon last year and it was a little difficult asking people to take our picture in busy Palma.

  3. Those are wonderful tips! I believe that there are more tips you can add with this one. I also wrote an article about travelling abroad for the first time here http://roadsandpages.com/easy-steps-help-plan-first-trip-abroad/. I thought of travelling solo before, but my boyfriend did not allow me and my mom I think would be too worried if I would do it. But after I experienced travelling with my boyfriend, I found out that I think I would enjoy more travelling with someone. By the way, I haven’t thought of bringing a tripod but I agree with you. It is very convenient to bring it because it is not all the time that we can ask someone to take a photo of us. However, it is not all the time we can also trust strangers so we must always be careful.

  4. Hostels are really the best way to meet people in my opinion. So many people with similar experiences, shared interests, and the same sort of adventurous outlook on life. Tripods, gimbals, and selfie sticks are also crucial for solo travel!

  5. My husband and I usually travel together these days, but I have done some solo trips before. These are great tips! I think people get intimated by solo travel, but it can actually be quite fun. Plus we still take our tripod everywhere!

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