Congratulations! You are about to embark on your first trip by yourself. The decision to just take the plunge is the biggest hurdle, so celebrate. Think about it, how many times do you hear people say why they don’t travel alone? They don’t have the money, they’re worried about safety, it’s awkward eating at a restaurant by yourself, they don’t want to be lonely, and dozens more. The truth is ALL of these reasons are valid. That’s what makes this trip so empowering, so let’s get to the fun part….PLANNING!
While you are brainstorming all of the fun-filled deets of your trip, here are five ways to make an exciting venture, even more promising!
1. Get PSYCHED, wherever the Destination!
Your first solo location may or may not be your choice. Say you have a work trip scheduled to Denver in a month. This is prime opportunity to tack on a few a play days to either end of the trip. Stacking trips is a great way to save some cash and vacation time. Plus, you get to explore somewhere not even on your bucket list (yet).
Alternatively, if you get to choose your where you’re going, then hooray! It’s time to get stoked!! Download a countdown App on your phone, computer, or do it old school and stick a picture on the fridge. T minus 30 days to vacay!! Having a trip to look forward to is very motivating and does wonders for your work performance.
2. Check out the Tourist Scene
Being a tourist is a blast even, if it’s in the town you live in now. One key benefit to being a tourist is getting to see the popular attractions. Don’t pass up this opportunity to explore the sights that put your destination on the map. For some great suggestions, I like using Trip Advisor to get some great suggestions. Look for the sights that have the most positive reviews and choose a couple to consider.
On a recent work trip to Phoenix, I chose to take a Hot Air Balloon ride. It proved to be one of my best ventures yet! Once I decided that was going to be my focal point of my trip, I planned everything else around it. It was perfect!!
3. Scope out the Local Scene
What’s almost as fun as being a tourist? Acting like a local! So how can you find places and events that locals frequent? Why not ask them? The best Uber/Lyft drivers are the ones that give you buku suggestions on restaurants, clubs, shopping, etc.
Now, I realize for planning purposes, it’s not strategic to wait to you’ve already arrived to get the local scoop. So, here are a few sites/apps that will give you a jump on it. Yelp! When it comes to local food favorites, Yelp has it in the bag. Just type in the area you’re headed and search for “local picks.” Stick with the spots that have the highest star ratings AND the most reviews.
Another great place to look up local outings in the area is Facebook. Go to your Facebook Events page and search the location and dates you will be visiting. Often times, you’ll discover local farmers markets, concerts or even yoga classes! Bonus, many of the events posted here are free!!
4. So Much Room for Activities!!
Choose 2-3 activities that your destination is known for and make plans to go! For example, are you visiting somewhere that is known for rock climbing, water rafting, outdoor activities, or shopping? If so, you should probably add it to your Tentative Itinerary.
During my Phoenix trip, I kept hearing locals talk about Camelback Mountain, a local landmark, you can see from virtually all over Phoenix. Even though it was in the middle of the summer I decided I had to check it out. Of course I like to push my limits, so I chose the hardest path, Echo Trail to the top. After an hour and a half, a dozen quivering muscles and a bucket of sweat, I made it to the top. Oh the view! Camelback was one of my favorite parts of the trip and BONUS, I met so many locals!
5. Schedule Down Time
Lastly, and perhaps the most importantly… allow yourself plenty of time to rest and catch your breath. You are going to be so excited to get out there and explore everything, see all the sites, eat all the food, and live it up! But you will need a few moments each day for R&R. Maybe you need this time to look at your agenda and figure out your next steps or you’re just exhausted from the day and need a nap. However you use your downtime, it’s important to schedule it in so that you don’t feel overwhelmed or stressed. Remember, an adventure doesn’t have to be constant action. Make the most out of it by giving yourself the breaks you need. Don’t worry, if you love your trip, you can always make plans for solo round two or maybe this time bring a companion?!
Have the BEST TIME on your first Solo-venture!!! Please keep me posted in the comment section!!