What stops you from making your solo dream trip a real trip?
I receive emails about this all the time. Occasionally, it's money. But more often the issue is confidence. It may be:
- questions about whether they can handle themselves on a solo trip safely.
- concern about getting lost.
- worry about the planning stage and whether all the details will be covered.
- fear of being lonely.
- anxiety about eating alone in a restaurant.
People raise a variety of different issues when they email me. What they are really asking is how to turn their travel dreams into travel reality. How to get up off the couch from watching travel shows to being out doing the travel themselves. How to go from what is called an armchair traveler to a real one.
Here are seven steps to get you from travel dreaming to living the travel dream.
From Dream Trip to Real Trip
- Of course, start by dreaming. This is important. Dream. Dream wildly. Don't think just in terms of a bucket list. Dream about the kind of travel you want to do. Solo travel? Food travel? Volunteer travel? Dream about how long you want to travel or how often. The bigger the dream the better your travels. Read:
- Travel Passions: 40 Destinations for Food, Health, Adventure & Creativity What are your travel passions? Whether it’s food & wine, adventure, health, ideas, or creativity, we have destinations and recommendations for you to enjoy.
- When Travel Is the Goal, Not Destination When travel is the goal, and money is the obstacle, destination may not be the most important factor. Here are some tips for deciding where to go.
- Personal Thoughts about Solo Travel Musings, memories, and lessons learned, along with links to helpful and inspirational posts: some personal thoughts on solo travel.
- Talk. Tell people about your solo dream trip, what you want to do, and why. The more you explain it to others the more real it will become to you. As you talk, you'll better understand why you must go and, having put it out into the world, there will be a bit of pressure to act. You can even ask people to help keep you on track to your dream. You can make yourself accountable to them for realizing your travel dreams.
- Schedule. Carve out the time that you need. You may only need your regular vacation days or you may need a leave of absence. Be creative and you can negotiate what you require in life. (Oh, did I say life? Of course, I meant travel!) Read:
- How to Find More Travel Time – 15 tips In the Reader’s Survey you told me that time was the second biggest reason you couldn’t travel more. Here are some tips for finding more travel time.
- Solo Travel for a Career Break: Tips and Resources for Long-term Trips Career breaks are life-changing. Here’s your guide to the why and how of long-term travel plus tips and resources to make your solo dream trip happen.
- Save. We have all the information you'll need to save money for, on, and while traveling. Read:
- How to Save Money for Travel. Here are 14 ways to save money for travel. No advice to cut lattes. No talk of shorter showers. Just a solid how-to approach to saving cash for travel.
- Save Money on Travel: 32+ Tips Here are dozens of ways you can save on travel. Whether you seek luxury, adventure, creative, or budget travel, here’s how to save and travel more for less.
- Save on Flights: Booking Tips, Stopover Deals & Bumping We all want to save on flights and solo travelers have an advantage. Here’s how to get more, pay less, and even make money for future travel.
- Save on Hotels? Yes You Can with These 10 Tips You want to book a hotel cheap but not a cheap hotel. Here are my top tips to help you save on hotels, whether luxury or budget, as you travel solo.
- Travel, Eat Well, and Save on Food Part one of a 3-part series on the big 3 of travel expenses: transportation, accommodation, and food.
- Research. Expand your dream by reading the Destination section of Solo Traveler. Thanks to dozens of our readers, we have posts on hundreds of destinations – all recommended by solo travelers. You'll discover, through others, just how fantastic your trip will be. If you haven't already, join the Solo Travel Society, our Facebook community. You will be part of a group of 250,000 solo travelers around the world who ask questions and share tips, advice, and encouragement about travel every day.
- Plan. Bare-bones logistics is all you really need (though I respect those who pull together more). You need to know how you'll get there, where you will stay the first night, and how you will manage your money. Beyond that, planning is all about your comfort level. Read:
- How to Travel Alone: Solo Travel Planning So you’re planning to travel alone. Here are the keys to great solo travel trip planning plus plenty of convenient resources.
- Culinary Travel: Top Tips for Food and Wine Travel Planning A bit of research can really pay off for solo travelers who enjoy the culinary side of their trips. Here are Tracey's best tips for food and wine travel planning.
- Backpacking Solo: Your Complete Guide for a Great Budget Trip Backpacking solo is about the most exciting type of travel you can do. Here’s how to plan your trip, buy your backpack, pack it and more.
- Luxury Solo Travel: Planning Your Trip of a Lifetime If luxury solo travel is your desire, the sky is the limit! Here are some tips to help you plan your luxurious dream trip.
- Pack & Go. Always have your passport ready. Pack light to make things easier. Buy your plane/train tickets. Book your accommodation. Go. Read:
- Bare Minimum Packing Packing lists are the key to packing light. Most people have trouble with this but, in my opinion, it’s an important skill for the solo traveler. Here’s how to do it.
- Checked Baggage: Top Planning and Packing Tips Checked baggage is a completely different game than carry-on – and it’s about more than weight restriction. Here are tips to help you avoid checked bag problems.
- Bare Minimum Packing – Travel Gear! Travel gear. It can be fun. It can also weigh you down. Here are travel gear recommendations from your fellow solo travelers.
- Going Alone? Travel Insurance is a Must Here’s what solo travelers should look for in travel insurance including the one benefit that’s most important for those of us who travel alone.
- VPN for Travel: What, Why and an Easy Setup Guide Here’s why you want a VPN for travel, what to look for in a VPN service, and an easy guide to setting up a VPN on your phone, computer, or tablet.
For more on making your solo dream trip a reality, consider the Wits & Wonder Travel Course – Especially for Solo Travelers