Picture-1964In a few weeks I’ll be heading to London for my very first trip abroad. While I excitedly plan and plot the details, I have to contend with a huge wave of fear and nervousness that overwhelms me from time to time. Not only is this my first trip across the pond, but I’ll also be going alone.

Some of my friends and family think I’m a little nuts. When I told them I was headed to the UK, their first response was to ask whom I was traveling with. When I told them I was rolling dolo, many gave me the “girl, are you crazy?!” look.

Although I know many of you have traveled alone (and even prefer it), I know many more haven’t. So I have a few tips for those of you thinking of taking a trip…even if your friends can’t make it.

Ditch your fears: Buying the ticket was easy. I knew I wanted to see London and I was confident in my decision to travel alone, but when it came time to book my accommodations, I panicked. As I stared at the AirBnB website on Sunday wondering if I was making the best choice, I reached out to my network to get some encouragement. After talking it over and being reassured I’d be ok, I had the courage to book my room. Because after all, I couldn’t let fear ruin my trip. I’d kick myself for the rest of my life.

Know your budget: While traveling alone can be wonderful, often times it’s more expensive. Traveling with friends means splitting the cost of hotels or hostels with others, but when it’s just you…you have to swallow the whole price tag on your own. Be sure to check out lower-priced rooming options such as hostels or budget hotels that cater to solo travelers. Also, know how much money you want to spend on your trip from the beginning and limit your options to that budget. For example, I’d like to squeeze in an overnight trip to Paris while I’m in London, but if I can’t find a cheap hotel, I’ll have to skip it. Know your limits.

Do you research: Even if you’re traveling with friends, researching the best deals and cheapest options is a no-brainer. But when you’re traveling alone, you also need to be aware of neighborhoods to avoid, how to get around, and how to you reach out for help if you need to. While it might sound like a good idea to just figure it all out when you get there and go where the mood strikes you, researching some key points and having a loose plan is never a bad idea.

 Have you ever traveled alone? What are your tips for a successful trip?

 

*UK Clutchettes, I’ll be in town Dec. 16-24, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook if you want to meet-up!

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  • Vanessa

    Thank you so much for this article! I want to travel and can’t always get my girlfriends to travel with me, and when I say I will travel solo I get “no it’s not safe, etc.” After reading your article and the comments, in 2012, I’m going to take a trip, somewhere solo!!!! Enjoy your trip!!!!

  • I so badly wanted to take a trip solo for my b-day last week, but because of Art Basel next week I knew I couldn’t afford it =(

    I have been wanting to go on a trip alone for some time now, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. I think it’s wonderful that so many people are open to doing this. I hope you have a fabulous time Britini. I’m sure you will have a story or two to share with the Clutch readers.

    PS
    Is anyone else going to Art Basel MIA ??

  • Traveling alone is one the best things you can do you in your life. However that also depends where you are traveling to. I wouldn’t recommend any woman to travel to the Middle East by herself.

    Currently I live in South Korea and I’m contracted to stay here for a year. I have currently served 8 months, and it has been the best 8 months of my life! I would highly recommend to travel where ever you want to. Friends and family will think your crazy, but really they wished they had the bravery/opportunity to do the same. I say go for it! Have an experience of a life time!

  • Alexandra

    I have never traveled to the other side of the world alone…yet. But I do look forward to it and I hope that I am ready. Montreal was also my first trip alone, as the comment above.
    I have traveled alone twice to Quebec by car. I live in NYC and its only an 8-hr drive. I was familiar with the route and seen it plenty of times, but I was very, very nervous. I was mostly scared because I would be driving alone for hours, god forbid I would get a flat tire, etc; But I did complete my trip alone and drove back home. I know it will sound silly to some, but it was liberating. I had the same feeling of liberation when I went out to a club alone for the first time. Not everyone can do things solo, so it was definitely something I felt proud of. I’ve only been planning my trip to Europe for only a few months now and I will be going alone also. I definitely don’t have that fear anymore, however I will be watching my surroundings and keep several things in mind. Great post, and I wish you luck on your trip.