Let’s Get Ready for Takeoff

Preparing for Take-Off

Travel can be a little intimidating and stressful, as we all have a fear of the unknown. This is even truer for those who choose to travel solo.

Whenever venturing out on our own, we must always remember that safety for solo travel and solo adventures begins before leaving home.  The preparation we do prior to departure can often make or break our trip.

In order to calm you and to help you feel more at ease when travelling solo, I have assembled a list of tips to assist in preparing for take-off which hopefully will make the thought of travelling solo a little less intimidating.

…… AND WE ARE OFF

Before Your Flight

  • Research, research and more research.  Research is the key to safety as a successful solo traveller
  • Choose a destination that is within your comfort zone and budget
  • Arrange travel/health insurance before departing to your destination
  • Scan passport, credit cards, health card, travel insurance documents, flight tickets. Email all of these documents to yourself so that you have everything on your phone, as well as to a trusted friend or family member
  • Make arrangements to have your mail collected if travelling for an extended period of time
  • If you will be gone for an extensive period of time (over 2 weeks), make arrangements to have your house checked periodically
  • prepare your home so that it appears lived in (put lights on timers)
  • Research tours and attractions.  Make a list of all of the “must see’s” and “must do’s” and book your “must do” tours in advance in order to avoid disappointment
  • Make arrangements for travel to the airport. I prefer to take a limousine or airport taxi service. The last thing I want to do is drive over an hour home when returning from my vacation
  • Research the destination to determine the “safe” and “walkable” areas and book your accommodation in these areas. Always avoid the questionable areas of your destination
    avoid-dark-alleyways-for-solo-traveler-safety
    Avoid dark alleyways
  • Once you have your flights, hotels and tours booked, make an itinerary which contains the names of hotels, destinations, events and telephone numbers.  Give this to a trusted friend or family member, as well as email it to yourself so that you have it on your phone
  • Find the contact information for the law enforcement at your destination, as well as your Country’s consulate. This should be stored in your phone and available to you at all times
  • Prepare a slip with your name and contact information to put in your wallet, backpack, luggage, carry-on or any other item which you may be carrying.  If any of these items are lost, it will be easier to locate you if the item is found
  • Exchange currency if required
  • Arrange doggy daycare, or any other care needed
  • Pack, keeping in mind any cultures which may affect your choice of clothing

You are now ready for take-off!

Upon Arrival

  • Carry your valuables in your front pocket and store your cash and credit cards in various different places.  Always remember to carry a minimal amount of cash with you
  • Always carry your passport with you. Leave a photocopy of your passport in your suitcase.  Always have a copy of your passport stored on your phone in the event that your passport gets lost or stolen
  • Be cautious when choosing transportation from the airport to your accommodations
  • Follow the culture of your destination.  Avoid drawing attention to yourself….dress like a local
dress-like-a-local-for-safety
Dress like a local
  • When touring an unfamiliar destination, stay in the well populated areas and avoid alleyways and secluded areas
  • Never disclose the name of your accommodation, destination, etc. to strangers no matter how friendly they may seem. Be friendly, make friends, but never provide personal information.  Never let on that you are travelling alone
  • Do not explore after dark, unless you are extremely familiar with the area, or have met up with a trusted person
  • Always be aware of your surroundings. Be alert,  do not use your cellphone or earbuds unless it is absolutely necessary. Do not become distracted. Sit and/or stand with your back against a wall or barrier so that you are always aware of your surroundings

    be-aware-or-your-surroundings-for-safety-when-traveling-solo
    Sit so you can see and are aware of your surroundings
  • Leave all valuables at home and do not to wear flashy jewelry and/or clothing.  Be conservative in your attire
  • Be prepared if you find yourself lost. Ensure that you have a map of your destination installed on your phone or carry a map with you
  • Never, ever get intoxicated or leave your drink unattended
Watch your alcohol intake whenever travelling solo
Limit your alcohol intake whenever travelling solo
  • Post on social media every day or two so that your friends and family know you are safe.  They will also enjoy seeing your photos
  • Exude confidence.  Walk with a purpose and make eye contact. Always smile
  • Be friendly but firm, if need be
  • Always have your cellphone fully charged
  • Listen to your gut! If a situation doesn’t feel right, it likely isn’t. Remove yourself
  • Even though it is recommended that you have an itinerary prior to leaving for your destination, don’t plan every second of every day.  Leave yourself some free time to relax or just explore your local surroundings
  • Try something new that you have never tried before. Whether it be food or an activity or something else, get out of your comfort zone and live!  Have fun!

Related:  10 Tips for the Solo Cruiser

try the food and experience the culture whenever travelling
Try the local food

Although this Checklist – Let’s Get Ready for Takeoff appears extensive, the key to successful travel is to prepare, prepare, prepare and research, research, and more research.  I have now been travelling solo for almost 10 years and I still follow this list each and every time I travel or adventure out on my own.  Having a black belt in martial arts has also prepared me for venturing out on my on safely

“Traveling alone will be the scariest, life changing, experience of your life.  Try it at least once” – unknown

I would love to hear what your rituals are in preparation of take-off.

Safe and Happy Travels!!!

Kelly 🙂

58 thoughts on “Let’s Get Ready for Takeoff

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  3. Anja

    Very useful. I am always super concerned about safety when I travel – especially safety at home while I am away. I pretty much follow your advice already. So far, I am happy to say no issues rather than a dodgy stomach

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kristina

    Great tips. Ive never travelled alone, always with family or friends. Ive always been to scared but its something i would like to one day try. Its always important to be aware of dangers while exploring 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. coriramos

    I wish I had the courage to solo-travel. For now I enjoy reading posts like yours to take me to the places I dream of going. 🙂

    The pics you shared are gorgeous! And these tips will help any solo-traveler hopeful to start seeing the world.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Cori

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just One Passport

      Thanks Cori. I’ve been travelling solo for almost 10 years now and I still get nervous every single time. I don’t think that it’s something that you ever get fully use to. But I love to travel and I won’t give it up, so solo travel it is lol

      Like

  6. aniajames

    I travel alone or with just with young kids and first rule is to use common sense, I found America more dangerous than any of Asian countries

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Corritta

    Great tips. We travel as a family but I’ve been thinking of taking a side trip by myself. This article is great for keeping everything straight… I’ve become a little scatter brained these days. Where do you think is the best place to take your first solo trip?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just One Passport

      Hmmmm…..that’s a great question. My 1st solo trip abroad was St. Lucia, which is more than a little ambitious lol. Start small, by going to a place close to you where you feel comfortable. You don’t have to board a plane :). It’s the perfect way to recharge, especially with kids still at home.

      Like

  8. cheryltansr

    Im looking to travel solo soon and I love the tips that you post here.
    Any tips on where I should venture to for my first solo holiday?

    P/S: Living in Asia my entire life, I do think that there is a
    cacophony of culture to be appreciated here!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. africawanderlustblog

    You have a lot of valuable tips for the solo traveler. Thanks for sharing. I saw you have on the list to have someone check up on your place if traveling for an extended hour. Leaving the lights on in the bedroom or living room could also do the trick.

    Liked by 1 person

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  15. Audrey

    When travelling to Paris, we went to a restaurant where wine was “all you can drink” I guess I didn’t limit my alcohol consumption! luckily I was with my husband when we left the restaurant, I was singing traditional Quebec songs!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Francesca Wellman

    I wish I had the confidence to properly solo travel. Thus far the only places I’ve been on my own are within the UK for work – even then though this is super good advice. Worst situation I’ve found myself in was lost in London with a dead phone battery and too tipsy to remember which specific Travel Lodge I was in (I very confidently gave my taxi driver the address of the hotel I’d been in the previous week in London!)

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Carrie Ann | Should Be Cruising

    This is such a comprehensive guide to staying safe while traveling solo, especially for female travelers. I’ve done quite a bit of solo adventuring over the years, and I practice most of these safety tips myself. One other tip I’d like to share is to always carry a portable phone charger. Especially if you’re relying on just one phone for maps, taking photos, and ordering rideshares, the battery can drain super-fast when you’re on your own.

    Like

  18. Michelle Segrest

    I have taken long flights solo many times and I still found many useful tips in this article. I especially love your advice about keeping the cell phone fully charged. This one always gets me, especially when I need GPS or something important like that!!! I finally purchased a couple of portable chargers that have saved me a few times! Thanks for the very comprehensive and useful post with the fantastic tips for solo travelers!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. pamelard

    Great tips! I always carry my passport and my husband would prefer to keep it at the hotel. I keep the copy at the hotel, but I like to know where my passport is at all times. I also have it digitally in case I get robbed or misplace it when I’m out and about (but I’m constantly checking where it is, it’s compulsive). Love this list!

    Liked by 1 person

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  21. Kathleen

    That’s a lot of stuff and a great list. I don’t travel solo, unless there’s a person I’m meeting on the other end. Sometimes I think I would love it, just so I’m only following my own path. Other times I think I really like the way I travel. I think most of the these tips apply to if you are traveling with another person too.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Freya

    Some great sensible advice Kelly. I never remember to look up my country’s consulate before I travel, that’s definitely something I’ll take away from this post. I would add that for safety’s sake you should never reveal your exact location on social media in realtime.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Niry

    I often like to travel to the African countries. Yes, Africa really takes me out of my comfort zone and this gives me an experience to carry back home.

    Of course there are inconveniences like food, electricity, transport, and more when traveling to Africa but even though that’s the case, it teaches me a self-mastery on handling my daily life once back in my home country. So I think we can choose out of our confort zone but we should definitely know our limits. That’s the point.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Melissa

    Great tips! Being a solo traveler or traveling with my young daughter safety is something that is always on my mind. These are great tips, many of which I already go by, and many that I will start. Being prepared is the best way to reduce stress and keep yourself safe in unknown destinations.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. revolvingcompass

    This is a thorough and very useful list. We often tend to forget some of these like keeping some lights switched on particularly when we are leaving the home in broad daylight! I will use it as my checklist next time.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. arv!

    This is a great guide. I haven’t come across such a detailed post on tips. I generally make a list of things to do and keep striking them off when I complete it. I have been following many of these tips you have mentioned. But there is always something new to learn.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Kendra

    Such a great list! This is so thorough–I do most of the things but I’m going to make this one of standard “go-to” posts for prepping for trips. I love the research part!! I get so excited digging around for ideas and making an Excel spreadsheet of my plans–I’m a nerd, I know!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. bye:myself

    I’m sure this is super-helpful for people who are rather new to travelling. You’ve really listed all the small details that actually matter a big deal. I’m sure that new travellers will make this into a checklist – and they should!

    Liked by 1 person

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