8 Tips For Stress-Free Solo Travel On A Budget

When it comes to travel, most people don’t consider the idea of doing it alone. However, once you get past the initial stress of being out in the world without someone there to guide you or protect you, traveling alone can open up your horizons in ways that co-travelers never could. There’s so much to think about—what will you do if something goes wrong? How will you find cheap hotels and flights when you don’t have anyone to travel with?

If you’re looking to make solo travel less intimidating, here are some tips that will make planning and going on your own adventure more exciting than ever before.


Before you hop on a plane, make sure you’ve done your homework. Take advantage of resources like TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet to help guide your trip, including tips on where to stay and what to see and do.

Your most important travel-related expenses are likely your flights, so be sure to check a few different sites (Kayak, Skyscanner and Google Flights are great ones) before booking to get an idea of how much things cost. If you’re traveling in peak season, you may have to pay a little more for that last-minute trip—but even then, there are ways to get around that. Consider signing up for a loyalty program with one of your preferred airlines; some let you redeem points for free flights or upgrades. And if you’re going abroad, don’t forget about credit card fees. Some cards tack on 3% to 5% per transaction when used internationally. Factor that into your budget.

Researching ahead of time will also give you an idea of how much money you’ll need for your trip (which is especially helpful if you plan to travel alone). And while it may seem counterintuitive, traveling solo can actually be cheaper than traveling with others. So don’t let that deter you from taking that vacation. It might just save you some cash in the long run. You should also consider costs involved with transportation (especially if you’re planning a road trip), insurance, and activities—both planned and impromptu. You should always do your best to budget for fun things along the way so that your savings account isn’t completely drained at journey’s end. And remember: The best way to travel frugally is always by foot or public transit wherever possible.

Try Couch Surfing

If you’re traveling on a budget, it can be difficult to find somewhere to stay. One of our favorite low-cost and unique ways to travel is through Couch Surfing. With Couch Surfing, you can meet locals who are more than happy to accommodate you in their homes—for free. One of the most enriching ways to explore a new place is by meeting its people. Websites like Couchsurfing make it easy to find a local host who will offer you their couch, bed, or floor space while you’re in town. Not only will it give you an authentic cultural experience—you’ll also meet some really cool people and get insider tips on navigating your new destination. It’s a great way to meet locals without having to break your budget.

Make sure to treat these hosts with respect; they’re doing you a huge favor! Be polite and appreciative and always ask if there are any special accommodations they need you to be aware of. Don’t bring strangers back, don’t leave your belongings unattended (and always thank them for letting you stay!), and keep noise levels down late at night. If you’re worried about safety, couch surfers have only been hurt two or three times in 20 years of existence. It’s very safe, convenient, and cost effective because most hosts don’t charge for accommodation—you can save hundreds on accommodations by sleeping on people’s couches. Be warned that you should read up on the safety precautions before trying it.

I love it because it’s such an easy way to meet locals and learn more about their city. I’ve also made some great friends through couch surfing who I still keep in touch with today.

Know How to Stay Safe

Before you head out on your solo journey, make sure you’re knowledgeable about how to stay safe while traveling. This can be done by learning where you’re going, knowing how to get around once you arrive and knowing what to do in case of an emergency. Read up on travel safety tips at your destination or consult with someone who has been there before. It’s important to know how to stay safe. Know where you’re going and make sure your hostel or hotel has good reviews. Many travelers find themselves in vulnerable situations because they don’t research where they are staying beforehand. Once there, be smart—don’t wander alone at night, don’t leave your belongings unattended, etc. Be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.

If you do feel unsafe, go back to your room and call someone so that you can get help if needed. If it’s too late at night to call anyone, try calling in advance before traveling somewhere new so that someone knows where you are and what time to expect you back home. Just remember: safety first. The world is an amazing place to explore; however, we must take precautions while doing so.

Source – Pixabay

Choose The Best Time To Go

When you want to travel can make a big difference in how much money you spend. High season rates and higher travel costs tend to be during holidays, weekends, and popular peak times. If possible, time your trip around such periods so that you pay less for hotels, transportation, food and entertainment. Do you go on vacation when you can afford it, or when you can take time off work? The holidays and summer are always popular travel times—but they come with higher prices and crowds. If you’re looking to save money (or just enjoy yourself a little more), consider visiting another season instead. September, October, April and May are still warm enough for beach trips, while airfare will be significantly lower during these months than it is in peak season. And if you’re planning a trip abroad, consider going in winter; many destinations see fewer tourists over their coldest months, which means less competition for lodging and attractions.

You may even find some hotels offering special rates for off-season visits. If you want to plan a long weekend getaway, look at hotels that offer weekend rates: These usually run from Thursday through Sunday nights only, but they often include breakfast or other perks like free parking.

Consider Working While You Travel

If you’re going to be away from your job, you might as well make a little money while you’re gone. If you work remotely, consider doing some contract work or find freelance gigs that can help fund your journey. This will also give you something productive to do during down time when traveling alone.

You’re less likely to get sick of your traveling experience if you have an income that allows you to afford everything. Instead of relying on savings, take a part-time job or use job posting websites like Upwork and Freelancer to supplement your travel funds. If you can work online, it makes it even easier to move from place to place as you won’t be tied down by a particular office space or hours worked each day. If you don’t have remote working capabilities at your current gig, there are plenty of sites where you can search for opportunities and apply for jobs that allow telecommuting. The beauty of finding online jobs is that they tend to pay more than regular part-time gigs—which means more cash in your pocket (and less guilt about spending it).

If you prefer brick-and-mortar businesses, check out your local library for employment listings—or even visit their website directly to see if they list any job openings. And remember: If someone wants you to wire them money first before sending out payments, stay far away! That’s usually a sign of a scammer looking to rip off would-be contractors like yourself.

Pack Light

Unless you’re going to be living out of a backpack in your travels, bring only what you need. Packing light will save you time and money (no bag fees!), and it will ensure that you don’t carry things that aren’t necessary.

Packing light and only bringing what you need is your first step to stress-free solo travel. Bring just enough clothes, electronics, and toiletries to get you through 2–3 days without needing to clean or shop. For example, instead of packing three pairs of jeans, bring one pair and two pairs of dark wash skinny jeans. Skinny jeans are versatile, easy to pack in carry-on bags or backpacks and they go with everything. If you’re staying at hostels, remember that most provide towels (or you can buy them at local markets) so don’t bother packing one. If you forget something small, like deodorant or toothpaste, it’s easy to pick up from a local market along your travels.

  • Leave Your Fancy Clothes at Home: Whether you’re flying across country or exploring a new city, save your fancier clothes for special occasions and stick to casual wear during your travels. You won’t regret saving space in your suitcase.
  • Opt for Easy-to-Wear Pieces: While having nice things is great, traveling with them isn’t always practical. Choose clothing that’s comfortable, durable and easy to put together; simple outfits like t-shirts and leggings are ideal for solo travelers looking to minimize their wardrobe.
  • Pack Multiple Versions of Each Piece of Clothing: Instead of carrying one outfit per day, try carrying multiple versions of each piece of clothing you need instead.

Consider Using Technology

Technology is your friend when it comes to traveling solo, especially if you’re trying to do so on a budget. If you don’t want to splurge on pricey guidebooks, download some free apps that can help you navigate new cities and find local events. Or try downloading travel audiobooks from LibriVox and Audible—they’re generally cheaper than traditional books. Plus, they don’t take up any space in your luggage.

You can keep in touch with loved ones and access maps and itineraries via smartphone apps. But remember to consider data limits when you’re abroad, as overages can add up quickly. Consider buying an international SIM card—if your phone isn’t unlocked, you may have to get it unlocked first. Just be sure to check with your carrier before leaving home to make sure that your phone will work overseas. If not, you might want to rent one from a local carrier instead of relying on Wi-Fi hotspots (which are often slow). Also, look into getting travel insurance; some credit cards offer coverage if your trip is canceled or interrupted due to sickness or other unforeseen circumstances.

A boy looking at eagle and mountain above the clouds
Source – Pinterest

Don’t Fear Solo Travelling

The thought of heading off on a trip alone may seem daunting, but it needn’t be. It’s easy to see solo travel as being synonymous with loneliness, but that doesn’t have to be true. Travelling alone is a completely different experience to travelling with friends or family. There’s no one to fall back on for support and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by new cities, cultures and languages. As long as you go into it with an open mind, solo travel can be a great way to expand your horizons. It might feel a little scary at first, but you will soon find yourself enjoying new opportunities and meeting people from around the world.

Although some people may not enjoy traveling alone, it can be an excellent opportunity to explore new places and meet new people. Even if you find yourself in an unfamiliar location without someone to turn to for advice or assistance, solo travel doesn’t have to be stressful. By planning your trip in advance and packing light, you can minimize your stress levels and ensure that your solo travel experience is safe and enjoyable.

If you plan on flying into a city with no prior knowledge of its layout or where to stay, book transportation ahead of time so that you don’t get stuck wandering around aimlessly when you arrive. Similarly, if you are driving somewhere with limited access to public transportation (or none at all), make sure there is ample parking at your destination before setting out.

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