Travel tips for the solo traveler - Jada Jo
Travel tips for the solo traveler

Travel tips for the solo traveler

April 26, 2019

Traveling with a group or a trusted travel partner can be a blast, but there's something exciting about packing a bag and starting a journey all on my own. Over the years, I've traveled with too much luggage—and not enough. I've gone on short trips and a two-month venture around the world. I understand some people feel intimidated by solo travel. With an open mind and heart—and a little planning—traveling on your own offers the opportunity to experience a location in a way that is uniquely your own.

tips for solo travel


The one thing you absolutely need for solo travel

I have tips about what to pack and what to leave at home, but one thing needs to be part of your travel plan: the right mindset. You can prepare yourself as much as possible by learning about the destination you're visiting, including the climate and if there are specific expectations for your clothing. Still, my best advice is to be flexible. Unexpected things can—and will—happen on any trip. With an open, nimble mind, you can smile and lean into your experience, no matter what unplanned events may arise. 

Be honest about your packing style—and what it really means

First, I will never be known as a minimalist, no matter how hard I try. I love options. Still, even I have my limits! After all, when you're traveling on your own, you don't have anyone to help you shoulder an overstuffed bag. In May of 2016 I ventured off for a two-month trip around the world. I still can’t remember what I brought, but by country number two—Ireland—I ended up shipping back 75 pounds of personal items. I was tired of both the literal baggage and the exhorbitant baggage fees. I learned to pare down my luggage after that, though I still bring more than some solo travelers I know! 

My must-pack items for solo travel

  • Technology bag – Use the smallest bag you have that keeps all your chargers and different converters together. You need to use them for recharging each night
  • Fully charged computer or iPad with downloaded movies and/or books
  • A water bottle — Carry it through airport security empty, fill it before boarding the plane, and keep it as full as possible at all times
  • The most versatile travel outfit I own — My all-time favorite travel clothes remain my Lululemon wrinkle-free blouse and pants, plus one of their weather proof jackets. 
  • Wet wipes — I can't list the various mundane and not-so-mundane these have come in handy over the years.
  • Apple Watch – In the US don’t use it, but I like using it internationally.
  • Cash — I recommend $300 in $1 and $5 US dollar bills. If you don’t have local currency you always have money to tip and get you around
  • A bottle of mace never hurts. Five years ago I would never have included this item but think it's prudent to include it now.
  • A Currency Conversion App - Especially if you are traveling to many countries in one trip it is super handy to have a currency converter.  My favorite is XE Currency.

My top tip for traveling solo

Without a doubt, I suggest one major thing to anyone looking to travel on their own. Pack minimally and purchase things along the way. Keep in mind "packing minimally" means something different to everyone. You will run out of your favorite face wash but might discover amazing facial products from another country—or that water works just fine in a pinch.

I lost my luggage during my time in Cambodia. Initially, I panicked. I won't lie. However, I ventured out and bought everything I needed in a street market—down to underwear—which was super fun. To this day I have awesome lounge pants from Cambodia and lovely facial oils from Morocco. Each time I use those things, I remember my solo trips and how adventurous it feels to explore a new place on my own. 

What's one thing that interests you about traveling alone? What is a “must have” when packing?

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