• Volunteer and Adventure

Travelling alone for the first time

Article by GVI

GVI

Posted: December 15, 2022

Embarking on a solo trip for the first time can be intimidating, but also incredibly rewarding. It offers you the opportunity to take control of your itinerary and explore new places on your own terms. However, it’s important to be prepared and take precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.

Travelling alone for the first time: Where to start?

Before setting out, conduct thorough research and create a detailed plan. Choose a destination that aligns with your interests and budget, and make a list of the places you want to visit and activities you want to do. Book your accommodations ahead of time, and consider purchasing travel insurance for added protection.

When travelling alone for the first time, it’s natural to feel anxious or scared. But remember that you’re not alone. Many other people are travelling alone as well, and making connections with locals or other travellers can help to alleviate feelings of loneliness. 

Join a tour, attend a meet-up, or strike up a conversation with someone at a café or on public transportation. These connections can provide valuable advice and insights about your destination.

How to make friends when you’re travelling alone for the first time

Making friends while travelling alone can be a challenge, but there are several online ways to connect with other travellers and locals. One option is to use social media to find groups and events related to your destination and interests. This can help you to connect with other travellers and locals who share your passions and activities, and potentially arrange to meet up in person.

Another option is to use online forums and travel communities – such as Couchsurfing, Travel Talk and Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree forum – to ask for advice and recommendations from other travellers. This can provide valuable insights and tips about your destination, and also allow you to connect with other travellers and locals who may be interested in meeting up.

Finally, you can use online apps such as Tinder or Bumble BFF. This can be a great way to expand your social circle and potentially arrange to meet up with other travellers and locals for activities and experiences. Remember to be cautious when using any meet-up app and only meet in safe, public places.

Planning your safety when travelling alone for the first time

Safety is a top priority, and whether you’re a seasoned traveller or  travelling alone for the first time, it’s best to be cautious. 

It’s wise to share your travel plans with a friend or family member. Provide them with your itinerary and contact information, so they know where you’ll be and how to reach you in case of emergency.

Trust your instincts and remove yourself from any situation that doesn’t feel right. Avoid walking alone at night, and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Keep your belongings close to you, and consider carrying a personal alarm or flashlight for added security.

Why volunteering is a great option when travelling alone for the first time

Volunteering through a credible and ethical organisation can be a good idea when travelling alone for the first time for several reasons. 

First, it provides a structured and supported environment for solo travellers to engage in meaningful work and cultural exchange. This can help to alleviate feelings of loneliness and provide a sense of purpose and community.

Second, volunteering through an organisation can provide valuable support and resources, such as accommodations, transportation, and guidance from experienced staff. This can help to ensure the safety and wellbeing of solo travellers, and make it easier for them to focus on their volunteer work and cultural immersion.

Third, a volunteering and internship organisation like GVI can offer a range of opportunities and programs in various locations, allowing solo travellers to choose a destination and project that aligns with their interests and passions. This can provide a rich and fulfilling travel experience, and enable solo travellers to make a positive impact in the communities they visit.

Overall, volunteering through an organisation like GVI can be a great option for solo travellers looking to have a safe, supported, and rewarding experience on their first solo trip.

Above all, embrace the experience of travelling alone for the first time. This is your chance to step out of your comfort zone, try new things, and discover more about yourself and the world. So go forth with confidence and curiosity, and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime.

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