‘What-if’ situations bugging a First Time Solo Traveler

‘What-if’ situations bugging a First Time Solo Traveler

Though travelling with a group of friends is super fun, solo travelling gives you a whole new perspective about your own life. Safety concerns do hold us back from having the fun of setting out on our own adventure, meeting new people and discovering a new connection with our own self. Your first Solo Trip is always a big hurdle, clouded with concern over security and loneliness. Only when you get over that hurdle, will you realize the personal benefits of Solo Travel and soon it becomes your preferred mode of travel.

As I am gearing up for my next Solo Trip in a matter of days, I decided to revisit those petrifying scenarios that clouded my mind when I was planning the trip. If you are an introvert and socially awkward like me then I am pretty sure you might relate to the below thoughts whenever you had to travel alone. There are always those bizarre ‘What-if’ situations bugging a First Time Solo Traveler.


What if I get Scammed?

You can get scammed even if you are traveling in a group. Every tourist destination has its share of scammers waiting to prey on you. Moreover a noisy group of tourists will attract scammers than a solo traveler who can easily blend in with the crowd.


What if I have to eat alone?

If you are new to the place and have not met anyone to hangout with, then you can find yourself in this situation. The answer for this one is to always carry a book. I already purchased mine for my next trip. But if you are staying in a hostel. then it is quite rare that you will be eating alone.


What if I lose my luggage?

As if to be stranded at a new place alone not a good enough reason to lose your cool. Losing your belongings is more than one single reason to scare the living shit out of you. If you are reckless like me, get a travel insurance. That should get you covered.


What if I miss my destination?

You sleep on a train and miss your destination. Or even worse, you get on a train in the opposite direction and end up in a place called ‘Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch’ (This place exists). Well that could be a disaster or a start to new adventure. Always confirm before you hop on any ride in a foreign land.


What if nobody understands what I say?

There are many places where you might have to face the language barrier. That is a truth you need to travel with. Trust your sign language. There are many language translate apps you can have in your phone. They may come in handy.


What if I am not brave enough?

You think you are not. Staying in your comfort zone is not brave either. Humans are adaptable, it might take time but you always adapt to new places, food, weather. Remind yourself of those reasons that made you take the Solo Trip in the first place.


What if go broke?

Losing your wallet while on a trip along with your credit cards. Nightmarish !!! Well you did not travel this far to sleep on a bench. Stop stuffing all your cash in the wallet. Keep some in your backpack, stuff some in your socks(kidding…), it might stink but not when you are broke. Or try making money on the road.


What if I get sick?

When you are traveling you may have to eat food which has never been introduced to your system before. You will be subjected to a different weather. You will fall sick initially before your body adapts to the sudden change. If you are someone who has got allergies or prone to getting sick frequently, then you better carry your prescribed medicines with you.


First time solo travelers tend to treat their trip like a ‘Man vs Wild’ episode. It is way easier than you think. Time to kick away the ‘What-Ifs’ and set sail.


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98 thoughts on “‘What-if’ situations bugging a First Time Solo Traveler

  1. These are all great things to think about before traveling and find out the answers if you can. Doesn’t matter if your traveling alone or with someone.

  2. These are all genuine concerns, many apply to traveling even when not alone. Personally I enjoy dining along from time to time. I find a seat which will allow me a good view of the dining room and do some people watching.
    I really like your point about keeping money in multiple locations. Smart!

  3. I have been doing a lot more on my own lately. I used to hate to go out to eat alone. Now I love to get out by myself and explore. I would love to go on a solo trip.

  4. I travelled alone long time ago before meeting my husband and it was scary at time but it made me much stronger. I do love to travel with someone else but I would travel alone again if I needed to. Better travel alone than not travel at all. Great post with real concerns and all those concerns are well answered!

  5. Some great points here that we all think of when starting out as a traveller. Fortunately I’ve never got on a train in the wrong direction, metro Yes! It’s all experience, the more we travel the stronger we get.

  6. Solo travel comes with its share of pros and cons. Yes it does have challenges but the experience is really worth all the challenges. You have compiled a comprehensive lists of challenges which a solo traveler needs to keep in mind.

  7. This is a really helpful list although bizarrely I quite like getting lost while travelling, as long as I have plenty of time ahead of me.

  8. What a helpful post this was as you have tackled many questions most travelers had faced at some point. This is true with solo travelers, especially! It is a scary thing to travel but this vulnerability also makes you more open to experience new things!

  9. Funny thing, the first time I got scammed I was actually travelling with my parents who ignored my warning. Lol. I do worry about getting sick when alone. And I always get sick, it is nice if you have someone to look out for you, get you new water or something to eat so you don’t have to go out. But, I managed all the times untill now. You really get to know yourself and deal with any situation that presents itself.

  10. So many people stop pursuing their dream of traveling alone because they’re to scared to live some of the situations you describe here. But, as you say, solo traveling is all about getting out of your comfort zone. In this post you managed to show that it’s all part of the game and you don’t have to be scare. 🙂

    1. That is a thoughtful comment….getting out of the comfort zone is the first hurdle for wannabe solo traveler. Once you are out then there is no stopping you.

  11. That is a lot of ‘what ifs’ – I remember my first time travelling alone and yeah I tended to focus on the shitty things that could happen. But after a day or two, I focused on the amazing places I was visiting and the cool people I was meeting. No one should be too afraid of the unknown to go travelling on their own. I’m glad you still love travelling solo.

  12. I think out of all of these, losing my wallet would be the one that frightens me the most. I travel with my husband so luckily we always have a backup just by each of us carrying a set of credit cards, extra cash and copies of passports. Kudos to you for not letting fear take over! I admire you and the solo travelers of the world 🙂

  13. So valid situations that every solo traveler must be thinking of to begin with. I have never traveled solo, but then, if I did,the fear of loosing my luggage, eating alone and security would always be somewhere in the back of my mind.

  14. Oh gosh, I would have all of these what ifs going through my head as well. I have never traveled solo though and not sure If I would yet.

  15. I had some of these fears when travelling on my own. I ended up getting sick, going the wrong way, and trying to avoid being scammed thanks to the group I was with. These are all learning curves and you need to stay positive, especially if you go to the wrong destination.

  16. I love this post!! I’m an introvert and socially awkward but I took the plunge and took my first solo trip in November. I chose Iceland because I had been there before and knew the lay of the land, I knew it was mostly tours which are easy to do solo, I knew everyone spoke English, and I knew it was perfectly safe. I had all the same hesitations and fears but I got through them by just not thinking about them haha. After I got there, I knew I’d be fine. When I got home, I couldn’t wait to do it again!!! Solo trips really make you a better, stronger person!

  17. I think these ‘fears’ are some of the best things about travel – it teaches you that you are capable of anything whilst improving your street smarts and awareness of everything around you. Enjoy your next solo trip!

  18. The first time I traveled alone was scary! I feared I would get lost in the airport (I had a two hour layover) and not find my connecting flight! Thanks for this post. It is a great resource for first time travelers.

  19. I’ve never traveled alone, though I’m sure I would manage perfectly on my own, but my main what if would be: “what if I’m an introvert who is scared of talking to strangers” haha. Have fun on your next solo trip!

    PS: What book have you bought?

  20. All very average scenarios that plague even the most experienced traveller. I always make sure that I have travel insurance to cover me and a smile to help me get through any of the above situations. You might not speak a local language but a smile certain helps to break down any barriers.

    Enjoy your next solo trip.

  21. The thought of solo travel is often scary for people, but once you’ve done it, I think most people get hooked. I find that by staying in hostels, you usually don’t feel alone and that is comforting as well. I totally agree with bringing a book to restaurants though- or sticking to street food you can eat in a park!

  22. Great post. You have covered all the aspects of solo travel. And yes, once you have tried it, it comes under your skin and becomes your preferred way of travelling.

    P.S. : I have clicked on the link for Llanfairpwllgwyngyll! A Welsh village, Wikipedia says.
    Curious as a cat I am. 🙂

  23. For some people it is difficult to leave the comfort zone, isn’t it? I think that after some solo trips most of this “what if . . ?” will disappear from your mind. Nice new blog layout, by the way 😉

  24. Ha! this is me! part of me really wants to go on a trip by myself as the other part is like ‘woman are you crazy what are you going to do with yourself?!) thanks for clearing a few things up : )

  25. To be honest, these are mostly all things that can affect anyone travelling and just because they are not solo doesn’t mean they worry about them any less. I think the more organised you can be, and prepared in the event of an issue, the better placed everyone will be.

  26. I just got back from a long solo trip to South America. Though it wasn’t my first solo trip, there were plenty of firsts… no one understood English… they knew only spanish. The Google translation tool came in so handy. What I fear most is falling sick. I spend a fortune having fresh orange juice everyday to pull up my resistance when I travel alone.

  27. I am torn because I would love to take a break from my kids and husband and simply get to take time for myself (I mean, a museum by myself sounds like heaven), but I prefer to have them around when experiencing some place beautiful.

  28. Great tips! I agree with you that travel insurance is a must. On one of my solo trips I missed my flight back home because I left the passport in the hotel. You live & learn!

  29. I have been to solo travel and group travel many times and so I think it depends on what is the purpose of your travel to be alone or in a group. However, I would say I was never actually “alone” even I was on a trip solo. There’s always someone to meet, someone to talk to and it would eye-opening experience for those who thought it was impossible. @ knycx.journeying

  30. I think my biggest fear about solo travel has always been “what if I’m not brave enough”. When I’m with someone, I never have that feeling, but when I’m alone, it’s constantly on my mind. What if I can’t do it alone. But you know what, I always do and it’s always fine.

  31. This is a genius idea for a post.I love it! I hear these same things from people all the time, their reasons that they put their travel desire at bay just because they are afraid of the “what ifs”. What if they had the time of their life? Or witnessed a miracle? Or met the person of their dreams? All in the way you look at it. 😉

  32. I really love this post! It addresses the main things people are scared about when they think about travelling alone. To be honest, being a little scared isn’t a bad thing – but being aware and prepared is much better!

  33. Very interesting post Gokul! However, I would suggest that you just jump into it (with the usual precautions) and you will be able to turn any of these situations into lifetime of memories and stories 🙂

  34. I can definitely relate to this topic…

    In the end I just put it all out of my mind! Focus on what things I’d like to do and see just now – then deal with the inevitable hiccups once I’m out there! 😀

    Doubt I’d even have booked the flight if I went on being paranoid… 😛

    Thanks for sharing!

  35. You certainly made a lot of relevant points. I’m sure solo travel can be quite demanding the first time…managing in an unfamiliar environment in a strange land with no one to fall back on…sounds like a challenge. Its certainly not my cup of tea!

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