Written: September 16, 2018
Salutations! I recently went on my first solo trip to Quintana Roo, Cancun Mexico. It was such an amazing experience and I wanted to share some tips, on how you can prepare for your first solo international trip. I'll also be posting about my overall trip to Cancun too, so please look out for that post!
1. Select Destination. Before I knew I wanted to go to Cancun, I researched the best places for women solo travelers. I even went as deep as searching for areas that were very diverse. I knew I wanted to be near the beach so that helped with finding a destination easier. I also checked traveler warnings and the country’s political climate, this information is important for safety. If you need help narrowing down your search, I also googled top destinations for solo female travelers. There are a lot of list out there so read and compare, it helps.
2. Budget. This is extremely important. Ask yourself how much are you willing to pay for; lodging, flight, transportation (during stay), and food/drink and don't forget your spending money (souvenirs). All-inclusive resorts are a good look. The all-inclusive route will guarantee; food, beverages (alcoholic and none) & activities. Try to plan your vacation months in advance. This will give you better financial leverage! Never "GO BROKE" just to travel. Somethings to take in consideration when budgeting, is taking advantage of as many deals you can. Destination prices also lower during their off seasons. Don't forget flights also become cheaper on specific days. It seems like a lot of research, but it’s worth it!
3. Flight and Lodging. While doing research in this area, your budget may or may not fluctuate. Always make room for a $10-$20 increase in your overall budget. Try your very best to remain in the budget you set for yourself, even if it means changing the destination or waiting for prices to drop. When I went to Cancun, I used Airbnb for the first time, this was the cheapest and best option. I also used Spirit Airlines for the first time and this was the cheapest and best option. I literally researched my flight and lodging for two months.
When you’re selecting your lodging, the map is your best friend. If you want to know if your lodging is close to restaurants, beaches and stores, Google Maps is the best tool to use. Don't forget to read reviews from other customers!
4. Transportation. Now, there are several ways that you can get to and from your lodging, whether it’s from the airport or to another destination during your vacation. Transportation from the airport could be; rental car, taxi, local transportation service and hotel transports. When I traveled to Cancun, I found a transportation service that provided a round trip to and from the airport. I booked this prior to arriving to Cancun. While stating in Cancun. I walked everywhere. Everything was in walking distance. Taxis can be very expensive where ever you go and do not rely on Uber or Lyft in some countries because the regulations may be different. If you rent a car make sure your lodging has parking, also check out the routes and directions to all of the places you plan to go.
5. Tours and Excursions. It's always good to have something to do when you’re travelling alone. I decided that I was going on a tour. I booked my tour before arriving. This minimized the possibility of being scammed or overpaying. My tour lasted all day and I visited 4 places, this was such a rewarding experience! I easily found a tour company by using Google. I checked out the reviews from other customers and read policies to ensure I was making the best option. If you don't plan to go on a tour, bring a good book or something to engage you while you’re traveling alone, so you can be occupied.
I really hope this list helps, of course there much more to planning, but hopefully this gives you a blue print. Thanks for reading!!
There will be a vlog edition of this post. This link will be provided soon. In addition, I plan to post a guide for while you’re at your destination and safety tips. I have a vlog in the works for my solo trip to Quintana Roo Cancun, Mexico.