I finally did it! I took my first solo trip. By solo trip, I mean I actually took a trip by myself. In the past, I have flown alone many times but typically it involves meeting a friend or group of friends.
You are probably thinking – Tia, why would you want to travel alone? Well, there are a couple of reasons I decided to take my first solo trip.
- It got me out of my comfort zone.
- I had the flexibility to do whatever I wanted to do, whenever I wanted to do it, with as much or as little money as I wanted to spend.
- There was a landmark I wanted to visit (the National Museum of African American History and Culture) and I didn’t want to wait for others to get ready to travel with me.
I am not going to lie. I was nervous. Prior to this trip, I would rarely go to eat by myself. Let alone visit a different city for a weekend by myself. Therefore, this was a real stretch. In addition, one of the great things about traveling with friends or family is that you can split some of the costs (transportation and hotel especially). However, now that the trip is over I am so glad I was able to travel solo and stay within my budget.
Check out these tips on how to travel solo and stay within your budget.
Any good trip on a budget starts with finding a deal on airfare. You can literally save hundreds of dollars when traveling by finding a discounted fare. The first place that I look for a deal on airfare is Google Flights! Google flights makes it super easy to search different locations and flexible dates in order to find the best option.
In addition, occasionally there will be accidental fare drops or sales. Fare drops or sales primarily happen when airlines need to fill seats quickly so they will drop the fare price by 50% or more! The best way to find accidental fare drops and sales is to follow the following websites on social media regularly:
I will say though, often times the least expensive flight isn’t always the most convenient flight. Therefore, you may find an awesome deal however it departs at an awkward time or has a long layover. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons to find the right flight for you!
Related: 4 Tips to Catch a Flight Deal
When traveling alone, accommodations can be a big budget buster! Mainly there is no one to split the costs with you. However, there are a few options that will help you save money on accommodations.
The first places I always search when looking for inexpensive accommodations are sites like Airbnb where you can rent a room, apartment or house from another person. Typically, you can find a great deal! A few sites to check include:
If you are convinced that you want to stay in a hotel, there are options for you to save money. My favorite two sites to find a deal for a hotel for less are www.booking.com and www.hotel.com. I love those two sites because you can easily search that area you want to stay in, the extras that are needed, and the price that you would like to pay. By extras, I mean, wifi or free parking or whatever else are non-negotiables when finding a place to crash. In addition, both sites have hotel options that are refundable. Therefore, you can always book a hotel room early but continue to look for deals at other spots.
Personally, since I was traveling alone, I opted for staying in a hotel for safety reasons. In addition, I couldn’t find many other options in the area that I wanted to stay in (i.e. walking distance from the sites I wanted to see).
Related: 6 Sites to Book a Last Minute Hotel
Once you get to your destination, it is time to get around. One of the most popular ways to travel is a taxi. I implore you to check out these other options that I have used to keep costs within my budget.
One of the best ways to get around when in a new city is through your feet! Yes, walking! While I was on my solo trip, I am sure I walked 3+ miles each day. It helped me to save money as well as get exercise. In addition, I was able to see a variety of other sites like cute coffee shops and boutiques.
Another way to get around on a budget is by using a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft. Typically, Uber and Lyft are cheaper than riding in a taxi. In addition, Uber recently came out with a service called Uber Pool in select cities. Uber Pool provides a guaranteed lower rate to riders who agree to share their car with others that are heading in the same direction.
Have you ever taken a solo trip before? Tell me all about it in the comments!
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