A Go-To Guide For Traveling On Your Own For The First Time

For anyone who has had the opportunity to travel can vouch that it is a stressful process for almost the entirety of the trip. Someone always feels like he or she is forgetting something, someone does forget something and the group is always rushing from point A to point B.


But what if you have to do all this alone?


The most intimidating part of traveling alone is doing so on your own for the first time. I know whenever I travel with my family, my dad does all the work. His Type A personality has him print multiple copies of documents, plan months ahead and doubles check everything for all of us. Traveling for him something that he is comfortable with.


For me, not so much.


I had the opportunity to travel to Phoenix, AZ in the past couple of weeks. However, this was a trip I had to make by myself. With flying to and from the city in a span of 36 hours proved stressful especially since I was on my own. But I learned along the way the best and easiest ways to travel alone for the first time especially if you are as worrisome as me.


My first tip is to always prepare for the worst. What I mean by this is to think about any possibility and prepare for it. Print your boarding pass and have it sent to your phone. That way you always have a backup. Get to the airport two hours early. You never know how long TSA could take or what could go wrong between walking into the airport and walking onto the plane. Give yourself plenty of time to settle in. All of these tips are little things that will help ensure that you catch your flight on time and get there smoothly.


If you have a direct flight, then you are pretty much set. However, connecting flights can cause some stress depending on how much time you have and what airport you are in. I had to catch a connecting flight in ATL and had 30 minutes when my plane landed to be at the gate to start boarding. My biggest piece of advice is to know what gate you are flying into and which one you are about to fly out of. Prepping ahead of time will help tremendously. If you have to get to a gate in a hurry, do not be afraid to RUN! You might feel a little silly, but you are not alone in getting to the gate.


So you make it to the plane. Now what? Depending on the flight and the length of flight, you might have packed some different items. Here are my essentials: headphones, a book (or two), water and some snacks. Headphones are perfect for watching movies if the flight has them or listening to music. Books are also a great way to pass the time away. When it is time for a treat, make sure you have some snacks because some flights do not offer any!


You are settled in to your flight, so what did you pack in your bags? My best tip for packing is to avoid checking a bag. The risk you take with using a larger suitcase that goes to the bottom of the plane is having it get lost. In some instances, you absolutely cannot have that happen. Lost luggage is rare, but suitcases can disappear. Try to pack your items into a personal item and a carry on. You know exactly where those items are and you save some money!


I survived traveling alone for the first time and so can you! Once you get the hang of it after your first flight, you are essentially a travel pro. Make the necessary preparations ahead of time to make your traveling experience as painless as possible and after that, you are all set. Safe travel!