In 2015, by chance and not by choice, I took my first-ever solo travel around some parts of Europe. I never planned to do so but I found myself in Paris for a month-long work trip and decided to put my Schengen visa to good use.

The plan was for my sister to join me at the end of the work trip but sadly, she wasn’t able to get a visa. We had paid upfront for train tickets (because they were cheaper at the time we booked them) and therefore, I was faced with two choices.

Cancel the entire trip, return home to my routine, lose half the costs for our bookings and try to recover anything we could. OR, lose half the costs anyway, solo travel and have a life-changing experience. Needless to say, I chose the latter and I have not looked back since.

Solo black female traveller in South Korea
Solo travelling in South Korea 2022

Before that trip, I was extremely introverted, shy and perhaps awkward in many ways (I still am in some ways) but travelling on my own in Europe helped me to improve and very rapidly too. So now, I want to encourage you to take the bold step and overcome any fears you have about solo travel.

First, let’s demystify this thing called ‘Solo Travel’: It does not mean travelling alone

Technically, that’s what it is. Packing up your bags and daring to venture out into a different world on your own. But as you travel, you’ll get to meet so many people, locals and tourists alike that you’re hardly ever alone if you don’t want to be. You’ll also find that making friends comes naturally, even if you’re shy and introverted.

Oaxaca Travel

Oh, and for picture lovers, there are so many other solo travellers looking for someone to take their pictures too! In Rome, I met ‘M’ through a ‘can-you-please-take-my-picture’ moment. We wound up being each other’s photo buddies for the entire day and remained friends for a long time.

when in rome
With fellow solo traveller, M, in Rome

If you still feel awkward asking strangers to help take your pictures, then consider investing in a tripod. Most tripods for mobile phones come with a remote shutter which you can use to shoot photos by yourself.

Solo travel is not boring

If you are worried about being bored while you solo travel, then consider planning out your itinerary in detail before you go. Be sure to leave room for spontaneity as some of the best travel experiences happen when they are unplanned.

There may be a few times when you feel lonely and homesick – especially for longer trips – but fret not, it only lasts a moment. I wrote this article here about how you can deal with loneliness on the road. Be rest assured, you will have fun – maybe too much even.

Ah, the life of a celebrity is never boring!

Solo travel can be safe

Safety is one of the major reasons why many people wouldn’t welcome the idea of travelling solo and this is a valid concern. Accidents can happen anywhere, including in one’s home country but being somewhere foreign just triples the effect.

The key thing to note is that you have to be careful wherever you go. Some places require a higher level of caution than others but wherever you are, it’s important to be self-conscious and aware.

If you’re still worried about being all alone or harassed, consider taking an organized tour where you always have someone (either a driver or a guide) with you most of the time. You should also consider investing in travel insurance for every trip.

Oaxaca Centro Colourful buildings

stay safe while you travel

Protect yourself from the unexpected while you travel by purchasing an Insurance Cover. I use SafetyWing, which is affordable and covers several travel-related risks, such as unexpected illness or injury, eligible hospital expenses, lost luggage and more. Click here to purchase a cover for your travel and visa application needs.

Living List - Visit the Taj Mahal
“Solo Travelling” in India with a Private Tour Company

If you’re considering a trip within West Africa, you can use standard transport companies which are more expensive than using regular public transportation for example but are generally safer.

(PS: Mofe, Fola & I recently recorded a video about safety tips while travelling solo. They also apply to travel in general)

Now that we have dealt with these myths about solo travel, let’s talk about tips to help you overcome your fears.

7 tips to overcome your fear of solo travel

1. Know that it is okay to be nervous

Nguuni Nature Sanctuary
a solo trip to Mombasa, Kenya

No matter how much I travel, every time I have a trip coming up, I get extremely nervous. The first time I tried Couchsurfing in Benin Republic, I fought against the will to run back home every time I had to change buses. The key takeaway here is to learn to rise above fear.


Taking steps to research your destination or perhaps the people you’re going to meet (e.g if you’re Couchsurfing) can help with any feelings of nervousness. When you have an idea of what to expect, you will feel less nervous.

2. Start small

One way to overcome your fears of solo travel is to start getting comfortable with your own company. This could mean going out to restaurants or cafes on your own or going to see a movie at the cinema alone.

Bikini Bottom La Digue

And trust me, it is not as weird as it sounds!

3. Plan your budget and expenses in advance

While preparing for your trip, consider outlining your day-to-day plans against a budgeted amount. I usually do this using an Excel sheet and this also comes in handy when I apply for visas!

I list out my daily planned activities and the corresponding amounts for hotel accommodation, transportation, feeding and entertainment. Then I sum up and include a percentage of the total costs for spontaneous, impromptu or miscellaneous expenses.

Unique themed cafes in Seoul

This way, I am able to reduce the chances of being stranded in a foreign destination. These days, I have no issues with card transactions but when I only owned a Naira debit card, I would often try to pay off as many expenses as I could before leaving Nigeria.

I understand that sometimes, life happens – your wallet could get missing or stolen or in my case, you can get caught up in new (overnight) bank policies that restrict access to your account. (Read: Solo Travel Horror Stories: A corporate beggar in Rome). Stay calm, there is always a way out.

4. Track your expenses

If one of your fears is running out of money, after planning out your itinerary and expenses, you can also try recording everything you spend. This is a great way to stay on budget and is useful even when you are not travelling.

Costs for a trip to Rwanda

Budget travellers will also find that there are many ways to cut costs and stay on budget while travelling.

5. Start with solo-travel-friendly destinations

Some locations are generally ideal for solo travellers – and this could be in terms of safety and cost. During my first solo trip to Europe, I found the countries I visited to be very easy to navigate and stayed in hostels, for the most part, to save up on costs for accommodation.

Fontainbleau, France

Before the trip, I would never have considered doing that. The very thought of it seemed crazy to me. But solo travelling in Europe made all the difference and I can certainly recommend it to anyone looking to travel solo for the first time.

6. Have a good logistic plan

If one of your solo travel fears is about getting lost or navigating your way around a new city, then consider having a good plan for logistics in place.

The best time for Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
Solo travel-friendly Rwanda

This may include choosing an earlier flight to arrive at your destination during daylight, getting a good map application that you can also use offline, arranging pickup to your hotel before your arrival or staying in a place close to the airport/bus station on your first night.

7. Find support groups

Know someone who’s been to where you’re planning to visit? Talk to them, get their insights and find out what to expect in the location. Solo travel is not as bad or scary as it seems. And you too can fall in love with it!

So, let me know, did I manage to convince you? Still scared? Or are you all fired up to plan the next trip on your own? Have any more tips to share? Please leave them in the comment section below.

Oh, and there was this guy!

I’m sorry but I don’t think I can help him. Can someone try? 🙂

I love to hear from you, Leave a comment here!


  1. Great tips. I worry a lot about sexual harassment and catcalling, because I frequently experience this in my own country Jamaica. One day I’ll take the plunge and travel solo internationally too.

    • As a Nigerian, I can relate but I think some countries generally offer a better and safer experience for solo female travellers. It would be nice to start with those. Looking forward to reading about your experience if and when you travel solo internationally 🙂

  2. How am I just reading this?!
    Amazing Tips!
    I’m planning my first solo international trip and trust me it has been terrifying, but reading this calmed me down a bit and hopefully I get totally relaxed before my trip.

  3. These are great! Thanks for sharing, I never seem to have fun when I’m out by myself though…even at the movies. I feel like experiences are always better shared with friends (well my one friend lol).

    Plus I’m the most introverted introvert ever, maybe one day…

    • Lol, well, you meet people you can share them with when you travel too. But I agree, there are just some experiences worth sharing with close friends.. PS: I am also an extreme introvert by nature. I didn’t think I’d enjoy travelling solo but I do. I hope you try it someday.

  4. I shall embark on a solo trip this coming weekend
    Thanks for sharing ma’am

  5. Hmmm…I still dunno ooooo…

    That last guy though!!! My woooorrdd! Looool.

  6. Ahhhh, the ‘safety’ tips in the video scared me sha… Too many things to be conscious of. Not sure travelling Solo will ever be my thing.

    • Haha, we scared you more! Sorry.. But the tips in the video are what you’d think of at home and even when travelling with a group. Anyway, I can understand if solo travel won’t ever interest you but I hope you don’t pass up any trip because of the fear of it.

  7. Amazing tips . Thanks a lot for sharing ; hopefully I would do a solo trip soon

    • Thanks for your comment, Diusor. Glad you’re planning your own solo trip as well.. It’s probably the fastest way to achieve your 25by25.

  8. Lmao! The last guy was hilarious. Solo traveling is definitely a bold step a lot of people aren’t comfortable with. But like you said, we need to rise above fear.

    • I agree with what you said about solo travel. Don’t think I’d have thought about doing it If that first trip didn’t happen the way it did. As for that guy, don’t have an answer for him, lol..

      Thanks for your comment, Nomad Supreme.