Things I wish I knew before travelling solo on a big trip

When you plan a trip, organise a party, go shopping for a car, start a new job, whatever it is; there is always something that you wish you knew that you could have done differently. 

Nothing is ever perfect when it comes to organising or planning and whoever says otherwise is lying! 

When I went on my solo trip to Europe there was a few tips I wish I had been given before hand to make things easier for me. I don’t regret anything at all but I will definitely  be using these tips for my next trip! 

  • Bring a journal

One of the things I wish I did! 

I didn’t blog when I went on my trip as I thought I wouldn’t have time but there is a lot of down time when your travelling from one place to another either on a plane, train or bus. I wish in this time I took half an hour to write down my experiences or talk about how I felt that day. I can imagine reading back on the memories now, it would have been totally different to looking back on photos! arghhh the frustration, oh wells I’m sure there will be a next time 🙂 

  • Use a travel backpack rather then a luggage suitcase 

If I could like the above bullet point I would 100 times over and over. When your travelling 18 countries around Europe and the bus driver is chucking your bags on the bus every second day the last thing you want is for your luggage handle to snap! Yep, that happened to me. It is not the right choice for backpack travel at all! The perfect bag is the type you can carry on your back if you need to go upstairs and have the option to pull it along when you need to. 

  • Don’t bring designer bags 

Don’t even ask…. What was going through my mind when I decided to bring my Louis Vuitton bag with me? I have no damn clue! NEVER again.


This is one you read and hear everywhere!! But it is true. I didn’t touch half the items in my bags, I brang unnecessary amounts of skincare, makeup, hair tools etc and clothes that sat in the bottom of my bag for the whole month and a half. A tip I learnt was to pack what you think you need then force yourself to halve it somehow! I have stuck to that each time ever since and it works wonders.

  • Collect minimal and simple souvenirs 

I wish someone told me this or gave me advice on what to buy from each country. 

1. I didn’t even time to shop around and 

2. I was so focused on getting something I purchased unnecessary items. 

One of the guys on my tour purchased a small magnet from each country, they were easy to find anywhere! A Petrol station when we stopped or any souvenir store we walked by. By the end of it he had a plastic bag full of magnets but it took such minimal space in his luggage and was such a cool effective way to keep a memory! 

Another thing I really like is to pick up a stone or rock from each country. Yes it’s a rock but it’s a rock from Italy or Croatia! It’s different alright! 😂

  • Step out of your comfort zone 

There is so many things to do overseas that you won’t be comfortable with but just do it. You have already made the choice to travel solo! You might as well continue the momentum and do things you wouldn’t usually do. 

It could be sky diving over the Swiss alps (it was to cloudy for me to do it, still crying to this day) or trying to ask a local a question in there language. I say bite the bullet and do it!

  • Don’t be lazy! Do things 

An extra ramble from the above point. When you travel especially on a tour it’s pretty full on all the time! You get tired and exhausted and time catches up on you. There were some times I was so tired I need to have a nap or “Siesta”. I wish I didn’t because time goes so fast when your travelling and before you know it you have 2 days left and your on the 24 hour plane ride home to get ready for work again. A 2 hour sleep is not worth the 2 hour walk you could experience finding new hidden gems, taking more photos and creating more memories. 

  • Make the most of every experience

Lucky last! Another one you read and hear all the time but it’s true. Make the most of every experience! Travelling is a blessing, there are not many people in the world  who have the opportunity to save money, choose a country they want to go to, hop on a plane and go do whatever they like. 

Be grateful for the opportunity you have and make it worth it! 

Cristina xx


Author: cristinafilipponetravel

I am a 21 year old girl passionate about travel, learning about new cultures, trying new food, experiencing everything the world has to offer and have a goal in mind to travel the world before I am 30! Blogging my experiences, advice and photos to look back on and provide inspiration :)

23 thoughts on “Things I wish I knew before travelling solo on a big trip”

  1. I always take my journal with me, but I’m too lazy to write in it when I’m traveling. I’m really trying to change that, because afterwards I keep trying to remember all the details and I can’t. I am learning to pack less, specially on clothes. It is easier to pack basic clothes and make different combinations, which will create different looks, instead of bringing an outfit for every single day (I never wear them all). Those are perfect tips for traveling, specially if it’s a long trip such as yours. 🙂


  2. Hey, these tips are really great. I will be traveling the world from next year and I think the idea of having a magnet from each country is nice. Another variation of the stone idea is to bring tiny bottles and fill sand in them from every country, you can even label them so you know where which sand is from.

    Liked by 1 person

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