The 7 Stages of Taking Your First Solo Trip

Booking your first trip alone is never easy. There are stages of excitement, stages of mixed emotions, and stages of downright regret. Here are the 7 stages of booking your first solo trip.

The 7 Stages of Taking Your First Solo Trip

Stage 1 – YOLO

Here you are, staring at a $600 ticket to Paris (a once in a lifetime opportunity). You have no one to go with, but that’s not going to stop you. It’s $600!! That’s so cheap. You are a strong, independent woman who’s not going to sit back and pass up trips over the fear of eating alone and getting lost in a foreign country. You’ve been to New York before. You know what a big city is like. You took French in college. You finally have a job that can afford you this trip and you’re staring at the best deal you’ve seen in years. This is it. You’re going to Paris.

Stage 2 – Regret

You check your email and receive your booking confirmation and start to panic. What the hell have you done?? You immediately look up the airline’s cancelation policy. You sit back and try and talk yourself out of it. By now, you’re tearing up thinking “I can’t do this alone.” The pep talk begins. “It’s not so bad, you just need to sleep on it.” Instead of sleeping, you start googling ‘solo trips.’ You feel slightly better knowing that 72% of American woman are taking solo trips. Time to take your mind off it and start planning. You still have 24 hours to think on it according to the airline’s cancelation policy.

Stage 3 – Planning

The planning stage brings some relief. Where to eat in Paris. What to see. Where to stay. The excitement is kicking in through the planning and you have a whole list of places you want to visit. Suddenly you realize that traveling solo is freaking awesome because you get to do what you want, when you want. How did you not do this sooner? Why even bother traveling with people when you can just tick everything off your list and there’s no argument? You’re starting to get super excited for your trip now!

The 7 Stages of Taking Your First Solo Trip

Stage 4 – Booze

A glass of chardonnay and three romcoms is just what you needed. Again, why did you not book a solo trip sooner? “Maybe I’ll have another glass of wine. I do deserve it,” you say to yourself. While you’re treating yourself, you order the in-flight wifi. I mean, “what a time to be alive.” You pass out from all the booze after you edit a few Instagram photos. Flying is the best.

Stage 5 – Fuck

It’s 7:00 am and you’re plane is landing at CDG. You’re excited but a little nervous. You step inside and the airport and realize they didn’t really cover airports in that one French class you took in college. A slight panic sets in. “Where do I catch the train? Do they have UBER here? OMG, why did I not think to look any of this up before I landed?!” You somehow manage to get on the right train after asking several strangers in your broken French (it only took three people to find an actual local, not a tourist). You spend the whole train ride thinking “fuck fuck fuck fuck, why did I have to do this? Why did I leave home? I could be hugging my dog or watching re-runs of Friends in the comfort of my own home where everyone speaks English.”

Stage 6 – Disappointment

Day one is in the books. It was awful. No one spoke a lick of English, you couldn’t ever find a bathroom to save your life, you almost died several times crossing the street, and you’re pretty sure you accidentally offended a few people. Also, no coffee to-go. The fuck is this place? This is what I left home for? I did not sign up for this.

The 7 Stages of Taking Your First Solo Trip

Stage 7 – Happiness

Day two, let’s do this. You’re up early and you’re determined to solve this French thing. You’re in Paris for god’s sake. Your first stop? The Louvre. You remember from the previous day that it was just about a mile walk from your Airbnb, so you decide to walk and grab a coffee along the way. And you know what? It’s not so bad. You start to get familiar with the cross streets, the signs, and the French. You pop into a coffee shop and someone kindly greets you. You start thinking “okay, I’m getting this.” You order a cafe au lait and a croissant and your whole world is changed. You people watch and think how about how lovely it is to be in Paris. Thirty minutes later, you arrive at The Louvre. It’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever experienced. You get it now. And you spend seven hours at The Louvre just because you can.

Who can relate to these stages?



    1. Haha it does kind of suck to not have one to share moments with. That’s probably the worst part, for sure.

  1. I can relate to each of these stages so much! I still remember my first solo trip to France. I was so ready to take on the world and then reality sunk in…I was completely and utterly alone in CDG. I remember nervously figuring out which train to take into the city, checking into a hostel by myself, then venturing out for my first solo meal EVER. It was such an overwhelming yet rewarding experience that I will never forget.

  2. I’ve never gone traveling on my own before but I could definitely see myself going through these stages haha! It’s comforting to know that 72% of American woman take solo trips. I didn’t know that, but I’ll keep that in mind next time I want to go on a trip.

    x Kara |

  3. What a creative post! I like the hesitation and then the appreciation for solo travelling. I was actually thinking of going to Paris by myself if the boys won’t come with me haha and I’m pretty scared of undergoing all of these. Thanks for the inspo babe!

  4. When I got to Stage 5, I actually laughed out loud! Been there! I was with my 12 year old daughter at the time, but we were both like… “Where do we go???”… “What do we do”… I figured it out and at almost midnight we were on a bus traveling in Paris towards out AirBnB… Got on the Metro… LOST AS FECK… walked around, it starts raining. Finally get a Taxi and after all the walking and getting lost at midnight… It was the very next street over. Oh. My Gosh. What a night… But you know what? The next day, just like you… so much better, had we stayed an extra day, I would have been partying with the locals!!! (Okay maybe not.. 🙂

    1. Aw haha that’s awesome! My mom used to take me traveling all the time and we’d get lost. We actually went to Paris together and had this same exact experience, so I can totally relate lol. The first day is always the hardest! That’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned while traveling.

  5. This post gave me nostalgia to my first solo trip, although it was not to Paris but to NewYorkCity and I definitely went through all 7 stages! Love it!
    Diana |

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