CONGRATS on taking the first steps - it’s exciting planning holidays!
Europe is a great place to start your solo travels There’s so much to do and so many other people in the same boat as you that you’ll never really notice you’re alone! There’s also so many different cultures and countries over in Europe that there’s a different experience every time you get to a new place (and its all so conveniently close too!)
I’m about to go on my first international solo trip so what I did to get ready was research all the places I wanted to see. I wrote a list with “definitely want to see”, “would like to see” and “If I can afford it I will see”. Then I went into a few travel expos and researched all the tour companies, got quotes for flights and brochures from everywhere! Then I had a fun day just reading through everything I could get my hands on. I decided on a tour as it would be the easiest way to see as much as possible in as little time as possible and not be alone for the entire trip
When you look at tours decide BEFOREHAND how much you want to budget for the entire trip. Be realistic - don’t expect to get a huge long and exciting holiday in Europe for $2000. My budget was $5000 including tour, flights and travel insurance. You can usually snag yourself a really good deal at those expos I was talking about and DON’T be afraid to make the travel agents work for your business ::). Compare and challenge them to do better…it’ll be worth it in the long run! I saved $1000 by pushing them to do better…totally worth it. ;D
It’s also good to decide which months you want to travel in. Summer (eg. June July and August) are the busiest times for Europe with all the tourists inundating each capital city. I chose to go in April - mainly cause I wanted to go ASAP - but also because I didn’t want the sticky heat or the overpowering crowds.
Don’t forget to research whether you need any visas. Australian’s are pretty much able to go anywhere - but if you choose a Russian tour you WILL need a visa. I got a visa as I will be staying in the UK after my tour to work for 2 years. B-)
Even though it’s a while to go before you plan to leave, START SAVING NOW. Open a savings account online and start putting money away. I did a bit of research on these accounts and found the UBank savings account (backed by NAB) to be the best for me. It’s got one of the highest interest rates so you get more money for saving money! Sounds smart to me! Then I just set up an automatic savings deduction from my spendings account and voila! Instant savings! ;D
Anyways, I hope that’s been a bit of a help for you! If you have any questions, feel free to PM me or send me an email at email@example.com (you can also find me on facebook that way too).
GOOD LUCK! You’ll have the time of your life!!! ;D