Planning your first ever solo trip? Congrats! Travelling solo will be the most exciting, exhilerating thing you’ll ever do.

But it also be a real shock to the system: ilegible signs, extortionate taxi fares, strange smells and crowds of people talking in a foreign language. It can be bewildering – even scary.

So before you head off on your trip of a lifetime (yay!), here are some general tips for girls travelling alone:

1. Always plan ahead

Jump online and work out which area you want to stay in. Do you want to be in the city centre? Near the sights? With other backpackers? Determine this before you book anything. We recommend buying a Lonely Planet or Rough Guides to help you on your way!

2. Use Trip Advisor

Don’t book anything without reading Trip Advisor reviews! Book a hostel based on consistent user feedback. But don’t just look at the last few reviews (as these can be faked) – look at the volume of reviews. If a hostel has a 4-star rating based on 800 reviews, then it’s looking like a safe bet.

3. Book your hostel in advance

This is important. As a solo female traveller you’ll need to be more organised than usual! Don’t arrive in any big cities, particularly at night, without somewhere booked.

4. Download map and address of hostel

Prepare for no wifi and make sure the name and address of your hostel is written down, which is handy for showing taxi drivers. It’s also worth downloading the area map beforehand.

5. Have local currency

Don’t rock up with no money! Take $50 in local currency, preferably in small change so you can pay taxi drivers etc.

6. Book an airport bus or pre-paid taxi

There is usually a tourist office inside the airport where you can book pre-paid taxis or buses. This option is more expensive but worth it for staying stafe.

7. Lock away your valuables

Before you go to sleep/ out to explore, lock away your purse, passport and electronics. We bought this portable travel safe which is absolutely brilliant! You can lock away passport, iPad and other electronics and lock it to something in you room. Genious.

8. Always tell someone where you are going

Keep family and friends updated with your movements and tell hostel staff or room mates if you’re heading out late at night.

And finally, ENJOY! This is the start of what is bound to be an amazing trip!