A solo traveler who has been to more than 80 countries says to stay close to home for your first trip alone

  • Pamela Holt advises first-time solo travelers to start with short, local trips.

  • Holt suggests participating in community-based events or hobbies for a more immersive experience.

  • Solo traveling is about getting comfortable with yourself and building confidence, she says.

If you're planning your first solo trip, make it quick and close by.

Pamela Holt, a seasoned solo traveler who visited 80 countries by her 50th birthday, shared this advice with Business Insider. Now 54, Holt has ventured to even more places and hosts a show on Amazon Prime and GoTraveler called "Me, Myself & the World."

The show follows Holt in various destinations as she shares exciting accommodations, activities, and key tips for solo travel.

Traveling solo can feel overwhelming

A woman sits on a ledge in front of a European city with mountains in the background and cloudy skies.
Pamela Holt has traveled the world solo. For first-time solo travelers, she suggests sticking to local trips.Courtesy of Pamela Holt

Holt acknowledges that traveling alone can be daunting and overwhelming for first-time travelers — especially for those not used to being in new places by themselves.

"When I'm talking to first-time solo travelers, women in particular, they look at me like I'm crazy and they could never do this," Holt said.

But it's all about starting small.

Start with a local trip

"If you're a total first-time solo traveler living in the US, just go away for a night or a weekend and get used to yourself — traveling with yourself, depending on yourself, and your own company," Holt told Business Insider.

Holt said Santa Barbara is a great option for Los Angeles residents.

Street in Santa Barbara with mountains in the background
A street in Santa Barbara, California.Alexandr Spatari/Getty Images

"Or, if you're in Chicago, go to Wisconsin. It's an hour-and-½ away, and there are quaint little towns that are so different from Chicago," she said. "It'll give you the effect as if you traveled 10 states away."

If an overnight stay feels too intimidating, Holt recommends taking a day trip.

"Travel an hour, start early in the morning, and spend the day there until you would go to bed. Then go home," she said. "Just experience what that is to be a visitor in another location you haven't been to before."

Wherever you go, immerse yourself

Holt recommends attending activities and events with a built-in community in the destination.

"Try to immerse yourself culturally. Go to a street festival, a concert, or a sporting event," she said.

For those looking to meet people, Holt also suggested signing up for community-based events related to hobbies.

"Whether you're into knitting or Jet-Skiing, you can instantly find a community that might make you feel a little bit more welcome at that destination," she added.

A woman stands in front of a renaissance building
Pamela Holt explores Vatican City solo.Courtesy of Pamela Holt

For those not looking for a social trip, solo travel is an opportunity to catch up on alone time.

"It's all about creating the vision you want and seeking it out," Holt said of solo trips.

And the more you take, the more capable you'll feel.

"If I could break it down, it's really about getting used to being with yourself, trusting yourself, entertaining yourself, and getting comfortable and confident," Holt said.

Read the original article on Business Insider