Although there are some moments where you just want to gather your crew and set out, our best solo travel tips will have you thinking again. Specifically, of those awesome days when you are in charge, when you can disconnect and enjoy your own company. Enter; Solo Traveling!
“But, won’t I be lonely all by myself? How weird will I look sitting alone in a restaurant? What about security? Will I be safe?” These are just a few of the many worries that come with traveling alone.
On the other side of this fear and doubt however, is the chance to experience something rich and liberating. To see the world from your own perspective. Better yet it means blocking out distractions and rediscovering yourself. With a little planning and a lot of positivity, you’ll see that solo traveling is not so lonely after all!
Solo travel tips #1
What’s In It For You?
Tell certain people to travel solo and they’ll look at you sideways. The idea of being far from home and on your own does not sit well with many would-be adventure seekers. So why do it? Well, for one, a little alone time is pretty healthy. It helps you develop a sense of independence and allows you that chance to spoil yourself which you’ve been missing. Plus – you also get to sightsee on your own terms.
When travelling with a partner or mates, most people stick to their group. Meaning you don’t get to meet new people and make new friends; something that solo traveling makes necessary. Having friends around the world isn’t a bad idea – think free accommodation and a readymade tour guide in the future. To top it all off, traveling alone gives you the chance to take in every travel experience without influence from a travel companion.
Solo travel tips #2
Safety In Numbers. Really?
Well, not really… In most cases walking around in a group pins a big red tourist sign on your heads, which could make you a target for schemes or theft among other things. If you’re worried about safety, make sure that when walking around cities, or rather when sightseeing, you try to blend in with the crowd. Avoid carrying your camera around your neck (typical tourist) and avoid wearing those “I love NY” etc. t-shirts – they’ll only give you away.
A little research about an area will help you avoid incessantly using Google Maps or asking for directions, but if you need to, asking the right people – like security guards and shop attendants – is a great option. There’s a lot of apps out there to help you with every aspect of your trip. Most importantly, try to adopt a confident gait when walking around cities and always be aware of your environment.
There are tons of tips out there about how to stay safe when traveling solo but it all comes down to following your instincts and using common sense. If it doesn’t feel right, well – it probably isn’t.
Solo travel tips #3
It’s Not That Lonely After All!
Solo traveling is certainly liberating – the ability to change your plans at the drop of a hat is a great one, but as the days go by loneliness might start to creep in. It’s not just you and there is no need to wallow!
Try to socialize with fellow tourists or, if you’re feeling brave or want to practice your carefully honed language skills, the locals. Of course, you’ll want to use your good judgement to spot con artists. A safe way to meet new people when in a foreign place is by using a meetup site. These let you know of any cool activities going down at a spot near you.
Hotel rooms can get lonely – doubly so when you’re in there all alone. Why not rent an apartment to stay in? This is not only cost saving but also allows you a chance to socialize with the locals. Sites like Airbnb and CouchSurfing mean you can do this no matter where you are in the world or what languages you speak!
Solo travel tips #4
A big part of a country’s culture, as well as your travel experience, is indulging in food. There is no way you are traveling to Italy without trying real Italian pizza or wine or a serving of their famous Ribollita (yum!). Sooooo, eat out you must! To get a wholesome experience of the food in a new destination, make sure you try out all types of eateries ranging from restaurants to fast food joints.
Of course, nobody wants to look all sad and miserable eating alone. Room service is always an option, but after a few goes, it can get pretty lonely and/or boring being cooped up in your room. Certainly not what you’re there for! So, save room service for days when you really don’t feel like going outside.
Instead, you can start a chat with the waiters at the restaurants you visit, a good number of them tend to be quite friendly. Try sitting at the bar every once in a while to start up a conversation with potential new friends (again, be vigilant and watch your drinks).
If you just want to dine alone but are worried about looking lonely, go ahead and book a booth for some privacy or bury your face in some good reading material to avoid feeling self-conscious.
Or… let your inhibitions go. Tons of people eat alone – much like going on your first tinder date, dining alone just takes a bit of getting used to.
Solo travel tips #5
Night time comes with a whole new set of challenges for the solo traveler; security being a major concern. But this does not mean that all your nights should end with an early bedtime. Do a little research and find out what nightlife in your holiday area is like. Some places like Rome, Washington, Beijing, and Paris have breathtaking night group tours. Take advantage of these tours to stay occupied and safe at night while making new friends.
Taking night strolls in the city (as long as they are safe and well lit) or even going out for a late night dinner. Nightfall (if you feel like waiting that long) also presents the opportunity of having a little fun at the bar or in clubs. However, make sure you don’t get too drunk whether alone or in a group of new friends. You can make friends with the bartender to ward off any unwanted company.
Solo travel tips #6
Great Minds Think Alike
First-time solo travelers are often afraid of their own company. If it is your first time, you probably won’t be too keen on jumping on the first flight available and starting your solo adventure. Which is totally fine. A good alternative is joining like-minded people who are looking for a solo travel experience. Some of the websites that offer excellent single group tours include; singlescruisesandtours.com and Singles travel international, among others. This way, you can enjoy solitude yet avoid loneliness by traveling with people who have the same interest as you.
We are! Hopefully our ideas and tips have helped persuade you that the best solo vacations don’t have to be so lonely after all! In fact, they can be awesome! If you want to make the most of all the peace and quiet, check out our pick of the seven quietest cities in the world…
Be brave, independent and let the world take your breath away!
All the best,
Theresa from MyPostcard