The thought of travelling alone often simultaneously exhilarates and scares the bejesus out of many contemplating planning a solo trip. Luckily there are many resources now dedicated to this growing trend. Even top publications like Bloomberg are jumping on the bandwagon with their recently released podcast "The Secrets to Traveling Alone"
The thing is, travelling alone is very specific to the individual and really depends on how much you WANT to interact with others. However, depending on what you enjoy on your holidays, you may find that travelling solo is exactly what you were looking for!
Below are some of our tips - make sure to take a look at our links and resources at the bottom of this post with tons of content and additional ideas.
Save Up and Know Your Budget
If you are used to travelling as a couple, group or family make sure you do your research first - the per person cost is often more expensive at resorts, tours and resorts since the tour operator or hotel owner is not able to spread out the total cost of the room over additional people. Read How to Plan Your Solo Travel Budget - On Any Budget.
Travel Solo but Not Alone
Travelling solo can mean doing many things by yourself but that doesn't mean you need to be alone - don't forget to interact with other travellers around you - for many, this is the most rewarding aspect of travel, so don't miss out by staying in a cocoon.
Smile - if you are friendly and approachable a smile can be an invitation to conversation with others.
Learn a few words from the local language - many locals (and other travellers) will appreciate any effort made to communicate in their local language. It's a great pre-trip activity to prepare for your travels but it's also a very useful skill.
Stay at locations that encourage talking - although it may at first seem appealing to hole up in a local hotel, staying at a B&B is a great way to meet other like-minded travellers. Hostels are also good depending on your budget and comfort level.
Be curious - ask questions of others, find out where fellow travellers are from, find out where the locals visit... all of these techniques will encourage conversation and make your solo trip more enjoyable
Eat Alone - And Enjoy It!
Another great tip from solotravellerworld that I love is to get comfortable with eating alone. If you are a parent or someone that has never dined alone as an adult, take the opportunity to enjoy simply being at peace with your food and surroundings, enjoying the menu and taking in the sights and sounds of the local eateries. If you want to interact with others take your meal at the bar or a communal table.
When travelling you only have one set of eyes so be smart about how you travel:
Tips for plane travel: board early to avoid troubles with putting your carry-on in your overhead compartment. Since you are solo, always check to see if there is a better seat or upgrade - because it is just you it may be easier to give you that extra leg room or seat closer to the front. It never hurts to ask!
Understandably, people can be concerned for their safety at night when travelling alone. For the most part there is nothing to be afraid of as long as you take some precautions:
Have a transportation plan: Figure out how you will get around at night BEFORE you leave your hotel. Is there public transit? Taxi? Uber? What is available and how will you get your tickets or pay? You will be more vulnerable if you are in the dark looking at your phone trying to figure it out - better to arrange this in advance in your hotel.
Ensure you understand your surroundings: Even though most places are safe as a solo traveller, make sure you confirm with you hotel concierge or desk clerk what areas are safe or if there are some places you should avoid.
Watch your alcohol intake: Drink responsibly so that you have your wits about you and you are making decisions with a clear mind.
Ensure someone knows where you are: Call or text a friend and in your hotel room leave a note as to where you've gone and when you expect to be back.
Be smart: When you speak to strangers, introduce yourself with your first name only. Don't tell people where you are staying and leave by yourself and by taxi.
Keep your valuables safe. Know where your wallet or purse is – or better yet, just carry your ID and some cash and a card - better to leave the rest in a safe at your hotel room.
Have Fun Being Solo
The best part of being a solo traveller is you can make changes to your schedule and itinerary on a whim. Linger in a cafe, stroll through a museum, take a nap in your room... time is yours when you travel and the opportunities are endless.
If you are thinking of taking a solo trip and want more tips and resources check out these excellent sites and resources: