I really both enjoy traveling solo and going off on adventures with my friends and family.
I find that one of the biggest advantages of traveling solo is that you don’t have to consult or agree with anyone about anything – you can just do whatever you want, whenever you want. And this starts even with just the process of picking your destination, booking hotel, buying plane tickets etc. You don’t have to wait for someone to agree on anything – love it! … and then (of course) there are also some disadvantages of exploring alone, but that’s life for ya! Ups and downs go hand in hand.
A lot of my friends have never traveled alone and often ask my how I go about it. So in the spirit of sharing I’ve gathered some of my best advices for you here:
Splurge on accommodation
Pick a nice hotel so that you are guaranteed to feel safe and comfortable. Depending on my budget and prices at the travel destination, I like to look for facilities such as fitness, spa and rooftop terrace. These are all things that I enjoy having access to when I’m on my own and want to spoil myself. However, I don’t like to spend money on a bigger room, because I don’t spend a lot of time in it anyways.
I recommend booking through hotels.com. In my opinion they have the best selection of hotels, a great interface with filter options for searching for hotels, competitive prices with extra benefits if you sign up with them (which is free so why not?) and they have a really great app too. I do approx. 90% of my hotel bookings through Hotels.com. … And no this is not a hotels.com-sponsored post – just my honest opinion.
Also, try checking out secretescapes.com. Membership is also free at this site and they have some great special offers on hotels as well. You can’t be as picky with them as the selection of hotels is smaller, because they specialize in special offers on luxury hotels and resorts – but you can find some really great offers on luxury accommodation. E.g. my hotel in Dubai was booked through Secret Escapes and it was great.
Arrive in daylight
If possible (and at a not too much of an extra cost in time or money) I prefer planning my travels so that I arrive at my destination during the daytime. It just makes it easier to get oriented and you are less likely to turn down a wrong street corner with a dark, dodgy alley just upon your arrival to a place that you don’t know.
Have a plan or at least a notion of what you would like to see and do when visiting your travel destination. Otherwise you risk spending your time wandering about feeling restless and/or a little bit lonely. I definitely advice you to plan your days, but remember to leave in room for spontaneity in your “schedule”. Some days you might not feel up for the big adventure that you had planned – and that’s totally okay too. Relax, enjoy and have fun in your own pace.
To me traveling solo does not mean that I can’t go out and enjoy myself in the evening. I recommend booking a ticket for a show, the theatre or a concert. Most cities have a local event website where you can see what’s up during the days you are in town.
Pocket travel companion
In my experience, dining alone is often one of the aspects of traveling solo that people fear a little bit. But honestly: I promise that you’ll be fine. No one will be judging you. No one will be staring. And no one will think that you are a sad loner. They will most likely be busy eating their own food. I recommend bringing a book or just your smartphone (Instagram is always a winner) to the table. That way you’ll be occupied with the entertainment of your choice instead of sitting there feeling alone or restless.
The ’One Beer’-rule
After a day of exploring I enjoy having a beer at a local bar or restaurant. However, I never get drunk when traveling alone! As a female solo traveler you gotta think safety first. Also, I don’t allow for strangers to buy me a drink. Sure it’s a nice gesture, but I’m a grown woman and I am fully capable of paying for my own consumption. Also, I don’t like to feel like I owe anything to someone.
As already stated I like to do a lot of research from home, but one aspect that I definitely advice you to have arranged is your transportation. E.g. be sure to know how you are going to get from the airport to your hotel. Yes, many destinations have Uber, but a lot of them don’t. Google it and find out if you need to buy a special bus or train ticket before heading off.
Put a little extra thought into it when picking your travel destination. I have a very long bucket list with plenty of places I want to go, but not all of them are places that I would prefer traveling to alone. If you are new to traveling solo I highly recommend choosing a destination with culture that it similar to your home country. As you become a more and more experienced solo traveler you can always go further and further from home.
Do you have any great solo traveling tips that you feel like sharing? Or do you have any particular concerns about traveling alone?
Please feel free to comment and let me know!
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