20 Tips for solo traveling
Solo traveling can be one of the most challenging, eye-opening, and self-independent experiences in your life. It’s a suitable opportunity to grow and experience limitless freedom. Maybe you feel a little scared, especially if it’s your first time, but don’t worry. Just raise your knowledge about everything you’ll face with.
Safety is one of the first things that come into mind. You should always concern about it, but don’t let it be an obstacle for your adventure. Choosing places that are more suited to solo travel than others, using applications that notify your family or friends where you are, can be good ways to reduce your concern.
- Learning local language
helpful phrases that you think you might need and will make the experience more enjoyable. Especially when you have no one as a translator with you.
“Whenever I travel, I always make sure to learn at least how to say ‘Hello, thank you, excuse me, sorry and please. It has opened up so many doors for me, and it shows locals that I am genuinely interested in learning about their culture.” Says Alberto Ruiz Gomez, who has traveled to 15 countries in Asia and the Middle East solo.
- Talk to the locals
The best way to experience a unique and magnificent trip is to spend time with locals or going somewhere that you can find more of them; you’ll get so many ideas about locations, cultures and etc.
“My favorite thing is to sit at a bar in a restaurant where there are lots of locals and strike up a conversation with the bartender or staff. I ask for advice on what to see, and I usually get great inside tips. Passers-by chime in, and I’ve ended up traveling with locals in this way,” food lover and cook Anna Rider says.
- Look for shared housing options
Be willing to stay at shared houses like hostels, Airbnb, and small hotels. These services have many benefits; much cheaper than hotels and you can meet new people and travelers.
‘I stay in small hotels, B&Bs, campsites, or hostels with only a handful of rooms and guests. That way you are part of a family, and making contact with your hosts or fellow travelers is so much easier. After a long day of hiking and exploring, it feels a bit like coming home,’ explains Katrien Beullens.
- Go your own way
Everyone has his\her own interests and taste of joy. So picking a trip based on your unique personality helps you to have good solo traveling.
“If you’re a sociable person, a bustling city like Hanoi, with its fantastic coffee-chilling culture is perfect to people watch, while undertakings like the Camino de Santiago offers the best of both worlds in terms of your own space and the chance to connect with others. Many people do it solo with headphones on and engage in camaraderie only when they have to or want to,” travel blogger Úna-Minh Kavanagh says.
- Challenge yourself
You should find entertainment for the time that loneliness makes you bored, as a way to see a city from different points of view.
“I travel often on business and embrace it as an opportunity to experience the sort of thing that my family wouldn’t necessarily be keen on us doing together. To keep things interesting, I often establish some sort of theme. For instance, in Berlin last year I challenged my 50-something-year-old self to spend two days experiencing the city on the same sort of budget that I would have had 30 years previously as a cash-strapped interrailer. This meant exploring the Cold War history of the city, yet not paying a single entrance fee. I’m delighted to report that it’s possible – and enormous fun!” explains Catherine Reichardt.
- Experience it all
Airbnb lets people do local activities all around the world. Also lets travelers experience different kinds of lifestyles and take part in shaping these special experiences.
“No matter where I go, I always search for an Airbnb experience unique to that destination. In Cuba, I learned the history of Che Guevara and the battle of Santa Clara, while in Spain I went on a tapas crawl. I come away feeling as if I’ve had a genuine taste of local culture,” Sam Moore explains.
- Believe in yourself
Solo traveling can be hard and very challenging but after all it worth it. The reward you will take at the end brings you satisfaction and confidence in the result of overcoming a trip by your own.
- Try Couchsurfing
Couchsurfing is another popular and enjoyable way of solo traveling. It connects hosts and travelers from all over the world. The site also allows people to share their reviews and comments, which means travelers can give a sense of who they are going to visit.
“Couchsurfing and Meetup are my favorite ways of connecting with new people when I am solo traveling. It’s a great way to meet locals and learn more about each place,’ suggests Benjamin Houy.”
- Take your time
The main thing in solo traveling is the ultimate freedom, so use it well.
Take things and have your own speed. Your mood may change during travel, one day you want to experience city life, another day urban life. Know that let the joy is making decisions yourself.
- Be your own photographer
Photography usually plays an important role in traveling. Without any pressure, you can take pictures of beautiful nature, streets, and local people.
“I have started taking a tripod with me for shots of myself in different places. I don’t care how I look, I have learned that capturing the memory is more important than feeling self-conscious. Most people don’t even notice me and sometimes they even offer to take my photo,” explains vlogger Paul Justine.
12. Get lost
It’s good to have a fixed plan, but sometimes give a chance to get lost! It brings you unbelievable stories. Just wander around and see what happens.
- Join a tour
One-day tour or longer group tour suits many travelers and makes them find friends on the road.
“Going with an escorted tour is how I saw the world on my own. It’s a bit more expensive but safe, and I always had people to holiday with. It meant no solo meals, I hate them, and I shared the adventures with people I didn’t know previously. I even met my partner on a solo escorted tour in Thailand eight years ago,” Tara Kelly explains.
- Ask for advice
There are many ways to search about locations you want to meet, social media make it much easier than asking from local people. Pick the best of them.
I reach out to travel writers and YouTubers that live in the area I’m traveling to. They give great advice for both touristy and non-touristy things to see, do, and eat, as well as areas to avoid. Some have even invited me to meet up with them and their friends. This happened in Rome and Barcelona!’ says Austin Dillman.
- Work for room and board
If saving money and meeting people is on the top of your list of priorities, working while travelling is always an option. Websites such as Workaway and Helpx help connect backpackers and travelers with farms, home-stays, ranches, and families where they can lend a hand in exchange for room and board.
- Join a cruise
Solo traveling doesn’t mean you should always be alone, you can join multi-destination cruises and hang out with others.
“My best solo trips have been on cruises. You can easily go on excursions, and then enjoy downtime or chat with as many people as you want when back on the ship. Safe, easy, fun! I often add a few days before or after embarking or disembarking in various countries,” says Mélanie Bouchard.
- Expand your skill
taking part in an educational program in a different country is a great way to get a different view of life.
“Take a class, learn a language, go on a walking tour, find a theme week. My solo travels were to Italy to attend language school. Classes were in the morning, with afternoons and evenings free, and lots of opportunities to mingle with others at the school. I’ve been on plenty of group trips since then, such as a week of yoga and painting,” Deidre Heitman explains.
- Make wise choices
It’s better to have a clever plan for saving your money and handling your budget, one of the skills every traveler should learn.
When booking a trip and trying to get a bargain, imagine how you will feel on the day. For example, was it worth saving money if you have to wait longer at the airport, or if you have to catch a bus instead of a plane? It’s always great to save money, but I ultimately ask myself if it is worth it if it wastes a day in unnecessary waiting or travel. Time is also money!’ suggests Edana Sinclair.
- Trust your gut
Challenging yourself out there, meeting new people and exploring a city safely while travelling solo requires balance. In most cases common sense and a little bit of pre-planning should be just fine, as well as trusting yourself.
I love solo travel and in all my years I have had very few negative experiences. I always research where I am going, know the good areas and the not-so-good ones, and read up on potential street scams. Beyond that, I try to trust my intuition and never place myself in a situation I am not comfortable with,” says Ellen Friel.
- Embrace total freedom
Solo travel allows you to be who you always want to be. Dive into the experience, trust yourself, and take the chance to express all aspects of your personality.
“What I love about traveling solo as a female is a liberation. The chance to be free in a country where nobody knows you and you can be whatever you want. It leads to joy and happiness for me. I love the challenge of being by yourself and learning how to face obstacles if any. This is the chance for you to embrace different cultures, make friends with locals, try authentic food, learn a new language or just explore the beauty of the country,’ explains Fritz Tarrosa.