Traveling alone is becoming more and more popular, with many people choosing to learn more about themselves and explore somewhere new on their own.
It can be a great way of learning more about yourself and encourage personal growth.
Seeing the world is something that is widely considered to be an essential bucket list item.
However, there are considerable drawbacks that come from traveling in larger groups.
This includes limiting the amount of culture that is experienced, which can add a little stress overall rather than create a relaxing time.
Many people prefer to travel by themselves because they can explore new places on their own time and stop for food whenever they want.
Others enjoy getting lost in unique architecture, or taking part in high adrenaline sports.
Whatever you enjoy, it is worth planning a trip by yourself.
If you are new to traveling by yourself, or if you want to know more about the process, then this is a great place to start.
Here is a complete guide into traveling by yourself, along with what it can do for your outlook and some recommendations for destinations.
- Why Travel Solo?
- Travel Ideas For Solo Travelers
- How To Stay Safe While Travelling Alone
- How To Avoid The Single Supplement Charge?
- Tips For Solo Dining
- Key Planning Points For Your Solo Trip
- Top 10 Best Places To Travel Alone
Why Travel Solo?
While traveling alone can seem like a strange concept at first, there are many reasons why people choose this method of exploring the world. Being able to work on your own schedule is a huge advantage that comes with traveling alone.
When you travel in groups with friends or family, it is natural that you will need to wait for everybody to be ready at the same time. Getting from one place to another can be challenging when there are more people to keep track of. Traveling solo allows you much more freedom in this sense.
It is also easier to meet new people when you are traveling alone. Traveling in large groups naturally makes you less approachable to strangers. While this can be seen as a safety measure when you are abroad, it is much harder to make friends with other people who are traveling or those who are from the area.
Similarly, it is easier to immerse yourself in the local culture when you are traveling alone. Allowing yourself to get lost in winding streets and try unique foods local to the area that you have never tasted before. The great thing about traveling alone is that you are free to explore what you want to, and that you can eat when and wherever you like.
Explore hidden treasures like secluded beaches, churches, and smaller attractions that are less popular with tourists. In this sense, traveling alone can be a great way to broaden your horizons and gain a different perspective to different cultures.
Of course, traveling alone can be challenging at first. Relying entirely on yourself forces you out of your comfort zone and allows you to go through some serious self-development. Being surrounded by breathtaking scenery is the perfect opportunity to do some introspection and growth.
You will be surprised by how much traveling alone can boost your confidence and sense of self-worth. Even if you are not actively trying to build this, you will think of yourself as far more capable and independent than before after heading out into the world alone.
Travel Ideas For Solo Travelers
If you are new to traveling by yourself, then it can be challenging to know what type of trip to plan. The amount of options can easily be overwhelming, so it’s important to think about what kind of experience you want to have.
Consider any countries that you have been meaning to visit but haven’t had the chance to, or any cultures that are of particular interest to you. Some people prefer creating a more intense itinerary for themselves, while others tend to go with the flow. Think about what kind of trip you would prefer, and start planning activities around this.
Planning a trip is part of the experience. It could be worth scheduling a few experiences ahead of time so that your trip has a little more structure. Culture tours are a great way to learn about the history of a particular city or area. Surround yourself with artifacts and hidden treasures from the past.
Active vacations can also be a great way to spend time by yourself, as well as meeting like-minded people abroad. If you enjoy moving your body, or have a strict workout schedule, why not combine this with a solo trip?
Animal lovers could also plan to explore a new location by booking wildlife expeditions. There are many unique experiences around the world which vary in duration and the types of animals that can be seen. For example, an authentic safari can be incredibly immersive and last several days to a week.
Another way that you can plan your first solo trip could be to focus on food and drink. There are so many destinations with unique culinary experiences, that it could be worth creating a bucket list for authentic cuisine. This could include a wine tasting tour across France, booking a class to make fresh pasta in Italy, or making sushi with a Japanese Itamae.
How To Stay Safe While Travelling Alone
The biggest disadvantage of solo traveling is the matter of safety.
You are naturally more vulnerable when you are exploring somewhere new on your own, as people are more likely to approach you.
Try to keep your guard up as much as possible, and remember that not everybody who attempts to interact with you is friendly.
Because of this, it is important that you are staying alert when you are in public spaces.
This can allow you to escape from potentially dangerous situations when necessary. If you can, it could be worth planning to travel as part of a tour group. This makes it look as if you are not traveling alone, which will make you seem less vulnerable to unexpected crime like theft.
Similarly, you should avoid walking alone at night when you are in a new country or location.
Even if it is a short distance, you should try to be vigilant and avoid this.
This is when you are the most vulnerable, so it is worth staying indoors when the sun goes down.
More safety measures include keeping your belongings secure.
This may seem obvious, but people who carry their smartphones around with them or large amounts of cash are far more likely to struggle if they are robbed.
Avoid drawing attention to yourself by wearing shiny jewelry or clothes that are expensive. Try to find accommodation that has access to a safe, or keep valuables in a small pack against your body. That way, they are harder to reach, but you know where everything is.
In terms of paperwork, it is important that you register with the State Department. Their site can be used to find internal destinations and more details about recommendations. It is also useful to do this when you are traveling internationally so that you can access help in emergency situations.
Make sure you are leaving a copy of your complete itinerary and travel plans with someone safe. This can make it considerably easier to track you down when needed, and act as a useful resource for ‘checking in’.
It is also recommended that you are checking your maps and transportation schedules regularly. This can allow you to make a backup plan in case of any disruptions along the way.
Another way of avoiding drawing attention to yourself is by respecting local cultures. This could involve wearing modest clothing, covering long hair, or being respectful of sacred places. Try not to stand out when you are traveling, in order to be as safe as possible.
How To Avoid The Single Supplement Charge?
The single supplement has been known to add 25-100% of the cost of your trip. Agencies and tourism companies can charge solo travelers more because of the amount of resources and services that will not be accounted for.
A couple traveling together are more likely to spend more money at the bar, ordering food, transportation, and more. Because someone who is traveling on their own will spend less money on these, there are a higher number of cruise lines, tour companies, and other businesses that will add the single supplement charge onto your bill.
In order to combat this, there are several routes that you can take. One of these is using a roommate finder, which will mean that you need to share a room with a stranger. However, it is known as an effective way of avoiding the single supplement charge overall.
Alternatively, you could choose accommodation which offers single state rooms. These are hotel and cruise ship rooms or suites which are specifically designed for individual travelers. It can be a great option to avoid sharing your space with a stranger if you are more introverted and appreciate your own space.
However, it can be pretty rare that this option is available. Other options which are charged by the bed rather than necessarily the room are international hostels which are pretty reliable, affordable, and clean.
Tips For Solo Dining
If you are new to traveling alone, it can be terrifying to go out for food solo. Because of this, it is tempting to order take-out or room service. Consider some of the following tips that can help you feel more comfortable asking for a table for one.
Make a conscious effort to interact with your servers. They will automatically take a shine to you and want to know more about your story. It is also a great way to break the ice and show people that you aren’t afraid to be seen dining on your own.
It can also be worth bringing something as a distraction when you are dining out as a solo traveler. Pack an interesting book in a small tote bag so that you can easily take your mind off of feeling anxious or worried that other people are looking at you.
Another thing that can help when you are dining somewhere new by yourself is to choose the right place. For example, you are more likely to seem out of place in a fancy restaurant eating alone than if you were to enjoy a meal or coffee in a small café. Try to sit at the bar in a more formal environment, or sit near a window so that you can watch the world going by.
If you don’t feel like you are ready for eating alone somewhere new just yet, you could always compromise with yourself by ordering your food for take out. That way, you will still get out of your comfort zone, but know that you can take your food back to wherever you are staying to enjoy it.
Remember that your body still needs to be nourished even if you are in a foreign place. Make a conscious effort to eat well and enjoy the meals that you have. Taking the time to appreciate every new experience also applies to the food and drink that you have when you are traveling.
Similarly, you could look into the different cuisines that a particular city or area has to offer. When you are researching destinations, consider certain restaurants, food trucks, and cafés that have made a name for themselves. Make a conscious effort to pay a visit to these locations and truly experience the culture for yourself.
Key Planning Points For Your Solo Trip
When you are preparing for your first solo trip, it’s crucial that you are saving up beforehand. Consider how much everything is expected to cost by researching the area and booking your accommodation ahead of time.
Although you can save money by booking last minute, it is typically safest to book in advance. That way, you will have a rough idea of your itinerary and how long you will be able to stay in a particular country. Save more money than you think you may need, because hidden costs can arise at any time.
Similarly, it’s important that you have a rough idea about your budget before you head off. This can give you peace of mind from knowing that you have plenty of cash or funds for meals, coffee, souvenirs, unexpected trips, and for emergencies. Knowing your budget can allow you to live realistically and practically when necessary during your solo trip.
It may seem obvious, but you should research your destination before heading there. This can allow you to wonder through the streets without relying on your maps or phone. Avoid looking too much like a tourist by deciding specific details about your destination.
Make sure you purchase a high quality travel insurance package that protects you from anywhere in the world. This is essential for traveling by yourself, because you will need to be more responsible when it comes to seeking urgent medical care in emergencies, or contacting help when needed. Travel insurance helps keep these costs down and allowing you some peace of mind.
Another thing which can allow you to feel more confident when you are traveling is to choose solo-friendly accommodation where possible. This can allow you to meet new people and ensure that you have somewhere safe to stay at all times.
Make sure that you are packing light. You never know when you will need to carry your bags up several flights of stairs, or across the city without help. There is no point bringing your favorite pair of straighteners or anything that will take up a lot of space in your luggage.
Airports are prone to losing your luggage, so you should try to use a small bag if possible that will fit as hand luggage. This can make your journey a lot more smooth without having to wait at baggage claims. Strip back what you would normally take, and try to bring only the essentials if possible.
Of course, if you cannot pack light, it is generally recommended that you plan smart. This means wearing more layers of clothing on your journey, or adding laundry costs to your budget.
You should also make sure that you are protecting yourself and your identity when you are traveling. This includes using a good quality VPN on your phone or laptop, if you need to bring it. Similarly, it is recommended that you are setting up the necessary protective measures for yourself and your money before hitting the road.
Road trips can be a fun prospect, and it could be a great way to see more places on a single trip. If you want to plan a road trip by yourself or with some travel buddies you have made along the way, make sure that you have prepared for every possible eventuality ahead of time. This is the best way to enjoy the journey by the time you are on the open road.
Top 10 Best Places To Travel Alone
Many people have Melbourne on their bucket list, and it is widely considered to be another world that is definitely worth visiting. Because so many people visit this city as solo travelers and make friends along the way, it wouldn’t be seen as unusual if you traveled to Melbourne alone.
It can be a great way to work on your own time and take in the natural beauty that is on offer. One of the reasons why Melbourne is considered ideal for solo travelers is because it is widely recognized as a safe destination for international travel. Why not check out the stunning beaches for yourself by planning a solo trip to Melbourne, Australia.
It’s easy to walk or cycle around the city, so you won’t need to worry about vehicle hire, and the majority of Australians speak English. This means you don’t need to worry about the language barrier at all! The only real downside is the long travel times, but the city and beaches are certainly worth enduring a long plane ride for.
Another bucket list destination for many is Thailand, which truly is a tropical paradise of its own making. The northern regions are extremely cheap, and the gender equality as well as Buddhist mindset makes it a popular country for solo travelers to visit.
Make the most out of your trip to Thailand by visiting the elephant rescue park, the sanctuary of truth, and Bangkok, which is the life of the party. Thailand really has something for everyone, which makes it hard to resist planning a visit alone. Most of the locals are friendly and welcoming, and it is certainly worth checking out!
For those who are interested in experiencing something completely different, Bhutan could be the travel destination for you. You are less likely to be traveling alone, because tourists and visitors are only permitted with a pre-booked tour or being escorted by a personal guide.
Bhutan is completely unique because there are no telephones, electricity, roads, or motor vehicles. The sacred mountain, Gangkhar Puensum, is the highest unclimbed peak in the world. There are plenty of fortresses to check out when you are visiting Bhutan, and the Buddhist kingdom remains a highly sacred and respected place.
If you consider yourself to be more of an adrenaline junkie, Costa Rica could be the perfect spot for your first solo trip. There are a lot of opportunities for adventures in this tropical paradise. Costa Rica is known for its immense biodiversity, beaches, and volcanoes, which makes it a great place to explore and experience new activities.
These include surfing, hiking, yoga, zip lining, and more. Additionally, you can explore the unique culture of Costa Rica if you aren’t feeling as adventurous. Learn more about how they offer some of the tastiest coffee in the world, visit the fountain of youth, or explore the selection of cultural institutions within San Jose.
These include the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, and are certainly worth visiting. There is so much to see in Costa Rica, that you will hardly notice that you’re traveling alone. Consider visiting this vibrant destination if you want to be greeted with open arms by the locals, as Costa Rica is one of the most peaceful countries on earth!
Another city which is widely considered to be one of the safest in the world is Hong Kong. It is where Eastern and Western cultures combine, and you can see serene gardens and interesting religious monuments. These include Tian Tan Buddha, Hop Yat church, and Lantau Island.
If you are someone who prefers to do activities, Hong Kong has you covered. There are so many sights to see, such as the immense skyline within the city. Head on the star ferry ride or watch the symphony of lights. Additionally, you can explore the nightlife and huge shopping scene that Hong Kong has to offer.
Many people within the city speak English, so it could be an ideal destination for solo travelers.
For the archaeology enthusiast, consider Cusco in Peru as your sanctuary! It has so many unique structures to explore, that solo travelers can easily lose track of time. Cusco is very close to Machu Piccu, which is known as the lost Incan city.
Not only that, but visitors can enjoy an enormous selection of signs of the Incan empire, as seen by the traditional Spanish colonial architecture. There are many tours available, as well as guides, that can help you make sure you do not miss anything.
Take a closer look at the baroque Santo Domingo Convent and you will see signs of the Incan Temple of the Sun that it was built on top of.
Did you know that 20% of the people who visit Alaska are solo travelers? The freezing climates are great for creating a serene atmosphere, and allowing you to enjoy the mountain air. Consider visiting Alaska for a completely different experience when you are traveling by yourself.
Make sure you take a look at the natural wonders that this wonderful place has to offer. These include the Hubbard glacier, and the Denali national park. Other things which can allow you to completely switch off from modern life include whale watching, seeing the running reindeer ranch, and the Fountainhead antique auto museum.
Located in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is widely known for its beaches. Although it is considered to be a safe country in general, make sure you are being respectful of the conservative Muslim country by dressing appropriately in public.
With that said, Malaysia offers both exotic jungles with impressive biodiversity, and futuristic skylines in the cities. Kuala Lumpur will take your breath away with its high rises and enormous skyscrapers.
Visitors can also explore the many busy shopping districts and see the influences of European, Malay, Chinese, and Indian cultures coming together within this country.
Another bucket list travel destination for many is the peaceful island of Bali. It can be ideal if you are traveling alone, because the locals are incredibly friendly and hospitable. You are bound to meet some interesting people during your stay, and it is worth planning a trip there if you want to connect with your spiritual side.
Bali has a lot to offer visitors, and it is certainly worth visiting the Hindu temples. Because of its stunning beauty, this island is known as the ‘Land of the Gods’. The volcanoes and rice fields make it easy to understand why, and you can’t help but feel a sense of inner peace after a visit to Bali.
Last but not least, Ireland is a great place to visit by yourself because it is easy to become immersed in the unique culture and sightseeing. Head to the home of Guinness beer or the birthplace of Oscar Wilde and visit Dublin.
There are many medieval castles to explore within the Republic of Ireland. The locals are a lively bunch who regularly take part in enthusiastic festivities that it’s hard not to feel the charm of Ireland. You can kiss the blarney stone for the gift of the gab, see the cliffs of Moher, or take in the natural beauty of Torc waterfall. You won’t be short of things to see and do when you visit Ireland.
There are so many reasons why you should plan a trip and begin to travel by yourself.
You will be able to completely immerse yourself in a new culture and explore things at your own pace. It is a great opportunity to improve your language skills and interact with people that you wouldn’t have if you were part of a larger group.
Of course, it can be a little intimidating at first, but it’s worth pushing yourself out of your comfort zone in order to experience the benefits.
Improving your self-confidence, and sense of independence can lead to a sense of accomplishment as well as complete freedom.
Remember to do your research ahead of time, in order to be as safe as you possibly can.
This is the key to traveling solo, and it cannot be underestimated.
Planning ahead should be done for any trip, but it is even more critical when it comes to traveling alone. This can allow you to estimate costs, set a budget, understand certain places to avoid, and how to dress.
As a result, it will be easier to blend in with the crowd wherever you go and stay safe when you are traveling by yourself.
Traveling alone can have a great impact on your mental health in the long run, and there is definitely a sense of relief that comes with being completely self-sufficient on the road.
Once you have taken all the necessary precautions, you can begin to have fun! Make sure that you are taking plenty of photographs during your travels, and that you are sharing your experiences with your friends and family when you get back.
The mental growth that you will go through is truly unmatched.