Solo travel can be exhilarating. It provides an opportunity to be flexible and engage with a culture in unexpected ways. When traveling with a group, it’s easy to look like a tourist. But on your own, you can blend in and uniquely observe the local vibe.
You’ll find solo travel tips below. The list will grow as time goes on, so bookmark it to stay updated.
As a woman, I’m particularly interested in providing tips for solo female travel. However, these tips can apply across genders. Check them out!
Plan Before You Go
Save and Budget
Knowing that your trip is paid for will help you relax. It will also help build your confidence for solo travel. Be sure to budget for the unexpected as well. While I hope you don’t have any emergencies, it’s always a good idea to have some extra money set aside.
Decide Where To Go
It may sound obvious, but I had to include this with so many potential destinations. If you already know where you’re traveling to, move on to the next travel tip.
Your budget can help narrow down your choice of destination. Consider other factors that may be more important for solo travelers. Is the location generally safe? Are there any visa restrictions? If you’re booking a package deal, is the price base on two people, or is there a solo option?
Get Travel Insurance
This is one of the essential pieces of your trip. Travel insurance can save you thousands of dollars should you have a flight cancelation, a medical emergency, etc. And it’s much cheaper than you may think to purchase travel insurance. It can be under $100 for a seven-day trip. That far outweighs the expense of a potential emergency.
Pack Light and Smart
Think ahead about how you’ll be navigating through your trip. Will you need to walk from a bus to your hotel on a city street? Do you have a short layover for your connecting flight? These types of movements are greatly affected by your luggage. If your bags are heavy or there are too many of them, you will likely have a hard time transporting them. Travel can be tiring enough as it is. You can eliminate some of the weariness by packing light.
Solo Travel Tips at Your Destination
Be Flexible and Practice Patience
Flexibility and patience are key when traveling solo. The unexpected may happen during your trip. If you know this upfront, it can help you relax and go with the flow.
Try to avoid overplanning. For example, you may be exhausted on the day you arrive. Instead of booking a tour or planning something that might overextend you, consider going for a stroll to get to know the area. A walk in the fresh air can also help lessen your jet lag.
Talk to locals to get to know what they like to do in their city. You may be surprised at the hidden gems they share. For example, find out where residents eat instead of referring to the Internet for restaurant recommendations. They’ll know the best spots.
Study the Map
Get to know your destination. Spend some time before you arrive, getting to know the lay of the land. It will help you when you need to consult the map during your trip. For example, if you’re in Rome, have an idea of where the attractions you plan to visit are in relation to your hotel’s location.
Enjoy Evenings Out
You may travel solo, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay in every evening. Find a bar or restaurant with live music if you enjoy going out. Or attend a concert or play.
Embrace Eating Out Alone
Eating at a restaurant by yourself can be intimidating for some. You may have to ease into it, but try embracing the idea. Some tips for gaining confidence eating out alone include reading a book or doing some journaling while waiting for your food. These types of props can alleviate some of the nervousness about where to look or who might be looking at you. Once you’ve done it several times, you’ll likely enjoy eating out alone.
It’s also a great way to meet fellow travelers. For example, if you set your camera or another travel accessory on the table while you eat, another solo traveler may notice and make an introduction.