Solo travel has become a popular and accessible way to see the world and meet people whose lifestyles may differ from yours. However, the big question on your mind right now might be how to do it in the best way possible. Maybe you’ve been thinking about traveling solo for quite some time but haven’t found the right opportunity yet. If that’s the case, this guide will give you everything you need to know to start planning your solo trip.
Benefits of Traveling Solo
Traveling solo can be both an exciting and daunting experience. However, there are many reasons why you should consider embarking on such an adventure.
Solo travel will allow you to explore the world at your own pace. You won’t find the hassle of needing to coordinate a travel buddy, flights, or lodging. It can allow for more time for relaxing and exploring your new surroundings.
Traveling solo enables you to have greater control and make decisions for yourself. You can partake in the activities that most interest you and have lesser costs than traveling with someone. What’s great about traveling solo is that you can choose where, when, and what to do while staying within your home budget.
3. Personal Growth
Many people enjoy solo traveling due to the transformations, opportunities, and personal growth that are bound to occur. Solo travel requires a person to rely on themselves, which can be a great learning experience. It entails decision-making, composure-keeping, and skill-honing. A great emphasis is on flexibility management since the traveler needs to make choices and inevitably learn from the wrong ones.
Disadvantages of Traveling Solo
Traveling on your own isn’t always a dream come true. It does bring certain disadvantages that you should consider before starting your journey.
Traveling for long periods can make you feel lonely without a regular companion to talk to or spend time with. Stay in touch with friends, family, or colleagues via phone or email if you start feeling lonely while traveling. Suppose you need someone to talk to, start a conversation with a friendly person, or find activities where you can meet locals, like visiting an art gallery or a market.
Having to decide on even the most trivial thing can seem overwhelming. Sometimes it’s great to have the other person thinking about your next stopover or what you’ll be doing in the city you’re currently visiting.
3. Taking A Stroll Down Memory Lane
When you travel alone, you don’t have anyone to share the experience with. Reminiscing on shared memories can be a nice distraction after completing a trip. If there were some funny situations on a journey, reliving them in photos can make for some hilarious conversations.
Helpful Tips For Traveling Solo
Though traveling solo comes with benefits and disadvantages, you should still make sure that you will enjoy your time alone. It is best to be prepared and know what you’re getting into before you begin.
1. Decide On The Purpose Of Your Travel
So, first, figure out what your purpose for traveling is. What will you get out of it? What do you hope to get out of it? Some people do it for the thrill, some want to see the world, and some want to relax and get away from toxic relationships.
2. Decide On The Things You Would Like To Do
Once you determine why you are doing it, think about what you want to do while traveling. Some travelers want to sleep in a hammock. Others dream of seeing the Statue of Liberty or being on the Great Wall of China.
Make a list of what you would like to do on your solo travel.
3. Decide On The Travel Expenditure
Your travel planning goes hand in hand with the money you have at your disposal. Start by writing down your current financial situation and then deciding how much you want to spend on your trip. If finances are tight, put off seeing the Great Wall of China until you can raise the necessary money. Choose something that you’ve always wanted to see, but that won’t break the bank for you.
4. Choose A Destination
The choice of your destination is arguably one of the essential things in traveling solo. Therefore, you should choose a destination that provides a mix of culture, landscapes, and activities that match your interests and budget.
5. Plan Your Budget Accordingly
You should take into consideration travel-related costs before going on any trip. Consider how you would be traveling and develop a budget for the travel. Calculate the costs of transportation, accommodation, and food. Plan to leave aside some money for local activities and small purchases such as gifts or souvenirs.
6. Get Travel Insurance
Obtaining travel insurance might seem like a nuisance, but it’s worth your effort. Several things can go wrong while traveling solo, including injuries and health problems, theft, or loss of personal belongings. In these situations, having health insurance will save you money since you’re entitled to claim your expenses back. Before getting travel insurance, check the coverage for the regions you intend to visit.
7. Pack Light
Don’t be guided by the “the more, the merrier” policy. Packing everything but the kitchen sink will give you more to carry, more to think about, and more to worry about. You only need a minimal amount of clothes, toiletry items, and electronics to be happy. Be sure to create a travel packing list to keep track of your essentials.
8. Be Ready To Make Some Adjustments
Arriving in an unknown place can be tricky, especially if you don’t speak the language. So, be flexible and ready to have lesser expectations at the beginning of your journey.
9. Learn Some Basic Words
Having mentioned the language issue, knowing some basic words will open the door to new friendships and help you get around. Locals will respect you for your effort and be more than willing to help you out.
10. Try the National Cuisine
No matter how picky you are, don’t give up on tasting national cuisine. You might find your stomach overwhelmed with the options available, but these can be the best part of your travel experience. Most importantly, the people serving your food will be the perfect experts at explaining the origins and preparations of certain dishes. It’s a great way to learn new things!
11. Explore Your Neighborhood
Are there some ongoing activities in your neighborhood? Visit a local fair, museum, recreation facility, or community event. You never know what you might find there!
Great Solo Traveler Destinations
Even though there are many suitable destinations for solo travelers, here are some that offer solitude, relaxation, and hassle-free activities.
Iceland is a perfect choice for solitude, cold, and nature lovers. Famous for its stunning scenery, Iceland is full of hot springs, waterfalls, glaciers, and volcanoes. Solo travelers can enjoy the Northern Lights or soak in the gorgeous, hot waters of the Blue Lagoon.
Australia is an exquisite destination with countless outdoor activities that attract tourists worldwide. Visitors can choose to go boat sailing, hang gliding, or surf in tropical waters. Those with braver hearts can go on a safari in the Uluru and the Outback and enjoy the astonishing beauty of this destination.
3. New Zealand
New Zealand is another excellent destination to travel solo. It has some of the biggest glaciers in the world, impressive mountains, stunning waterfalls, and breathtaking scenery. Moreover, New Zealand is culturally diverse and offers various activities, including hunting, fishing, diving, trekking, kayaking, skydiving, helicopter flights, and more.
4. South America
Solo travelers visiting South America are truly spoilt for choice. From the Amazon jungle to the Inca ruins in Peru, there’s something to do or see for even the pickiest people. As long as you can keep up with the intense heat and don’t mind being away from home, this’s a great trip to take alone.
It’s unimaginable to mention Japan without considering how it respects people as individuals. Being alone has always been an integral part of Japanese culture. It’s even reflected in the Japanese language since Ohitorisama is an expression referring to people who live or do things on their own.
What makes Japan an excellent location for solo travelers is that it’s safe, affordable, and easy to get around The country’s rich with beautiful, incredible sites to discover, like its temples and shrines and gorgeous landscape. Japan’s sheer level of culture is astounding and makes a trip to this country unforgettable.
Final Thoughts on Traveling Solo
One of the great things about traveling solo is escaping from a busy life and enjoying the world out there. It’s also a great challenge since a person needs to adapt to new situations and be ready for anything that comes along the way.
Before embarking on your trip, make sure that you’ve checked out the tips in this article. Once you know how to prepare for your solo travel, you’ll be able to enjoy it to the fullest. Planning will save you a lot of stress and ensure you have the time of your life.
This post originally appeared on Savoteur.
Nicole Graham is a relationship expert at Womenio.com. She is helping women grow into their best selves so they can be confident and bring more love, passion, and purpose to their lives. Nicole enjoys studying the psychology of love and is passionate about writing on them. She offers helpful tips and advice to help overcome any relationship issue, whether you’re single or already in a relationship.