There are lots of reasons you may be considering solo travel. Maybe your bestie is saving up her annual leave for her long-postponed honeymoon (thanks, COVID). Or else you tried arranging a group trip and got so frustrated with Zara’s demands and Liya’s flakiness that you’ve abandoned all hope. Maybe you’ve recently been through a breakup and suddenly your go-to travel buddy feels less wanderlust and more wonder-where-it-all-went-wrong. Or maybe you just want to do something for yourself. Whatever your reason, we’re here to say: do it!
Why you should do it
The best part of travelling alone is that you don’t have to compromise. If you’re a cash saver you can take the 3 am flight without your grumpy pals. Or if instead, you’re a fan of a lie-in, you can fly at lunchtime with no one complaining about the extra cost. You can go to your first-choice destination, eat at your first choice restaurants, and visit your first choice attractions. As Glo Atanmo says, how many times have you left a trip honestly saying, “I did every single thing I wanted to do?”
Travelling alone is also a massive confidence builder. You have a chance to really connect with yourself, and prove to yourself that you’re all you need to have a great time. Going to new places, meeting new people, and handling it all on your own? Sounds like absolute goals to be fair.
Will people think I’m sad?
Pick up your phone. Open Instagram. Click on the search bar. Type in #solotraveller. Scroll. Look at the pictures. Look at influencers like Glo Atanmo to Jamie Banks. People aren’t going to think you’re sad; they’re going to be jealous.
How to travel solo
Choose where to go
Think of the places you’ve always dreamt of going. Then think of all the places you can afford. Where they overlap is the sweet spot, that’s for sure. If you’re stuck, we recommend going on Skyscanner and looking at whichever destination is the cheapest. Why not?
Once you’ve figured out where to fly to, you need to decide where to stay. But don’t just stick to a boring old hotel – try a hostel, an Airbnb, or even a houseswap like Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz.
Decide what to do
Now it’s time to research what you’re going to do on your solo trip, and we always start with Lonely Planet. Remember, we have mornings, afternoons, and evenings to fill, so find enough activities to keep yourself busy – you want to make the most of your trip, after all. Either stick to a schedule or simply follow your heart around the city, whatever’s your style. This is your trip, after all.
Plan for solitude
Bring a book. Download movies to your phone. Pick out some great podcast episodes. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with yourself, so bring things you enjoy. You can even do some remote work while you’re away!
You’re about to find out that you can have an incredible time with no one but yourself. With that being said…
Go to places you can meet people
There are great places you can meet new people while you’re travelling. Hostels are usually a sociable place to stay, and you can check out the meetup.com events happening in your area. You can even find free walking tours in most cities, which are great places to chat with other tourists. Solo travellers love to connect with other solo travellers, and you might meet them anywhere – restaurants, bars, shops, tourist attractions. We’ve got some great tips to help you make friends as an adult – so go make!
If you’re nervous about your first adventure, why not book onto a group tour? Exodus and G Adventures have pre-arranged trips where you’re sure to get to know your fellow travellers. You’ll be sharing insect repellant in no time.
Remember it’s okay to call home
Miss your mum/boyfriend/bestie? It’s okay to give them a ring! You’re still doing this for yourself, and they’ll want to hear what you’re up to, after all. Just because you’re travelling alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely.
Ready to take on the world? Pack your SPF and get globetrotting, girl.
By Jenna Adams