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Some people naturally love solo traveling. The freedom to do whatever you want, setting your own itinerary and changing your mind without having to consult someone. But for others, like me, traveling solo can be a bit of a challenge.
I am used to sharing my most fun moments with friends and family, so the thought of camping, sightseeing and exploring new foods alone is daunting. But solo traveling has its perks and it’s something worth learning how to do comfortably.
Even if you don't do it by choice, there are times you may be forced to go on a solo vacation maybe because other people are busy or you are in a new city. Here are some tips on how to travel solo and have fun.
1. Decide What Kind of Trip You Want
One of the best things about traveling alone is that you have total freedom over your trip. It’s fully up to you to decide what kind of trip you want: a relaxing laid back vacation where you spend most of the time basking and sleeping or a more active trip with lots of exploring.
The answer depends on your destination (e.g. a beach destination is for lazing around) and what you feel up to. Once you decide what type of vacation you want, it’s easier to make a good plan.
2. Make a Plan (and Share It)
Just because you are traveling alone it doesn't mean that you should wing it. To maximize how much fun you have and ensure everything goes smoothly, plan your trip. This includes how you’ll get there, where you’ll stay and what you’ll do.
This is where you do lots of research about where you are going (weather, security, transport etc.) and book your flights, accommodation and activities.
It’s a good idea to share your plan, even if it’s just the general itinerary, with a close friend or family member so that they know where you will be at any time. This will be useful in case of an emergency.
3. Safety is A Priority
There is safety in numbers. If you travel alone, you are at a higher risk of getting scammed, robbed and even kidnapped. So take every precaution you can to stay safe.
First, make sure you travel to a secure destination. Check for travel advisories and check local news for any potential public safety issues like protests.
Once you are at your destination, keep your wits about you. Don't go to any seedy neighborhoods, stay away from large crowds, don’t get intoxicated, and spend most of your time exploring in public spaces.
4. Look for Solo-friendly Activities
When planning your itinerary, plan for activities that you can do and enjoy on your own. An escape room will hardly be fun on your own. Bowling, too, is more fun as a group activity.
Some good solo activities include going to the museum, cycling around town, trying out different foods, bungee jumping, attending a show and so on.
That said, there are some group activities you can do with strangers such as joining a group tour of the city or hiking with a group.
5. Be Flexible
Having a solid plan is essential, but do not be stuck to it. One benefit of solo traveling is that you can change your plans on a whim without inconveniencing anyone. Take advantage of that.
If you come across an unplanned activity that seems fun, check it out. Being flexible allows you to adapt to your destination. Maybe your hotel wasn’t as good as you anticipated. Why not try a local Airbnb? Bad weather forced you to cancel a sightseeing tour? Look around for alternative activities.
6. Be Social
Solo travel doesn't mean staying alone the entire time. If anything, it’s a great opportunity to meet new people. Join tour groups, chat up strangers, join a random beach volleyball game etc. You’ll probably go back home a few friends richer.
Of course, be safe whenever you interact with strangers. Stay in public areas and if anything feels off, politely excuse yourself and walk away.
7. Don’t Overpack
Lastly, don’t be so anxious about the trip that you overpack. You’ll only make the trip more tedious and tiresome.
Pack only what you need and include some multipurpose items. Our self-cleaning antimicrobial travel wear like the HercShirt is handy for solo traveling. It doesn't get dirty or stinky easily, so you can pack just a couple of them and wear them the entire trip.