Planning trips with people can be tricky; loved ones can’t always get the time off, they live in different parts of the world, or they may have different travelling styles than you. However, none of these things should hold you back from seeing the world! If you think travelling solo means just you and a bag, well think again! If you’re dreaming of Ireland’s coast, far-off destinations like Nepal or India, or climbing Kilimanjaro, but can’t find anyone to go with, why not take a trip on your own?
Travelling without someone you know is a one-of-a-kind experience and exciting in ways you can’t imagine. Ask anyone who has taken the plunge, and they’ll tell you! Check out our travel hacks and book your ticket, because no matter where you are going we’ve got some of the best ways to get that much-needed “me-time” from your trip. From portable hobbies to touring and exploring, travelling solo is fun!
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Travelling alone: benefits
Embrace the freedom
Taking a vacation with others often means compromising on dates, destinations, budgets, itineraries, and so on! When you travel independently without others in tow, you can do as you please. Apart from being able to choose your route, the other benefits of being in charge of your itinerary and budget are it could end up being cheaper to travel alone. As a solo traveller, you’ll get out of comfort zone much sooner and find yourself interacting with the locals much more (they’ll also be more interested in what made you come to their country by yourself) and make meaningful connections.
So, what could be more fun than going somewhere that you’ve had your eye on without having to consult or plan with anyone else? Nap when you want, eat when you want, see whatever you want, and as you’ll probably meet new people along the way—you won’t feel lonely at all!
How to make travelling solo fun
Activities and meet-ups
Another way to make travelling solo more fun and to bump into like-minded people is to spend your trip doing activities that you love. If you’re an avid hiker or rock-climber, spend your trip doing just that! Or perhaps you like singing opera, or going to the ballet? Social media and the Internet have made it easy to find meet-ups for the things you enjoy all over the world. If you want to have amazing local experience with the residents, find an event based on something you love by checking out Meetup!
Pick a focus for your trip
Do you enjoy chocolate? Perhaps you are a pizza aficionado, or fruit picking is your jam? Maybe you love national parks or art museums? Either way, whatever your greatest joy is in life, food or culture-wise, make it the focus of your trip. Let your trip revolve around hunting down the best chocolate stores, or going to a city’s most iconic cafés, oldest restaurants, boutiques, secret bars, eating a local dish everywhere you go, or experiencing scenic wonders. For example, imagine creating an entire itinerary around craft breweries? Whatever it is, pick a playful focus for your trip and let it become the theme of your explorations. Not only will this be an incredibly fun and unique way to discover a new place, but you’ll also have some fascinating and distinct talking points and memories about your trip.
Any trip, even tours, have some downtime and moments where you can go off and explore on your own. If you happen to be pottering around a city or location solo, why not listen to a podcast? The beauty of this is you’ll maximize your downtime, making it more valuable by listening to something awesome because there’s a podcast for almost everything in the world. What this means is you can find and listen to something that appeals to your interests, or something relevant and related to what you are exploring. There are plenty of travel podcasts that focus on cities and some that focus on female travellers, so whatever your niche may be, there’s a podcast out there to accompany you!
Take a guitar with you
If you play the guitar or any other musical instrument, then definitely take it along on your trip. Firstly because music is a universal language that almost everyone loves and secondly, imagine chilling on the beach, by a campfire or even on a balcony with your guitar or favourite instrument! Plus, there will always be someone who knows the words to Wonderwall by Oasis! Why not prep for your trip by learning the chords?
Go on a tour
One of the best ways to take the plunge and go on a trip somewhat solo is to tag along with on a multi-day group tour. Almost any tour is great for single travellers, and these days there are so many to choices, from hiking and cycling to wine-tasting and nature. So, no matter what you are into, there will be one that’s right for you. Operator companies are great at accommodating solo travellers that are looking for unique experiences like safaris, scuba holidays, guided trekking tours, or even just a fantastic holiday with some like-minded people looking to see the world.
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Taking pictures is a great way to remember the things you have seen, but keeping a journal can help you remember how you felt from one day to the next while on your trip. Writing is one way, but there are all sorts of ways to document your journey. You can add mementos like ticket stubs and receipts or postcards, press flowers, sketch or draw, add stamps, and so on. It’s really up to you, but it’s a great way to capture your travels and will be a priceless souvenir.
Been meaning to start a new hobby but can’t seem to find the time back home? Learning a new language, reading a new book, knitting, Sudoku, colouring, photography, writing, this list could go on and on, but your solo trip might just be the perfect time to start a new hobby. As long as it’s somewhat portable, you can pack it up into your suitcase, backpack or carry on and bring it along with you. Hobbies are great for many reasons. They build creativity and confidence (learning something new is super rewarding), they are a great way to socialize and can even help to reduce stress by giving your mind something to focus on!
Taking a trip will always let you discover a new destination, but that’s not the only reason why travel is so life-affirming. Even when independent back home, we rarely get the chance to go out of our comfort zone. Travelling solo is fun, but it also gives you an opportunity to leave behind your day-to-day life and explore your passions and desires in a different environment.
Do you think travelling solo is fun? Tell us about your favourite trips in the comments!