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Wednesday, March 9, 2022

How To Travel Solo Well

Some people don't like to be alone, but others do. I'm happy to just be in my own company, even when I travel. You don't have to answer to anyone, you can sleep in late every day, you can eat in for dinner in your pajamas if you want. Solo travel is liberating and you should do it at least once in your life. If you're on the fence, here are a few ways to make it easier:

Solo travel is liberating and you should do it at least once in your life. If you're on the fence, here are a few ways to make it easier.

Know the language

If you don't know a language other than English, that's okay. There are plenty of places you can travel and still feel at ease if you aren't adventurous enough to learn on the fly. England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Belize and the Bahamas are all fantastic destinations, but France and Amsterdam also have tons of English speakers if you want to branch out.

Plan your trip 

While you will probably want to make some decisions when you arrive, don't leave the big things to chance. Plan the skeleton of your vacation - accommodations, transportation to/from airport, transportation around town, tours, etc. - before you leave home, so there aren't any big surprises. Do your homework and put a list of important addresses and phone numbers either in your phone or on a cloud-based service like Evernote or Dropbox, that way you always have a way to access them.

Talk to locals 

Your trip might be really boring if you never talk to anyone. Hit up friends on social media who live where you're going to see if you can get together. Use MeetUp.com to find other travelers or locals that meet to do things, like dining and hiking. And if you just want to talk to people without hanging out with them, hit up a local farmers' market.

Stay safe

Don't scare your mom by becoming a missing person. Book your accommodations and group tours in advance, arrive during the daytime, have a plan for getting around, don't get drunk in the bar with strangers, share your itinerary with your friends/family (solo travel is best when it is planned out as much as possible), check in every few days, and keep your itinerary online - TripIt is a good app - along with a copy of your ID and passport if you're going out of the country and need it in case of robbery.

Have fun! 

Eat at that food cart that catches your eye, go to that museum nobody else would like, take a cooking class, sit at a sidewalk café drinking coffee and people watching.

The world is your oyster, and you can see as much as you want when you don't have a travel partner that you have to compromise with and make happy. Maybe you'll find you love traveling alone, or maybe it'll show how much you take your usual travel companion for granted, but it's nice to connect with yourself while exploring a new destination.

What are your favorite places to travel solo to?

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