When you get tired of crushing your #squadgoals the next step is going on a solo adventure for a new challenge. Traveling with family and friends can make visiting a new place lots of fun, but there’s a certain type of experience that you can only discover when traveling alone. Gather your courage and these tips and head off on that new journey with the only real boss in your life – you.
1. Love Yourself
Find yourself on your travels
You spend more time with yourself than anyone does – but do you really know you? Travelling alone means leaving the squad back home and exploring yourself as much as wherever you land. Know your inner strengths and use them as tools to discover new parts of your personality. When you are humble and love yourself, you make it easier to find the best parts of every place you visit. Travelling means new scenery and different cultures, which can sometimes be stressful but when you love yourself you become the best partner to see a new place with!
2. Be Open
Travelling alone can be a great way to make new friends
One of the joys of travelling solo is meeting new people from far away places. When you’re seeing somewhere new on your own you see it from a totally unique angle. You are the boss of the show; you make your own plans (or plans to get lost). Since there’s no one travelling with you to chat with, you become open to a different type of experience, one where you might speak to that stranger on the train with the interesting tattoo or patch on their bag. Be open to conversations with strangers, book travel options you might not otherwise try – like overnight train rides – and you’ll see new sides of every place you visit.
Consider staying in a shared space
When you’re looking for a place to stay at your destination, consider finding a hostel or a shared Airbnb. Shared space means you’ll often meet both locals and other travelers and it’ll give you an opportunity to mix up your visit with solo and group time to really get the best overall solo travel experience. This is a great way to discover hidden gems and offbeat things to do during your visit from others who have already been there before or are discovering it for the first time. Sometimes you might even find yourself hanging out in the common areas where you’re staying Maybe you’ll be too busy jamming out with the guy who brought his guitar all the way from Buenos Aires to go to that local museum! After all, building an unforgettable experience is what matters most.
3. Stay Safe
Learn what you need to know wherever you go
While being open to new experiences can be exhilarating, it also means taking new risks. When travelling alone, you need to be especially alert to make sure you know how to explore while staying safe. Do some research about where you will be visiting to see what types of challenges you might come across and overcome. Before you know it you’ll be able to confidently insist your taxi driver use the meter, turn down that “free bracelet” in Barcelona, or find LGBT-friendly neighborhoods wherever you may go..
Don’t get busted
Know the local laws to make sure you don’t do anything to get yourself in trouble accidentally. For example, it may be alright to drink in public in Paris or on the Las Vegas Strip, but that’s a big no-no in Marrakesh. This also means learning about how people dress wherever you are visiting so you can visit places that have a dress code, like temples and certain restaurants. Plan your travel around what is important to you while respecting local laws and culture and you’ll have the ultimate experience.
4. Know Your Mood
Do you want to rock or chill?
Challenging yourself is important, but if your dream trip involves sunny beaches, don’t force yourself to hike the Himalayas. Know what you like, and make new travel plans to find your way out of your comfort zone without dropping money on a trip that won’t make you happy simply because it’s different. The great part of solo travel is that you can even visit somewhere you have been to with others and have a completely different experience because you make all of the trip decisions.
5. Take Your Time
Enjoy the journey
Don’t rush your single-serving travel! Instead of booking three locations to visit in three days, give yourself a bit more time in a single location before moving on. You might be surprised to find yourself recognizing the little patterns of life that make every destination so unique. If you’re already open to new experiences, maybe you’ll make friends with the sweet old couple who walk down to the local lake together. Maybe an early morning walk has your running into the friendly local baker heading to their morning shift (jetlag’s silver lining). You can build great memories just by observing the patterns of a new place and embracing the change.