Tips for the Solo Traveler
The day has finally come. You’re ready to take your dream trip, but just one thing is wrong—you don’t have anyone to go with you. Should you call it off? Absolutely not! Traveling solo is different from traveling with another person, but it definitely has its own rewards. Considering the pros and cons below can help you prepare and make the most of striking out on your own. Here are some great tips for solo travelers.
Solo Travel Costs
The bad news about solo travel is that you will probably spend quite a bit more on accommodations than if you were traveling with one or more other people. Single rooms are often just a few dollars less than double rooms. The exception is if you are traveling in a place where hostels are popular, such as Europe, and sleeping in dormitory rooms is an option. However, that cost could be offset by the fact that you won’t get dragged along to anything that you don’t want to do. Every cent you spend will be by choice. There are some companies and cruise ships that have “no single supplement” options. This means they charge solo travelers less. Be sure to do a search for these companies.
If you’re worried about the cost, and especially if your traveling companion has backed out late in the game, you can always look into taking out a personal loan. When you go online to do research, you’ll find that you can get matched with loan options in a matter of seconds. While this may not be the solution you anticipated, it’s worth investigating so you don’t have to cancel your trip.
If you are not used to traveling and doing other things on your own, eating may become a particular source of anxiety for you. For some reason, many people feel uncomfortable eating alone in restaurants. However, you shouldn’t let this discomfort make you restrict your food choices to fast food, room service or meals you can prepare yourself. You might feel as though everyone in the restaurant is looking at you and wondering why you are eating alone, but the truth is that few people are likely to notice or think twice. Remind yourself of all the advantages of eating alone. You can go exactly where you like and spend as much or as little as you want. It can help if you take along something to do, such as a book to read or your phone while you get accustomed to dining out alone. You may find that eventually you just want to give the meal itself your full attention. You might also mention to the maitre d’ (restaurant greeter) that if another solo diner comes in, they might want to join you at your table.
Of course, you can solve some drawbacks of solo travel by meeting other people. In fact, the people you meet when you travel can be the most memorable part of your trip, and you’re much more likely to make friends when you are on your own. How do you meet people? This depends a lot on the kind of trip you’re taking. The aforementioned European hostels are a great way to do so, and they aren’t just for young people. You could also consider signing up for a tour. There are apps and groups online that can help facilitate meetups for travelers. There are also travel groups online that specialize in solo trips. Many of these have been in operation for years and have a substantial number of members who enjoy solo travel. Finally, while you should also be conscious of your safety, try being more open to people and conversations than you might be at home. You might want to brush up on conversation starters ideas before you go. With all your preparation, you may be surprised at the friends you can make during your journey.