The thought of traveling solo can often be intimidating–setting off on your own means taking more responsibility for your own experience, which can be a burden. At the same time, it also gives you its own kind of freedom. When you’re traveling solo, you set your own schedule, which can be a little daunting, but does come with perks.
There are many ways to travel solo, from heading out entirely on your own, to meeting up with friends for part of your trip, to joining a group trip by yourself. In each of these cases, there are some common concerns. Here are things people often worry about about when they’re considering solo travel, as well as some tips for handling them:
It’s true–traveling by yourself means that you don’t have someone who experiences the wonders and trials of travel alongside you. Here are a few ways of handling loneliness that might be more effective depending on the type of trip you’re taking, where you’re going, your personality, and your preferences.
- Join a group activity–or even a group trip! Whether it’s a tour of a museum or a cooking class, most popular destinations will have a number of group outings where you can join and meet people with similar interests. If that’s what you’re looking for throughout your trip, maybe a group trip is a better fit! Traveling with people whose interests are similar to yours means you’ll have friends by the end of the trip, even if you were strangers when you started.
- Bring along a book (or a podcast or playlist). Sometimes you don’t want to have another quiet dinner by yourself, and that’s understandable! Planning for that and bringing along a way to keep yourself company only takes a bit of effort, and it can make a huge difference.
Solo travel often means that you have more time in silence and contemplation. That can be overwhelming at first, but there are a few things you can do to either fill up your time or slow down your pace.
- Take your time. Sit down and gaze upon the view for half an hour, linger in a coffee shop, or take a leisurely lunch break and rest your feet. When you take a few extra minutes to appreciate where you are, you have the chance to sink into the details of where you are and live into it.
- Ask for recommendations. The people who live and work in the place where you’re visiting often have great recommendations for things that are unexpected must-sees or a little off the beaten path. Asking someone where you should go for dinner or where to find a gift for a friend might just end up giving you the best experience of your trip.
- Let someone else do your planning. Even if you’re not traveling with family or friends, you don’t have to go it alone. As part of an organized trip, you can enjoy some of the flexibility of traveling solo without the burden of the details.
Making sure that you (and your belongings) are safe and secure during your trip is essential, and not traveling with someone you trust does make this more difficult. Here are a few things to do that should make your solo travels safer–and by doing so, help you enjoy them more!
- Let friends and family know what you’re doing. Keeping someone posted on what your schedule looks like and when they can expect to hear from you (hopefully with some great pictures!) can give you and them some peace of mind. This also gives you a great way to stay in touch even if you’re temporarily far from home.
- Do your research beforehand. It’s worth knowing what concerns you might be facing before going on any trip, and that’s even more important when you’re traveling by yourself. Having an idea of what you should know beforehand and what things to keep an eye out for will make you feel more secure, even if nothing happens.
- Plan for downtime. Staying alert is important while you’re solo traveling, but it can also be tiring. Giving yourself plenty of time to relax in an environment where you feel comfortable is a good way to make sure that you can be rested and alert when it’s important.
If taking a contemplative pace and taking time to savor things sounds appealing but the thought of planning the details of your own trip doesn’t, take a look at Verso’s 2022 trip options! Our focus on spiritually-centered pilgrimages that allow for time to savor the atmosphere and culture might be exactly what you’re looking for. Contact us with questions, or to find out more about booking a trip.