Solo Travel: Why and How to Travel on Your Own

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I’ve done a lot of solo travel over the last few years, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. You may think traveling by yourself is crazy — but here’s why you should give solo travel a try!

Why should I travel on my own?

It’s liberating!  

Planning a trip just for yourself — where it’s completely up to you what you want to do, how you want to spend your time, where you want to eat — is just so exciting.  You don’t have to take anyone’s opinion or preferences into consideration.  

I personally have always been the type of person who is super content with occupying myself and really enjoy my alone time, but I think a solo trip for people who are the opposite of that is even more necessary.  Don’t be afraid to be alone with yourself and your thoughts. Embrace it! 

Solo traveler driving down the open roads of Colorado

More comfortable

Solo travel makes you become comfortable with yourself.  You’re going to do things you never expected to do, like go out to eat by yourself, ask people to take a picture of you by yourself, and do excursions unaccompanied.

My first excursion I did by myself was when I took my solo trip to Florida before I made the move.  I went on a snorkeling trip. On our way out, they did roll call and said the last name for the reservation followed by, “Party of __.”

When they said, “Snyder, party of one,” and I said “Here!” I think every person on the boat turned and looked at me.  I definitely blushed, but after that experience, I never felt timid about being by myself on an excursion again.

It’s empowering

The things I mentioned previously that you have to do by yourself, I too was extremely nervous about at first! That’s totally normal. I felt awkward going to eat alone, asking people to take my picture, booking tours and excursions for just myself.

But you know what, you get used to it! And honestly, not only do you get used to it, you begin to LOVE it!

I’ve developed a new love for myself through solo travel; and realizing that I can see all of these amazing, beautiful places on my own time and leisure has been hella empowering!

“If you have to wait for someone to travel with you, you may end up waiting a lifetime!”

You don’t have to wait, get out there!

You’re more approachable 

I remember I used to look at people who were dining alone, and I felt bad for them.  Let me tell you that it is not something to feel sorry for people about! It’s enjoyable!  I’ve met some cool people when I went to eat alone. People want to know your story, and they usually have some cool stories too.

Three girls taking a selfie in a gondola in Venice, Italy
My lovely Aussie friends I met in Florence, and then reunited with again in Venice! And thank God I made friends to share a gondola ride with, because they ain’t cheap!

I’m not saying you can’t meet people when you travel in a group, but I have definitely made more connections with people during my solo travel.  

You’re more aware

I think with solo travel, you’re able to be more aware of what you’re experiencing and able to really take it all in on a different level than when you’re with people.  It’s easy to get lost in conversations during your walk from point A to point B. You almost haze out your surroundings because you’re in the midst of a conversation.

Garden of the Gods in Colorado
Garden of the Gods

Are you still scared of solo travel?

Especially as a female, I know that solo travel can seem intimidating and scary, but there are precautions you can take to put your mind at ease a little.  

Do your research! 

There are some countries that are extremely safe and highly recommended for solo female travel, and then there are countries that should be avoided.  Iceland, Switzerland, Canada, and New Zealand are a few countries that are recommended for solo female travel. 

Share your travel plans 

Keep someone back home, whether it be a friend or family member, in the loop of your daily travel plans.  If you’re staying at a hostel, let someone know of your plans as well.

Know the local emergency number 

Something I honestly didn’t think of initially is that 911 isn’t the emergency number everywhere like it is the US.  Europe’s emergency number is 112. Make sure that for whichever country you’re visiting, you know their emergency number.

Don’t walk alone at night 

During my travels, I woke up really early and went to bed really early, so this was really easy for me.  In the few situations where I was out at night, I was walking to my destination with someone I met during my travels and trusted.  

Stay aware 

This is so important.  When you’re walking around, walk with confidence, and be alert.  Don’t have your head in your phone.

Have photos of your travel documents 

You don’t have to carry around your actual passport.  You can have a photocopy of it. Thank God I did this, because I left my purse on a train in Austria and never got it back.  My purse didn’t contain any cash and only a photocopy of my passport, luckily.  

Are you ready yet?

I know that solo travel can be intimidating.  At one point in my life, it was something I would never consider.  If you’re nervous about it, start small. My first “solo” trip was me flying to Colorado by myself, but I stayed with a friend.  She explored with me some of the time, but she had to work a bit, so I did the majority of my exploring and hiking alone. This was my way of easing into it.  Once I realized how much I enjoyed spending time alone with nature, it was a game changer for me.

Solo traveler standing in front of Hollywood sign in Los Angeles
This picture brought to you by some propped up rocks and my iPhone timer 🙂

Don’t get me wrong, traveling with friends and your significant other is great!  But even when I do trips with others, I like to do a solo hike or take time to do something for myself, by myself.

Please share with me why you love solo travel, or if you’ve never done a solo trip, what’s holding you back?

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11 Comments

  1. October 30, 2019 / 10:07 am

    Ah, if only I’d read this before my first solo trip, I feel like it would have helped sooo much with the nerves, haha. God damnit. This is such a great article though, I’m sure it will help lots of people who are still nervous to travel solo!

    • destinysnyder
      Author
      October 30, 2019 / 10:39 pm

      Aw thanks girl! I hope so. It really is something that’s intimidating to do at first, but once you do it a couple times it’s so enjoyable!

  2. October 30, 2019 / 10:33 am

    Very useful article! I’ve never travelled solo but it’s on my list so I’m pinning this for future reference! 🙂

    • destinysnyder
      Author
      October 30, 2019 / 10:39 pm

      Awesome! I’m glad you enjoyed it! I hope it helps 🙂

  3. October 30, 2019 / 11:44 am

    All these reasons are great! Solo travel is the best way to meet people and learning so much about yourself. I think I do miss traveling on my own sometimes.. Thanks for all the amazing advice!

    • destinysnyder
      Author
      October 30, 2019 / 10:41 pm

      Yeah I enjoy a good mix of solo travel and travel with others, but even on my solo trips I end up making new friends I can enjoy some experiences with. I’m glad you enjoyed the post 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  4. October 30, 2019 / 4:38 pm

    Solo traveling is hard and takes time to get used to. Even so, it is very rewarding and empowering.

    • destinysnyder
      Author
      October 30, 2019 / 10:41 pm

      I couldn’t agree more!

  5. November 1, 2019 / 2:16 am

    Very well described. Solo travel is liberating!! I wish everyone do it

  6. Marisa
    November 2, 2019 / 1:31 pm

    Love all the reasons why you should solo travel and the useful tips you gave!! If I ever find myself solo traveling I’ll be sure to reference your guide!

  7. November 3, 2019 / 12:52 am

    Great post!

    I totally agree that it seems easier to approach travelers when they are alone. Like you, I have the best (and most random) stories from when I was alone. I never seemed to stay alone for long as you always meet new people.

    Great tips too. I alwaaays take photos or scans of our documents, just in case. I put them in google docs so I can get them even if I lose my phone…

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