You’re there! You’re on a solo trip. Time to do all the things you want to do…and maybe a few things you’re scared to do 😉 In case you’re unsure of where to begin, here are some ideas for things you can do when traveling alone:
Do a Tour on Your Own
This is an easy thing to do by yourself. While it’s daunting climbing onto a tour bus and asking strangers if you can sit next to them, it’s also a great way to meet people. Booking a tour on at least one of the days for your trip is also a great way to get a sense of where you are and the history and background of the city/country you’re visiting. Plus, I use it as a way to understand how the city is laid out and get recommendations from tour guides of where to go and things to do.
A tour is a safe way to see a city in a group setting and can help you get your feet wet, so to speak, so that the next day you can start walking around on your own more easily and with less apprehension (if you tend to get nervous especially).
Go to a bar/out to eat
Do not eat in your hotel room by yourself! Ask your local hotel peeps for recommendations and then walk in and take a seat. This was by far the scariest thing for me. I always felt like I would be stared at and judged for being alone. NOT TRUE. When you pull yourself out of your head and look around, you’ll note that everyone is either on their phones, or deep in conversation with the people they are with.
Those that do notice have just given me a smile, and some strike up conversation!
BTip 1: If this is super scary for you, then for your first venture out, do it during the day….for brunch or lunch time. Less potential for creepy people and it’s a more casual time of day as well
Try local/authentic cuisine
This goes hand-in-hand with the prior point. We have a tendency to stay in our comfort zone, and so may gravitate towards food and restaurants that fit that zone. However, traveling alone is a great way to stretch your experimenting wings and try local cuisine served in a hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Honestly, some of my favorite food has come from these little spots.
Researching ahead of time is helpful here in regards to what specialty foods are unique to each country and city, but the best restaurant recommendations, I think, come from the locals. Once there ask your hotel concierge, ask your tour guides.
Ask around for the best shopping!
Traveling alone is a great way to practice how to haggle, or bargain shop, (and as you haggle, you also get to practice the language!). Many cities have areas where souvenir shopping is the best and cheapest and sometimes you can even bargain down on prices for the things you want. These markets/areas can be lot of fun to explore, so definitely ask and see before you start purchasing all your memorabilia.
Purposefully do something that challenges your comfort zone
The beauty of traveling alone is you can do ANYTHING you want. Being alone does not preclude you from anything. So don’t miss the opportunity to really go for something that you otherwise may not do if you’re in a group. You’re already traveling alone, so take this time and this chance to really branch out!
Take precautions. While traveling alone is a brave thing, it can also be scary when you realize you don’t have the comfort of “safety in numbers” or someone else to rely on. Do your research on the country/city you are visiting, which areas to avoid and things to look out for. Check out more tips on staying safe!
BTip 2: Again, utilize your hotel peeps for more info. Ask them if it’s ok to walk around after dark or if they recommend certain taxi companies etc.
Don’t forget to take time to figure yourself out
Generally, people start traveling alone for a reason. Maybe you need to take time off from work or get away from whatever life stressors you’re dealing with; or maybe you need a mental cleansing and want to gain perspective and realign your life trajectory with your goals. Whatever your reason is, make sure you remember to give yourself time to focus on that. It’s easy to get wrapped up with the adventure and fun. I know for me, I needed quiet time to reflect as well, so I build that into my trip.
Related articles on traveling alone:
–Can’t afford to travel alone? That’s ok! you can still take yourself out in your hometown and heres why you should
What are your tips for spending time abroad solo? Leave feedback below!