If you’ve never traveled alone, it may sound like more of a daunting task instead of a relaxing vacation. Many people prefer to have a traveling partner to watch their back and to have someone with whom they can share their experiences. But a solo trek can be refreshing and inspiring, especially for those who are looking to rediscover themselves after a divorce or breakup. Feeling a little uncertain? Here are a few tips to ensure your trip is one you’ll never want to forget:
Plan It Out
While you may be excited for your first vacation alone, this isn’t a good time to wing it. Spend some time planning out all your transportation so you know what the cost will be and won’t end up stranded because you missed the last bus back to the hotel. Check out the reviews for the accommodations you’re interested in and familiarize yourself with all the services they offer. Study maps of the area so you’ll never need to look like a lost traveler, an easy target for scam artists or other sorts of criminals.
Be Honest, or Don’t
Though you’re traveling single, you’ll probably still end up in several conversations. You might need to ask directions, stumble upon curious hotel staff, or simply meet a friendly stranger. While there’s nothing wrong with meeting new people (and this is a great time for it), you might not feel comfortable sharing your real story. Let people think you’re meeting a friend or traveling with a partner who’s just stepped out for a moment. Act like you know what you’re doing and where you’re going even if you don’t; confidence is a big deterrent to those looking for tourists to take advantage of.
Don’t Fear Eating Alone
For many people, the idea of eating alone is a scary one. While it may make you feel uncomfortable not to have a dining partner, it doesn’t have to. Bring a book to read while you dine so that you have something to do. This also won’t make it look as though you are waiting on a date that didn’t bother to show. Feel free to chat with the wait staff; they probably have some great tips about local events. Choosing the right restaurant and the right seat can make a great difference: picking a seat at the bar or dining in an outdoor café is much more conducive to solo dining.
Stay in Contact
If you don’t have a traveling partner, it’s a good idea to share your itinerary with friends and family back home. Schedule check-in times to let them know you’ve arrived at your destination for the night. This helps ensure that if something happens, action will be taken right away. Keeping in touch is also a nice way to share little bits of your trip with your loved ones back home and stave off any loneliness you may be feeling. There are several websites that offer a similar service for a fee: If you don’t check in with the website at the appropriate time, they will try to get in touch with you. If that fails, they’ll reach out to your emergency contacts.
Trust Your Instincts
You can plan, read reviews, and take recommendations from friends, but there is no more reliable resource than your gut feelings. If a place just doesn’t feel right, move on to something else.
A trip alone can be more rich and fulfilling in many ways. It’s a great way to boost your confidence and get away from your daily routine, all while taking in new sights. You don’t have to worry about anyone else’s schedule or needs but your own. A trip by yourself can be a wonderful opportunity to take each day at your own pace and do the things you are most interested in. Like any trip, careful planning and a healthy dose of confidence will make the entire experience much more pleasurable. Bon voyage!