Travelling solo

These points apply equally to men or women who travel alone

I have traveled solo for much of my life over the last 40 years. With just a bit of planning, some common sense, and adjusting your attitude, it is possible to have a wonderful time while traveling by yourself. In fact, solo travel can be more fulfilling than traveling with a partner or a group!

  • Traveling alone can be fun and liberating. After all, there is nobody else to consult about what you want to do or see. You control exactly what you will get out of your travel, so take advantage of it!
  • Group travel or pre-arranged vacations: get to know the rest of your group as quickly as possible.. An ideal time for this is the morning following your arrival at the tour’s point of departure. At breakfast, you should recognize members of your group who were on the flight the day before. Push away any shyness you might normally have and introduce yourself. Ask if you can join them for breakfast. Not only is this a good way to meet people and make your trip more interesting, it increases your security immensely, especially if it leads to you sharing activities or tours with others.
  • No group? Here’s an idea if you are in a non-English speaking country: take a home town paper, and read it at breakfast. Don’t be surprised when people come up to you to practice their English, or introduce themselves because they are the same nationality as you. This also works in a similar way when you take an English language book with you to read at a meal.
  • Talk with people. Again, try to overcome any shyness you might normally have, and strike up a conversation with fellow travellers. Only do this in safe locations! Examples of safe locations: pools & decks, restaurants or sports facilities of your hotel or neighbouring hotels; group tours; cruise ship public rooms. Potential unsafe locations: nightclubs; public beaches and parks; downtown drinking establishments; airports; and public transportation.
  • Do you realize that couples and groups traveling together isolate themselves from meeting the locals and other travellers by always sitting together in restaurants and other venues, and always talking amongst themselves as they move through sites? Traveling alone means you are free to meet and interact with other travellers and locals (on your terms).
  • The above points are all positive, but that said, DO NOT: get into a taxi alone (unless it is pre-arranged by your tour or hotel); walk down a dimly-lit street at night alone or idly stand around on a street; or load yourself down with parcels or camera gear. Read the good travel advice from the Government of Canada Bon Voyage, But…

Still need some inspiration to travel alone? Browse these websites; all highlighting solo travel:

Just do it!

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