Solo travel can be a scary thought for many. Your first venture can be quite a mix of excitement and uncertainty.
But fear not because solo travel is a genuine opportunity to free yourself from routine and reshape your perception of the world and your own identity. It is a pivotal experience that everyone should embrace, marking a significant checkpoint on your journey through life.
My very first solo adventure was quite a unique and liberating experience. It began in Colorado Springs when I dropped my young daughter off at a USA Volleyball training camp. I had five days all to myself to explore this new place. At first, I was apprehensive thinking about having meals alone. But by the end of that first day, I decided to soak in the beauty around me fully.
Colorado’s landscapes quickly became my playground, and in no time, I got more comfortable exploring different new and exotic locations. Places like the incredible Garden of the Gods, the towering Pikes Peak, and the fascinating Manitou’s Cliff Dwellings were calling my name.
I treated myself to a stay at the Cliff House at Pikes Peak, tucked away in the delightful town of Manitou Springs. There I met lovely people as I enjoyed the evening public concerts in the town square. That initial weirdness of being on my own slowly turned into this amazing feeling of empowerment as I kept pushing my comfort zone.
Reuniting with my daughter brought a huge smile to my face, but saying goodbye to my solo adventure had a mix of happiness and a touch of sadness. Today, traveling solo is a no-brainer; once you break through the first time, you might decide you won’t do it any other way.
The Benefits of Solo Travel
Studies say going solo has some seriously awesome perks—like growing as a person and discovering yourself. It pushes you out of your comfort zone, greatly boosting your confidence and resilience. Plus, it’s time alone to consider your life choices and listen to your gut.
Solo travel isn’t just about personal growth; it can be a truly joyful experience. You get to explore new spots on your terms, relive your favorite activities, and bask in your independence. Be it lively cities, hidden trails, or calm beaches, your solo journey makes you soak up the moment and really connect with what’s around you.
How to Make Your Solo Trip a Success
1. Plan Your Itinerary
While spontaneity can lead to exciting adventures, having a basic itinerary can help ensure you see and do everything you want. Research your destination, learn about local customs and attractions, and map out your must-visit spots.
2. Join a Solo Traveler Group
This is a great way to meet like-minded individuals, participate in planned tours and activities, and make new friends. You’ll enjoy the camaraderie of a group while still maintaining the independence that comes with solo travel.
3. Plan but Be Flexible
Start by researching your destination and creating a loose itinerary. Knowing what you want to see and do can help alleviate any travel anxiety. However, remember to leave room for spontaneity. The beauty of solo travel is the freedom to change your plans as you wish.
4. Prioritize Safety
Always keep safety in mind when traveling alone. Research the safety of your destination, avoid risky situations, and always let someone know about your whereabouts. Sharing your location with a friend or family member on your phone is a great way to feel more comfortable so that people will know how to find you in an emergency.
5. Pack Light
Packing light simplifies your travel. It’s easier to navigate public transportation, walk around, and keep track of your belongings when you have less to carry. Adding a tracking device like an AirTag or Tile into your bag can help locate lost items during travel.
6. Stay Connected
While the idea of disconnecting might be appealing, it’s important to stay connected with friends or family back home. Regular check-ins provide peace of mind for both you and your loved ones. (Having an App on your smartphone like Life 360 or Apple’s FindMy can allow those close to you easily keep tabs on your whereabouts.)
7. Make New Friends
Traveling solo doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. Use this opportunity to meet new people. Join group tours, participate in local events, or strike up a conversation with fellow travelers or locals.
8. Take Care of Your Health
Keep up with regular meals and stay hydrated. If you’re traveling to a different time zone, try to adjust your schedule to the new time as soon as possible to minimize jet lag.
9. Indulge Yourself
A solo trip is the perfect time to pamper yourself. Whether it’s dining at a fancy restaurant, taking a spa day, or splurging on a luxury hotel room, treat yourself to something special.
10. Bring Great Books
Traveling solo means you’ll have plenty of alone time. A good book can be your best companion during long transit times or while relaxing at a café.
11. Meet New People
Don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with locals or other travelers. These interactions can lead to unexpected friendships, valuable travel tips, or even exciting adventures. Locals typically know the most interesting off-the-beaten-path places to check out that you may not have found yourself.
12. Prioritize Self-Care
Keep hydrated, eat well, get enough sleep, and listen to your body. Your health and well-being should always be a priority.
13. Embrace the Alone Time
Being alone gives you the chance to reflect and rejuvenate. Use this time to read, write, meditate, or simply relax and enjoy your own company.
14. Stay Open-Minded
Be open to new experiences, cultures, and perspectives. This openness not only enriches your travel experience but also leads to personal growth.
15. Document Your Trip
Keep a travel journal and take lots of pictures. Documenting your experiences helps you remember them more vividly and provides a sense of accomplishment.
Build Your Confidence
Building confidence to explore the world solo and stepping out of your comfort zone requires engagement and courage. When you feel confident, you experience a sense of self-assurance and are more likely to connect with others.
However, forgetting names, feeling spatially confused, or struggling to express yourself can be confidence-diminishing. If you find yourself facing these challenges more frequently, supporting your memory can boost your confidence.
Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Brain is formulated with cognition-supporting ingredients such as Bacopa, Choline, and Huperzine-A. These ingredients have been shown in studies to improve memory. Additionally, Dynamic Brain contains a comprehensive blend of vitamins and minerals to nourish and support brain health. *
With Dynamic Brain, you won’t fret over memory lapses, allowing you to focus on connecting with others effectively. *
A solo vacation presents endless possibilities for discovery, adventure, and self-growth. With careful planning, an open mind, and a spirit of adventure, you can ensure that your solo journey will be a memorable and rewarding experience. Remember, the world is your oyster, so go forth and explore!