The idea of traveling solo may be daunting to many people but it can actually be a great way to achieve stress free travel. The many benefits can far out weigh the extra costs and in fact there are ways to reduce the costs of your Solo Traveler Holiday. You will need to make some compromises to your travel but as long as you take all your options into account, you should be able to plan the best holiday to suit you.
Planning the trip to suit your personality and preferences will be so much easier without having to second guess every decision that you make and have to run it by another person. Do as much or as little planning that you want and if you prefer a more spontaneous holiday you can do this without compromise.
The benefits- No arguments.
When you plan your Solo Traveler Holiday you can focus on exactly what you want to do and where you want to go. You might get invited to stay with old friends or even new friends that you meet along the way and this can be easier to do so if it is only you, rather than a group or even a couple of people.
Travel with an open mind with the outlook that you are going to meet new and interesting people and learn from them and their cultures you will gain far more from your travels. I know from experience that this is easier to strike up a conversation with people that you meet if you are on your own. I find that if you are with someone else you tend to just have a conversation with that person and fail to engage with those around you.
Usually, you are able to assess within a few seconds if a person is going to be comfortable talking to you or not. Some people may look at you like a crazy foreigner and you should read the body language and move on. I have found that most people are very approachable and are happy to engage in conversation. If someone is busy with their work and can’t stand there talking all day, be aware that you need to respect that.
The great thing about talking to locals about their place, whether it is their business, town city, or country, they really love it when you appreciate it and share that excitement with them. It is like they are seeing their space through a new set of eyes, like when you take a child somewhere and it reignites the joy you get from seeing something for the first time.
Options – What to do?
Are you worried about how to plan your trip, then, there are several ways in which you can deal with this. You will be
just planning the trip yourself or having it dealt with by a travel agency, or a combination of both. You may be considering booking a cruise, either sea going or river cruise, there are sometimes options to book a single berth cabin as opposed to paying for a full price cabin and carrying the cost yourself. These single berth cabins are usually a lot smaller but realistically you are only using the space to sleep and the rest of the time you are probably out and about.
There are actually many great travel and tour companies that specialize in trips for solo travelers. This can open up a whole world (literally) of opportunities where you can travel with a group of other singles, but be in a group and see things that you wouldn’t normally see., You then have the security and company of the group if you are worried about being on your own for your whole trip.
Watching your Budget
Watching your travel budget, is a good idea so you can travel for a longer time for less money. You may be prepared to compromise on your privacy, therefore you can book a portion of your trip in dormitory and back packer type accommodation. The benefits of this is that you can get to mix and mingle with more people and meet other interesting and like-minded travelers.
Accommodation costs are a big portion of the costs of the overall trip because you are paying for every single night
that you are away from home. You can’t expect 5 star accommodation every night, if you are on a budget; In fact if you do mix it up with budget accommodation and more luxury accommodation you will have different experiences and some will stand out more than others. I remember a night that I spent in a more up market Hotel, in Mississippi, just as much as I remember spending a night in a bus station in Spain, waiting for an overdue bus. Both experiences have added to my memories.
Possibly you could look for options where you share the accommodation with same sex travelers. This is often the case when you book cruises, you can share a room with another traveler. This can be a bit of a lottery though, as you may find that you meet a new lifelong friend, or it is becomes your holiday from hell.
Planning – To suit your personality type
When planning your Solo traveler holiday, the world is your oyster. You don’t have to fit in with anyone else’s
preferences or ideas. Plan exactly what you want to do and where you want to go, and fit into your budget without having to worry if your travel partner can afford this or want to do that.
Maybe you like to have a bit of spontaneity and not have a strict itinerary to follow, then be flexible. I found that just having a few bookings for tours or activities was a better way to go. You can then fill in the time with things that you discover along the way. Have a read of my blog about travel to Prague for a different place to see.
A fun way to learn about a new city or place that you go to is to book onto the hop on hop off bus. You get to see an overview of the city in a short time but also with some interesting historical information along the way. Going for a visit to the local Museum is an excellent way to learn about the place that you are visiting. A lot of the time a museum visit is free or low cost.
Whether you like to plan everything or wing it on the day, make sure you put some thought into your luggage and what you want to carry on your trip. I have seen people struggle day after day carrying huge bags around, loaded up with stuff that they never need on their trip. Even if you are staying at hotels and have a hire car or easy transport, this is definitely something to consider. Getting through airports with great big bags, and even in and out of hotel rooms that may not always have a lift is a major pain. Remember most people won’t know that you are wearing yesterday’s clothes. I always travel with my laptop for working and the best bag that I found for this is this Eddie Bauer Backpack. Not only does it keep the laptop safe and secure it also holds heaps of other items and has separate compartments to hold clothes and shoes.
To Travel Alone ? – Just do it
If you are procrastinating about planning a trip just because you don’t have anyone else to go with, my advice is to grab the opportunity and just go. You must have somewhere or something that is on your bucket list, that you have always wanted to do. Don’t let the fact that you have to do it alone, hold you back. I guarantee that if you follow your gut feeling then it is the right thing for you to do. Remember, be adventurous, the magic is just outside of your comfort zone.