A while ago, I took a cruise. And I did it alone. No bae or bestie -just me. I got to relax on the beach, get pampered in the spa, and sing like no one was watching at the karaoke bar.
But every time I talk about my adventures as a solo traveler, I get the same questions…
Were you embarrassed?
Was it boring?
Did you feel guilty leaving your husband?
Were you afraid?
I never get tired of answering these questions, because they are valid, and I know people are curious…
So let's look at some of the most common concerns about solo travel….
You'll be lonely
The great thing about traveling solo is you're free to travel your way. When you want peace and solitude, you can have that. But when you're ready to mingle and socialize, you can easily find a happy hour, single's night, or a group tour where you can meet and socialize with other travelers.
It's only appropriate for singles.
WRONG! Not only is solo travel appropriate for married folks and parents, but it should be required. Yea Yea.. I know you love your kids, and your spouse is the love of your life.. Got it!!
But there is value in being able to find peace and quiet and not hearing someone say MA! Or HONEY! Even if only for a few days.
It's Dangerous for Women
Well, this one can be true. But for women, many scenarios can be dangerous. From walking in a dark garage, getting in an uber, or meeting that right swipe from Tinder for the first time.
The trick with solo travel is the same as it is for most things for us women: be careful, aware of your surroundings, and take precautions for your safety. But we're not new to this. Taking precautions is part of our everyday life!
Why women need to try it at least once
As women, we tend to continuously pour into others. It's in our nature to make sure everything and everyone is taken care of; our family, friends, churches, organizations, school work, jobs, and businesses. Most of us wouldn't even realize that our well has run dry. Traveling alone allows you to focus on you and only you for once and replenish your well.
Now that we've unpacked the myths & concerns
Here is my best solo travel advice for beginners
Pick Your Travel Style & Destination
Before you get down to the specifics, decide what type of trip you want to take. Make sure to consider the weather, distance from home, and your comfort. If you're a first timer think about a
Weekend road trip
A short, non-stop flight
Plan it out.
It's ok to go with the flow, but having a rough idea of what you'll do and where you'll go is always a great idea.
Are there attractions that interest you? Do they require prepayment or reservations?
Are dining options near your hotel? Can you walk, or will you need an Uber?
Is your hotel close to public transportation?
There are tons of resources out there for solo travelers. Connect with fellow solo travelers and grab valuable tips from them.
Head to the State Department, read up on your destination and grab all their resources.
Join the Living The Rad Travel Life Facebook Group, watch our lives, connect, and see posts from other solo travelers. Click Here to Join
Take Epic Photos
Being alone doesn't mean you have to take boring photos. Remember what Beyonce said… Pose for the camera now, flick, flick, flick!
Get a tripod or selfie stick.
Invest in a Bluetooth camera shutter for hands-free pictures
Hire a photographer at your destination. Check out www.flytographer.com, where you can see your photographer’s reviews before hiring them.
Get to your photo spot early to avoid crowds and to get the best possible pics. Just remember… Safety First
Ask a stranger. You see that tourist with the camera around his neck… That's the person to ask. You can also ask your guide if you're on a tour.
We already mentioned that ladies must pay special attention to safety when traveling.
Share your itinerary with friends and family and set a designated check-in time, preferably a video call. If you miss your check-in, they will immediately know something is wrong.
Don't get drunk in public. A drink or 2 is ok, but don't go overboard.
Don't share your hotel or itinerary info with strangers.
Stay off your phone, pay attention to your surroundings, and avoid walking alone at night.
Visually confirm your Uber/Lyft driver before getting in the vehicle.
Splurge on your hotel. Something in a nice area with extra security is worth the spend.
Bottom line: Solo travel is an absolutely fantastic and rejuvenating experience. And I would recommend that everyone experience it at least once!
And if you need personalized assistance or recommendations for your journey, you can contact me.