7 Tips for a Successful Solo Adventure
I’ve been thinking about taking another solo trip sometime soon.
I’m craving a new adventure (no surprise there), and my usual go-to travel buddies don’t necessarily have the flexibility to pick up and go away with me in the very near future. And because I need instant gratification, waiting four months for my next trip just doesn’t sit well with me.
I also just really enjoy solo travel. Going away with my boyfriend or my gal pals are fun experiences, but sometimes you just need to explore by yourself.
At least I do, anyway. I like to think of myself as an “extroverted introvert” – because I can be outgoing, love social settings, and work in an industry where I have to network – but I also LOVE alone time.
I need it to recharge my batteries. I enjoy spending a Friday night in a facemask with a
glass bottle of wine to myself. Much in the same way I like the ability to travel solo and make all my own decisions.
So I’ve been pondering where I might want to go on a Trip For One. Maybe something domestic this time? There’s lots in the U.S. that I haven’t seen yet.
TBD on where I might end up. But if you’re in a similar boat – considering a solo trip, or about to embark on one, here’s my seven tips for a successful adventure alone.
Stay at a hotel.
Airbnb or HomeAway can be really appealing because you get a whole house for an affordable price – but hotel settings are much more attractive for solo travelers.
They help combat loneliness, have built-in attributes that encourage mingling and getting to know other people, and as a solo female traveler, provide an extra layer of safety.
Think about, there’s always a concierge or front desk manager around, there’s usually a lobby bar that other guests will flock to, and some hotels coordinate social events and gatherings for their guests. You don’t get any of those perks if you stay in an Airbnb. You’ll just be alone in your cute little apartment.
Partake in happy hour.
Happy hour is one of those things that everyone loves. Booze and snacks for cheap!
People flock to the bars that have good HH deals. You’ll likely find a crowd you can blend with during happy hour time. Plus, since you’re traveling alone, it’s a good way to manage your budget.
Bonus points if your hotel bar throws a happy hour – hit that shit up. Guaranteed other guests will also come around for a drink, and you won’t look at all out of place sitting at the bar by yourself.
Go on a walking tour.
One of my favorite things to do on any trip (whether alone or not) is to go on a walking tour – particularly one that involves food or booze. If you’re solo, they’re a great activity to partake in because you’re forced to be a part of a group. And since you’ll likely be spending 2-3 hours with this group on the tour, it’s a prime opportunity to be friendly and chat with your mates.
If you really jive with any of them, offer to continue the fun and grab some drinks after the tour.
Sit at the bar.
I get it, it can be awkward to walk into a restaurant and say table for one – and even more awkward to sit alone and eat a whole meal by yourself. So if you really have qualms about doing this, just sit at the bar.
You won’t look out of place eating at the bar, and the bartenders are like built-in dinner guests. Trust me, they’ll probably want to talk to you and make their night go a little faster just as much as you’d appreciate the company. They’re also great people to tap for recommendations – for the menu you’re about to order off of, and places to visit in your destination.
Ask for help.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help – directions, recommendations, what to order, what not to order, what the sign means, etc. etc. etc. Just ask! Someone will help guide you, someone might even ask to join you. Just approach friendly looking people or groups and see where the ask takes you.
Embrace alone time.
All my tips above are great if you WANT to find company and meet people on your solo trip. But I should also mention that there is beauty in “me” time – allow yourself to enjoy the quality time with your own mind, and being able to reconnect with yourself. Embrace that shit.
Do whatever the fuck you want!
Literally. Whatever-You-Want. That’s the best thing about traveling alone. You don’t have to do what anyone else wants to do. This is especially key if you’re on a short trip and have a limited amount of time. You can spend hours in a museum if you want, eat lunch twice if you want, sleep through breakfast if you want, stay out until 4:00am if you want – you can do whatever it is you feel like doing and however you want to spend your time.
This is your solo trip.
Need some solo travel inspiration?
Check out this episode of Unmapped. It takes solo travel to the extreme! Click that little play button below.