What is solo travel and will I enjoy it?
Whether you're looking to spend a holiday completely by yourself, or participate in group tours and meet as many people as possible, solo travel can take many forms, and is an experience everyone should treat themselves to at least once.
While the thought of solo travel can be daunting, the act of travelling alone can build confidence and help you become comfortable with yourself. In this article, we investigate all your questions about solo travel and help you decide whether you’ll enjoy globetrotting on your own.
Why is solo travel important?
Taking time out for yourself to take care of your health and wellbeing is always important, and solo travel can play a huge part in this. Whether you want to explore the UK in more detail, or somewhere further afield, packing up for a solo travelling experience can be extremely liberating.
How do I prepare for solo travel?
The success of a solo trip often relies on good planning. For peace of mind before you take off on your trip, research the area where you'll be staying and contact your accommodation in advance to ensure you have all the information you need.
When you're travelling on your own, your smartphone and pocket travel guides can be hugely helpful. When it comes to your mobile phone, downloading solo-travel apps is a fantastic idea.
We highly recommend these applications:
- The RedZone Map can get you safely from A to B if you're travelling in America
- TripWhistle Global allows you to get in touch with authorities should you need to
- Google Translate can help break down any language barriers
- Experiences by Peek is fabulous for finding tours and activities
- And, of course, Google Maps is always reliable for directions
Get a good guide book to your destination and add sticky notes to the pages of interest. Not only will this help you feel confident and organised when you arrive, it will help you build excitement and anticipation before your travels begin.
How do I get the most out of solo travel?
One of the things prospective solo travellers worry about is whether they'll enjoy it, often due to the fear of becoming lonely. However, if you enjoy the company of others but still want to try travelling alone, there are many ways you can meet other travellers on your journey.
Some of the best ways to meet people are:
- Book group tours
- Share a table at dinner
- Sign up to classes
- Initiate conversations
Heather Cowper, from popular female solo travel blog Heather on her Travels, shared her favourite way to meet people with us:
"Food tours are always a great way to meet other people when you are travelling solo -- there's something about sharing food that gets everyone talking and in a good mood.
"I try to do one at the start of a solo trip, then you can meet other travellers and get their tips on the best places to eat as well as asking the tour guide to recommend restaurants that are welcoming for solo travellers."
Is solo travel safe?
Travelling alone can be empowering, but it's always important to remain a savvy traveller at all times. Heather Cowper told us:
"Choose your accommodation carefully to stay safe when travelling solo. Look for small hotels or hostels that are centrally located in well-lit streets and have a 24-hour reception or person on duty, so that there are no dramas when coming back late at night, and always someone around to ask for help and advice."
We also have a whole blog post dedicated to staying safe when travelling alone that will help you prepare for your first solo trip.
Is solo travel for me?
There are many reasons to travel solo: to indulge interests not shared by a partner, to find oneself, or to become more self-reliant. We believe solo travel can be right for everyone. Plan well and stay street-savvy and you’ll be on course for a solo adventure to remember.