Traveling solo for the first time can be intimidating, but a healthy dose of encouragement from veteran solo travelers, along with some of their best practical advice, should set your mind at ease. Below are a few pointers to keep in mind as you plan your solo escape.
Curious about solo travel? We think it can be so life-changing that we’ve devoted an entire Forum to the topic. Check it out.
Make use of the staff.
“I tend to go to a restaurant during off-peak hours, when the staff has more time to answer questions about the area and offer tips. These folks are locals and have a different view of things compared to a tour guide.” — shared by SamH on
“Favorite Tips for handling the difficult parts of traveling alone?”
You don’t need to be single to go solo.
“I usually think of ‘solo’ travelers as single people! I’m a solo traveler, but am very happily married. It’s just that sometimes my husband goes east and I go west!!” — shared by simpsonc510 on “What is the longest trip you’ve taken solo?”
Assess your tolerance for risk.
“Nepal was stunning! Just an incredible adventure. Again, I would not be comfortable in retrospect doing that alone. I ended up in remote villages where a large circle of men would stand and stare at me. This is with my male friend by my side. Imagine how nervous I would have been if alone?!!” — shared by ncounty on “Is there anyplace you won’t travel alone?”
Don’t count out hostels.
“I had my own ‘Bucket List’ when I retired five years ago, and backpacking across Canada was on it. To save money, I bravely booked nine nights in hostels and approximately four nights traveling by bus. Here is my story.” — shared by wildbird1275 on “57-Year-Old Grandma Backpacks Across Canada.”
Team up with folks you meet along the way.
Learn the language.
“I chose to celebrate my 50th by going to Provence to attend a French language school for two weeks. I also spent four days in Aix-en-Provence beforehand and 4 nights travelling around the Luberon after the course.” — shared by schnauzer on “50th Birthday Solo Trip to Provence.”
Turn transitions into opportunities.
“I’m 54, female, in good health, recently separated, and will be traveling alone. I would prefer having the company of a small group on my trip. I’ve dreamed of going to Africa my entire life. This is huge for me.” — shared by aknards on “I Don’t Know How to Get Started Planning My Trip.”
Many Fodor’s members have solo trips in the works. Do you have any advice to lend for the following destinations?
San Diego: New Mom — Long Weekend Trip Wanted
Rome: Where would you recommend a solo female traveler stay?
Ireland: First Time and Solo — Help!
Spain: Solo Dining Advice
India: Planning for this summer
New York: Would you recommend NYC for a solo trip?
Charleston: March Itinerary Questions
Photo credit: ©Istockphoto/ Tatiana Makarova.