I’ve been traveling alone for over five years now, and what initially seemed like a terrifying prospect to me has now become my preferred mode of exploration. The freedom that comes with solo traveling is intoxicating, and you deserve to know what it feels like too.
But how can you avoid it being a lonely and/or unsafe experience? If you’re traveling alone for the first time here are a few tips to help make it a more social, safe, and enjoyable experience.
All of these are the things that I learned along the journey:
Pick the right spot
While I think after you get into the groove of it, you can turn anywhere into a great place to travel alone, at first it’s good to pick places that tends to attract other solo travelers and are inherently more social.
I tend to find that places with a sport or united interest attract people who are willing to travel alone just to be able to participate in that activity, whether it is surfing, scuba diving, or a unique culinary delight. Maybe it’s a landmark or hike, or just something unique that makes people want to come from far and wide, even if they have to go it alone.
Stay in social accommodation
The easiest way to meet others is by staying in a place that’s social like a hostel or guesthouse. If you are open to staying in such places, it’s as simple as going to the common room. I found that even as a sometimes-shy person, it didn’t matter because people would talk to me.
By contrast, if you go to a big city and stay in a private hotel room, you effectively eliminate the possibility that you will meet people at your accommodation.
I don’t really like staying in dorms anymore, so that means I have to take a more active role in finding activities to do with other people. That brings me to my next point: