Solo tripping, yep it's a big deal. Everything we see regarding traveling is mainly geared to couple or groups trips. Add in the friends/family conversations that also talk of vacationing as a couple/group. No one really ever says "Hey you! Go, travel alone". Nope doesn't happen. I get it. It's not socially natural. Humans like to be together, making Instagram memories and stuff.
Well I'm here to encourage you to try solo traveling. I think it's something everyone needs to do at least once. I liken it to moving away from home after finishing high school or college, if only for a year or two. Find yourself without a support system in place. Find what you like, don't like without catering to others. Be you. And you don't have to be single and child-free to travel solo. Works at every stage in life.
Below are a few things I learned when traveling solo to Vietnam and Malaysia last year.
1. Go with the flow. Seriously let your energy guide you daily. If it means a change of plans, change them. It's only you. Don't stick to an itinerary just because it made sense on your couch. Take that nap, buy that ticket to see that exhibit.
2. Research. Then research some more. Especially where you will be living. Read ALL the reviews of where ever you are planing on staying. Pay attention to key elements or words such as safety, locks, feeling secure or walking at night or in the area in general. Ask for recommendations in the thousands of Facebook travel groups. And after arriving if it doesn't look/feel right, move. You only have one life. Protect it.
3. Possibly pick somewhere that you think you will be comfortable but not to comfortable for your first trip. And this could certainly apply to anywhere in the U.S. as well. Heck I went solo to New York and Jersey last year, just cause and had a blast! I'm a museum junkie and can always find one to pass a day in.
4. Eat all the food. Seriously. At the good restaurants and the mom and pops. Don't be afraid to dine alone. You aren't the first diner and certainly won't be the last that breaks bread solo. And remember you can eat where you want when you want because you are traveling solo! Bring a kindle or book with you. It will help while on those solo meals.
5. Pack lighter. Meaning don't drag two suitcases, a back pack, purse and a carry on. You gotta keep up with all of that once you exit the plane,train or automobile and honestly you stand out as an easy target. Keep your hands free and your purse/wallet close.
Solo tripping can be lonely at times but the amazing times more than make up for those hopefully very brief lonely moments. And hey if solo tripping isn't for you, it just isn't and there's nothing wrong with that.
Where's your first solo trip going to be?