Whilst traveling with friends and family can be a wonderful experience, sometimes it’s nice to get away from it all and have a solo adventure. Just pack your bags and head off alone with no one to worry about but yourself. It’s often the way I travel, and in many ways it’s what I prefer, for many reasons.
Such as you do not have to worry about what other people on the trip want to do. If today you want to sleep in til noon and then go surfing and then visit a history museum, you do that. This holiday is for you, and no one else, so do what you enjoy, visit the places you want to visit and do the things you want to do. If you miss out on anything while you’re there, then you’re the only person to blame.
There are a few things that I find I do miss out on as a solo traveller though. For example (and other people may have more confidence than me so it wouldn’t be a problem) I love water parks but don’t feel that I could go alone. It’s the same with theme parks, especially ones where you know there’ll be long queues, I would find it too awkward to stand on my own in an hour long queue.
This sort of works in the reverse though, if you don’t want to go to a theme park, or do anything at all, you don’t have to. Some of my best holidays have involved nothing more than me finding somewhere pretty to sit and read a book. Reading isn’t a very sociable activity, but it’s one that I love so I do enjoy taking myself off to read somewhere without having to worry about neglecting my travel partner.
At the same time, you don’t have to do anything alone if you don’t want to. Most places run group tours that you can sign up for as an individual. I try and do a bike tour of each new city I’m in and I’ve met some really lovely people through that. In Luxembourg I spent the entire day with 4 Australians after we met doing a bike tour of the city. Also if you’re staying in a hostel or an Airbnb, or even a hotel, there are often other people around who may be similar to you and happy to meet new people. I’ve had some really great experiences with my Airbnb hosts, in both Berlin and Basel, where they became really good friends by the end of my trip, and I never once felt like I was alone there!
When you are traveling solo, though, do make sure that you stay safe. If you don’t feel safe then get out of the situation, even if it means you have to pay a bit more money or even speak to someone like the police or your embassy. In my experiences I’ve never found I’ve been targeted as a solo traveler but it has been known to happen and a safe trip is always the most important thing at the end of the day.
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