Going away on holiday for some solo travel time can be quite daunting, but it is also an exciting opportunity to explore places and experience situations that you may not feel able to do when having to keep more than one person happy. When it is just you, the world is very much your oyster, and you should take advantage of that freedom.
But there is also no need to feel lonely if going on a trip by yourself, as there are several holiday options available to solo travelers which can see them immerse themselves in the local culture, make shared memories, and new friends.
Live like a local while backpacking
One of the most popular holiday choices, particularly among a younger age group, is backpacking. This nomadic lifestyle suits people who want to see the world for what it is and visit several areas and even several countries as part of their trip.
Backpacker hostels cater for short or long stays, and although you could choose to share a dormitory-style room with other travelers to increase the sociability factor, there are also hostels with private rooms for when you want your own space.
Staying in hostels offers a budget-friendly sleeping arrangement for when you want to spend your money on the actual traveling experience and make the most of the places you are visiting. Jemima Skelley shares ten things everyone should have with them to solo travel like a pro when staying in a hostel:
You may also find that if you are traveling through a country like America, that has several branches of its hostels throughout, you can plan your journey and book ahead from hostel to hostel, and you can save money by buying a pass which lets you stay at any hostel in the group within a set period, ranging from 30 days to 90 days. For example, you could explore the West Coast and go along California backpacking, stopping at San Francisco hostels and San Diego hostels, before moving further east and continuing your journey of discovery through the land of opportunity.
Cruises for shared experiences
It may be that taking a Singles Cruise is on your travel bucket list. Cruise travel is another great way for solo travelers to see lots of different places and because you are on the journey with the same people for that space of time, you will keep bumping into them on the ship or be sharing a table at dinner, so there is no opportunity to be lonely. And you can always escape to your stateroom if it all gets a bit too much.
Activities on the ship itself and guided shore excursions also give you the chance to get to know your fellow shipmates, as you get thrown together. Cruise ships are so big that if you want to find a quiet corner to yourself, then you will almost certainly be able to do so. But, if you want to get involved and get chatting with other travelers, then bars, games rooms, dining areas, and entertainment are all geared up to a more sociable holiday.
Sharing these experiences can see you making lifelong friends, and potentially provide you with travel companions on this trip and beyond if that is what you want.
Join the crowds on a city break
It may be that you don’t necessarily want to interact with other people on a regular basis while you are on your solo trip, but going somewhere with a busy and lively atmosphere that you can experience second-hand is enough to stop you from feeling lonely.
A city break is just the ticket. Cities are, by definition, mostly bustling cosmopolitan areas with a wide selection of bars, cafes, and restaurants as well as tourist sites, and lots of people. Take a look at the top ten cities to visit if you’re a solo traveler:
Surrounding yourself with these people and feeding off their energy could be exactly what is needed if you are feeling lonely – and you never know who you might meet, and what their stories are. Take in a guided tour of your chosen city, or just sit and people-watch as the world goes by.
However, you may need to look out for single supplements on hotel rooms or organized trips, so it makes sense to choose a travel company that specializes in solo travel for the best value. Going out and experiencing a new city on your own is one of the most exciting things you can do, and being able to do it at your own pace makes it even better. Take your time to soak up the culture, research the history, admire the architecture and enjoy the culinary creations on offer.
Hobbies and adventure holidays
Perhaps you like the thrills and spills of adventure travel and you want a trip full of high-adrenaline and white knuckle rides. Many travel companies offer this sort of holiday and you can’t help but talk to the other people taking part.
Yours and their safety may literally be down to each other, in some cases. Plus, you already know you have common interests as you paddle your kayaks, steer your white water rafts, or ride your camels together.
Sports holidays also provide a unique opportunity to get to know the accompanying fans. Traveling to other countries to watch your team in action already gives you something to talk about – win, lose or draw. It doesn’t matter what your sport of choice is, there will be a travel company offering to take you abroad to see them play. The camaraderie of these sorts of trips is legendary and, if sports are your thing, it is a holiday experience not to be missed.
Final thoughts for solo travel like a pro
Don’t feel that you have to take part in everything. You may be traveling alone because you prefer it that way and just want small bursts of human interaction to break up your day.
Conversely, you may be going on holiday specifically to meet other people – whether they be from different cultures you want to learn from and immerse yourself in or those with similar interests with whom you can share your vacation time and make lasting memories.
Whatever your reason for going solo, feelings of loneliness can be avoided if you know where to go and what to do.
This article was a guest post written by: Kate Sheppard