There are a number of possible reasons why you could be travelling on your own. Maybe you are unable to locate someone who wants to explore with you, or maybe, like me, you like having alone time on your travels. And why shouldn’t it? You are in charge of your schedule as there are no other individuals whose schedules must be considered. Additionally, you are far more likely to make new acquaintances along the road if you are on your own instead of with a companion.
I’ve been all over the world by myself, visiting places like Italy, France, the Cook Islands in the South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, and all throughout the United States. While travelling in France with my Jack Russell terrier, Noelle, I had two months without any company. However, I found a fellow Los Angeles solo traveller named Naomi, and her dog, Seymour, with whom I had someone to spend time with when we needed companionship.
There are a few less-enjoyable trips I’ve taken alone, naturally, and I’m still figuring out how to do it well. For instance, this past summer I travelled in Italy, where I discovered that several hotels had single occupancy rooms, so I reserved one. My little twin bed was in what seemed like a closet. Choosing the “doubles for single occupancy” rooms was clearly a better decision as they were larger but still reasonably priced.
Another guide to help you while you’re travelling solo:
Prior to embarking on your journey, make sure you complete comprehensive research and put together a solid strategy. It is more thrilling to alter your travel schedule while in motion, but I try to reserve at least one, if not all, accommodations and transportation in advance. The calmness and certainty it brings are well worth it.
Consider all available discounts that cater to solitary travellers. Even though the cruise industry has adopted a “cruise for all” mindset, cruise companies still levy a “single supplement” cost for solitary travellers utilising a double room. This may be as much as 120% of the usual ticket. However, the value of single travellers as clients is being recognised by many travel agencies. For example, Norwegian Cruise Line and Holland America Line offer solitary rooms at single-person rates.
You should always be conscious of your surroundings. Picking a pocket is much easier when you’re distracted by pals, yet they can still help keep you safe. You must be especially careful while you’re alone. One event in Paris had me sprinting away from a lady trying to deceive me into giving her money for a ring she claimed to have discovered. She was standing outside the Orangerie Museum. I didn’t expect it, so I answered in French. Next time, I’m going to avoid speaking to a stranger.
Try to travel with only one little bag or suitcase. Carry just one piece of luggage with wheels and an additional object like a handbag or backpack. Not only can it becoming tough to move around with many bags, but they become a burden on your own. In order to protect your valuables, wear your backpack in front of your body, rather than on your back. You may carry your necessities in a tiny cross-body bag or fanny pack (with the pouch in front) or leave your passport locked in a safe at the hotel while you are out for the day.
When dining out alone, don’t be hesitant to visit neighbourhood eateries. Though this is one of the greatest ways to get a taste of the local culture, it can be more enjoyable to dine when it’s less busy and you can avoid the side-eye from servers for taking up a table for yourself. This was learnt in Rimini, an Italian coastal town known for its busy nightlife, when I went to a popular pizza on a Saturday evening and was demoted to a little table at the rear of the restaurant, after which I was ignored. A later lunch or an earlier supper gives the restaurant personnel more time to be leisurely, so they will take more care with an individual patron.
Make friends with strangers. It may seem awkward first, but try to initiate conversations. This is a great approach to avoid feeling lonely. If you want to meet new people, go on a train ride, wander around a museum, eat at a local restaurant, or join a group tour. Thanks to social media, I still maintain contact with folks I met on a single journey, since we met in passing. I have daily conversations with Naomi who is still in France, and I sobbed when Seymour died. I have a number of friends in different places, and I am frequently contacted by a couple I met on a cruise ship in France, while a winemaker from Japan is one of my most passionate Instagram followers.
So, in summary, … Your first thought could be that travelling alone is your only vacation style, but I still like travelling with companions. However, it allows you to focus on your own interests and explore at your own speed, giving you the chance to create new connections and providing you with a sense of achievement, at least for me.