Traveling solo for the first time is an odd experience for anyone, there's no doubt about it. There's so many things that might go wrong. Will you make your flight on time? Will your bags be over the weight at the airport? Do you have all your paperwork needed for your trip? Did you remember to grab your passport off the table? Most of these are common fears everyone has anyway when traveling, but traveling with a friend or family member just makes these minor details more comfortable to deal with. It's easier when you know there's someone to turn to so you can deal with issues together.
There's also the worry about not enjoying your trip. Going to dinner alone, relaxing by the pool alone, walking alone. Some of these we worry about out of fear, and some are just not as fun to do by yourself. We need to think about it more from the other angle, what if it's fun? What if you have the best time ever and enjoy yourself as much as humanly possible? Traveling alone is a scary task, but it's also an exhilarating experience. You can look back and say yes, you did that. In this list, we will be discussing the top 10 truths about traveling alone as a woman, and the top 10 truths about traveling alone as a man. While traveling alone is a tad daunting for many, there are some key differences between men and women. If none come to mind, then read on because these truths are all too real.
20 It Helps Build Confidence
You may not think it will, but it really does. Traveling alone as a woman is an enlightening experience that can really boost your confidence in yourself. It helps your independence and opens up so many possibilities. Your friend can't come to Europe next year? Doesn't matter now because you can take on the world by yourself.
Don't believe us? Well you should because we're telling the truth. But either way, read this story from a girl who has traveled alone and totally loved it. We would definitely consider traveling alone. You don't need to wait for anyone to get ready, you can go the places you're interested in without complaint, and no one can judge you for ordering room service at all hours of the night. Sounds great to us.
19 Women Travel For Fun
Apart from using solo travel as an emotional journey to gain more confidence, some women just travel because they want to. There doesn't need to be an event on, or a family member or best friend to visit. If you like Scotland - just go! The whole point of traveling is to have fun and experience new things you're not used to at home.
Unless your job requires you to travel, travelling is very personal. Even if you are working, who says you can't enjoy the fun stuff at the same time? A lot of people are shocked when women travel alone, but it's becoming more and more common now, so get used to it! We're here to fly around the world (when our bank account allows it. Our adventurous spirits cannot buy the plane fare).
18 Plan Down To The Last Detail
This one is super important for anyone travelling, but especially women. If you're a perfectionist then you will already have this skill mastered. If you're not then it is time to learn because planning your trip down to the last detail makes you feel more comfortable, allowing for a more comfortable journey.
'Let's just go there and let the destination take us where it may' might be a good for a Nicholas Sparks novel, or a good plan for two or more on the trip. For a solo traveller it is not, unless you're experienced and into it. Planning every day helps ease anxiety because you have structure and security.
17 Never Reveal The Name Of Your Hotel
We don't mean don't ever speak the name like Voldemort from Harry Potter. We just mean don't give out your hotel name or number to strangers you meet while traveling. It seems like kind of an obvious one, yes, but we thought we should add it in for good measure. Of course you should give the hotel name, phone number, address and your room number to your friends and family before you leave. In case anything goes wrong, they should have all of your details.
We're not saying don't have fun, but be careful and don't give your room number or hotel name out to strangers. As nice as they may seem your protection comes first and this minor detail may save you from the holiday from hell. We may be slightly dramatic, but it's still good advice.
16 Keep Updated With Your Friends And Family
This one is kind of adding onto our last point about giving all your travel details to friends and family. You should also keep updated with them. If you're the type to call your mom 3 times a day this shouldn't be an issue. If you're the type to check in with family once a week, that's going to need to change.
A good strategy to keeping safe while travelling alone is to have a set time to call or message your parents and friends as often as possible. That way you can keep them up to date with where you are and what your plans are. If they don't hear from you they know to alert authorities, which can be a good thing in a bad situation. Of course, we hope your vacations are awesome and 100% safe, but you've got to prepare.
15 Arrive And Depart During The Day
It may be a little more costly this way, but it's worth it when you get there, trust us. Making sure your flights arrive and depart to your destination during daylight hours is one less headache to worry about while traveling alone. Leaving your home for the airport during the day is a better alternative because you know there'll be plenty of people around and your destination is safe.
It doesn't matter what time you return home either, as you know you have people waiting to pick you up from the airport. Another plus is during the day there are more taxis and shuttles waiting to take you to your hotel, so you don't have to worry about trying to figure out Uber in a new country by yourself.
14 Be Extra Careful During The Night
This one is more of a suggestion for first time travelers, as that's the scariest journey and night time in a new place all by yourself can be a little daunting. This one's especially for solo women travelers, especially in the first couple of days of your trip. Give yourself time to acclimate and get to know your destination and you'll feel much more comfortable venturing out and exploring during any time of the day or night.
If you feel anxious about stepping out during the night have a conversation with the locals. Most hotel staff are ready with suggestions about different venues and attractions and what part of the town is safer and what parts are a little bit more sketchy. And with apps readily available on our phones, you can easily order yourself an Uber or Lyft to drive you back to your accommodations when you are done with your night.
13 Be Prepared To Miss Out On Things
We talked a little bit about this in the intro, but let's go over it again. If you're a first time solo traveler going to a place you've never been before, it's a fact of life that you'll have to miss out on some stuff. If you're really confident then by all means go for it, but we're here to suggest ways of making the first trip that little bit easier.
Things like dinners, night shows, scuba diving, helicopter rides, tours and so on. Some can be fine by yourself, but some things are just not as fun without a friend to enjoy them with. Of course you'll make friends along the way, but if you're a little shy and are trying to build confidence, then sticking to solo activites might help ease you into it. You're already in a new country by yourself, so that's the leap taken. No need to push it.
12 Be Prepared For Unwanted Attention
As a woman you're most likely going to be cat-called or hit on. Most of the time it's uncomfortable, but don't panic if it happens while you're traveling alone. For some reason most guys seem to think that by yelling crude comments at women attracts them. We know it doesn't, but we've just got to deal with it.
If you're walking the streets of a new country and a guy cat-calls you, don't panic, just deal with it like you would at home. For most of us that's not paying them any attention and walking a little faster. Do this, but make sure the guy isn't following you. This isn't Criminal Minds so he's most likely not, but there are creeps out there and you don't want them following you back to the hotel.
11 You'll Be Glad You Did It
Again we kind of covered this in the intro, but after all of the negatives we just talked about, we need to finish on a high note. Don't let any of the worries put you off traveling solo to a new country. You will have an amazing time and definitely be glad you went ahead with it.
Returning home you'll be proud of yourself and your family will probably have to deal with you planning the next trip. When you show off all your holiday snaps, you'll remember the first trip forever. We wholeheartedly recommend traveling solo as a woman. Remember to be safe but the most important piece of advice is to have fun!
Now it's time for the boys.
10 Relaxing Is Easier
We're not saying that just because you're a guy, it means you don't worry. We know that traveling by yourself is scary, but we also know that once you get there it'll be comfortable. We're not disregarding any anxieties you have about traveling, we're just saying you probably don't have every single anxities that girls do about solo trips.
Arriving at your hotel means you can store your bags straight away and hit the beach, hiking track or wherever you're going on your trip for. You probably don't have to worry about being cat-called or followed as much, meaning that relaxing and basking in your vacation is a little easier for the boys.
9 Partying Is Not As Stressful
We suggested that girls make sure they're back at their hotel by dusk. Well we don't think this is as big a rule for boys. Of course if you'd rather be at the hotel by dusk, go for it. We like safety to. But, if you've gone somewhere tropical to party and have fun, then it's most likely easier for you than the girls.
Letting yourself go and have fun, not worrying about how (or if) you'll get back to the hotel is a quality most boys have, that most girls don't have. It's sad to say that this worry even exists, but it does and this is how we deal with it. Remember, 'prevention is better than cure' - Desiderius Erasmus.
8 Beware Of Arguments
One thing boys have to worry about more is getting into arguments. PArtying and having fun is all good, but in a different country with a different culture, it's easy for boys to get a little too wild and start some trouble with locals. We're not saying it always happens, or that it's definitely your fault, but beware of it.
It's better to limit your fun, and make sure you don't get on anyone's nerves. Remeber that as a solo traveler, there's going to be no one to back you up or help you back to your hotel room. We vote that movie nights are safer and more fun anyway.
7 Fly In And Out Whenever
The rule of arriving and departing during daylight hours is a good one, and we recommend it to everyone. As a guy, it's probably not as necessary though as men alone at night generally feel safer than women. Most people probably assume that you're on a business trip anyway (is that sexist?).
It's probably easier arriving during the day or afternoon anyway, so that you don't have to wait a certain amount of time to check in to your hotel. As we mentioned before, it's also easier to find a taxi or shuttle during the day, if you haven't already pre-booked your ride to the hotel. On a positive note, flights leaving early or really late are generally cheaper, so you can spend more money on your trip.
6 Walking The Streets At Night
We don't really suggest walking the streets at night alone no matter who you are. We're just saying that if you really want to and don't feel much worry about it, you're probably a guy. It's just common knowledge that men don't feel scared by walking alone at night, while women are terrified of it for good reason.
If you've traveled to a country that's been deemed reasonably safe, then feel free to walk the streets at night. Just keep your mind focused and ready at all times. Personally, we don't understand the appeal when everything is close and we'd rather be in bed. Think about it guys, it's better that way.
5 Keep In Touch With Friends And Family
This one is a rule for everyone traveling solo. We talked about it with the girls, but we think it's important for the boys to understand too. It doesn't matter how old, tall, built you are, your mom will panic unless you call her. Keeping in touch keeps your family and friends informed, and also helps boredom while traveling alone.
One thing they never tell you is how quiet it is traveling alone. You don't have anyone to turn to for a quick chat, so calling family and friends can help ease boredom and just be good for some mental stimulation. The rule of calling at the same time of day is one we think boys traveling alone should follow too.
4 Have Fun
There's so much serious talk happening about the negatives and bad things that could happen while traveling alone. Like we said before, it's good to focus on having fun and enjoying your trip as well. Don't just sit in the hotel room with the door bolted the whole time, because you'll miss the experience.
Have fun and try and do all the activities your budget allows, because the more you get out the more comfortable you will feel. After a few days, your new country will feel like home. You probably haven't reached the status of local yet, but it will start to feel like you have some knowledge of how things work. By the time your flight home comes around, you're going to feel a little sad.
3 Solo Travel Is Preferred
According to recent articles, people are preferring to travel solo these days. Many people out there would rather take a trip by themselves and relax, then have a hectic schedule with family. We kind of get it, but we also think having a big family holiday with all your friends and loved ones woud be a fun time. Sadly, as an, adult it seems that no ones schedule ever matches up anymore.
If you're considering solo travel and reading this list, we hope we can inspire you to go for it because it'll be worth it and you can thank us when you get back. Other than being expensive, we think the positives far outweigh the negatives for travelling solo. It's time to relax and unwind people.
2 More Travel Options
This is just an opinion, but we think that men traveling solo have more destination options then women travelers. Women have to look at the safest areas to travel solo as a woman, while men generally just look for fun places they're interested in. It's not always the case and we're sure that some men research safe options too (you go guys!), but in general, men have more to choose from.
It's not all bad though as there are plenty of popular destinations in the world that woman and men love to travel solo, and most places are getting used to single travelers now. The good news is we have a list of the best places to travel by yourself.
1 It's A Bucket List Experience
In the end, boy or girl, traveling by yourself is a bucket list experience that everyone should do. It's something we recommend everyone to do at least once in your lifetime. If you're like the rest of us who have traveled solo, you'll be planning more trips after the first. Who could stop at one...not us!
Whether it be a small trip to the other side of your country, or the other side of the world, we definitely suggest traveling solo. If you're inspired by this article then we can't wait for you to get back and thank us for inspiring your trip. Have fun and safe travel everybody!