Thursday, August 15, 2019

Reliable Tips for Solo Travellers

Here's a companion I met on the Camino de Santiago in Spain last summer.  We visited in the evening and hiked together the next morning before our paths split.
Packing a suitcase for one and buying a one-way ticket to anywhere has become as commonplace as the Big Mac.  At least according to a podcast I listened to earlier this summer (which I can't seem to find now—pretty sure it was CBS This Morning). 

Cruises and tours cater to solo travelers and FaceBook groups and blogs offer tips and advice for women traveling alone. 

The great news is whether you have a travel companion or not, the world is your oyster--welcoming you with open arms. 

I've traveled solo for a while now, and over a series of posts I'll share my experiences and things I've learned along the way.  

Solo, Not Anti-Social

Do you love the idea of traveling to a faraway place but find yourself thinking, "I'm dying to go to (fill-in-the-blank) but no one wants to go with me and I'd get so LONELY if I went all by myself!!" 

Let me tell you, A LOT of people will be traveling alone to the same destination, and looking for companions. 

I've been to Spain, Portugal, Jordan, Israel, Hong Kong, Macau, Ireland, Wales and England these past sixteen months.  And although I was traveling by myself, for very little of the time was I actually ALONE.  I recall only once or twice feeling genuinely lonely.

Solo travel actually makes you more open to meeting and spending time with other travelers.   

Finding travel companions requires some deliberation: for example choosing to stay in a hostel rather than a private hotel.  Or taking a bus tour rather than renting a car.  Free walking tours, too, are wonderful ways to chat and visit with locals and other travelers.

Solo Travel Photo Album  

So many people have come into my in life in awesome but fleeing encounters.  Here are some photos I've taken along the way.
Dead Sea
Here I am, covered in mud from the Dead Sea in Jordan--the lowest point on the earth's surface!  A cool guy I met on the tour bus took this photo.   He & I later had drinks and went swimming in the resort pool.  
Traveling Alone
I'd oftentimes have wine in the evenings with a friend I met at the Wine Hostel in Porto, Portugal
Banksy Girl With Pierced Eardrum
At the hostel in Bristol I met a nice Chilean woman and we went on a self-guided Banksy tour. 
While in the countryside of Northern Portugal, I frequented this coffee shop.  And although we didn't speak each other's language, I befriended this sweet shop employee.  
And this is just a sampling of the company I've met while traveling.  As you can see, it's easy to find great companionship the world over.  

Plus, these brief encounters are wonderful ways to learn about the world.  For example, at a hostel in Dingle, Ireland, a Belfast man told me stories about growing up in Northern Ireland.  I heard first-hand accounts of all their troubles--shootings and living with a constant military presence.

What's Your Take?

Do you travel alone for work or pleasure? 
What tips do you have for other women traveling solo?
Hag's Rock at Loughcrew in Ireland--a Neolothic burial site.  A Irishman I met on the Camino de Santiago took this photo.

1 comment

  1. I need to try out solo traveling one of these days! I agree with you, just because you're going solo doesn't mean you have to be anti-social. I try to be social when I am out on my own. I love that you still got some cute pictures taken while traveling on your own. Thanks for sharing the encouragement!

    Nancy ♥


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