One of my goals this year is to take a trip by myself. Ideally I’d love to go to another country, but my budget is says that isn’t happening. Not to be deterred, I’m searching for a domestic destination. Planning is half the fun, right?
Did you know within the state of Texas, where I live, there is the second largest canyon? The Grand Canyon obviously being the first. Palo Dura Canyon State Park sits in the panhandle. That could be cool. Or maybe a nostalgia trip to Yellowstone Park or Savannah, Georgia. Possibly somewhere I haven’t been before, like a bed and breakfast in New England or to experience the vibe of a bustling city like Chicago.
Since this adventure is slated for much later in the year, I’ll have plenty of time to narrow it down. In the meantime, I have come across several good tips for traveling solo. Everything from getting the most out of your trip to how to keep yourself safe.
Where to Stay
If the goal is to travel the cheapest way possible, then there is a website called, Couchsurfing. You can stay with locals (bonus) and be friendly to your budget. If you are someone who will want their privacy at the end of the day, then go ahead and get a hotel room.
Whatever you decide, do your research. Stay somewhere that has a ton of reviews, so you’ll know exactly what to expect.
Planning Your Days (or Maybe Not Planning)
The absolute best part of traveling solo is being able to whatever you want to do. If you want to take three hours to check out every single piece in a museum and listen to the audio tour, do it!
You can change your plans without having to consult anyone else. So if you are feeling a pull to check out a wiccan gift shop or go to watch western roping, you don’t have to waste precious vacation time trying to get everyone else on board. Super liberating for those of us who are more instinctive to just go along with the majority.
Start your day early. You will avoid families and those looking for nightlife and it’s safer. If you do go out after dark, take an Uber to your destination and back.
A solo trip is also the perfect opportunity to cross something off your bucket list.
Don’t over schedule yourself. Part of the draw of traveling alone is the afore mentioned impulse indulgence. If you schedule too much, you’ll just be crossing things off your list and not fully experiencing them.
Relish the control. You decide when to get up, when to eat, when to go to bed or if you need a nap.
For some, the prospect of eating alone can be intimidating, but it shouldn’t be.
If you don’t want to interact with others, get a booth for a little more privacy and you won’t look out of place. Booth not available, then bring a book to read while you wait for your food.
Wanting to talk but a little shy? Eat at the bar. The person serving is used to carrying on a conversation and most likely, others sitting at the bar will join in as well.
First, leave your travel plans with family or friends. Include flight times, lodging info and maybe even a schedule of must do activities.
When out it’s fine to indulge in a drink or two, but do not get drunk. Being intoxicated leaves you vulnerable. You don’t have anyone looking out for you, so keep it in check.
Even if you are truly lost, keep an air of confidence about you. Remain calm and simply ask someone to point you in the right direction.
Get a small, cross body bag to carry your money, identification, phone and credit cards in. Purses and bulky open bags are easy targets for thieves.
Take plenty of pictures and post them regularly to social media. Not only will this make your friends and family jealous, it keeps them updated about where you are and assures them you are okay.
Even if you are more on the introverted side, refrain from ending impromptu conversations. If someone asks you for the time, try to continue the conversation by throwing them a compliment, asking about their family or if they have a suggestion of where to eat. It’s easy to extend something that has already begun rather than starting something yourself. You won’t be able to make interesting acquaintances if you don’t talk to anyone.
Planning a solo trip or already been on one. Share with me in the comments.
Hmm, what about Iowa?