Do you wish that you had the gumption to get up and go somewhere, but you are too scared? You are not alone. Solo travel can be overwhelming, especially for a novice. But the key to any travel is planning. You want to make sure that you have a general plan of action and this is where I tell you, do your research!
Plan a domestic, 2-4 day trip. Perhaps a big city, like Chicago or a bed and breakfast in Vermont. Do what feels good for you.
Your schedule does not have to be rigid, but it is a good rule of thumb to have an idea of museums, parks, exhibits, and restaurants that you would like to visit. Be certain to make note of hours of operation, ticket costs, and if you need reservations.
The odds are pretty high that you know someone who has been to the same location you are visiting, so don’t be shy, ask them for recommendations on things to do, see, and eat.
Check out local markets, or take a local yoga or spin class. Maintaining some sort of routine may help center your solo travel.
Depending on how and where you are traveling will determine how you explore your destination. If you take a road trip, you will have the convenience of your own car. Although sometimes it might be easier to park and walk or take public transportation if you are in a big city. If you are a fan of public transportation, make sure to download a map to your phone and pre-plot your locations. Public transportation is a great way to avoid traffic, travel like a local, and save time and money.
Make sure when traveling alone at least one person knows where you are, even if they are not nearby. You can share your location through iPhone or using WhatsApp and this a good safety precaution.
Feeling awkward doing things alone? Bring your headphones and listen to some music or a podcast while you are out exploring. For restaurants bring a book or ask for a table near the window.
Instagram allows you to search locations and hashtags and you can use this tool to find cool things to see, places to eat, and fun things to do. I use the apps Yelp and Foursquare for the best reviewed places in any location as well as city guides. What is great about Foursquare is that you can create a custom list for your destination. And finally, the Google Maps app will allow you see pictures, reviews, and information of places you would like to visit as well as all of your transit options.
Make the best of this adventure! You can be whoever you want when you travel and the best thing about solo travel is that your wants always come first! Sleep in if you want, even have ice cream for dinner! You will soon discover that solo travel makes you your favorite travel partner.