For the past few years I’ve traveled solo quite a bit, and I grew to love it. I absolutely adore to travel around solo – not because I love to be alone, but because I get the chance to travel as often as I want and because I meet so many other solo travelers along the way that are also looking for company. Over the years I gained a lot of international friends and a lot of couches to sleep on for my next travels!
I know that a lot of you still need a bit of encouragement for your first or next solo trip, and that is why, after a couple of years and with a lot of experiences, I am going to give you my favorite solo travel tips!
P.s. the video is in Dutch – if you’re not Dutch yourself, this is the perfect opportunity to learn a new language!;-)
Sleep in hostels
If you think hostels aren’t for you: please just check Hostelworld.com first. Hostels truly are the coolest places of the world and they are designed so well. I honestly think they look better than most hotels. If you have a problem with sleeping in the same room as ten other people you’ll love the fact that most hostels also rent out double and single rooms. So hostels not for you? Definitely not the case!
Hostels have definitely helped me during my solo travels. Packed with backpackers, youth and other solo travelers you are bound to meet someone you can spend time with – even if it’s only for an hour or for a couple of drinks in town! Most hostels also organize tours for their guests, such as walking tours, clubbin’ tours and organized barbecues or game nights in the hostel itself. You are guaranteed to have a good time during your solo travels when you sleep in hostels, and it definitely beats the loneliness!
Learn the language
Of course, I am not talking about the complete language – that would make traveling a lot harder. But I am definitely talking about the basics of a language like ‘hello’, ‘thank you’ and ‘bye’. Next to the fact that it is a sign of respect and it will be highly appreciated if you make an effort in the country where you are at, you’ll also find it more easy to travel around – you are by yourself and you NEED to be able to do so without any difficulties.
For me personally, I also always try to learn the word ‘vegetarian’ in the language of the country where I am traveling to, to make sure I will never have any troubles in a restaurant abroad. Especially since not all the countries have a standard vegetarian option on their menu.
Other words that would be easy to learn are: street, adult price, opening hours, no and yes.
Also: try to download Google Translate on your phone before leaving for your travels. In numerous situations that has already saved my ass.
Bring some entertainment
During my solo travels I always brought a tablet with me, to make sure that whenever I was alone for a bit, had to wait a long time somewhere, wanted to spend a quiet night in, or had to eat alone in a restaurant I could listen to music, watch a series, update my social media or read an ebook. If you’d ask me I would definitely recommend you to bring a tablet with your travels, rather than a pile of books or a huge-ass laptop, because it can even make the most boring moments durin solo traveling – not so boring.
Also: during moments like eating alone in a restaurant you will hardly notice that you are in fact alone in a restaurant when you are reading your very exciting book!
Don’t feel sorry for yourself
Don’t let yourself think the thoughts we all think when traveling solo: ‘I feel so lonely’, ‘I wish I could do this, but yeah, I’m just alone’ and ‘look at them having fun, I wish I had somebody to join me’ are all thoughts you need to drop as soon as possible. You are in a beautiful country, traveling the world by choice and the people who you left at home probably are more jealous of you than you are of them, so don’t feel sorry for yourself that you are alone because fact of the matter is: this won’t make your trip any better!
Whenever I travel solo I always try to join a couple of tours. I join them for several reasons actually, but mostly because it is fun. Wherever you are traveling there are plenty of tour operators and tour organisations running that might be great for you. It’s perfect: you don’t have to worry where you might end up on your own, you know you’re safe, you know what you’ll get to see and you immediately get the chance to open up to other people and get to know your company for the day!
My favorite tours, which I always search for whenever I am traveling, are free walking tour. Since the budget-aspect of this tour you almost know you’ll be in a tour with young travelers and backpackers. A couple of times already I got to know travelers through these tours, with whom I still keep in touch!
Do whatever YOU want to do
The best thing about traveling solo is that you are able to do whatever YOU want to do without someone telling you anything different. You only have to listen to yourself and compromise with yourself which is the key to making your travels awesome!
So keep this in mind when traveling and do whatever you want to do. Don’t keep yourself back with the thought you aren’t able to do certain things because you are alone and enjoy the moments you spend abroad. You’ll see right away that you can perfectly do everything on your own and have fun ‘with yourself’ too! Don’t come home regretting everything you didn’t do, ’cause in the end you know that that will come back to ‘haunt’ you!