I’ve done it a couple of times and it really doesn’t sound as bad as it may seem. Yes, you have to be more aware of your surroundings and limit your strolling around to 10pm, instead of 2am.
First of all, solo traveling usually occurs when hubby can’t go because of work, or if one of my friends can’t make it. Although I get excited when in a new city, I am not a morning person therefore, it is always a drag to get up and get my day started. I’ve always been this way, therefore traveling with a morning person or someone rigid on a schedule will hate to have me as their travel partner. I’m the independent traveler and I don’t like to stick to schedules. Yes, most times I am the one that looked up the tourist attractions and will let everyone know what we have planned, but if we start our day later than expected I am not one to fuss about it.
The ideal travel partner to me is someone who doesn’t mind starting their day after 10am, can get up and go without consulting me or others first to get an early start at a peek of the city and who has a positive attitude. I’m pretty laid back for the most part and not fussy when I travel. I never complain about food or drink service because if my food gets to me by at least 30 minutes I’m fine and I don’t drink alcohol almost always, unless my girlfriends ask me to sip and I’ll try 😉 Otherwise I am the one that has a glass of coke in her hand, dancing the night away with a big smile on her face, completely sober! I like being the self designated friend who makes sure all the girls are alright and the one everyone can rely on to remember how to get back to the hotel, if we walked to our destination.
Solely my opinion, here are the pros and cons of traveling solo and some tips on how to make it the best experience…
- You get up and go wherever and whenever you want. You are not confined to a strict itinerary of sightseeing or adventures for the day.
- It gives you time to reflect and de-stress. When I plan my next trip or come back from one I always feel refreshed. I love to write and read when I’m in my hotel room, after an adventurous day, therefore not only have I had time to de-stress away from my normal day to day scene but I feel as if I have been productive as well, in planning my future goals through writing and reflection. The only other time I feel this way is after my monthly massages!
- I spend less (on shopping). I have to admit, when I travel with my hubby or with friends compulsive buys happen more often than not. When I’m alone, my goal is just to have a relaxing time.
- No splitting of expenses. It is all yours to pay (room and lyft rides).
- You have to be self-reliant. Be aware of your surroundings and calmly navigate yourself to get to and from places safely.
- You have to ask others to take a picture of you and if you’re shy this might be a problem. Invest in a selfie stick!
- You will be the only one relishing in the moment. I love sharing a few laughs and making memories with friends when we travel together. It just reminds me of how friendships are good for the soul, especially in travel.
- Treat the front desk personnel nicely. Don’t forget they are the ones who grant room upgrades and they’ll remember you if you return to their establishment.
- Shop around. Sometimes the best airfare rates are not ones booked a month out. I’ve seen tickets to Hawaii for $550 a week before departure, during the winter season, when normally they range from $900-1200 from DFW.
- Travel light and invest in good, dependable luggage. You can pack more with packing cubes and if you have a roller luggage it’s so much easier to maneuver through the airport and easier on your back and arms not having to lug a duffel or heavy tote.
- If you’re in no rush to return home, ask the gate agent if the flight is oversold and tell them you are open to catching the next flight (even possibly the next day). Oversold flights can sometimes be your window of opportunity for free travel. They’ll offer you a travel voucher that you can use on your next trip! In addition, if they don’t have flights until the following day, they’ll comp your stay at a nearby hotel. It might not be the nicest, but it definitely won’t be a motel.
- If you travel often, TSA Pre-check is worth the investment. It is only $85USD ($100USD for global entry) and it is good for five years. It relieves so much stress not having to get to the airport super early, not having to take off your shoes and separate your belongings in bins and waiting in a much shorter line.
What do you like about solo traveling? Any horror stories while traveling alone? Please share them below! Thank you for reading!
Haze- Blue Crush Travel
Pic: San Diego, CA