There are countless advantages to traveling alone. From soul-stirring adventure and authentic cultural experiences to self-discovery, the benefits ultimately outweigh the nerves that first-time solo travelers might experience.
Let this guide empower you to not only discover a new place, but also embrace the growth opportunities that arise when you’re the only navigator behind the wheel.
1. Travel in daylight. If you’re experiencing a city for the first time, plan to arrive during the day to familiarize with your surroundings.
2. Choose the right destination for you. Whether you seek nature or nightlife, the US offers something for every solo traveler. If you travel to experience adventure, Boulder, Colorado and several Caribbean are among the top destinations for solo travelers. On the other hand, food lovers can discover a bourgeoning culinary scene in U.S. cities like Austin, Texas and Charleston, South Carolina.
3. Learn a few words in the local language. Learning regional phrases or hand gestures for “yes” and “thank you” will make you feel more prepared for the journey ahead. An attempt to communicate in the local dialect is always appreciated.
4. Trust your instincts. If you’re not comfortable in a situation, listen to your instincts. Whether it’s eating street food or walking down a dim alley, your intuition is shaped by past experiences.
5. Create an inspirational playlist. Music has the power to change your mood in an instant, even bringing confidence to a first-time solo traveler.
6. Travel by car. Renting a car from companies like Alamo Rent A Car can take you places that would otherwise remain unexplored. From Carretera Australto in Chilean Patagonia to the Pacific Coast Highway, a road trip gives you the freedom to choose your own route and travel deeper into the region.
7. Go off the beaten path. The road less traveled becomes a unique experience for travelers who find themselves on it together. Those who meet fellow travelers off the beaten path are more inclined to speak to each other, share stories, and bond over similarities.
8. Dining alone can be an incredible experience. By traveling solo, you can wander into the hottest restaurant in town without a reservation! For a more social experience, sit at the bar. While it may be more crowded, you can enjoy friendly conversation over a Michelin-starred meal.
9. Stay connected. Checking in with family members or friends regularly is key to venturing out on your own, especially if you choose to do an activity away from your car like hiking.