Though I could preach about the importance of doing life with people and community all day long, I believe in the power of taking a solo trip.
For many reasons, but a few tasty morsels include:
- It’s empowering – You discover you’re more capable than you realized.
- It’s thrilling – You may have some details planned, but you get to figure out the rest.
- It gives you time to think – No distractions, only you and the thoughts in your head.
- It’s freeing – You have no one to worry about but yourself. You deserve the break.
I took my first solo trip two weeks before my 30th birthday. I dreamed of going to Hawaii before turning 30 and received a last minute opportunity to fly to Maui on standby.
When you’re given almost free tickets to Hawaii, you should always jump up and down and reply with an enthusiastic, “Yes!”
So I flew out two days later.
For four days, I explored the island in my dream Jeep. I talked to strangers, watched sunsets, dug my toes in the sand, and enjoyed the quiet. I may not have had friends with me or a good looking dude as my copilot, but I had the time of my life.
I came back refreshed and full of new dreams and fresh ideas.
Maybe you’ve been toying around with the idea of a solo adventure. Or maybe you could use a break and a reset button on life. Taking a trip might be just the cure you need. Use these tips for your first solo travel adventure.
Choose A Fun Location
This trip is all about you so live it up! Is there a national park you’ve always wanted to see? A city you’ve always wanted to explore? The world is your playground. Make this a trip you’ll never forget.
I chose a location in the U.S for my first solo trip because a) I know the culture and customs, and b) I knew the area I was headed was safe. Choose a place you know and love, or even better, explore a new place within your own country or neighboring countries.
Know Where You’re Going To Stay
You’ll feel better when you book a place to stay in advance. Even with two days warning, I found a loft on Airbnb in Maui with an incredible couple who were my age. I discovered I love staying with people on solo trips because 1) I really like meeting new people, 2) I felt safe knowing I had nice people to check in with, and 3) they turned out to be incredibly awesome and made my trip better than I imagined.
Whether you book a place by yourself or stay with people, know where you’re headed and what to expect.
Plan Your Transportation
Whether you use taxis, Uber, Lyft, a bike, or a rental car, have an idea how you’ll get from Point A to Point B on your trip. I rented a basic car online right before I left and upgraded to a Jeep when I arrived (because when in Hawaii, duh). I wanted wild hair and freedom on my solo adventure so a Jeep was worth the extra expense.
Don’t Plan Everything
Leave plenty of room for spontaneity. The best vacations are the unplanned ones. Sleep in, read a book at a pool, do as the locals do, or play all day with no cares in the world.
Allow serendipity to take over and find yourself meeting interesting people at dinner or coaxing a Texas cowboy out on the dance floor (guilty). You’re on vacation so you should live it up and enjoy this solo time!
Tell People Where You Are
Tell your Mom, bestie, significant other, or roommates where you’re headed, where you’re staying, and when you’ll return. It’s nice to have people who can check in on you if you suddenly stop posting updates on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Avoid Travel After Dark
Whenever possible, avoid traveling solo between late night and early morning hours. This is applicable in the U.S and especially true for international travel when you’re not familiar with an area or local language. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid late night or early travel by yourself.
Don’t Drink Too Much
Solo travel means no crazy nights out on the town. There are no friends or familiar bartenders to make sure you make it home at night. Have a good time, but watch your drink and never let yourself drink too much while you’re out.
Discover Something New About Yourself
The best part about solo traveling is learning things about yourself you never realized. On multiple occasions, I’ve come home with a short list of things I wanted to change or improve thanks to a break from everyday reality.
When you travel solo, don’t be afraid of the quiet and your own thoughts. Get comfy and allow yourself to process, rest, and dream again. You’ll likely be reminded how strong and capable you are to tackle whatever comes next.
Taking a solo trip can be beneficial for anybody and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Take the plunge and plan a short getaway just for you. Fill it with activities you love and explore the heck out of this great big beautiful world. It’s a great way to clear your head and start fresh again!
Alright, it’s go time. Where will you go on your first solo trip?!