I, like many many others, find solo travel to be empowering, freeing, and an amazing experience. But I wasn’t always a solo traveler. I had to practice for solo travel.
When I booked my first solo trip, I used the months leading up to it to practice solo travel. I used the same techniques and strategies this article covers. Practice makes perfect, and I want your first solo trip (and all your solo trips after that!) to be as perfect as possible!
Plus, practicing traveling alone is one of the ways to Become A Confident Solo Traveler.
So here’s how to practice for solo travel!
Plan Trips For Family And Friends
The logistics of planning a solo trip aren’t that different from planning a group trip. I would say planning a solo trip is easier than organizing a group trip because you only have one person’s preferences and thoughts to take into consideration.
So next time your friends or family are taking a trip (even if you’re not going!), offer to take the lead on the planning process. If you can plan a trip for a group of people, you can plan a trip for just yourself.
Planning trips for others still gives you the “security blanket” of your group to look over and confirm your plans, and it helps you build confidence and practice planning for your own solo trip.
Do Solo Activities On Group Trips
I visit my sister several times a year. I fly by myself and do day trips or city excursions while my sister is at work. Then my sister and I do things together in the evening. Doing solo excursions on a group trip is the perfect way to practice planning and doing activities by yourself.
This can be as simple as going to the beach while your group hangs at the pool. The only way you’re going to get used to being on your own is by doing things on your own. So next time you’re on a business trip or visiting a friend or family member, do a couple of activities on your own to practice for your future solo trip.
Practice Being Alone
One of the most common fears people have about solo travel is being alone in public. It can feel very unnatural and uncomfortable if you’re not used to it. And the only way to overcome this fear is to change your mindset.
Start by doing things like walking tours or pub crawls by yourself in your hometown. Then head to the nearest city that’s not your hometown and do some more activities like these by yourself. Then keep doing this until you feel more at ease being alone in public.
You’ll probably have to use public transportation when you travel. So practice navigating public transit by yourself in any cities that you visit between now and your solo trip. This will also help you overcome your fear of being alone in public places.
Travel With Other Solo Travelers
I know the pain of waiting around for someone to be able and willing to travel with you. But if you’re not ready for a solo trip, then don’t keep putting your travel on hold. Travel with an organized group tour.
This type of tour lets you travel while you’re still practicing for solo travel. Plus, you’ll get to spend time with and learn from other solo travelers, which will be great for your confidence. A group travel option like this is also great for experienced solo female travelers who want to visit countries that aren’t as solo-travel-friendly as others.
Eat By Yourself
Dining alone can be a huge mental block for future solo travelers. So take yourself out to lunches and dinners by yourself in your hometown. Practice sitting and eating alone at a variety of places – coffee shops, cafés, bars, restaurants, etc.
Find mealtime entertainment. When I’m traveling solo, I use my meal times to study or plan the next day’s itinerary and go through the (many many) photos I’ve taken. I also love to people watch!
When you practice eating alone, plan your solo trip, or bring a book to read, or a journal to write in. Find whatever it is that will make you comfortable eating alone. Because while street food and grocery store meals will keep you from starving, they won’t let you experience the restaurant culture in new places.
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How To Practice For Solo Travel
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I prepare for solo travel?
Here’s how to practice and prepare for a solo trip:
1. Plan trips for family and friends – if you can do this for others, you can definitely do this for your solo trip.
2. Do solo activities on group trips to ease yourself into doing excursions by yourself.
3. Practice being alone in public.
4. Look into traveling with other solo travelers.
5. Eat by yourself so that you’ll be used to doing this by the time you take your solo trip.
How do you solo travel for the first time?
Here’s how to choose the perfect destination for your first solo trip:
-Don’t go to the other side of the world. Consider going to a closer and less remote destination that you can reach by a direct 2-3 hour flight or a 5-6 hour train or bus ride.
-How much time do you have for your trip? Can you ocean-hop, or do you need to stay in your current hemisphere? The answer to these questions will help you narrow down your choices. For example, it’s not worth the time and money to fly from the U.S. to New Zealand if your trip is only five days long.
-What’s your budget for this trip? Can you afford a Western European trip, or do you need to consider somewhere else? We all wish we had unlimited money to travel whenever we want, wherever we want in luxury.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have amazing trips on more of a budget; it just means we need to choose our destinations more carefully.
-Don’t change hotels too frequently. A city-hopping trip can be incredible, but changing your “home bases” adds more work and logistics to a trip. Changing housing (hostel, hotel, Airbnb, etc.) is also one of the things solo travelers say stresses them out the most.
-Research whether a destination is popular with other solo travelers.
-Pick a destination with well-established tourist infrastructure.
Is solo travel lonely?
Solo travel doesn’t have to be lonely. I rarely find myself feeling lonely when I travel solo because I always meet people throughout my trip. I’ll pair off with another solo traveler on a group tour, or I’ll go on a guided pub crawl, or I’ll chat up fellow travelers at my hotel or hostel.
It’s easier than you think to connect with people when you travel solo, and you’ll always be able to find opportunities for this throughout your trip.
If you’re worried about homesickness, schedule regular Skype or FaceTime calls with your loved ones throughout your trip. Choose a phone and data plan that will let you text and call anytime you want. And post regularly on social media so your friends and family can keep up with every step of your adventure.
Is traveling alone boring?
Traveling alone doesn’t have to be boring. One of the greatest joys of traveling solo is that you always get to do what you want to do. If you don’t enjoy museums, then you don’t have to plan any museums into your itinerary, the way you might have to if you were traveling with others.
Solo travelers have the highest chance of being bored when they’re in transit (on trains, planes, and buses). So to keep from being bored, make sure you have a book to read, a journal to write in, a charged computer, and anything else to keep yourself entertained.
Is traveling alone fun?
Solo travel can absolutely be fun! But, as with any trip, your mindset and preparation will determine whether you enjoy your trip (not whether you’re by yourself or not).
How long should I solo travel for?
For your first solo trip, I recommend traveling for 10-14 days. This will give you plenty of time to explore a destination without being rushed, but not too much time that you get bored or homesick.
It’s essential to consider how much time you have for a trip when choosing a destination. You also need to think about what the weather will be like in your potential destinations. If one of your dream trips is to be laying out on a Greek isle in a swimsuit, but your first solo trip is in February, then you need to save the Greek isles for another trip.
Pro tip: remember that seasons are reversed in the northern and southern hemispheres. So don’t forget about this when you’re considering your destination!
Where do singles travel?
The Best Destinations for Solo Female Travelers:
-The United States
How do I become comfortable traveling alone?
The number one thing you need when you’re traveling solo is confidence. YOU CAN DO THIS! So here’s how to be confident traveling solo:
1. Practice for solo travel.
2. Don’t listen to other people’s insecurities about traveling solo.
3. Thoroughly research destinations.
4. Play to your strengths.
5. Plan the majority of your trip ahead of time.
6. Trust your instincts.
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This is not a sponsored post, and, as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed in this post about how to practice for solo travel are entirely my own. Some of these links in this guide on how to practice for solo travel are affiliate links, and, at no cost to you, I may earn a small commission.