Updated: Dec 3, 2022
The world is an interesting place and travelling and exploring is great for your health and well-being. It helps you to relax, clears your mind and restore your energy.
However, what comes naturally to some, may be a struggle to another.
Most people travel as a family, a couple or in a group, but there are some who travel solo.
My daughter and niece are solo travellers and travel at least twice a year, and they LOVE it.
This type of travel is increasing and has an impact on both the traveller and their loved ones. There is the nagging worry of safety issues by their loved ones and even the traveller themselves.
However there is an exhilarating feeling of exploring the world by themselves, in their own time and doing their own thing.
To them it’s an important factor in their lives. It’s not that they do not like people or don’t want to communicate, it just offers truly unique and valuable experiences.
The top reasons you should try travelling solo are:
-Independence- No need to compromise and wait around for others.
-Making connections- Because you are by yourself and not engrossed with a companion, you are more likely to chat with the locals and other travellers.
-Special treatment- Going solo raises curiosity, interest, respect and concern from the locals. They tend to protect the solo travellers and are less likely to treat them as a tourist.
-Alone time- You have your own quiet time to do your own thing.
-Growth- You begin to develop new skills, such as decision making. You stretch yourself because you have no-one else to rely on.
-Focus- The focus is on the culture, cuisine and history not your companion.
-Confidence- Solo travellers gain enormous confidence. They may be nervous at the start of their trip, but at the end of their travel, their confidence and self-esteem reaches new heights.
For more insight into the pros and cons of travelling solo, click on this link.
Step By Step Guide to Book Your Solo Getaway
- Use a Specialist Expert Travel Planner
-Doing it yourself online- however, you may be stress and run into problems.
Booking With A Specialist Expert Travel Planner
Mark your chosen dates of on your calendar and schedule a call with Rowena. www.calendly.com/rowenadaniels
Consultation with Rowena. This is where your likes, dislikes, dream destination and every other aspect of your travel such as flights, accommodation, ground transportation, tours and activities are discussed.
All aspect of your travel is researched including documentation and immunisation and your itinerary is prepared and e-mailed to you. This is where you can change, add or omit items to meet your needs, adding magic to your vacation.
Your vacation is booked and payment is received. Your completed and detailed itinerary is emailed to you.
This is is where the enjoyment and excitement really starts.
You have packed, all your documents are in order and you have been checked-in. All you have to think about is enjoying yourself in the knowledge that you are taken care of during your trip and even after you have returned.
Booking On You Own - Online
Set your travel budget and dates- Plan your budget for your flight, ground transportation, accommodation, parking (if applicable,) meals, snacks and drinks, tours and activities and any other incidentals.
Research your destination- Research which platform/ browser will serve you best and give you ideas.
Create a folder to store all the information that you have collected on your destination. Make a sub-folder for accommodation, ground transportation, car rental, tours and activities, restaurants, and documentation. Keep the most important information as hard copies as well as online.
Selecting your flight- Research the best airline that suits your schedule and only include flights that do not have long overlays, use of multiple airlines/ flights, or too many changes of plane/airport. When you choose a direct airline it is easier to deal with any issues arising. Too many changes could result in delays and missed connection.
Accommodation- Research which type of accommodation you want to stay at, the location and the safety aspect. My advise is to review each of your choices and TripAdvisor is very good at this.
When booking remember to read all the fine prints and state exactly which room is required and what floor. Also don't forget to state if you need any extra requirements, or if it is a special event. If you don’t you will be assigned whatever your hotel or resort assigns you.
Ground Transportation/Car Rental- Research and select the best one that suits your needs and schedule. Ensure that the exact date, time and pick-up destinations are given, correctly. They are not responsible for your errors.
Tours and Activities- Review the itineraries for a range of tour companies. If you want to be collected and drop off at your accommodation, make sure their route encompass this.
Decide what you want to see and read blogs for the less common ‘must see’ sites , restaurants and activities.
For ideas go to www.inspirationaltravelplus.com
Documentation and Baggage- Research what documents you need and that they are in order, also immunization and any Covid requirements.
Check with your preferred airline the amount of check baggage you can take and if a fee applies.
Remember with steps three (3) to (6) you have to confirm your bookings before your departure.
Step 8 (Optional)
For a relaxed and stress free solo vacation you should plan your itinerary so that you have everything in place and in order.
-Details of your round-trip flight- Reference number, flight number, departure and arrival time and ticket number.
-Details of ground transportation/ car rental- Date and time of pickup and drop off; name of company; confirmation number.
-Details of accommodation- Name, address , telephone number and email; room allocation number and confirmation number.
-Tours and activities- Name of tour company; telephone number; name, time and price of activities, pick up and drop off points and confirmation number. This is for each tour and activity.
-Baggage, documentation and any other important information.
Here are some rule of thumb tips to assist you with planning your itinerary and choosing which cities to visit.
If you have a week to explore a country, you’re not going to fit visits to 4 or 5 different cities. Narrow down your list to the 2 cities that interest you the most, you can always plan another getaway and visit the cities you have missed.
If your trip is longer, scale up the number of destinations to fir your schedule; for example, in 2 weeks you could reasonably visit 4 (or possibly 5) cities. Here is my advice,
-2 days per city at an absolute minimum, this will allow you to take in all the breathtaking scenery, sample the cuisine and immerse yourself in the culture at your own pace.
-For major cities like Paris, London and Rome, double that number.
-Avoid single-night stays…even for small towns. The hassle with checking in and out of hotels is time consuming and by the time you have completed it, there’s no time to actually relax!
-Think about travel accessibility and time between cities. If one is a long drive/ bus ride away, then choose the nearest one. You can always do the furthest one on a longer getaway.
-What things do you want to do in each city in each city; what interests you the most?
-Most important! Accommodation availability in each city and the safety aspect. Have a clear head when choosing your accommodation. This is very important for solo travellers.
-Don’t skip destinations, cities and sights that sets your imagination on fire and really excites you for someone else’s ‘must see.’ If it doesn’t speak to you, follow your heart’s desire.
If you’ve been putting off a solo trip because you’re waiting for someone to go with — stop it may not happen. The person who you are waiting on may never be ready at the time that you want. Live your dream and don’t allow others to hold you back from fulling your dreams. Along the way you’ll make plenty of friends, from other solo travelers to the locals.
My daughter has found that you’re never alone when you travel, you meet people and make new friends. Sometimes, it may be a lifelong friend.
You meet so many other travellers including solo travellers, that you have to go out of your way to be alone! You’re constantly surrounded by people!
A solo getaway gives you the desired freedom that you yearn for. You wake up and do what YOU want to do. It’s just you! You do — what you want, where you want, when you want. It gives you the freedom and infinite space of possibility and self awareness. You find the limits of what you like and don’t like and what you could tolerate. There’s no one to pull you in any one direction or ask and override your reasons.
You want to visit the Aquarium ? Go to the Aquarium! Want that boat trip you have been always dreaming of? Go for it! Want that bottle of white wine instead of red? There you go!
It’s only you, and you have to learn how to survive — who to trust, how to make friends, how to find your way around alone.
That’s the best and greatest reward of solo travel: your personal growth and independence. Each time you go away, you learn to become a little more independent, confident, self aware- you get in tune with your emotions and desires.
Solo travel is not for everyone. Some people return home before they give it a real chance.
How would you know if solo travel is for you? Try It!
Want to know more about solo getaways or you want to go on one yourself?