By Jessie Festa & Dale P. This guide to having fun while traveling solo contains affiliate links to trusted partners!
Is solo travel fun?
If you’ve been considering traveling alone, you may be excited about the concept, but you also may have some concerns.
Traveling by yourself can be a very rewarding and thrilling experience, but there are pros and cons to solo travel that you should be aware of.
Yes, it can be challenging at times; however, that shouldn’t hold you back from traveling solo. The benefits of solo travel greatly outweigh the potential struggles (and honestly, those challenges lead to lots of personal growth!).
The best way to have fun traveling by yourself is to be prepared — which this guide can help you do.
Check out these ways to enjoy traveling alone so you can have an unforgettable solo travel experience!
Is It Fun To Travel Alone? [Free Course]
But first, before we discuss some of the top tips for having fun while traveling solo, here is an invite to grab a seat in my free Savvy Solo Traveler E-Course.
The 6-day course is designed to help you feel confident about booking your first solo trip and exploring the world alone.
- Common solo travel fears and how to overcome them
- How to choose your perfect solo trip
- How to tell loved ones you’re hitting the road solo
- Mentally preparing for your solo journey without losing your mind
- Essential steps for staying safe on a solo trip
- How to take amazing solo selfies
What Is Solo Travel?
Solo travel refers to hitting the road without companions.
This being said, it isn’t a requirement to always be alone. In fact, there are many ways to interact with locals while traveling and also meet other travelers to explore with, which we’ll go over below.
The beauty of solo travel is you get decide when you want to be alone and when you want to socialize.
Benefits Of Solo Travel
Building on this, solo travel has many life-changing benefits.
Traveling alone forces you out of your comfort zone and makes you more independent. When you’re traveling alone, you’ll find that you become a better problem-solver because you only have yourself to rely on when you face challenges in a new destination.
Traveling alone can also open your eyes to new ideas and perspectives, allow you to gain a deeper appreciation for other cultures, and present you with experiences you might not otherwise get to have if you’re traveling with your friends, partner, or family.
Additionally, solo travel allows you to meet new people, while at the same time getting to know yourself better. Traveling solo to find yourself is one of the biggest benefits of this experience.
Is Solo Travel Fun? 7 Ways To Enjoy Traveling Alone
Is traveling by yourself fun? Yes, traveling solo can be a blast.
You might be worried that if you go on vacation by yourself, you’ll end up being lonely and spend the whole trip sitting alone in your hotel room watching Netflix. But that certainly does not have to be the case!
These are some of the best ways to enjoy traveling solo and make your solo trip a fun and unforgettable experience.
1. Stay in a social hostel
Staying in a hostel is a great way to meet people and have fun while traveling alone.
You don’t have to stay in a wild party hostel either — unless you want to, of course!
Read reviews of hostels in your destination and look for social hostels that mention having a bar or organizing group activities for guests. This is a great way to meet some new travel buddies who are as excited as you are about exploring a new destination.
And if staying in a hostel dorm isn’t your style, you can look for hostels that offer private rooms with en-suite bathrooms. You still get the hostel experience, but without sleeping in bunk beds surrounded by strangers.
2. Immerse yourself in local culture
When traveling with people you already know, it’s less likely that you’ll spend as much time immersing yourself in the local culture. You don’t have as much of a reason to strike up a conversation with a local if you’re already traveling with your friends, partner, or family.
But as a solo traveler, immersing yourself in the local culture and chatting with locals is a great way to enjoy your trip more and gain a deeper understanding of the place you’re visiting.
A few ideas for this include doing a homestay through Homestay.com, eating or cooking in a local home with EatWith, signing up for a language exchange (you can often find these through CouchSurfing), taking a class to learn a local tradition or pastime, or hiring a local guide through a platform like WithLocals and letting them show you their favorite places.
3. Explore your own interests
Why travel solo?
One of the biggest benefits of traveling alone is that you are in control of every moment of every day. This allows you to explore the aspects of a destination that interest you, without having to take into account the wants of your travel companions.
Could you spend hours getting lost in a museum and visiting every historical site listed in your guidebook? Maybe you don’t care about tourist attractions at all, and you just want to live like a local. Or maybe you want to learn a new skill, like surfing or salsa dancing.
The beauty of traveling solo is that you can do whatever it is that interests you the most.
Personally, I never go anywhere without exploring some of the destination’s best hiking. While I know many people would prefer to relax, traveling solo means I can explore my love of active travel adventures to the fullest.
4. Join group activities
Is traveling alone fun? It absolutely can be — especially if you fill your itinerary with exciting experiences.
If you want to meet people and make friends while traveling solo, joining group activities is an easy way to connect with other travelers.
Sign up for a group walking tour (free tours often attract solo travelers), opt for an Airbnb experience, join a food tour or a pub crawl, or book a day trip. These types of activities are a great way to meet other travelers and overcome loneliness while traveling solo.
5. Travel alone… with others
Many of the other travelers in your group are likely to be solo travelers too, meaning it’s a great way to make friends and have an unforgettable time without needing to plan every little detail yourself.
Group trips are also an excellent way to explore destinations you might be wary about traveling to alone, especially as a solo female traveler.
6. Plan some downtime
When traveling solo, you might be tempted to book up every day with activities and plan every minute of your schedule. But that’s a recipe for travel burnout.
Instead, plan some downtime into your schedule. Sit in a park and people-watch, stop to watch a street performer, or spend some time wandering around a new area and seeing what you can find.
These unplanned moments can lead to some of your best memories when traveling alone, and can really help you learn about the place you’re visiting.
Another idea: book a relaxing experience. One of my favorite travel experiences to date has been doing a homestay with an herbalist family in Slovenia. It was culturally immersive yet slow paced, and left me feeling both enlightened and refreshed.
7. Be flexible and say yes to new experiences
Finally, one of the best ways to enjoy solo travel is to keep an open mind, be flexible and adaptable, and say yes to opportunities that come your way.
This can lead to experiences and memories that will last a lifetime, whether it’s accepting an invitation to dinner with a local family, going out for a fun night on the town with your new travel friends, or even extending your trip or taking an unplanned detour because you have the chance to do so.
For instance, when visiting Argentina, I met a local guy through CouchSurfing and we biked Mendoza’s wine country together. During the trip, he invited me to a game night at his house. It was a lot of fun drinking mate with new friends, practicing my Spanish, and really seeing what life is like in the city.
Is Solo Travel Safe?
One thing that holds many people back from traveling alone is the concern of safety. Solo travel, especially solo travel for women, often comes with the negative connotation that it’s unsafe.
You may have heard from well-meaning friends or relatives that it’s not safe to travel alone, especially in certain destinations.
The truth is that solo travel is very safe — as long as you take the right precautions. A lot of it comes down to basic common sense.
Stay aware of your surroundings, don’t walk alone in unfamiliar places at night, limit your alcohol consumption when going out, research local scams and warnings, and keep someone at home up-to-date about your travel plans and whereabouts.
How Do You Make Friends Traveling Alone?
A major concern that many first-time solo travelers have is how to meet people and make friends while traveling alone.
Fortunately, there are many opportunities for solo travelers to meet others.
As mentioned above, one of the best ways to make friends as a solo traveler is staying in hostels. Look for social hostels that organize group activities, like pub crawls or walking tours, for the best chance of meeting new travel buddies — many of whom will also be traveling alone.
If hostels aren’t your style, you can also join group activities. Sign up for a food tour, a group hike, a language class, a boat party, or a guided day trip, and you might end the day with several new friends.
Additionally, technology has made it pretty simple to connect with others at home and abroad. You can check out platforms like:
- CouchSurfing. This platform helps you setup local homestays, as well as plan local meetups and find local events via their destination message boards.
- Meetup. If visiting a place for an extended time, join a local Meetup group tailored to your interests to connect with like-minded locals.
- EatWith. This is one of a few platforms that make it easy to dine in local homes in the places you travel.
- Facebook groups. There are so many Facebook groups for travelers — like my personal favorite, Girls Love Travel. If you’re a woman traveling solo and wanting to connect with females, you’ll likely find someone in your destination in this massive group.
These are just a few of many platforms that can help make solo travel more fun and rewarding.
Is It Fun To Travel Solo If You’re Shy?
Traveling alone is a lot of fun, even if you’re a shy or introverted traveler. The beauty of traveling on your own is that you are in complete control of what you do, and that includes how social you have to be.
If you don’t feel like socializing one day, you can easily spend time alone exploring a museum, or finding a cute cafe or coffee shop where you can sit and enjoy a good book.
But you’ll also find that socializing can be easier while you’re traveling than at home! There’s less pressure, things are more casual, and it can be much simpler to befriend other solo travelers who are probably feeling the same way you are.
Is Solo Travel Worth It?
If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re feeling an itch to travel solo.
In my opinion, you should scratch that itch. Or else, you may always wonder “What if?”
The truth is, you don’t need to wonder. You can book that solo trip right now and experience the incredible feeling of ultimate freedom when it comes to planning your itinerary.
Remember, feeling solo travel anxiety is totally normal — though you shouldn’t let it hold you back from booking that trip you’ve always wanted to go on.
I’ll leave with you two encouraging thoughts:
- You can always fly home early if you really don’t enjoy your solo trip
- Fear and excitement are both arousal emotions — so when you’re feeling anxious, try to shift that toward exhilaration
Bonus Solo Travel Tips
Worried about having fun while traveling solo? These tips for traveling alone can help you feel more confident when hitting the road on your own:
Is solo travel fun? What are your thoughts?
Want to live your best life through travel?
Subscribe for FREE access to my library of fun blogging worksheets and learn how to get paid to travel more!