The idea of traveling alone can be intimidating and scary. Many people find it difficult to dine out or go to the movies alone, so traveling alone may seem even more difficult. However, traveling creates fantastic experiences, and it’s a great way to meet people of many cultures!
Here are the best ways to build the courage to travel alone:
- Do other things alone first.
- Research the places you want to visit.
- Plan to stay in shared accommodation.
- Plan group tours.
- Learn some key phrases in the language.
- Make a short trip alone first.
- Choose a tourist-friendly place.
Building the courage to travel alone may take time and planning, but that’s normal! To learn more about gaining the confidence to travel by yourself, be sure to read the rest of this article for helpful tips.
1. Do Other Things Alone First
If you’re too afraid to dine out or go to the movies alone, you’ll likely have difficulties traveling alone. To get used to doing things solo, you can take small steps at a time. At first, you can spend the day shopping alone, and a few days later, you can try to sit in a café by yourself.
At first, dining alone in a café, rather than a restaurant, can ease you into dining alone because cafés tend to be less formal. You’ll likely notice other people dining alone in cafés, which may make you feel more at ease.
Here are some other things that you can try to do alone before booking a solo trip:
- Go to the movies. Although the idea of sitting in a busy theatre by yourself feels daunting, it’s a great way to gain confidence being alone. A tip I’d give is to look around you; you’ll notice that no one is paying attention to you, which will help you feel less embarrassed.
- Go on walks. Start going on solo walks in a local park or around a city. Not only is this good for your health, but it’s also great for your confidence.
- Visit museums in your local area. Since you’ll likely be visiting museums when traveling alone, visiting museums in your local area is a great way to prepare for your solo trip. Take everything in and enjoy the peace of being by yourself!
- Go on a train ride. If you have the time, going on a train ride alone is another excellent way to prepare for solo travel. It’ll give you an idea of what it’s like to travel independently, but you won’t have to go far and can go back home at the end of the day.
2. Research the Places You Want To Visit
Before making any commitments, it’s a good idea to plan and research the places you want to visit. The most important thing to consider, especially when traveling alone, is your safety. Some countries may not be suitable for solo travelers, such as India and Egypt.
Some of the safest countries for solo travelers include:
- Japan (I’ve traveled solo here and felt more safe exploring than I do in my own home city!)
- New Zealand
When you decide on a place to travel to, it’s good to learn more about the culture. Things that are normal and appropriate in your country might not be applicable in the place you’re going to visit, such as particular pieces of clothing.
Knowing the local cuisine is also helpful, especially if you’re a picky eater. Research some of the most popular dishes and try to make them at home; this is a fun way to learn more about the region’s cuisine and whether you’ll like it or not.
Make sure the place(s) you’re visiting is safe to walk around alone. When booking your accommodation, make sure it’s in a secure area; you don’t want to be walking around an unsafe neighborhood every night to get back to your hotel.
Another critical thing to consider is whether there are many things for tourists to do or not. When traveling alone, you want to make sure you stay occupied; having something to do every day will give you the best experience possible.
By researching the place(s) you want to visit, you’ll gain lots of knowledge and feel more comfortable traveling alone!
3. Plan To Stay in Shared Accommodation
It’s not always easy to meet people if you stay in a private hotel room. By planning to stay in shared accommodation, you can be sure that you’ll meet some interesting people; you might even make some friends!
Knowing that you won’t be alone on your trip may give you some confidence. If you want some privacy but also like the idea of staying in a hostel, you could spend a few nights in a hotel and the rest in a hostel.
Another great way to gain confidence before traveling is to book a B&B. Many B&Bs are homely and have common areas where you can meet people. However, it’s essential to do your research before booking a B&B or any other type of accommodation.
As mentioned earlier, always make sure you book your accommodation in a safe area and read reviews before booking.
Tripadvisor and Google reviews are a great way to learn more about places to stay. You can read hundreds of reviews that tourists have written, which will give you a better idea of whether a hotel or B&B is right for you and whether it’s safe or not.
When traveling alone, staying in a hotel can be isolating and lonely. Many solo travelers opt to stay in hostels, so staying in one can be a great way to meet other solo travelers. You may even be able to go sightseeing with some of the people you meet.
4. Plan Group Tours
Another great way to prepare for solo travel is to plan some group tours. You can book group tours in many cities around the world, and it’s a great way to learn about a new culture while being surrounded by other tourists.
Examples of group tours might include:
- Guided city tours
- Museum tours
- Day trips
- Pub crawls
- Bike tours
- TIP: Check out Airbnb Experience for some great local group tours and activities
Guided city tours are a great way to learn more about the area and meet other tourists; there may even be other solo travelers on the tour.
If you enjoy going to clubs and pubs, you could do a pub crawl group tour. You can join a group of like-minded tourists and visit some of the area’s hottest bars. Drinking with strangers can be fun to break the ice and meet new people during your travels.
If you enjoy cycling, booking a guided bike tour is another great way to see a city and meet new people. Not only that, but it does wonders for your health and is healthier than drinking alcohol!
Planning these tours will give you peace of mind knowing other tourists will surround you during your travels. You could even do a group tour in your city or hometown first to see if you like it and to get an idea of what it’s like.
5. Learn Some Key Phrases in the Language
Learning key phrases is a great idea when traveling somewhere with a foreign language. You might have to deal with locals from time to time, so knowing the basics of the language will help you immensely.
Practicing key phrases will lift your confidence, and you’ll feel more prepared for your solo trip, having learned some common sentences.
The Best Ways To Learn the Basics of a New Language
There are different ways to learn the basics of a foreign language. Below are some of the best ways to learn:
- Take some classes. You can learn the basics of a language in a group setting by taking some classes. Taking a class can be nerve-wracking; joining a class can help give you more confidence.
- Use an app. Many free apps are great for learning key phrases in different languages. Using an app can give you the basic knowledge you need to help you communicate with locals on your travels, and you usually don’t have to spend a dime.
- Speak with a local. If you happen to know someone from the region you’ll be traveling to, it would be helpful to speak directly to them. They can give you some inside tips, which is likely more valuable than using an app.
- Download a translation app. Using a translation app doesn’t count as learning a language, but it’s a good idea to have one, such as Google Translate. Thanks to modern technology, you can use a translator to communicate with locals without knowing the language. It’s important to note that most translator apps will require internet access, so make sure you have a roaming plan for your travels!
6. Make a Short Trip Alone First
Planning a short solo weekend or midweek trip is an excellent way to prepare for traveling alone. You don’t necessarily have to travel far; you can even stay within your city. The main thing is that you travel somewhere and stay a few nights by yourself.
I would recommend traveling by train, bus, or plane rather than driving; this can get you out of your comfort zone and help you prepare for traveling alone in the future.
When on your short trip, don’t stay in the hotel room the whole time. Try to get out and visit local museums or other touristy areas, and don’t get room service. Although it may be tempting, resist that temptation by dining in a restaurant for dinner. Once you’ve dined out alone a few times, you’ll notice it becomes easier each time.
Some Ideas for a Short Solo Trip
Here are some ideas for your solo trip:
- City break. Visit a nearby city for a few days and travel around.
- Local break. You can book accommodation in a nearby hotel or B&B if it’s easier. Be sure to get out and do things during the day to gain confidence.
- Day trip. If you don’t want to pay for a few nights away, a great way to prepare for traveling alone is to take a day trip somewhere. It could be a trip to a city for the day or a trip to the seaside. Whatever you decide, be sure to keep busy for the day and pack as many activities in as you can.
- Countryside break. If you prefer visiting the countryside, book yourself a hotel and have fun! You can try horseback riding or cycling, which are great activities to do outside of the city.
7. Choose a Tourist-Friendly Place
There are so many places to choose from when planning a solo trip, so it’s a good idea to select a tourist-friendly location, such as Portugal or Taiwan, for example. A tourist-friendly place is somewhere that’s safe and has lots of activities to do.
Visiting somewhere that has friendly locals and things to do will make your trip more enjoyable and less nerve-wracking. Some places are less welcoming and more dangerous than others, so it’s best to do your research before deciding on a place to visit by yourself.
While safety is the most important thing to consider when traveling, being surrounded by friendly locals is another essential aspect. If you ever run into trouble or need directions, having friendly and welcoming people around will help immensely.
However, I’d advise you to be wary when approaching strangers for directions and advice. Use your best judgment to decide whether someone seems trustworthy or not, especially if you’re a female solo traveler.
Traveling alone is daunting for many people, but there are many great ways to build the courage to do it. Some of the most important things to remember are:
- Practice dining out and doing other things alone before traveling solo.
- Go for a day trip by yourself to gain confidence.
- Learn some key phrases if the country you’ll be visiting has a foreign language.
- Visit local museums by yourself.
- Plan lots of group tours for your solo trip.
By following this guide, you’ll gain the confidence you need to travel around the world by yourself and make unforgettable memories!