The inspiration for this post came after having a short conversation on the blog post “5 Reasons to travel in low season” about “the courage” or will that you need to travel solo. I guess you need a good dosage of will, determination and madness 🙂 to take the decision and solo travel. After you do it once I can promise you, you will see that it is not so scary or big deal as you might have though before.
And who decided that if you solo travel, you have to be alone? No. No. And no! That is a false concept and not something any of us want. Hereby I wrote for you a beautiful list with travel ideas that accompanied me during the years or that I found interesting.
1. Planned road trip visiting friends on the way
Personally this is how I started my solo travel adventures many many years ago, during my study times, while the summers were hot and everybody was away in holiday. I stared small and did a train tour through the west and centre of Romania. In some cities I stopped to visit/ meet up or sleep at friends. It was a budget backpacking- camping tour, worry less and fun.
Moving to nowadays the option would be to take a holiday where on the way you meet or stay at people you know (friends, family or friends of friends that you trust). You will have some company and you also also the freedom to explore and do your own things when the others are “busy” with their daily lives.
2. Take a learning vacation
My first solo trip in Europe took place back in the summer of 2013 traveling 2 weeks around Spain and Portugal. Being for the first time so far away from home and in a different culture I had moments when I felt rather alone. Next year I decided to try something new and go on holiday with people that share the same interest like me. In the summer of 2014 I booked 2 weeks of Spanish Course at a nice language institute in Malaga, Spain. BEST DECISION EVER. Not only that in 2 weeks I manage to get some Spanish basics, but we manage to have a great group of young fun people with the same schedule like yours and also ready to go to beach/ sightseeing/ party/ tapas/ shopping you name it. And if you think that this is for young people only, well it is not. The Institute had also senior groups with their own schedule, that of course collided with ours from time to time. The Internet is filled with resources and not only for language courses. So give a search and see what you find.
3. Join a retreat
Wellness, healthy food, sports, nature what could you wish for more for true relaxing holiday? That is and can be your dream coming true. The variety of offer is abundant and you can find anything between 5* resorts to modest jungle bungalows. Take some time in your research and decide where you want to go keeping in mind your budget. Choose where you want to stay and if you want or prefer self-sufficiency, half board or all inclusive.
You will find retreats that go as low as 30$/ day and the locations variety is almost limitless. You can choose between Europe/ Asia/ Latin America/ USA/ Australia/ Oceania or almost any place you can think of. Start somewhere close in place that looks appealing to you. Please read the reviews before you book anything and make sure you feel comfortable with all the goods and bads of the retreat you chose. The idea is to go there and have the time of your life! DO IT and ENJOY IT!
4. Join a volunteering program
Now is the time to travel and support a cause you stand for. Whether is health, education, environment or a conservation project that is up to you. There are programs for all. This way you use your time and knowledge for a matter you stand for and also enjoy an unique and extraordinary experience abroad. During your stay you will meet people that are permanently in the project and fellow volunteers like you. Feel free to explore the resources of the Internet. They are abundant and you can find projects for all budges and time limits (even for a week).
UPDATED 2020: Please read my blog post “ 2 weeks, 1 island, 50+ Turtles – Volunteering in the Maldives” sharing my volunteering experience during Christmas helping turtle conservacy in the Maldives.
5. Book a guided travel tour
This is one of the easiest and common ways for travelers and solo travelers to see the world and be accompanied in their holiday. Buying a travel tour where for 1, 2, 3 weeks you travel with a bus/ fairy boat, a guide and an already made plan of the places you will visit and places where you will eat and sleep. Easy as that. You are always accompanied and have the guarantee of safety from the company you travel with and the guide. During my life I did 3 tours like this: a bus tour through Italy (16 days – 2005), a bus tours through the Nordic countries (18 days – 2006) and a bus/ train tour through Sri Lanka (2 weeks – Sept. 2015). I was accompanied in all of them, but in each of them there were amazing people traveling alone. Sri Lanka was my first time in Asia and it was the best way to travel to an unknown culture and continent. Our local guide presented very nicely customs and places we visited and thought us about the does and don’ts in a Buddhist culture.
6. Paid sponsored programs
This is more particularly and won’t apply to everybody but I will mention it anyway. Accordingly to the area you work in there might be a good chance to find partially/ fully sponsored programs. This takes place usually in summertime and the purpose is to meet and share experiences with fellow colleagues from other countries that work in same/ similar fields like yours. Sponsored programs applies in many cases for teachers or researchers and volunteering programs. Take this into consideration and inform yourself about it.
I wish you a safe, amazing and unforgettable solo travles and remember…
YOU ARE NEVER ALONE! We are all in this together.
Like and share! Comment below where did you go on your first solo travel. Let’s meet on Instragram. 🌍
Always S P R E A D I N G T R A V E L L ❤ V E ,
i o a n a