Travelling solo – top tips and destinations to go it alone
One is not the loneliest number
Gone are the days when solo travel was something only singles and ambitious adventurous considered. With the number of Australians who live alone expected to exceed three million by 2031, interest in solo travel is set to rise.
When considering whether to go it solo, repeat the wise words of Woody Allen, “Travel with the one you love.” Travelling solo can provide you with some of the most empowering and unforgettable experiences of your life, whilst challenging you in new and sometimes unexpected ways.
One of the greatest advantages is that you get to make all the decisions. Where to go, what to eat for dinner and which tour to sign up for? It’s all about you! However, just because you’re solo, does not mean you’ll be lonely. Being on your own makes you more open and approachable to locals and fellow travellers.
With so much choice on offer, yet so many misconceptions still out there, our personal travel managers have put together a handy guide to help make your solo journey positively memorable.
Do your research
First and foremost, do your research on the safety and cultural aspects of different countries you are interested in visiting and read reviews on community based sites like TripAdvisor. Some countries are safer for solo travellers than others. It’s also a good idea to buy or download guide books specifically for solo travellers that can provide helpful tips and iron out any concerns ahead of time.
Choosing the right accommodation
Choosing where to stay can be quite important in breaking up alone time. Sometimes a big flashy hotel may not be the best environment for mingling with fellow guests, as it may attract more families and couples. Look into more intimate accommodation like homestays or a bed and breakfast, while apartments are often better suited to those seeking more privacy.
Group tours vs. self-guided
A major decision for solo travellers is whether to join an organised tour while travelling. Some tour operators even offer tours specifically for solo travellers. For some, it’s the best way to go, while the more intrepid may prefer to explore a city on their own terms. Group tours offer the feeling of safety and organisation, whilst giving you the opportunity to meet like-minded people. If the thought of a group tour leaves you feeling hemmed in, remember it’s still important to strike up conversations with locals as experiencing a destination through its people can truly enrich your overall journey.
It’s all about the money
One of the most common concerns for solo travellers is not safety, but cost. In the past, singles often had to pay a heavy fee for the privilege of not sharing a room. Nowadays, there are some forward thinking operators that offer single supplement waivers for those wanting a private room. Alternatively, many can match you up with another single traveller of the same sex, allowing you to split the cost of the room.
Top solo travel destinations 2015
Our biggest tip for the solo travellers is to avoid going to touristy destinations in peak holiday periods as you may feel on the outer surrounded by larger groups. First time solo adventurers should consider visiting English speaking or cosmopolitan cities like Paris or Oslo. For seasoned solo explorers, there are many adventures to be had in Europe’s old Eastern Bloc, Central and South America as well as China. For those who just want to relax by themselves and focus on their health and wellbeing, there are yoga retreats in India. You can still add a tour before or after your retreat stay, depending on your tastes.