Reasons to Travel Solo
- Gain Confidence: You’ll feel a powerful sense of achievement as you forge ahead on your own.
- Healing: Many choose to travel solo after a life setback or just when you need to recharge. Many women we know plan at least one, week-long trip a year, totally alone. If you do it once, you will crave the peace, beauty and grace of solo travel.
- Friends for Life: Solo travelers are incredibly approachable. Other solo travelers will recognize you immediately as a kindred spirit. Others, curious about your adventure, will invite you in, admire your courage and want to hear what you are up to next.
- Gratitude: Solo travel engages your gratitude muscle almost immediately. It helps you truly appreciate all you have, and the problems you once believed were so big become manageable. Whether it’s spending weeks building houses in Haiti or renting a cabin in the woods for the weekend, solo travel magnifies the abundance in your life.
- Peace: Sometimes you need to recharge before you can be fully present for others. Time alone is the perfect salve. We love philanthropic trips or adventure outings as true life enhancing experiences, but don’t discount a trip to just sit and be. Allow yourself to be a human being, not a human doing all the time.
Solo Travel Story from Mary Price, Founder of o+m
"I love the sounds of Africa. The smells of Africa. It is forever embedded in my soul."
“For years, Africa called to me. One day, I woke up and thought, “I could go to my grave waiting for the perfect time, the perfect someone, the perfect opportunity.” So I booked a trip. Solo. It wasn’t my first trip alone, but it was my first of many to Africa solo. Each trip changes my life in ways I have no way of predicting beforehand. To see a part of the world that is so different from our own, to meet people so connected to the earth and nature, to see people and wildlife living in such harmony forever changed my view of the planet and our responsibility to it. I didn’t know it at the time, but that first trip to Africa planted the initial seeds of ocean+main. Upon my return, it also started a decade-long relationship with a beautiful organization called World Computer Exchange, an organization that provides computers to underserved communities around the world. I’ve been fortunate enough return to see computers we placed in an all-girls school in Arusha, Tanzania, still in place and changing children’s lives seven years later. No job and no amount of savings could enrich my life as much as that first trip. I’m confident it would have been a great trip had I taken it with someone else, but because I went alone, it was magic.”
Jennifer Hoddevik, one of the Travel Yogi founders, says about 80 percent of the people who sign up for their trips are going solo and 85 percent of them are women. Check out our tips below for a smooth departure and even smoother arrival.
Tips for Traveling Solo
- Pack Light: Take a carry-on. Period. If it doesn’t fit in a carry-on, you don’t need it. Yes, it's possible and incredibly liberating to travel simple.
- Get Organized: Try apps like TripIt to keep confirmation numbers, addresses, contacts, flight details, and itineraries all in one convenient place.
- Daytime Travel: Try to schedule your arrival time in a new place so that you arrive at your destination during the day. It will give you a chance to get to know your surroundings. If you do get in at night, ask your host or hotel to help you arrange transportation.
- Blend In: Ensure you are comfortable with the customs of countries that may be more conservative than your own. You’d hate to travel all the way to Milan and be turned away from the magnificent Duomo because of your shorts or bare shoulders.
- Gain Inspiration and Make Friends Before You Go: Download the TravelEnvy app and check out real-life recommendations from people like you. Check out the Girls LOVE Travel site and on Facebook to ask over 250,000 solo female travelers advice on where to go, what to see, what to do. Maybe even make plans to meet up while abroad!
- Have a contact back home: Leave a friend or loved one a copy of your itinerary and download WhatsApp, Skype or Viber for free international calls and texts. Send them regular updates such as, “going out to dinner”, “got back to the hotel”, or “arrived safely”. It may make you and them feel more comfortable about your solo adventure.
- Register with STEP: Look into the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. This may not be necessary everywhere, but it’s not a bad idea for the US State Department to know if you are in a hot spot. If anything were to happen, they will know where to look for you.
- Carry a Copy of your Passport: Make sure to keep that copy somewhere in your luggage, away from your actual passport. In the event your original gets lost, this will at least give you the identification necessary to get a replacement or access to services while you are abroad.