Are you tired of friends flaking on your travel plans? Overdue for a vacation, but afraid to go alone? Still searching for the travel buddy of your dreams?
Well perhaps you should consider solo travel. I know, it’s not for everybody. But imagine complete control of budget, accommodations, and itinerary. No more hunting down friends who haven’t paid their deposits, or planning trips 2 years in advance to accommodate everyone’s schedule. There are more reasons to do it than not to do it! I mean, are you really that intolerable of a person that you can’t stand the thought of being with yourself for a few days? Of course you aren’t! Besides, TRAVELING alone doesn’t mean that you have to BE alone. It’s a vacation, not solitary confinement!
Here are the best ways to keep yourself social on a solo trip!
1. MEET UP
I’ve mentioned MeetUp in a previous post on my blog. It’s a great way to find locals with similar interests. Go to the site or download the app, and you can search upcoming events near your destination. There are groups for just about any interest you can think, local expats, language enthusiasts, yogis, partiers, activists, foodies, etc. I’ve been to several around the world, and I’m always welcomed with open arms! When I was in London with my roommates, we split up so they could go to a Drake concert. Aubrey isn’t exactly my cup of beige crooning tea, so I went to a salsa class I found on the other side of town. I had so much fun that night, we even danced around for about an hour after the class ended!
I absolutely love using Airbnb, especially for solo travel. There are so many advantages to staying with a native. They offer great advice on things to do, and sometimes are even willing to take you out on the town! They are usually far more affordable than hotels, too; so not only are you staying social, you’re saving money. Even better, some hosts offer home cooked meals. So it’s a great way to get a feel of the local food and culture. When I stayed In Berkley, California one of my hosts was a personal chef and she let me taste lots of her food. My Airbnb host in Istanbul cooked an amazing Turkish rice dish that lasted me 2 whole days! In Rabat, my host’s daughter gave me all the tips for where to find cheap, authentic Moroccan food!
at Dar Naji in Rabat, Morocco – a recommendation from my airbnb host
Hostels ain’t for everybody, but you know what they say, “don’t knock it till you try it”. Hostels are great for the solo traveler, because there are so many travel-minded peers around you. I know plenty of people who have met strangers in their dorm, and by the end of the trip they’ve become best friends. When I was in Hamburg with my roomates, we chatted with a friendly German girl for hours. In fact, it was her who convinced me to not smuggle drugs through the airport. Plus, many hostels have daily events that others residents participate in. My hostel in Porto had nightly dinners, free walking tours, and Portuguese classes.
4. TRAVEL GROUP
If you’re not in a least one travel group in 2017, you need to get your life together. I can’t even quantify how much information and insight I’ve gained from the ones I’m in. Some groups actually plan trips and travel together, while some just convene on forums or social media to share their unique travel tips and experiences. But even in those, people usually link up because there are so many members all across the world. Also, they are also usually the first place you hear about great travel deals and airfare glitches! Here are some that I recommend:
we all came to Madrid alone, but met each other through social media!
Have you done/Will you ever do solo travel?