While I love traveling with other people, I often find myself traveling solo. There are times it’d be nice to have a dinner companion, but I actually prefer traveling solo a large portion of the time.
I’m able to create my own trip, visit only the places I want to go to, and choose the restaurant I want to eat at. Traveling solo has given me a confidence I didn’t have before, and I encourage everyone to try it at least once. Here are 5 tips for traveling solo if you’re thinking about it!
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1. Choose Your Destination First
One of my first tips for traveling solo is to pick your destination. I recently went to Anchorage, Alaska for my latest solo trip. There aren’t many friends of mine that had been there, so I thought it’d be a fun adventure to explore somewhere new.
I had only been to the rural parts of Southeast Alaska before and wanted to visit a new area. According to Expedia’s Solo Travel Report, over 60% of people who travel will go somewhere alone next year. This is an exciting statistic, as it shows more people are beginning to consider traveling solo.
That also means you likely know someone who has traveled alone, so ask around to see what destination people loved going to. You can even do an online search for “best destinations for traveling solo.” This will help you narrow down where you should go.
2. Book a Hotel By Looking at a Map
When I travel solo, I like to stay in a somewhat populated area that’s near restaurants and shops. This means you’ll be able to walk to get food or any supplies you need.
You will also feel more comfortable when you’re walking alone if there are other people around you. My favorite way to pick out a hotel is by looking on Expedia and choosing the map view. You can do this by using their mobile app and zooming in on the area you’re interested in.
I will research where the city center or the area I want to stay is ahead of time and then use Expedia’s app to see what hotels are available nearby. You can also easily see the prices of each to decide if it’s in your price range.
3. Talk to Locals for Suggestions
A huge advantage of not traveling in a group is you’re forced to talk to people you normally wouldn’t. Locals are typically excited to see tourists and will love to give you recommendations of what to do.
I always find the restaurants and activities they recommend are much better than what a typical top 10 list might suggest. For example, while getting my coffee one morning in Anchorage, a local told me to check out the Anchorage Farmer’s Market. I wouldn’t have known it was even going on if they hadn’t said anything to me.
4. Rent a Car
Another one of my tips for traveling solo is to rent a car on your journey. This gives you the freedom to see much more than you would by using public transportation.
You may also feel safer driving in your car at night instead of being on the city bus. Once again, I like to use Expedia to see what my options are. Their website makes it easy to choose your price range and what type of vehicle you want.
For example, I only wanted a compact or midsize car for my trip to Alaska, so I was quickly able to eliminate the others. This is one reason why Anchorage is one of the best destinations for solo travelers.
5. Ask a Family to Take Your Picture
I’ll be the first to admit I take terrible selfies, but that makes it challenging to get photos with me in it sometimes. A helpful tip for traveling solo is to ask a family nearby to take your picture. You can also ask someone who has a professional-looking camera.
The chances are lower of either of them running off with your phone or camera, and you can even offer to take their picture in return. When I was exploring Alaska, I saw the sign for mile 0 of the famous Iditarod Trail.
I wanted a picture in front of this but needed it far enough away to capture me in it with the sign, so I asked a nice family with their baby to take a picture and did the same in return.
If you’re looking for more ideas to plan a solo trip, Expedia’s Solo Travel Report is full of suggestions of where to travel, what to do, and gives you insights on how Americans travel alone. Ready to book your own trip? Download the Expedia mobile app and use the code SOLOTRAVEL for 10% off hotels!