Traveling with a partner or group of friends can be a fun way to see the world, but it's not the only way. Solo travel lets you explore your own interests and instincts. It can help you reconnect with yourself and make new friends. Even seasoned travellers know that travelling alone can present challenges and requires different planning to avoid surprises. Experts reveal how to make solo travel memorable.
Louise Walker, managing editor of Aglaia Magazine, recommends visiting a safe, low-crime country. "Some countries are unsafe for solo female travellers, especially. Make a list of solo-travel-friendly countries and cities before booking, and get recommendations from friends."
Having a travel companion can help with costs and boredom. They become your immediate support system while travelling, especially abroad. Solo travellers need someone to call for help if something goes wrong. Experts say it's important to have a distant watcher.
Choosing the right place to stay can be challenging on any trip to a new destination. But while convenience and comfort will always be a factor, traveling alone can make it especially important to consider your safety. Because of this, experts say you may want to budget to stay somewhere reputable and trustworthy.
Traveling with friends and loved ones will always result in cherished memories and fantastic experiences. But solo travel remains popular because it allows for a special kind of introspection you can't get while on the road in groups. Experts say it's important not to lose sight of this when putting together your itinerary.
"Facebook and LinkedIn aren't necessarily the hippest of the social media channels, but they both have search functions that allow you to find your contacts—and even contacts of your contacts—in a specific city," Lauren Gonzalez, principal of L&L Hospitality, tells Best Life. "Before you travel to a city on your own, check your networks because you might already know someone there. If not, maybe a close friend of yours does."
"I typically suggest that solo travelers link up with group tours. It's a great way to connect with other travelers in your area," Mandy Picchiottino, owner of travel planning company Land and See Tours, says. "Food tours are my favorite, along with pub crawls. You will meet a lot of other people with similar interests and who share your love of travel."
Carbone recommends happy hour. "I love solo travel but hate dining alone. Bars are great places to meet people. Happy-hour specials offer local food and drink. A good bartender can recommend off-the-beaten-path activities."