Solo Travel Tips: Why you’ll never be lonely when you travel alone

Solo Travel Tips - why you'll never be lonely when you travel

You’ve had dreams since you were a child of travelling the world and visiting those places in your history books, your fairy tale stories, and the tales of others who have walked the travel path before you.

Your body aches for travel, and you know it’s your destiny, except there is one problem, no one wants to travel with you.

You are terrified of travelling alone.

 

All you see are monsters hiding down alleyways and long evenings staring into space with only your thoughts and perhaps a good book for company.

These fears overpower the dreams, you comatose yourself and remain stuck in that life that doesn’t float your boat so much.

These are valid fears.

No one wants to be alone when they travel. No one wants to experience the time of their life without somebody to share it with.

But, those who allow these fears to prevent them from travelling, don’t understand the truth.

You’ll never be alone as a solo traveller.

 

In fact, I think solo travel is one of the friendliest and easiest way to make friends - friendships that have a lasting and meaningful impact upon your life.

Friendships on the travel road will broaden your horizons in ways you never believed were possible.

Most people are just like you. They are also nervous and afraid to step outside comfort zones, to be alone, to reach out to strangers.

All you have to do is understand this when you meet someone new. Understand they are feeling the same way and be the one to reach out a hand and a smile to make them feel more at ease and to know friends can be made anywhere.

It’s tough at first, but as with everything it gets easier and soon you’ll find yourself stopping to share your life story with every new person you meet and asking them to do the same.

When you are travelling there are very few cliques and comfort zones.

 

A clique is just a comfort zone. Cliques aren’t all bad. Sometimes that word is thrown negatively upon a group of people who hang out together because they enjoy each other’s company and get along.

That is okay.

Often these circles don’t open up because of fear of what the unknown might come in and bring to the security. This is when the circle of friends does become a clique.

When you are travelling the circle widens to bring many different people in. Travel is transient and so with that comes acceptance and a welcoming in of the new and the ability to easily let go of the old.

On the travel road you have so many stories and tips to share, it becomes so much easier to connect with others because of this. You don’t see yourself as someone who is intruding on other person’s time or space, rather someone who can share something valuable.

I also think that when you are travelling, no one knows or really cares about who you are, where you are from, what you do for a living, how many cats you have.

They really just want to know who are you right now. It’s easy to not have defensive walls in place because you can be whoever you choose.

Tips to help you make friends when you travel

1. Take small steps every day to meet new people. Start with small conversations with strangers that doesn’t demand much.

2. Attend any parties or get togethers that your accommodation is offering. It’s a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the atmosphere of fun and freedom to meet new people

3. Go out on your own to restaurants and bars. Obviously be careful when doing this and keep your wits about you. When I first moved to Dublin I did not know a soul and I hated being on my own and feeling lonely. I forced myself to go out at night to the popular Temple Bar District.

I’d go to open-mic sessions and live music and talk to people. I knew that this was an area of tourists so there’d be happy people wanting to chat. I ended up forming friendships with some of the bar staff and my circles grew and I wasn’t so lonely any more.

4. If you are a member of a “clique” or friendship group that has already formed over travel fun, be open to welcoming new people in. What you give out will always return to you. Remember how it feels to be on your own.

5. My last piece of advice is for anyone travelling or not, Don’t be a dick! Be nice, use your manners, show respect, be open and friendly to hearing other people’s stories and memories as well as sharing your own.

Remember the most powerful words on the planet

Thank you!

Thank you for asking me to sit with you and chat.

Thank you for inviting me out to dinner with y’all.

Thank you for helping me when I was lost.

Thank you for being so kind. Thank you for sharing a memorable moment with me.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Thank you for listening to mine.

It was travel that actually helped pull me out of my shy, anxious shell.

I used to be insecure and frightened of my own shadow. I am now never afraid to talk to anyone. I actually love meeting new people, having a laugh, and hearing their stories.

Follow these tips above and you will never be lonely when you travel alone. (Click for more Female solo travel tips)

Do you have any tips for solo travel? Please share below…

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Caz
Caz Makepeace is the co-founder of y Travel Blog and has been traveling the world since 1997, first solo, then with her husband, and now with her two daughters. Get her free email series on the 4 best ways to reduce travel costs. Follow her on Google+

50 Comments on “Solo Travel Tips: Why you’ll never be lonely when you travel alone”

  1. I went my first time to New York on a bus trip every one was coupled up plans to meet family friends or see a show,so I wandered,I saw a long line was curious went over started talking to people it was for cupcakes! I talked, everyone had their favorite and waited for about an hour for a really good cupcake.I went to a park that was having a craft show and saw musicians just walking to the park asking to join others and play I saw people taking off their shoes and walking around the fountain it was a hot day I joined them talked to people enjoying the music loved it.

    Reply
    • Cool story Helen! Thanks for sharing. You got a really colourful look at the city just by talking with the locals.

      Reply
  2. These are helpful tips for solo travel! I always like to travel with a friend… for me, it’s just more fun. But I think it is a more social experience if you are alone and forced to interact and meet new people :)
    Leslie (Downtown Traveler) recently posted..Top 5 attractions in Coney Island – Brooklyn’s playground (photos)
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    • Yeah solo travel does force you to mingle more, but travel with a friend is hard to beat just so you have someone close to you to experience each moment.

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  3. I always recommend to single travelers to consider a tour. I know tours aren’t for everyone, but even if you jump on a short tour, it is a great way to meet people your own age, and often afterwards those same people are continuing their travels, and are looking for other people to hang with.
    Candice recently posted..2013 Brings Guaranteed Tour Departures
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    • Tours are a great way. thanks for leaving the tip. My mother is planning a trip around Italy next year and I told her to go on a tour for these reasons. I know many of my friends first did Contiki tours before moving to London and they ended up with so many friends in London because of it which eased their transition into their new life.

      Reply
  4. Great tips! As a family of 5, these tips are the very same that I need to remember! Some of the best connections on travel happen with total strangers! Thanks!
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    • Yes! You can use these tips for any travelling situation. There are some people on my travels I had a five minute interaction with yet I remember them so vividly.

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  5. Liked…. shared…. Top post mate… very true…. Have my first trip travelling with friends coming up…. different…
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    • Awesome Simo! Thank you for sharing it. Enjoy your trip coming up. You’ll all have a great time.

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  6. Really cool article, I can really relate to a lot of these being new to solo traveling myself I agree that it was scary when I first started but like you say once you realize that other people are in the same situation and follow steps like one’s listed in your article its not so bad. I to am finding that I am becoming less shy and introverted as I travel solo more.
    I traveled La and San Francisco for a week solo and I was rarely alone and met so many amazing new and interesting people.

    I really love tip number 5, couldn’t agree more :D
    Brendon of Nerd Travels recently posted..Looking Back My First Crazy Week Of Backpacking Part 2: San Francisco
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    • Really cool Brendon! I love how you are finding yourself becoming less shy. It happens to so many people. I know Craig was incredibly shy too, it’s amazing to see the change in him now. All because of travel!

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  7. My first trips were as a solo backpacker. At the time of my first trip to Europe I had many people express concern that I was going to travel by myself, but I decided to go anyway. I read ‘Rick Steve’s Europe Through the Back Door’ and that book gave me increased confidence to travel and backpack by myself.

    As you have stated I was never really alone unless I wanted to be – just being open enough to start discussions with people I met led to travel companions everywhere I went with people with similar interests. I always thought I should get a T-shirt with the 4 standard questions to get a conversation started while travelling. What is your name, where are you from, how long have you been here, where are you going next…
    Pretraveller recently posted..First Trip to Europe: Igniting My Passion for Travel
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    • I like the T-Shirt idea- very cute!! Could be a winner. They are great questions for anyone who is really shy to start up a conversation. I always say people LOVE to talk about themselves so just ask questions to get them sharing their life and you’ll have a friend for life.

      Reply
  8. I have been a solo traveler for nearly three years and and while I think everyone should do it at least once. I completely agree that are you are often not alone and you meet WAY more people because you are on your own, the truth is that you do get lonely from time to time. However, what you realize is that feeling lonely every now and then is okay and the feeling will pass.
    Ayngelina recently posted..Back in the saddle again
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    • Agree. I think it is important to understand that it will pass as does everything. Solo travel is a great way to get to know yourself.

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  9. I traveled solo to Mexico, made friend with a girl on a plane, and we stayed friends since 2007… I would highly recommend solo traveling to anyone, especially us women. Good post!
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    • Totally agree. I know a lot of women might find it a little threatening, but I never had any problems when I was soloing it.

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  10. So true! Every day I was solo traveling, I had conversations with several strangers and some of them were pretty long, and with some of them I’m still in touch. It was really surprising how I never felt lonely. I can’t wait to do it again :)
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  11. My times of solo backpacking have been among my most rewarding travel experiences. I have frequently found solo travel an easier way to make friends than travelling as a couple. And at times even less lonely (ironically). Completely agree that you never have to be alone when travelling solo.
    Natasha von Geldern recently posted..New Zealand snapshot: Wanaka to Christchurch
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    • Yes, it can be easier solo. You are so much freer to move in and out of friendship groups and you’re forced more to reach out to form those friendships.

      Reply
  12. I had a reader leave a comment on my blog. She wanted to do sight seeing in Istanbul on her own. All her friends were telling her she was crazy but like she pointed out, they had never even been in the city. They were reflecting their feelings of being alone onto this confident person that was quite happy to travel solo.
    Natalie recently posted..The Gorgeous Ayder Plateau of North East Turkey
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    • Oh great point! So many reflect like that. Istanbul is one of my favourite cities and I would never feel afraid to travel their. It was so safe and welcoming. You have to be really careful what you say to others because you could prevent them from experiencing something great just based upon your own fears.

      Reply
  13. I’ve noticed how much easier it can be to meet people when travelling solo vs travelling as a couple. Although I do have to admit that I prefer couple travel :)
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    • I love the couples travel too. I think it is harder as a couple to meet people, a lot of the time because other people won’t approach you because they think you want to have couple time. Craig and I would so get sick of the sight of each other though we would relish meeting new people :)

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  14. We love the thought of traveling alone! If you are about to embark on a journey on your own, check out the TravelSafeOz blog for all the safety tips you need before you travel!http://travelsafeoz.wordpress.com/

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  15. Walking tours are also a great thing to do as a solo traveler because they get you acclimated with the city and give you a chance to meet some new people – maybe even some other solo travelers!

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  16. Great tips…I try to strike up random conversations with people to fill the void…bartenders are especially good for that lol
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  17. I love travelling alone, but sometimes you just need to sit down with a pile of friendly-faced strangers and just say, “Mind if I sit here?” Usually works. (Usually.) :)
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    • Yes hopefully it does work. I actually haven’t experienced it yet where it hasn’t. It would be a little awkward wouldn’t it.

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  18. I love travelling alone. I went to Austin, TX in the week of SXSW and ended up forcing myself to chat to a bunch of musicians and hanging out in rodeo bars with them! And befriended a guy in the Apple store who was fascinated and confused by my Scottish accent. It wasn’t ideal when there was a cockroach outbreak in my hostel and no one to calm me down though! Still a very strengthening experience in many regards. I look back on the whole thing positively!

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    • Great examples Annierose! Love the depth these random encounters add to your experience- except for the cockroach encounter. We can do without those

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  19. As difficult as it may be for me, trying to meet new people is important no matter how shy you may be.

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  20. I *love* solo travel! Although I’m very happy to have Andy to travel with now, before I met him (and even some after) I got a lot out of solo travel. It forced me to go a little outside of my comfort zone so I could have someone to hang out with, it forced me to rely on myself in ways I hadn’t before. I met great people I still keep in touch with years later, and it was a huge confidence boost. Often I didn’t notice it while I was on the trip, but afterwards when it hit me just how awesome it was that I went to Malaysia or Australia or Croatia by myself, it was like a high and it made me feel great about myself. Solo travel doesn’t have to be scary. It might not end up being someone’s preferred way to travel, but I think it’s so important to give it a try once or twice, just to know that you CAN do it. Love this post Caz!

    Reply
  21. I always love hearing from people who love solo travel! I am sadly not one of those people. But that just makes me respect the ones who do more. Besides, the spirit is the same. I don’t let anything stop me from travel! I’m single and in my mid 30′s — and will do anything to hit the road, from meeting up with people I know only from online, to jumping at any invite I get for a long weekend. No fear!!

    Reply
  22. I never find it easy to start a conversation with a stranger but the tips given here are amazing and hopefully they work for me!

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  23. Thanks for posting this one! This is always a subject that I gravitate towards because it hits close to home for me. I do most of my traveling solo, and yes, there have definitely been many times when I felt lonely. But overall, the benefits of solo travel outweigh group for me. I don’t another travel companion so much, but still stick mostly to going solo.
    But because of this, I have definitely experienced “many hands of friendships” in my travels as you put it. I find it much easier to connect with the locals and to show a real interest in their lives and their culture. For me that’s what I travel for. I can write ages on this subject, but I just want to say that your tip on remembering to say ‘Thank you’ is so stinking true it’s not even funny. Those 2 words can make the difference between opening opportunities for more mind blowing experiences, or shutting the door permanently. Thanks for the post!

    Do you have any tips for solo travel?
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  24. I have traveled solo so many times and people have always thought I was crazy (especially when I went around SE Asia). But this article is so true! You will always meet people on the road and although you might travel alone, you will never truly be alone! Good post :)
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    • Thanks Chanel!! Yes, so many people have this warped view of the world being dangerous. They need to stop watching the news :)

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  25. I took two solo trips before I was married and I loved traveling alone. In the 8 total months I was on the road solo, I can only say I was lonley for a couple of total days and never truly had difficulty meeting people. My wife is the perfect travel partner but if I were not married I’d always go alone.
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  26. [...] with children. One of my favorite articles from the couple from this year was entitled ‘ Solo Trips: Why You’ll Never be Lonely When You Travel Alone‘.   Craig and Caz can be found on Facebook, YouTube, [...]

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  27. I love this article! I recently went on a solo trip, my first solo trip, to the mountains and in the week that I traveled alone, I was never really alone! I met new company everyday and found new friends of whom I am now making new travel plans.

    Reply
    • Awesome Hanna! Thank you. I’m so glad you discovered how easy and fun it is to make friends when travelling. Now the next journey will be even easier for you

      Reply
  28. these are true and usefull tip’s!! i agree with everything in your article. i for myself am a born lone travler, currently traveling trough the usa and had many journeys on my own before and will never stop doing that, i think that this is one of the best ways to travel, grow, learn and open yourself to an every time unknown and new world. and like they say, its not possible to be alone in a world full of people. even when every thing goes wrong, and have nobody to talk to, i say to myself; “but at least i’m free”…
    ;-) and get back on my feet in no-time!
    also, sometimes beeing on your own gives your mind some rest, what is very helpfull after a bussy moving and trilling, day, week, month or year.

    see you out there!!!!

    Reply
    • yes! I crave that mind rest with two busy children. I certainly miss solo travel for that reason sometimes. We rarely get a chance to just sit and observe

      Reply
  29. Im taking a solo trip to Bahamas, leaving on Monday, slightly nervous… going to use your tips!!

    Reply
  30. I figured this one while traveling alone in Goa at age of 17, books can be one of your best companion. They can guide you, kill the lonesomeness feeling
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    • My mother always told me “You’ll always have a friend in a book.” She is not wrong!

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