Traveling as a Single Person-Do It!
Take a dose of preparation, a dose of confidence, a dose of excitement and a dose of great
attitude, and go on that trip you have been dying to experience BY YOURSELF!
You can wait for that special someone, but that person may never come along for this special
event or maybe your partner can not get away or is not interested in this vacation. Time flies by
quickly as we all know and by waiting, you are putting your life on hold. It could be much more
romantic with another person, but who knows what can happen? You are great company alone,
and you are opening a whole new world of possibilities. You may meet some wonderful new
friends. Best of all, you will achieve the empowerment of doing something on your own. This
can be a big accomplishment! Also, you may want to experience something a partner would not
enjoy. I say try it! You have so much to gain from the experience. I feel the memories and the
confidence are unbeatable. Pick the trip alone wisely for you, and be prepared by knowing all
you can about your adventure.
I was a travel wimp. Yes, a wimp. I could hardly drive my car across town. I was weak and
dependent as a person in my twenties. Oh, what I missed, but I just did not have the confidence to
seek the adventure of going it alone.
After divorcing in my thirties, I committed myself to renting a cottage with friends on the outer
banks of North Carolina. I planned on driving my two children out to meet the other family and
stay for a week. I had a new mini van, and I thought it all sounded like fun until I realized I had to
drive with an eight year old and a ten year old-just the three of us. I hated to drive. I was scared.
I forced myself to go, since I had already paid for my portion of the cottage and could not let my
friends and children down. I was committed, so the three of us headed out. Would not you know
it? My new vehicle broke down twice !! My daughter became ill. The temperature was in the high
nineties. Somehow we made it to the Outer Banks. I was frightened driving through
Washington DC at high traffic time. I panicked at the thought of finding my way alone with two
children in my charge. I was lost a few times, the trip was much longer than I had planned, but I
made it happen. That mini-van pulled us through, and my children sensing none of my worries,
were troopers. I was determined, and we had a memory maker. All in all, the trip gave me
confidence, and we had a great time. This was my growing up time, and now as the children are
on their own, so am I.
I "hit the road" often, especially since I have recently retired. My son lives in Washington state,
so I frequently go there alone.
The main thing I realized in traveling alone is being prepared. Like a good boy scout, know
where you are going and how you will get there. Line up a great travel agent, look in the local
newspapers for local traveling groups or hit the internet which offers any place you want to visit.
Line up your singles cruise, (I just found tons of single trips on Goggle) go biking in France, go
fly fishing in Montana, rafting in West Virginia, to a spa in Arizona or to a motel at the other side of
your state. Plan it well for yourself. Figure it all out. Do you need a passport? What do the
brochures tell you? Have you researched all of the information? What do other people say
about the place? Talking to friends, travel agents and online blogs will get you all of your details.
Think about you in the place.
How much will everything cost? (It always costs more than we think with tips, taxis, fees and
food) Look at maps, line up your hotels or camping sites. I always feel the best bet for a single
person is a tour with people. You are guaranteed time with people, so you will have someone to
dine with and places all set for you. In a tour, you do not wait in long lines and your day is
planned for you. This is all a great start for being on your own. You will plan the trip, execute the
trip, but have people in the wings right by you waiting to make new friends and do the same
wonderful things you are. Single accommodations are more expensive, but you can enjoy a
room alone at night. If you are not the "tour" person, be even more prepared for growth and fun.
I like to look my best when I travel, because then I feel my best. I really plan my packing for
efficiency, weather, and needs of the trip. I start early and write down what I will take. I think
hard about where I will be and what can be coordinated. I figure I can buy what I forget most of
the time, but usually it is preferable to just have it. I tend to travel with too many clothes, so I work
on paring down. I always have a really comfortable pair of walking shoes that are clean and
attractive, clothes that mix and match and are wrinkle resistant and a collapsible umbrella,
fold-up raincoat, and a sweater and jacket for layering. I pack small sample cosmetics and
toiletries and never forget my camera and a small case with a neck strap which I use as a
I always take books to read, a notebook in which to write down my experiences, water to drink
and some snacks. I need my laptop, and you may need other items: music, handheld games,
magazine, crossword puzzles, whatever. Take what you need: things to amuse yourself and
make you happy. You may be stranded somewhere. Make the best of it by having materials to
Check in early if flying, leave early if driving. Know flight details, have your map researched and
handy for problems. Have two credit cards. One may give you problems. Carry some cash, and
I carry a debit card where I can access funds wherever I go. If you choose travelers' checks, be
aware that they are very safe, but at times it is inconvenient to cash them. Have change for tips
or treats on the road or in the airport.
So you have planned your trip totally, you are packed, and it is time to leave. Here is the time for
the great attitude. You may be tempted to forget the whole trip, but do not. You may feel worried,
scared, and uneasy. Feel the feelings, then plow through them. Look the part of a confident
traveler, and you will be the confident traveler. The best advice I received when I planned my first
long flight to Hawaii is "There are many things which can go wrong, and somehow you need to
live with whatever happens. Be ready to experience some bumps in the road, and do not let
these bumps spoil your trip. "This is such great advice, and I live by it. Flight delays, traffic jams,
lost luggage, and rain do not get me down. My attitude is such that I can work through these
things. They are minor in the scheme of things.
It is time to enjoy every minute of this trip. Remember, you may have some lonely times because
we as humans like a little company and our society points to coupling as being the way to go.
Fight it, enjoy yourself. (Again, a tour is an easy starter for the single traveler.) Meal times may be
hard for you, but face this head on. If you are on a trip where there is no one to eat with you, take
a book or magazine to fill in the vacant times. Do not sit there watching couples and envying
them. They may have their own issues. Read your book, watch the overhead TV, write in your
journal. Make yourself comfortable. This may not be easy for you, but I guarantee growth for you.
Go ahead, reach out and be open with others if you are comfortable. Open yourself to new
opportunities. Talk to some new people. Learn from them, listen to them. Share your
I traveled abroad for the first time two years ago. My significant other was to go with me, but he
felt two weeks away from his business was too much time. A few friends wanted to go, but none
could work out the details, and frankly, not everyone was compatible with me for two weeks. I
booked a great tour of Italy and France through a travel agent. She suggested I pay a little more
due to higher quality of buses and hotels, and I felt it was worth it. I felt safe and secure. I also
had to pay more for single accommodations. I was nervous but excited, and it was the best trip
of my life! For the first few days, the people on the trip took pictures of me alone, and I felt a little
sad heading to a room alone. By day three, I was making new friends with everyone. I was not
limited to just my traveling partner. I "hung out" with everyone. When I wanted quiet time, I had
that too. On a tour, there was always an option and always people to eat with and laugh with. I
did the extra tours and really enjoyed myself. I always listened to the directions of the day,
because there was no one in my room to back me up. I was always so tired, I never had time for
loneliness or sadness in my room. I wanted the peace and quiet. I ended up with a busload of
new friends from all over the world. What a fulfilling reward.
I hope you too have fulfilling rewards as you travel. Please take lots of pictures, write about your
daily events, buy little souvenirs unique to where you visit. You will have this trip forever in your
soul, and you will feel empowered in that you can go anywhere and do anything!
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Enjoy your travels!