You don’t need a family, friend, or partner to travel. Traveling by yourself gives you complete control of your itinerary and is a fun way to meet new people and experience new places. So if you’re dying to travel somewhere you’ve never been or want to revisit a destination you haven’t been to in years, there’s no reason to wait. At the risk of sounding cliché, carpe diem! Here are our top 8 tips for traveling alone.
1. Know your budget
Setting a budget is important for any trip, but its one of the best solo travel tips, especially since you won’t be sharing expenses with travel buddies. While putting everything on a credit card may seem like a savvy option for all of the points you’ll accrue, it’s not wise if you aren’t able to pay it off when you get back home. Give yourself a daily budget and choose activities and accommodations that fit within what you can afford. It’s worth bootstrapping and saving up so you don’t go into debt.
2. Don’t overplan
This may seem contrary to tip 1, but it’s not. You can plan an excessive amount of activities that don’t cost a penny. If you don’t want your vacation to feel rushed, it’s important not to overplan. Let yourself walk, explore, and take in the sights, sounds and experiences at a comfortable pace. You don’t want to return feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation. Luckily, many of the best places to travel solo in the US, like the Oregon Coast or Florida Keys, make it easy to both wander and have memorable adventures.
3. Pack light
Don’t pack for every single possible moment you might have. The best places to solo travel don’t require a lot of baggage. Whether you’re going on a hiking trip or hitting an urban area, you’ll enjoy the experience more if you don’t have to lug around a lot of baggage.. Think of yourself as a modern-day nomad who only carries the bare essentials. Allow yourself to rewear jeans, leave the heavy books at home (because you can read anything you want on your cell phone), and take one pair of shoes. The ability to easily carry everything you need while traveling is one of the most freeing experiences a person can have.
4. Be flexible
While researching the best places to travel solo, be open to areas you’ve never previously heard of or considered visiting. It’s a big world, and it’d be pretty boring if you only ever visited big cities or beach towns. Try looking outside of the box and visiting somewhere you never thought you’d go. If you’re flexible and open-minded, you might just connect with a part of the world that was once foreign to you.
5. Explore the city at different levels
Every city and location has its touristy areas (and, truth be told, these spots are usually pretty cool); however, wander off the beaten path after you’ve seen and done all of the necessities and you’ll discover interesting gems that make the destination truly unique. All of the best solo travel destinations have their own charm and plenty of reasons why residents decided it’s a great place to live.
6. Eat local
Why would you travel for hours on end to eat at a restaurant that’s similar to what you have access to at home? Travel is about having new experiences. Avoid chain restaurants and fast food fixes, and go out of your way to eat local cuisine. Every location has its own cultures and customs, and a destination’s cuisine is part of that. You may even have a meal that is so delicious that you’ll want to learn how to make it for all of your friends and family when you get home.
7. Talk to locals
If you want to find an area’s hidden gems or meet new and interesting people, you have to get comfortable talking to strangers. You may have to force yourself the first couple of times, but once you do, it gets a lot easier. Seeing all of the cool things that drew you to your travel destination is great, but even greater is meeting some of the friendly people who live there. You never know — maybe the next time you travel you’ll be traveling to see new friends.
8. Stay safe
It’s smart to have a safety plan for any trip, but especially when you’re traveling by yourself. Make sure a friend, family member, or co-worker has your full itinerary so they know where you’re supposed to be throughout your vacation. Also do some research on each destination, including the safety of neighborhoods you plan to stay in and visit.
Insurance is also an important component of any trip. There are a variety of travel insurance policies that can reimburse you for costs in case your plans change due to natural disasters and other events. And if you’re traveling abroad, consider supplemental health insurance to cover medical care costs that may pop up during your trip. Finally, when renting a car, a comprehensive insurance coverage helps to financially protect you in case of an accident.
Renting a car for your solo trip gives you control over where you’re going and when. With Avail car sharing, your reservation is always guaranteed, as is the price you’ll pay. Every trip is protected by insurance coverage from Allstate and includes roadside assistance so you’re covered every step of the way. Locations are available across neighborhoods in Chicago and Denver, so planning your next adventure just got a little easier.