5 Great Pieces of Solo Travel Advice from Solo Traveller Maja Proescholdt

Travelista Contributor Maja Proescholdt is currently travelling around Australia solo on the adventure of a lifetime. Here she shares five invaluable pieces of solo travel advice if you’re thinking of taking your next trip alone.

Solo travel can feel like a daunting prospect to anyone who has never experienced it before. But whether you’re curious and compelled by the thought of solo travel or you simply have no other option, it can be a real opportunity to push yourself beyond your comfort zone and grow in confidence. I know that travel, for many, is all about shared experience. But here’s the thing; solo travel opens up pathways to meet and engage with so many more people than if you were to travel in a couple, family or small group. This means you can increase your your levels of shared experience exponentially. Here are my 5 essential pieces of solo travel advice, all based on my own experience.

1. Any major life change can be a great catalyst to try solo travel

Any type of major life change – whether that’s the breakdown of a relationship, a loved one passing away, a career change, a move to a new home, expanding your family or something different – will bring about challenges. But it will also open up doors and allow for new opportunities that wouldn’t have been possible in your old life, whatever that may have looked like. Spend time thinking about what truly makes you happy, and what you want your life to be. Consider what actionable steps you can make to shift that dream to reality.

2. If you’re new to solo travel, start small

Everyone is at a different stage of their solo travel journey. If you’ve never travelled on your own before, and are looking to try solo travel, I recommend starting small. Take yourself out on a lunch date in your own city or go for a day trip alone somewhere close by.

Learn to be comfortable on your own and navigate solo experiences in a familiar environment. Build your way up to a weekend away before taking the plunge and booking a longer solo trip. A fantastic way to test out solo travel is to book a small-group trip with a tour operator. You’ll depart alone, but someone else will take care of the finer details like accommodation and day-to-day itineraries. A small group will mean you’ll likely have the chance to connect with others – and hopefully make new friends! 

After reading this article be sure to check out our guide on The Subtle Art of Dining Alone.

3. There are still ways to meet others whilst travelling solo

Solo travel doesn’t necessarily mean you’re always alone. In fact, I always meet more people and make more friends when I travel solo, as opposed to my trips travelling with my ex-husband or friends. Shared accommodation (like hostels) is an easy way to meet people, even if you stay in private rooms. But if you’re not keen on low-budget accommodation, joining a tour or booking a group excursion are also great options for meeting other travellers on the road. Online communities like Facebook groups or Instagram pages can also connect you with like-minded locals! When you travel solo, you have no one to socialise with unless you make the effort to meet others – but with the right attitude, you can meet people anywhere and everywhere you go. 

4. Safety is paramount

You don’t have anyone else looking out for you when you travel solo, so keeping yourself safe is paramount. Do plenty of research in advance about the destination you’re travelling to – anything from common scams to conservative dress or sketchy neighbourhoods. Give a travel itinerary, including the names of your accommodations each night, to a trusted family member or friend, and arrange regular check-ins. On my wild camping trips, I let a close friend know where I’m planning on setting up camp each night, and how long it’ll be until my next message (if I won’t have phone signal). As I road trip around Australia, I typically tell my parents where I’m planning on sleeping each night.

5. Stay alert

My final piece of solo travel advice is key. You need to be that bit more vigilant when travelling alone. Invest in a good cross-body handbag or purse, don’t walk alone in unlit areas at night, don’t overindulge in alcohol alone and don’t give out your personal details to strangers. Trust your intuition and your gut instinct – if something seems off, there’s no need to give a person or situation the benefit of the doubt. These basic common sense safety tips will help solo travellers have a stress-free trip.

The joy of solo travel is that you can do whatever you like, whenever you like, however you like. Embrace the freedom of setting your own itinerary and making your own plans – when you travel solo, you cater to no other whims besides your own, and it is so freeing.

Read 8 Learnings from a Female Travelling Solo For The First Time.

Read more Travelista articles about solo travel.

Maja Proescholdt is a travel blogger and freelance writer, originally from Minneapolis, USA. Although she now calls York in the UK her forever home, she is currently solo travelling around Australia. You can follow along with her adventures on her blog, Away With Maja, and her Instagram @awaywithmaja.

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