Tips For Traveling Alone – The Ultimate Guide

Solo Traveler

Traveling alone is an exciting prospect. It’s a chance to explore new places, meet new people and see the world without having to worry about anyone else. However, traveling solo isn’t always easy and it might not be for everyone. Our site is pretty dedicated to family travel but we do often set out by ourselves. Sometimes not everyone wants to visit a certain place or has no interest in a particular activity. Or maybe one person can’t get the time off work so you venture off on your own. This is where solo travel comes in.

There are plenty of things you should consider before embarking on a trip by yourself. Safety, what to do in an emergency, or should you get travel insurance are just a few things to think about. Here are some other tips for traveling alone to keep in mind if you’re planning to travel solo.

Should You Travel Alone?

We can’t say whether you should or shouldn’t travel by yourself. If you’re married or have kids this is something you should discuss with your partner and children. With 100% support from your family to try a new travel experience, you should start planning a solo trip. If your family isn’t on board then you might want to rethink your decision.

Now if you’re single and without children, there isn’t much to think about beyond these solo trip tips you came here to learn. There is nothing stopping you from taking the trip of a lifetime. Go out, explore and mingle with your fellow travelers. We promise there are plenty of other single travelers out there. And if you’re traveling by yourself for the first time we promise there is nothing to worry about if you follow our advice. With a few tips for traveling alone, we’re sure you’ll have a safe and enjoyable solo trip.

Staying Safe While Traveling Alone

This is probably the thing that worries solo travelers the most and is in fact one of the most important tips for traveling alone. It’s also one of the things that discourages a lot of people from taking trips by themselves. Safety is extremely important whenever you travel, but when you’re traveling alone there are some extra precautions you should take. This goes for both female travelers and male travelers. These solo travel tips will help you stay safe whether you’re in a bustling city or rural countryside.

Do Your Research

When you’re planning a solo trip it’s important to do a lot of research. I’m not talking about the coolest attractions to visit or the best restaurants to eat at. Those things are important, but I’m talking about in-depth research about the place you’re visiting. Like know your transportation options and have an idea how to get around the cities you plan to visit. Look into what areas you should avoid because they might have a higher crime rate. Visit the State Department website to see what current travel alerts there are for your destination. Do enough research so you can get around with as little help as possible while staying away from areas where safety concerns could be more prevalent.

There is a Thing Called Street Smarts

It’s true, street smarts can go a long way toward keeping you safe when you travel. If you’re lost, don’t walk up to a random stranger and ask for help. Look for a police officer, a family, or your best option, walk into a store or restaurant and ask for help. Don’t whip out your map on the street while standing there looking confused. All this does is draw attention to yourself. Do your best to know where you’re going before you leave your hotel room. You’re doing your best to fit in with the place you’re visiting and avoid screaming “I’m a confused tourist with cash and credit cards come and take them”. This last part might sound stupid, but it’s so true. Trust your gut and don’t go against it. If you’re getting the feeling something isn’t right don’t ignore it.

Keep In Touch and Have An Emergency Contact

It’s okay to keep in touch with friends and family at home while you’re traveling alone. In fact, this is a piece of solo travel advice you should really pay attention to. It only takes a couple of minutes to send a quick email, place a call, or send a text to tell someone what your plans are for the day. Take the time to do this before you head out for the day and especially when you’re traveling for longer periods of time and between different destinations. This is your safety blanket, it’s the people that will throw up a red flag and start reaching out when they don’t hear from you. It takes no extra time for you to do this and it should be done often. Don’t be a ghost when you travel and keep in touch.

That trusted friend or family member should also be your emergency contact. Keep a copy of their contact information with you at all times. If there is ever an emergency you want to make sure local authorities have a way to contact someone that is close to you. It can be as simple as a piece of paper with their information on it. Whatever you decide, just make sure it’s with you.

Travel With A Safety Device and Stay Organized

The safety device you choose is going to be based on both your beliefs and the local laws for wherever you’re traveling. Of course when you’re traveling abroad or by plane, you’ll be extremely limited with what you can bring. For these reasons, we won’t dive deep into personal protection devices, but there are some safety products you can bring anywhere. One thing we like to bring with us when traveling as a family or solo is the SABRE Wedge Door Stop Security Alarm. This device won’t do anything for you when you’re away from your hotel. But, it can provide some extra security when you go to sleep for the night.

Another part of solo travel safety is staying organized. Products like a Passport Holder with RFID Blocking Protection can keep all your important travel documents and cards safe. They also keep them organized which helps prevent losing items that are essential for travel. There is nothing worse than losing your passport, cash, or credit card when you’re traveling. We have an entire article dedicated to travel gear for solo travelers that includes even more essential items to keep you safe while traveling alone.

Dining Tips for the Solo Traveler

Solo Dining While Traveling

One of the single best solo travel tips we can give you for dining alone is to not worry about it. There is nothing weird about dining by yourself. People do it all the time and being by yourself shouldn’t stop you from enjoying a great dining experience from wherever you might be traveling. We’ve actually seen other travel sites suggest ordering take-out or even room service from your hotel. Whatever you do, don’t take this horrible advice. Go out and enjoy yourself. Enjoy a great meal in the city you traveled to. Don’t hide away in your room and eat take-out. The fact is, eating in your room truly is eating alone.

How to Make Solo Dining Better

If you’re worried about dining by yourself there are some things that can make it better. One tried and true method is to sit at the bar. There are actually many benefits to this. One, it’s often less of a wait time at busy restaurants. And two, there is always someone there to talk to. Bartenders for the most part are always willing to have a conversation with someone by themselves. And besides the bartender, there are often other people eating alone. It’s a great place to enjoy a meal and not feel like you’re doing it by yourself.

Another great option is to find a cafe or somewhere with outdoor dining. Sit back and do some people watching while reading a book on your Kindle. Or take the time to catch up on writing in your Travel Journal. You don’t have to sit there and look ashamed for being alone while you dine. Keep busy and enjoy the dining experience. And just remember, no one really cares that you’re eating by yourself. But if they do, is it really your problem, or is it theirs?

Accommodations For Solo Travelers

Hotel for Solo Travelers

Where you stay is really going to come down to personal preference and your budget. If you stay at a hotel you’ll most likely pay the same rate as if you were staying as a couple or family. You can search sites like for single occupancy room rates to see if you might save a little money. Be sure to compare the rates on other sites like before making a hotel reservation to be sure you’re getting the best rate. My personal preference is to stay at a hotel whether I’m paying less or not. I’m not a huge fan of hostels or sharing space with people I’m not actually traveling with.

If you’re on a budget and don’t mind a hostel or a home-share you can often find some really good deals in cities throughout the world. Couchsurfing is a great site for finding rooms to rent or even a couch in a hosted home. These options are also great for the solo traveler looking to meet others while on the road. You will often find a lot of like-minded travelers when staying at these kinds of places.

Be Flexible While Traveling Alone

When you’re planning a solo trip try not to do so much planning. This is after all one of the reasons you’re traveling alone. Be spontaneous and take advantage of fun activities or adventures that might arise. When you plan too much you don’t have this option. I’m not saying don’t plan at all, because there should always be some planning involved. Just don’t have every hour of every day scheduled in advance. Sometimes some of your best travel memories are made from doing things you made no plans for.

Take Tours and Classes to Combat Feeling Lonely

Solo Traveler Cooking Class

This is a great way to make yourself not feel alone. Take a sightseeing tour of the city you’re visiting. Or better yet, find individuals that give tours to much smaller groups than the large tour companies do. This gets you some one-on-one time with locals and can be a much more personal experience. Another great activity is to take a class related to something you’re interested in. Maybe an art workshop or a cooking class that focuses on the local cuisine. If you ever start to feel lonely while traveling solo these are great options to help with that loneliness.

Practice Traveling Alone Before You Leave Home

If you have any concerns about going solo, give it a try while you’re still at home. Go out to eat by yourself, get a cup of coffee or head out to a bar you’re not familiar with. Practice talking to people you’ve never met and get better at striking up a conversation. Be a solo tourist in your own city and see how you do. If you feel you need more practice try a solo weekend getaway a couple of hours from your home. Do what you need to be as comfortable as possible before your big solo trip. It’s better to find out that solo travel might not be for you when you’re close to home instead of the other side of the planet.

Avoid Arriving Late at Night

This is especially true if you’re traveling to a new city and you’re traveling alone for the first time. It’s never fun arriving late at night in a new city and having to find the way to your hotel. It’s not always possible to get a daytime arrival so if you have to arrive at night try to book a hotel at or very near the airport. Or if it’s only a few hours until daylight consider hanging around the airport to grab a bite to eat or a cup of coffee. Much better to waste a few hours at the airport than get lost in a city you don’t know.

Take a Million Pictures

Solo Travel Tips

Okay, maybe not a million, but take a lot. And don’t be afraid to take a selfie or better yet bring a tripod and get amazing pictures of yourself. You don’t want to be asking random people to take your pictures all the time. And there’s actually a couple of reasons why you don’t want to ask. For one, you’re hopefully going with a nice camera that will take great pictures. I personally don’t like handing off my expensive camera to a complete stranger. And the other reason is you want to make sure you’re getting the best pictures possible. Some guy you grab off the street isn’t going to care about that. Bring a good camera, get a travel tripod, and take the most amazing pictures of yourself and the place you’re visiting.

I take the same camera setup whether I’m traveling as a family or solo. My camera gear includes the Sony Alpha a6400 with an extra lens or two, my GoPro HERO 12, extra batteries, an extra memory card, and a good travel tripod. Everything fits perfectly in the backpack I carry and I always have great equipment available for my next photo. I can’t begin to stress how important good camera equipment is when traveling. It’s well worth the investment if you travel often.

The Most Important Tips For Traveling Alone You Will Ever Receive

Just go do it! Stop procrastinating, stop being worried about it, and just go out and do it. These tips for traveling alone are meant to help you have a successful and memorable trip. But it’s on you to actually make it happen. At some point you have to pull the trigger and book your first solo trip. You’ve done your research and now it’s time to trust yourself. There’s nothing wrong with just getting away and having your own amazing travel experience. Go explore and take a break from the world around you.

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