You get to travel solo which means you get to make the decisions. Exciting! Now, where to visit and what to consider?
When you plan to travel solo, the first things you need to figure out are: your means of travel, and when you can go. Will you have the time and means to travel to a faraway destination? Will you be exploring your own country and driving? Or will you take rail or air transportation?
There’s lots to consider when planning a trip, including time off of work and other commitments. Will you be traveling during a peak season, including the holidays? Holiday commuters clog roadways, airports, bus stations and trains in many places. Consider if you will be sightseeing and how crowded these sites might be. If you don’t plan in advance, you could find yourself in the lurch—here are five holiday traveling tips.
With the big picture travel decisions figured out, you can think about some possible travel adventures for the solo traveler.
1: Live Where You Roam
Of course, today many people avoid air travel. If you don’t want to spend your time driving, there are many interesting options:
Vacation on a ship
You can always go by sea… think of a cruise. Everything is planned out for you.
Enjoy a house swap
There are also companies who will partner you with a house swap. You can travel abroad for any length of time, and stay in their residence while they stay in yours. It’s a wonderful way to save on travel expenses.
Travel by RV or camper
Something really popular nowadays involves bringing your “room and board” with you — via an RV. You can take your time getting to each destination and spend as much time as you like. It’s a great way for someone who can telecommute for work. And it’s a perfect way to spend a year if you can budget it. You get to travel where you wish, do what you want, meet who you want, see what you like, and have all manner of exciting adventures. You can find all kinds of unique opportunities and communities wherever you go.
This is where the “getting there” itself is an adventure! And you can find often rent, borrow or purchase an RV for a reasonable amount. If you can budget for your food and gas, you can do it for a year pretty successfully. Take into account the total cost of a cheap, late-model RV (1970 – 1990), repairs, taxes, and the occasional, unexpected situations which may occur.
2: For Those Who Fly
However, not everyone has that kind of luxury in terms of conveyance or time, and often folks must maximize their leisure shortly. What can be a great thing to do is to shoehorn in some “bucket list” adventures, like chartering a private jet for an adventure of a lifetime. Some services enable you to travel to some unique locale not really accessible any other way. This is an increasingly common mode of travel with many vendors.
3: Natural Exploration
Anywhere you go will have some exceptional natural feature worth seeing. You may find some wonders are more wondrous than others. Get in the habit of checking something out geographically whenever you’re traveling solo. There are many biking, backpacking and hiking tours you can join in as well. Going on a road trip? There are even self-drive tours to explore.
For example, have you been up and down the West Coast? Did you check out the Redwoods? It’s a must for any avid traveler at least once.
4: Cultural Exploration
Immersing yourself in the local culture wherever you are visiting is the best way to experience a city. Find out where the locals like to eat. Take public transportation. Go off the beaten path — always with safety in mind, of course! Go to the corner grocer and pack a lunch to eat in the park to people watch. You will be able to get a better sense of the culture you are visiting when you get out of your car and roam.
5: Architectural Wandering
Whether you are in a large or small city, chances are there is something architecturally noteworthy. Take time to learn about the history of the site, including the architecture prevalent during that time period. Many areas have walking tours as well as boat, bike or bus tours, so you can learn from an expert and find interesting information about the history of the city.
Once you’ve got the when and how of your travel ironed out, it’s important to consider how you will transport your luggage and belongings. It helps the earth and your sanity to not bring much with you when traveling. The key is to know how to pack light. What can you find when you are at your destination?
If you are flying, know that airlines no longer make it easy for their passengers to transport bags, especially if you are booking a budget flight. When you travel internationally, there are ways to eliminate the hassle of baggage so you can enjoy the “getting to” your destination.
When the point of travel is to incite your curiosity, learn and broaden your horizons, get away from it all, and to be adventurous, you have lots of options. Prepare and plan for your trip, then hit the road with an openness that is willing to explore.