Travel Solo and Practice 3 Essential Life Skills

Choices - in travel and life.

Turn left or right, there are many choices in life over which you have control.

We, alone, choose what to do.

We, alone, have control over our response to a situation.

We, alone, are responsible for ourselves.

In a sense we are all, always, solo travelers.

Traveling solo I have had the opportunity to practice making choices, manage my reaction to challenging situations and take full responsibility for myself. My choices have included:

  • My destination.
  • When to travel.
  • How to prioritize my expenditures.
  • How to spend each day. When to explore and when to rest.
  • How to react if I feel I’ve been treated unfairly.
  • Whether to accept or decline help from someone.
  • How to respond when things don’t go as planned.
  • Where, when and what to eat.
  • When to use anger as a means of protection.
  • When to splurge on a bit of luxury.
  • How to express my need to be treated better.
  • How to establish boundaries with people who push them.
3 essential life skills

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All of the choices above mirror those that are made in life almost daily. Traveling solo I’ve enjoyed making these decisions free of my responsibilities to others. I’ve been able to practice a slightly more assertive mode which has served me well as I continue to grow as a person.

Traveling solo is not just a great way to travel, it also provides the opportunity to practice three essential life skills as you navigate your journey and negotiate what you need along the way.





  • Cindy Van Vreede

    I often tell my sister that if I have to wait for someone to join me, I’d never get anywhere. I have my own schedule and timetable for doing things and many, okay most, can’t go with me. Going solo is the usually the way for me. My sister is finally starting to do a few things solo because she’s tired of waiting for someone, anyone.

  • Serendipita

    I went solo to Spain last month for 2 weeks. I thought upon flying out, ” I know absolutely no one in the entire country of Spain,” and off I went. I visited Madrid and Barco de Avila. I had a wonderful time and plan to return for a visit to the walled city of Avila, Toledo, Barcelona and Ibiza.

  • Serendipita

    I do it in stages many months or weeks before departing, with a day or two set aside for specific preparatory tasks. It all comes together okay if you plan very much ahead. And be prepared for setbacks by allowing plenty of extra time for getting there and a couple of extra days to adjust from jetlag. Planning far ahead with extra days added in for travel, touring or sleeping in makes a huge difference between a pleasurable trip and a stressful one.

  • Serendipita

    Yes, great website indeed! Thanks Janice!

  • Serendipita

    I well agree. Many life skills are learned or reinforced through solo travel. I’ve traveled solo for years — many road trips in the US, Canada and abroad. I like to research where I’ll go and my itinerary. Discoveries of new places to tour and enjoy all on my own is a big draw for me of solo travel!

  • Janice Waugh

    Sounds wonderful. Enjoy!

  • Emily

    I’m leaving in July for a two week trip to Ireland (Dublin, Galway, and Cork), London, and Paris before settling down in Switzerland to be an au pair for a year! At first I thought of traveling with a friend, but then relished in the idea traveling solo!

  • Lula

    Love that site!

  • Louise Patterton


  • gstrick99

    For those thinking about cruising, you may want to look at They have an area on their site of cruises with low or no single supplement. I haven’t tried booking there, but I watch the prices. Hoping for a room to myself on a transatlantic next year. A lot cheaper than air travel as transportation if you have the time.

  • Travelbug1

    I’ve been debating about going on Epic ….. problem is I’m not fussy on their itinerary for Caribbean altho’ their European itinerary not bad I guess so maybe one year. Didn’t know about Carnival …… I’m wondering if they’re trying to drum up business with all the bad rap they are getting. Thanks for the info. My favourite line is Princess tho’ wish they were more solo friendly price wise. They do have get togethers for solos which is pretty good. Didn’t like how Holland America Line handled their get togethers, sucked. Happy travels!

  • Roseanne

    Carnival cruises lately have been charging no single supplement on certain sailings. They have been doing this for the last year or more. Also the Norwegian Epic has solo cabins and lounge.

  • Travelbug1

    Well, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I love travelling solo. For me it’s the freedom to do what I want without compromising, not having that other person complain if things go wrong. To be honest, I deal with things going wrong better on my own than with someone else. they make me second guess too much and especially if they don’t have patience. (if this makes any sense). I just wish more travels such as cruises don’t charge that yucky single supplement. Yes I know they have shared programs but I don’t want to share my room with anyone. Just trying to think of what I can do in 2014. Happy new Year!

  • Steph Paige

    As a 29yo woman, I’ve found I much prefer to travel alone than with someone. No matter what age we are, we are continuously learning about ourselves and who we want to be, and I find solo travel really encourages this. As well, the relationships you make with other solo travelers are parallel to none, bonding over your mutual interest in discovering the world. Nothing beats it! I’m heading to Spain and Portugal (from Toronto) solo in three weeks time and I couldn’t be more excited for the adventure that awaits me!

  • Kelly

    Good luck in India…I know of another woman who is travelling solo there. She has a guide (inexpensive) and it has made all the difference.

    I am back from m trip now and I have is a strangely altered perspective on solo travel…it was all good and being solo meant that I met some amazing people that I may have walked by had I been with a travel partner.I plan to meet up with several of the women that I met.

    Keep me up to date on your India trip…it is on my list as well.

  • Ericka


  • Ericka

    At 47 my first trip was two years ago, three days in Nevada horseback riding. My second trip was last year, one week in Mexico (scared the hell out of me when I lost my credit card and couldn’t speak the language!) Now, six months later I’m planning to spend one month in India! It terrifies me every time. I don’t come from a family of travelers but sometimes we have to write our book like someone would want to read it.

  • solotraveler



  • Aldice2

    I have a couple of practical suggestions for solo travel, particularly women. 1) Leave the expensive jewelry at home—no gold watches, rings or earrings. These attract attention. 2) If going abroad, go to the net and watch what the people are wearing. Someone who wears what the locals are wearing blends in better!

  • Marcia

    I get to visit my daughter next Spring & am so excited about planning the journey!

  • Marcia

    You’re welcome! :-)

  • Janice Waugh

    What a lovely way of expressing it – liberating! Thanks for sharing Marcia.

  • arleeda

    I am also newly widowed, but I have had experience in solo travel before and after I married. I would still prefer to have him with me, but haven’t met anyone else who wants to go to the same weird destinations I do!

  • Marcia

    13 years ago, I divorced and became a single mom to teens, who are now grown. My son is married & has two little babes and a lovely wife. And my daughter moved to Germany in August to be an expat there. She is having a grand time. So, I’ve had to do just about everything solo. It is lonely sometimes, when I travel, if I want to share something. But I love the option of, what if I were traveling with someone who is cranky. The choice is liberating.

  • Adele Burke

    As a newly widowed woman, if I don’t solo travel, it is more difficult for me. For the past three years I have crisscrossed the country and even moved from Arizona to North Carolina by myself. Quite the adventures follow me and I encourage solo travel, love the blog and the wisdom it provides. Great web site!

  • Kelly

    I keep reading these posts as I countdown to my first solo trip. 8 weeks mostly on my own….thanks for the encouragement!

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  • bluemorpho tattoo

    I found this is an interesting reflection on Life, actually.
    I am a loner by nature so I can appreciate where the lessons to be learned are…
    But I do have to agree that travelling alone is not most people’s first choice, and I understand that: human beings are very social people after all.

  • lee

    perhaps because I try to have every trip achieve too much, i also find solo travel a great deal of work. not necessarily unpleasant work but all the responsibility, all the decisions and all the ‘to do’ list, is often daunting.

  • Andi Perullo

    Traveling solo is a must for everyone, especially women! I hope this encourages people. :)

  • Janice Waugh

    This falls under the category of “A Solo Point of View”. It’s an observation about solo travel. For more practical advice, I hope you’ll check out the “Travel Alone Where and How” page

  • Lawrence DeVore

    Not helpful.