Solo Travel: 42 things I now know.

Me and my cabin mate on a train in China.

Me and my cabin mate, Sunny, on a train in China.

Solo travel has been a big part of my life for five years now.

Yes, Solo Traveler is five years old this week and though this fact is likely insignificant to you, it is important to me.

It causes me to pause and think about what these years have taught me. What I have learned. And what’s important.

With my fifth anniversary priorities straight, I first ran a post on Monday celebrating you. After all, you have contributed so much to this blog and the solo travel community. Please read: Celebrating You! First time solo travel stories.

And now I offer some of the things I have learned about solo travel in these five years. I’m sure that to some of you these may be self-evident. For others they may be new. I hope it is an interesting read for all.

Solo travel: What I have learned about travel these past 5 years.

  1. No one between me and the experience makes for better memories. Traveling solo I am totally aware of every aspect of my travels because I’m responsible for every aspect of my travelers. The result: my memories are more vivid. You may want to read I Was a Lazy Traveler… until I went solo.
  2. Accommodation makes all the difference. Over the last five years I’ve stayed in high-end hotels and some pretty basic hostels and what I’ve learned is that my accommodation can make all the difference. Sometimes I need the former – when I’m looking for a little coddling. But other times I want a hostel because I know that I’ll meet friendly people. Accommodation is so important that we crowdsourced a guide for everyone who travels solo.
  3. The size of a city can make a big difference: Staying in a small city rather than a large one can be less expensive as well as safer and easier to get around. People are often friendlier and you get to experience a local culture rather than that of a cosmopolitan city. For all these reasons I sometimes like to stay outside a major city. Think Girona rather than Barcelona.
  4. The small of a city can make a big difference: When going to a large, iconic city I think of neighborhoods as great points of entry. As places to see the real city live out its day. Think of the many unique arrondissements in Paris.
  5. That I can have an interesting and fun time just about anywhere. Just as I learned that small cities can be a great option to the grand, iconic cities, I’ve also learned that I can have a great time just about anywhere. That’s where I use the Skyscanner “anywhere button” which allows me to put “anywhere” into the destination field and it gives me flights to anywhere from cheapest to most expensive.
  6. Arriving at night is a bad idea. I learned this lesson the hard way. On my very first solo trip, I arrived in Havana late at night.  My hotel was on a pedestrian street so my taxi couldn’t drop me off at the door. On top of that, the hotel had its doors closed and lights off to conserve energy. I walked right past it. If it wasn’t for a security guard I may have been completely lost. Yes, now I always arrive in the daylight.
  7. Being a poor planner is a great weakness to have. I always have some ideas of what I want to do on a trip but I’m not a great planner and I’ve discovered that I like it that way. Planning light let’s me adapt to new opportunities and explore on a more local level.
  8. Check to see if there’s a Greeter programs. I didn’t know about Greeter programs before I started the blog. Now I check to see if there is one before visiting any major city. Being introduced to a city by a local is a wonderful experience. See: 8 Ways to Find a Free Local Travel Guide

    Sasha was my hostess for the dinner I booked in in Paris.

    Sasha was my hostess for the dinner I booked in in Paris.

  9. There are services to connect me with locals. There are other services that connect ravelers to locals such as More recently I discovered Voulez Vous Diner which is one of a few sites that will help you book a dinner in the home of a local.
  10. Engage people in my safety. I learned this when I was young. If you’re feeling unsafe, look for help. The people you choose are likely okay whereas the people who choose you may not be. You might want to read: Solo Travel Safety: My Kind of Strangers
  11. Slow things down if I’m feeling unsure. It’s easy to get conned when people are asking you to make decisions on unfamiliar ground quickly. If that happens, I slow down and if slow is not good for someone else, I simply walk away.
  12. How to cope in a foreign language. I feel comfortable in countries with Latin languages but when I was in Russia I really found language to be a barrier. When you come across bilingual signs (they were infrequent to be sure) take a photo of them so that you can study the basic words like exit, entrance etc., when you have a moment.
  13. Major cities always have free options. From walking tours to city museums, most major cities have free offerings for tourists. Google your city name, “free” and “tourist” to find out what’s available. Since I travel more now these free and low-cost options are more important to me than ever.
  14. Having an automatic savings account makes for nice surprises. When I started Solo Traveler I also started a monthly auto-withdrawal from my checking account to a dedicated saving account at an online bank. Because it’s at another bank I don’t keep track of it carefully – only when I’m planning a trip that is beyond my normal budget. I often get a very nice surprise.
  15. A good price for airfare is possible. Now in this case I’m lucky to be in Canada. I always check before booking. They are a secret shopper service that pays back 50% of your airfare cost once you have completed the secret shopping questionnaire. For others, sign up for airfare alerts. Many of the flight search engines have them.
  16. Slow is better than fast. It’s tempting to build a lot of travel into a short amount of time but it’s not worth it. I really like basing myself somewhere and exploring from there.
  17. By road or rail, I need at least three nights in any place. I’ve learned that I need at least three nights in a city. With only two nights I only have one full day there which is not enough. I learned the hard way that you can’t count a travel day as a full day in a city.
  18. Seeing the sights is a low priority for me. I’m more interested in the people and culture of a place than the standard sights. Yes I want to see certain iconic buildings, sculptures, etc., but I’d rather go to a small festival and mix with the people instead.

    I traveled with Penny in India. Here she's learning the art of solo photography.

    I traveled with Penny in India. Here she’s learning the art of solo photography.

  19. Solo travel doesn’t necessarily mean traveling alone. This I experienced in my twenties but I had no idea that it would be so easy in my fifties. I often meet up and travel with others for a period of time. What I didn’t expect is that age wouldn’t matter much. I’ve traveled with people twenty-five years my junior.
  20. Age really doesn’t matter. Through the blog and Solo Travel Society on Facebook I’ve met people traveling solo well into their seventies. Really, age doesn’t matter.
  21. Joining forces makes difficult countries easier. In India I met Penny at an ashram and we decided to travel together. It’s not the we each couldn’t have managed India alone but together we figured things out easily. That made it easier when I took off on my own.
  22. On the road you can recreate who you are. Being on your own, not defined by family and friends who expect you to act in certain ways, you get to see yourself differently and recreate who you are in smaller and larger ways.
  23. It takes time to re-enter home. It’s not always easy to return home and get back to the normal routine. I have changed if only by degrees. I am tired whether due to jet lag or simple travel fatigue. I give myself time to get back into life.
  24. Home is never the same place that you left. It can’t be because in your travels your perspectives have shifted if only slightly by the locals you meet, by other travelers, by seeing how challenges in your country have been resolved elsewhere.
  25. Not every trip is fabulous. You would hope that every trip is fun, amazing, fantastic! But it’s not the case. However, I have learned that with time, even the trips that were not fabulous at the time remain with me in interesting and valuable ways.
  26. The travel industry in changing. Yes, when I first started Solo Traveler there was very little in the way of tours, resorts and cruises for those traveling alone. Now there are more. Not lots, but more. Sign up for the Solo Travel Advisory to get the deals we find into your inbox every month.
Jerash Jordan

Smiling and laughing with some local girls in Jerash, Jordan.

Solo travel: What I have learned about people.

  1. People are the same but different.  This is certainly not an original thought but it is so true and the more I travel the more it’s driven home to me. People all over the world love, laugh, hold love of children as the highest value, work hard to make a good lives for themselves, whatever that means in their context. At the same time, they walk, talk, dance, joke, work, play… differently. So fascinating.
  2. Don’t judge a book or a person by its… When traveling I meet and talk to a wider cross-section of people than I do at home – and I learn. I learn how someone I might assume has little to say has lots of very thoughtful things to say. Slowing life down with travel, enough to meet a wider range of people, I return home knowing that those many people I don’t have the time to engage with and might not expect to find interesting, likely are.
  3. Respect is global currency. Everyone deserves respect and treating everyone with their due makes you a great ambassador for your country and often the recipient of great kindnesses.
  4. People want to help. When people learn that I’m traveling solo they want to make sure that I’m okay, safe, having a good time… and they’ll often go far out of their way to make it happen.
  5. People are hospitable everywhere. Regardless of wealth, I have found people all over the world to be generous and welcoming. From them I have learned to be more generous and welcoming.
solo travel need to know

This young man was incredibly eager to practice his French with me.

Solo travel: What I have learned about the world.

  1. The evening news is a bad source of travel information. How a country is presented on the news does not necessarily reflect what is actually happening in that country. Sometimes it does. But most times unrest is much less than described to sell papers or catch viewers. It’s important to be careful but it’s also important to find other sources of information. And even where unrest is reported in a country, it’s quite possible that some parts of that country are quite safe.
  2. Other travelers are a great source of information. As I travel and explore a country I also meet other travelers and  often hang with them for a while. Talking to them about their home country, seeing the country we’re exploring through their eyes and culture, I learn not just about my destination but about the homes of every person I talk to.
  3. Everyone is proud of their homeland. Wealthy or poor, living in an area that is stable or rife with unrest, every person I have ever met is proud of their culture. They may have problems with their country, its politics and history but they are proud of their culture and where they come from.
Top of Mayan Pyramid, Tonino

I made it to the very top of a Mayan Pyramid, Tonino, Mexico.

Solo travel: What I have learned about myself.

  1. I’m more capable than I thought. This is always my first answer when someone asks me what solo travel does for me.
  2. Age doesn’t matter. In fact my age is an advantage. I can go to hostels and high-end hotels and always feel at home.
  3. Solo travel doesn’t have to mean independent travel. Five years ago I thought it did but in writing the blog I’ve had to give real thought as to what solo travel means. In my mind it means leaving behind those who define you on a daily basis.
  4. I am a patient person. When things go wrong I don’t fret. When I’m struggling with how to connect with a place and its people I relax, take a seat, watch, learn. What I want out of solo travel all comes in time and that’s okay by me.
A Particular Kind of Heaven

About life? We all have a Particular Kind of Heaven

Solo travel: What I have learned about life.

  1. Eleanor Roosevelt was right. “You must do the things you think you cannot do.” What a challenge to offer. What a mantle to wear. But isn’t it wise. By  traveling, by learning, by stretching oneself we grow as individuals and can therefore contribute more.
  2. Enriching oneself enriches others. Travel is an enriching experience. All that is learned, the enthusiasm gained for other cultures, recipes brought home, art on your wall… all that you bring home opens avenues to discussions that continue the enrichment gained on the trip and enriches all those engaged in the conversation as well.
  3. People respect people who travel solo. It’s interesting to me how people respond to the fact that I travel solo. You will find the same. People respect those who travel alone. They seem them as strong and capable.
  4. The meaning of life is still elusive. The number 42 is still as good an answer as any (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy).
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  • ABDULLAH Alraisi

    hi all I’m Abdullah from Oman I’m a tour guide in Oman and Dubai 35 years if you looking for a guide for your new destination to know about Oman and trip itinerary there isOman itinerary

    Tour Code: (1)

    Day :1 (Grand Mosque – Fish market – Muttrah Souq – Museum- Sultan’s palace – Forts)

    Please note the Grand mosque is only open from 08:30 hrs to 11:00 hrs and is not open on Fridays . Visitors are asked to dress modestly. Women are also required to cover their hair. The Mosque was inaugurated by the Sultan of Oman on May 4, 2001. Construction took six years and it covers an estimated area of 416,000 square metres. The mosque’s total capacity is 20,000 worshipers. The five minarets symbolise the five pillars of Islam and it has a central dome which rises 50 metres above the floor. Another impressive feature adorning the Prayer hall is the chandelier which is14 meters tall. After the Grand Mosque we drive to the opera House. We might not have time to see the inside of the Opera House as it is only open from 08:30 to 10:30 but depending on traffic we will try. We will then proceed to Muttrah Port where one can see the Sultan’s Yacht, a number of traditional Dhows anchored in the Harbour and the Fish Market. After some souvenir shopping in the souq we head to Old Muscat. Imagine that when the Sultan came to power in 1970 the road from Muttrah to Muscat was the only stretch of black topped road. Our first stop is the museum and a short walk away is the Sultan’s Palace Al Alam. The palace sits at the end of a rocky, deep water bay flanked by two 16th century forts Al Jalali and Al Mirani.

    The palace complex incorporates a multitude of functional areas including head of state accommodation and leisure facilities, banquet hall, dining rooms, an auditorium and a conference centre, all of which cover a floor area of 32,000 square metres. The palace is known as the office of Sultan Qaboos but it is mainly used for ceremonial occasions such as greeting and entertaining state visitors.

    Al-Jalali Fort guards the East side of the entrance to the harbour. It was built during the Portuguese occupation in the 1580s. The fort is accessible only via a steep flight of steps. It was once used as a prison however it is a museum of Omani heritage which is sadly only open to visiting dignitaries and heads of state. During palace military occasions bands of bagpipers perform from the fort battlements and the royal dhow and yacht are sailed in full regalia into the harbour.

    Al Mirani Fort guards the west and was also built by the Portuguese.

    After visiting Muscat and sightseeing in the old City the options are to drop off back at your hotel .

    TOUR CODE: (2)

    Day:2 Amazing Dolphins – Snorkelling – camping
    Duration 4 hours – AM tour (Transfers included)

    Dolphin Watching tour in Muscat, Oman every day. The trip starts at 8.00 am & 11.00 am. Reporting time is 15 minutes prior to the trip. Dolphin watching + snorkelling trip will start at 11.00am. Transportation can be arranged from any hotel in Muscat. We operate from Marina Bander Al Rowdha boat club. Here we board luxurious speed boats. As we leave the jetty we get a splendid view of Muscat from the Gulf of Oman. Enjoy the scenic beauty of Oman’s coastline in a fiber boat over the pristine waters of Oman’s capital area and experience some of the breathtaking views of Muscat coastal landmarks. Admire the majestic Al Bustan Palace hotel and Al Bustan Village, Qantab Village, Bander Jissah, Shangri-la resort, Yiti village, Muscat Palace, Muttrah port etc, from the sea as your captain looks for dolphins. The most acrobatic of all dolphins show, the spinners may be courting, communicating, resting, socializing, nursing or teaching their young. View their fantastic displays of sheer joy and exuberance, undisturbed. If it’s your lucky day, you may come across the giants of the deep – Whales! Find below different types of dolphins available in Oman and at night you will enjoy star watching (Lunch and Dinner and Breakfast at beach ).

    TOUR CODE: (3)
    Day: 3 (Muscat – Barka – Daymaniyat island)

    AT 8:30 am after breakfast we start our Full day tour around Muscat

    This Morning we will start by trekking in the hills around Muscat where you can feel beauty of landscape and touch the beauty of Muscat.

    We will then continue to Barka where you can go horse riding and then we will go to Daymaniyat Island, by speed boat, where you can go snorkelling and camp overnight on a beautiful beach.

    TOUR CODE: (4)
    Day: 4 AT 8:30 am After breakfast we return to the mainland by boat
    (Nakhal – Wadi Bani Awf – Snake Canyon – Al Hamra – Jebel Shams)

    At 7:30am after breakfast we drive from the beach to Nakhal to visit the fort which is also known as Husn Al Heem. It was named after the state of Nakhal where it exists above the old village of Nakhl. It has a history which dates back to the pre-Islamic period. Over the centuries it underwent many renovations and improvements. It was re-built by Omani architects in the 17th century. Built as a protective measure for an area oasis and nearby trade routes, it passes through the regional capital of Nizwa. The gateway and towers seen now were extensions built in 1834 attributed to imam Said bin Sultan. In 1990, it was fully renovated and restored.

    We then continue to the most beautiful and adventurous wad in Oman where you will have a chance to swim in the Wadi and experience its beauty. Picnic lunch, fresh air, lovely Balad Syed village and imressive cliffs are just a small part of our journey through this wadi and Snake Canyon. Continuing the drive to the top will give us a take pictures of the peaks of the picturesque Grand canyon, Jebel Shams. We will spend the night at Jebel Shams Resort

    Tour Code(5)
    Day: 5 AT 8:30 am (After breakfast we start with a short walk though the Grand Canyon .
    hiking at Jebel Shams – Bahla Fort – Jebel Akhder )

    We have a short walk inside mountain of the country and part of Al Hajar Mountains range. It is a popular sightseeing area located 240 km from Muscat. In the summer the temperature is around 20°C and in the winter it drops to less than 0°C. The true highest point of Jebel Shams is the North Summit occupied by a military base and is a restricted area. As per the Ministry of Tourism, Sultanate of Oman, Jebel Shams has a second summit, the South Summit, which is publicly accessible for Trekking via the W4 Trail marked by Ministry of Tourism, Oman as published in Trekking Route 3. The elevation of the second south summit is 2997 m .
    After we drive down from Jebel Shams we visit the village of Bahla and Bahla fort which is about 200 km from Muscat. The old Bahla Fort with its 12 km (seven mile) wall is the oldest fort in Oman. The fort is believed to have been built in pre-Islamic times and is now undergoing reconstruction. We will then continue to Jebel Akhdar to spend the night.

    Tour Code:(6)
    Day 6 Jebel Alakhader – Ibra – Wahiba Sands

    At 8:00am after breakfast we can hike on the Jebel Alkhdar nature trail and experience traditional Omani culture. Our trip will take us through Jebel Al Akhdar, the green mountain and the center of Oman’s mountain range. The presence and grandeur of the Jebel Al Akhdar is apparent to all its visitors. Its soaring peaks, deep ravines and geological features are unforgettable images.
    At the end of our trip we will visit an ancient city of Birkat Al Mouaz with its falaj system and then we will continue to drive to desert where we can go dune bashing and you will experience a romantic sunset and star watching. We will spend the night in the desert camp. We will have a two day tour of Wahiba Sands, Ibra and Wadi Bani Khalid with overnight at the desert camp.

    Tour Code :(7)
    Day 7 Wahiba Sands – Wadi bani Khalid – Wahiba Sands

    8:00 AM After breakfast we can go camel riding and then continue to drive to Bidiya where you can visit Bidiya castle and the museum. Wadi Bani Khalid is our next stop where we can enjoy swimming in the fresh waters and you can explore the secrets of Muhal cave before returning to Wahiba Sands.

    Tour Code :(8)
    Day: 8 Wahiba Sand – Sur – Ras Al Jinz

    At 8:00 after breakfast we will drive through the dunes to Sur. Sur is the home of Omani sailors. Here we visit a dhow factory and lighthouse before heading to the Ras Al Hadd, where we will stay tonight. Enjoy sunshine, sea and a quiet sandy beach. You will have time to walk in the Sur Mountains to feel the beauty of the city before leaving for a turtle watching tour. Overnight at Turtle Beach Resort .

    Tour Code : (9)
    Day : 9 Ras Alhaad – Flamingos – Wadi Shab – Fins Beach

    At 5am, after turtle watching we will take an early morning drive to see flamingos and then return to Ras Al Hadd resort for breakfast.

    After breakfast we visit the ancient city of Qalhat and then have an adventurous drive in Wadi Tiwi which is full of lush palm plantations and fresh water springs. On our return, we can hike into Wadi Shab where you can swim in fresh water pools and explore a secret cavern with a waterfall. Overnight at Fins white sand beach (camping)

    Tour Code : (10)
    Day : 10 Muscat – Musandam

    At 9:00am you will transfer from Muscat hotel to Sultan Qaboos Port and travel by ferry to Musandam.

    Tour Code :(11)
    Day :11 Hiking tour around Musandam

    Enjoy an unforgettable day cruising through the “fjords of Musandam” on board a traditionally decorated Omani dhow, where you can sit comfortably on cushions and carpets while feasting your eyes on the striking scenery. A dhow trip offers an insight into the fantastic landscape. You can discover ancient villages, swim and snorkel in the clear waters off Telegraph Island and Seebi Island, visiting Khor Shem, Qanaha and Maqlab along the way. There is a distinct possibility you may see dolphins. Buffet lunch and refreshments are served on board. Snorkeling equipment and towels are provided


    After breakfast we will spend more time exploring Musandam and discover one of the best kept secrets of Arabian world on a mesmerizing trip with Rayna Tours to the panoramic Musandam Dibba. This is a haven for nature lovers, a majestic landscape with crystal clear waters, towering mountain range, jagged coastline and salubrious climate will leave you awestruck

    Tour Code : 12
    Day :13 Musandam – Dubai

    After breakfast we will drive from Musandam to Dubai.

    The first stop is Jumairah Souk (Borj Al Khalifa) and then we will go to Um Suqeim Public Beach overlooking the architectural icon that has come to represent modern Dubai: the Burj Al Arab. This sail-shaped hotel rests on a man-made island and is well appreciated from the Um Suqeim Public Beach. We will have an awesome view from an earth mound in an abandoned building site. If you like you can spend some time sat here just enjoying the general splendour of it all; the sun, the fresh sea-breeze and the views in every direction.
    Overnight in Dubai hotel .
    if you really looking for a guide please contact in … /
    96896688187 whatsapp / 96892109511 without whatsapp thanks

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  • Josephine

    I so enjoyed coming across your blog. I’ve just returned home from my first solo holiday and so much of what you have written has already made perfect sense. I feel comforted by your number 11 – “slow things down”. I did get a little conned by a local and felt really disappointed in myself and felt a little stupid. After reading a bit of an explanation on how easy it happens on unfamiliar ground and the way to next go about it .. I’m going to stop beating myself up and learn for the next time and slow things down.

  • montanitavacationrentals

    I write it down all and share with my friends. Thank you for sharing !

  • Patty

    I am envious. I am 55 and think about doing the same. Have you started your travels?

  • Jane

    42 :-) I love it. I need to re-read those books.

  • Georgie

    Nice article, a good reflection of myself! I love the fact that People respect people who travel solo, that’s very true especially for an asian lady in a foreign land, the reaction on their faces are priceless ♡

  • Rosa

    I really enjoyed reading your article and I book marked it to read it again. Wishing you all best memories to collect on your solo travelling.

  • Janice Waugh

    Thanks Pamm. Good to have the experience of many.

  • Pamm McFadden

    Beware of who Skyscanner sends you to – it can be some hole in the wall travel agent. They ended up making a mess out of a very expensive ticket where they told me I could only get a seat assignment 24 hours in advance – or I had to pay for it. With my bad back anything over an hour in a non-“A” seat is excruciating. GetawayASAP was decidedly less than helpful and I would suggest avoiding them at all costs.

  • arleeda

    Well, up to a point age does not matter. But at almost 77, I have most definitely slowed down. I worry more now about having a stroke or heart attack in foreign country than I used to, so I always carry emergency phone numbers and get travel insurance.

  • starrsy

    Hi, thought I would jump in as I traveled in India last year as a solo 57 year old female. I read the news and was concerned as well. Instead, I found warm friendly people on my travels. It is important to be careful and avoid some dangerous situations, but mostly I found it safe. I had more problems being overcharged by Chennai tuk-tuk (auto) drivers. Walk with confidence, smile and look people in the eye. Also, I would hire a car and driver, very cheap, for complex jaunts. I can recommend Kerala area as very relaxed and beautiful. I met some very warm and friendly people there.

  • Janice Waugh

    Thanks Cecilia!

  • Cecilia O

    Hi Janice, I only just discovered your blog and will definitely read much more. I’m an avid traveler myself, and most of my trips are solo but not all. Thank you for sharing!

  • Cecilia O

    True in metropoles in countries similar to your own. But I had to laugh so hard at the fellow Dutch girls on a train in Bolivia, who thought they could make my friend and I think that they were locals by speaking (very bad) Spanish (and saying to each other they would act as locals). Somehow lots of Dutchies hate coming across other Dutchies while traveling… I guess it makes them feel less special. But no way could we ever mistake two tall blonde girls in pants for two Bolivian ladies (who wear 5 skirts on top of each other, long black hair in braids and a hat on). LOL

    Also, my somewhat tall height, short hair and green eyes make it impossible to pass for a local in many a country.
    My sister on the other hand has light brown skin, brown eyes, more Asian features than me, is not as tall… and has been mistaken for a local in Mexico, Spain, Greece, Pakistan, Thailand. I am jealous of her! :-)

  • Cecile O

    Wow, what a great read and so full of points I recognize! Indeed, age does not matter. People want to help. Having no one to distract you makes you experience everything more indepth. Driving a rental car through Iceland all alone was bliss, the solitude really befitted the stupendously beautiful landscapes.
    And at the same time traveling solo is not ‘alone all the time’. I meet more people when I travel solo than when I travel with a friend. People in pairs tend to cocoon and I am guilty as charged as well.

    And yes, the option to recreate yourself is so true. Obviously it only works if you stay close to your true self but I have explored parts of my personality that don’t (or didn’t) come out at home but that are definitely there. For example I discovered I am better at social talk and chit chatting than I thought. And a lot braver too. :-)

    It’s so nice to see how many other people enjoy traveling solo, sometimes I feel like a bit of a freak if I listen to reactions from colleagues and (farther removed) family. (Luckily my direct family and close friends don’t pass any judgement whatsoever.)

    I like your list so much I might make one for/about myself, just for fun. :-)

    Happy travels everyone!

  • Timothy

    Hi Janice, thank you for the wonderful insights on solo travelling. I have always wanted to go for a solo trip to have a true out-of-your-comfort-zone experience. Hearing many stories for friends who have solo-travelled make me want to go on a solo trip myself! Thank you for sharing your experience.

  • sonali

    I agree with you Sue that going local like is really helpful, and one more thing I want to add, is my love for photography. Every place I visit, I capture whatever good I come across, To brush up my knowledge on photography, I often read blogs like that offer great tips, inspirations on photography.

  • joannova

    Great article and one I’ll bookmark to read again. Thanks!

  • freddychef

    great thoughts as usual on solo traveling….could not agree more on arriving at night!!!But then I have set up to be met at airports or train/bus stations in many cases(Australia, Singapore, Vietnam) and I have been lost, dropped in the middle of no where or at a seedier place in( Australia, Vietnam, Scotland), so organizing a bit ahead is a great thing–and so much easier these days

  • Sue Jones

    Excellent list!! I’d like to add one thing. I’ve been a solo traveller for many times. I’ve noticed it’s really helpful to make people believe you are a local – as a first impression. They sort of respect you for that as well. Also, it’s a great way to dodge many types of ill-intended individuals. I avoid tourist clothing as much as possible, especially when visiting a metropolis or such.

  • Leemur

    Hi Janice, I am almost 50 and am planning an extended almost round the world trip. I am very interested in visiting India but am a little concerned about going alone and some things I have heard about women alone over there. What has your experience been there and what cities did you feel comfortable in? LOVE your blog BTW!!

  • mbkirova

    Don’t arrive at night- gosh is that true! I couldn’t read the name of the hotel I wanted in a dark taxi and ended up in a much seedier one, with a negative adventure that lasted a few years!

  • Jules Burnett

    Hi Janice – I am 59, selling my home and “stuff” and planning on travelling for a few years so gleaning what I can from your articles-really helpful. Signed up to which is a great way to have fun/adventure and connect with people. Impatient to get going!!

  • MACH

    Great, great, informative stuff. Sometimes it’s hard to know all of the bases to cover in preparation. This really helps! Thanks for sharing.

  • Janice Waugh

    Thanks Bruce. It was a pleasure reflecting back on these past years and writing this post. Thanks so much for reading.


  • Bruce

    Thanks for a great article and some wonderful insights. All of my travel is not solo. But some (most) of my most cherished experiences have come from my solo outings.

  • Janice Waugh

    Thanks so much Trisha. It’s hearing from readers like you that keep me motivated.


  • Trisha Andrus

    Janice- This was a GREAT post! I (for one) am thankful that U started Solo Traveler 5 years ago. That it is still going strong is a testament to your commitment and talent with words. Thanks!

  • Janice Waugh

    Thanks for commenting. It’s always good to hear from readers and Yes! The I love the Skyscanner anywhere button.

  • Marta Kulesza

    Wow! I did not know that skyscanner offers that feature of going anywhere. What a great way to book the flights. Thanks for sharing
    I also totally agree with you about the evenning news. It is such a shame that Media create such a bad picture of our World. Travelling is definitely fatal to all prejudice in this world, especially the one created by the Media!

  • Travel Do It

    It’s great that you’ve shared with us all of the things that you’ve learned about yourself and the world during your travels, not just because of the great things you’ve done, but also because of the great example it sets to others to step out the door and travel solo for themselves.

  • Rocky Travel Blog

    Nice wrap-up! I cannot agree more, travelling alone means making more vivid memories that enrich your life :-)