Ten Reasons to Travel Solo After 50

Solo traveler from England.

Solo traveler from England.

Every week, people reach this blog by searching the words: “solo travel after 50”.  Accompanying these words are others like: safety; why; is it smart…  There seems to be some concern about age and solo travel. From my perspective, there shouldn’t be.

Being 52, I think I’m qualified to address this issue. And, as you might imagine, I believe that it is not only safe to travel solo after fifty, but important. It doesn’t matter whether you’re single or in a relationship, solo travel is an enriching experience. At midlife, it can be even more so. Here are…

Janice Waugh Solo Traveler

Ok, my hair may be grey but I don’t feel old – at least most of the time.

Ten reasons to travel solo after 50

1.    Are you facing midlife? Is it time for change? Travel alone, reflect, analyze and explore your possibilities without the influence of others.

2.    Have you been in the same relationship for decades? Is it getting a little tired? Take a solo vacation and return with lots to say to each other.

3.    Are you suddenly single, either by divorce or loss? Solo travel is a real confidence builder. A great way to make a comeback.

4.    Have your kids just left the nest? Then it’s time to find out who you are again. You can’t really do this with a companion that knows you and expects you to act in certain ways. Get away. Travel alone and rediscover yourself.

5.    Is your spouse or partner uninterested in travel? Going solo is your answer. See the world and return refreshed to your relationship.

6.    Are you concerned that people at work see you as old? Head out on a solo adventure and people will quickly adjust that attitude.

7.     Is money tight? Solo travel can be inexpensive. It’s much easier to book hostels, hospitality stays, great deals, cheap flights… when you travel alone.

8.    Do you have health problems? Stress is a major contributor to most health problems. Plan a solo holiday where you set the schedule and take a break from stress in your life.

9.    Is work dull with little hope of changing things? Then inject some challenge into life by traveling solo.

10.    Did you retire early? Do you have time to travel but family and friends don’t? No need to sit around and wait for them. Go solo and enjoy.

Traveling alone in your fifties is very safe. You have the life experience that tells you how to avoid potential problems and, if you should find yourself in one, the know-how to get out of it quickly.  So get out and enjoy a great solo travel experience!

  • Helen Golland

    i packed up and left the UK 3 years ago! I am 50 this year and living in Bangkok Thailand at the moment!? I would never have thought it. Go for it. It is scary at first but then it gets soooooooooo much easier. Don’t wait! helengolland.co

  • http://solotravelerblog.com Janice Waugh

    Hi Ron, Have you checked out the Deals page. There may be something for you there. http://solotravelerblog.com/solo-travel-deals/

  • Ron

    Hi I am a male & I’ll be 60 in August & I want to go on a trip, not too much walking because I have a bad foot, but somewhere I’ve never been & not overly expensive. I’D be happy to stay in the states, but would consider venturing further. Would prefer all inclusive because I’d rather not be worried about over spending & pay up front. Considered the solo cruises on the Epic but read very poor reviews. Thought of a Spa in AZ but they seem quite pricey, or even the club ?Meds in Turks & Caicos but not sold on that idea…so…any ideas appreciated!

  • Sassy Traveller

    I am doing my first Solo trip in May this year…. totally Solo….Sixty days in France and Spain. I am excited and scared at the same time…. but blogs and replies like this are fantastic and boosting my confidence constantly as the time draws near. Thank you Solo Traveler and to all your readers …. I am Sixty two….. PS guess what all the “s” s stand for in my name….. :)

  • christine

    Great to read all this! I’m 59 , recently divorced, kids just left , I have travelled a lot but never solo so it’s nice to hear it’s all still possible!

  • http://solotravelerblog.com Janice Waugh

    good on you!

  • judy Crockett

    I retired 6 years ago while traveling solo and having a tropical drink by the river in Bangkok, and haven’t looked back. Last year, when I turned 70, I spent a month traveling solo in Spain and Portugal.

  • http://feedingyourself.weebly.com Barbara

    I’m 70 and have just begun to travel in earnest. I figure it’s never too late if you can think and walk. Naturally, my travel style is pretty laid back — cute little towns, warm islands in winter, hanging out in cafes noshing and meeting people.
    So, anyone can do it. Do your research, do what interests you the most, be prudent, have fun, and most of all — do it your way.

  • http://feedingyourself.weebly.com Barbara

    Same here. This is why I make all my own arrangements and use AirBnB.com or HomeAway.com I also like to cook where I stay. If you want to cruise, one trick is to buy a highly discounted room. You pay for two, but the nearer you get to sailing date the better the price.

  • http://solotravelerblog.com Janice Waugh

    Well said.

  • http://www.womansolo.com womansolo

    Hi, Since my divorce after 28 years of marriage, I took the plunge and began to travel solo and I have never looked back. It has been an amazing new chapter of my life that I wouldn’t have thought possible in my fifties, but here I am today living the expat life in Turkey and regularly travelling solo. Travelling solo is liberating, and a definite confidence builder. I feel I could go anywhere solo now. Travelling solo you tend to meet more people and be open to more offers of hospitality and friendship. http://www.womansolo.com

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  • http://solotravelerblog.com Janice Waugh

    Hi there,

    Hmm. Looks like you enjoy warmer climes. There are so many possibilities. I would suggest that you explore farther afield and try the Algarve of Portugal or Costa Brava, Spain. There’s also a hotel in Crete, the largest of Greece’ islands that has catered to solo travelers for a few decades. Here’s a link: http://www.singlesincrete.com/

    Have fun,

  • Chilipepper

    Hi,, I am a 52 yr old single gal who is active ,, I want to travel somewhere safe and fun,(,NOT MEXICO!,,), I have been to Maui,, Waikiki,, Bahamas,,,Cancun,,,, I want to go with a another single lady but just not sure where?,, 12 nights?,, I was thinking Kauai,? Costa Rica?,,,, I really love to snorkel and be in the crystal clear waters,, I like to hike a little and walks, site see ,,, not into shopping much on vacation,,I just don’t know,, not into going on cruise. I was in Maui for my 50th ( loved it there and felt very safe!) but,,,,all I saw was older married couples,, or families with young children,,,, any suggestions?

  • fred

    I just began perusing this site—most of the reasons mentioned above seem to apply to the mainstay of western cultures…. at 50 I travel solo mostly because early on in my 20s I lived in a part of Canada that while in university money was definitely hard to come by—money was for survival not travel.

    At 50, I still have a job that is tenuous at best but since the regular mainstream underpinnings don’t apply I have let loose on various adventures. In the Canadian context now, most people in their 20s have far more disposable income(or access to–read–credit, family, employment) than I had (a regional disparity no doubt). By the time I finished university, saddled with debt I could once `travel` in Canada to the more economic prosperous regions to look for gainful employment to stay a float and pay down my university debt.

    I travel solo from the get go because all my friends became attached in the traditional way—jobs, partners, domesticity….I kind of buck that trend. I love traveling alone but do miss companionship sometimes. It is easy to meet people but often in the hostel set up they are mostly quite younger and while one can tolerate that it becomes who stands out. You just cannot make yourself `fit in` with 20s as they text with wild abandon while trying to engage in a conversation!!

    Having said that I plan 5 weeks in Argentina and will of course start at a hostel and see what is what. It usually is not hard to gravitate towards a fellow traveler near my age as we will often be on a similar wavelength in certain areas. That is not to say that that we will get along–that is why i travel alone!!!- but I enjoy younger people as well… All in all I accept that my friends will never travel with me—such is life BUT that means I challenge myself to keep on seeing the world as much as possible. fred

  • Sylviafairclough

    I will not pay supplements do you have single occupancy. I will not share.

  • admin

    Yup! You have the right attitude. I checked out your blog. You have got around. I toured in my youth and hope to get back on a bike for a trip in 2010.

  • http://veloroo.blogspot.com Veloroo

    I’ve always traveled solo since my twenties. Now I’m 54. Still traveling solo and still staying in hostels. part of traveling is meeting other travelers along the way. Age is meaningless.

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  • Christine

    I love solo travel. It was very scary at first but I just tried and I love it. I did my solo travel the first time to Mexico City when I was 45, it’s fantastic, after that I did it again to Puerto Rico, Ocean City.

  • Don

    I’d like to echo Tracy Barnett’s comment. I took off from Kentucky a few years ago to buy donuts in Canada. I wound up staying in Toronto for nine days and meeting some outstanding people that I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to talk to had I been traveling with someone. I look forward to turning 50 (my son will be 20 then!) so I can hit the road and have those kinds of experiences again!

  • http://www.midliferenewal.org Jeff Richardson

    Terrific article, Janice! I will definitely share it with my coaching clients, many of whom are 50-ish and either already travel a lot or dream of traveling more. For many of them who are exploring ways to “renew” themselves, some solo travel would definitely be just the thing.

  • admin

    Thanks Tracy. And thanks for the pingback!

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  • http://www.tracybarnettonline.com Tracy Barnett

    Go Janice!
    I would add one more: By traveling solo, you immerse yourself much more deeply in your environment, meeting local people and being in the moment. Traveling with others it’s too easy to retreat to private conversations and well-worn tracks.
    Great piece. I’m going to post a link to it on my blog, Roads Less Traveled, at http://www.tracybarnettonline.com.

  • admin

    Thanks for your thoughts Susan. Hmm, I think I should be writing something about independent business travel.

  • Susan

    Excellent thoughts, so many reasons to venture out n your own. Though I have always thought about travelling just for me, the only true solo travelling I have done is extensive independent business travel. On these trips the best were those when I could carve out time to go exploring on my own.
    Your post inspires consideration to head out somewhere exciting completely on my own.

  • Lyra

    Thank you for this. I have just turned 60 and have been travelling solo for many years. Absolutely love it and like Gwen actually prefer it.

    I retired early in 2006 and the first trip I made, to celebrate, was to go backpacking around Australia and New Zealand, on my own, for two months. Fantastic!

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  • admin

    It seems that this post strikes a chord with many of you. You are very kind to take the time to comment. Thanks to all of you.

  • http://www.WanderingEducators.com jessiev

    YAY! great reasons. love it!

  • http://www.boldlygosolo.com boldlygosolo

    I really liked this post. It’s got some perspectives about solo travel I don’t usually see. I’m going to post about it at boldlygosolo.com in the next few days.

  • naema sinclair

    Solo travel over fifty has been a good experience for me, Even Morocco was ok with the help of Lonely planet.

    I have the choice of staying home or having an adventure and also the chance to grow a little. It is good to set yourself challenges and a great time in life to find out who you are besides some ones mum or partner.

  • http://www.ouicoach.com Gwen McCauley

    As always, you are spot on, Janice. I’m closing in on 62 and travel solo on a regular basis. In fact, if I’m really honest, it is my preferred way to travel.

    I work with a lot of coaching clients, especially women, who are in transitions of one kind or another. For me it is always an exciting moment when they discover, for themselves, that solo travel is what will help them to really discover themselves. No matter their age, their is something magically freeing and Self inspiring about heading off someplace all by yourself.

    My heart is singing just thinking about it. I’ll definitely making this fabulous posting available to many of the women in my contact sphere.

    You are such a gift to the world, and to women seeking more, in particular.

    Gwen McCauley