Travel alone! I have taken one intentional solo vacation as an adult and *spoiler alert* – I loved it!
This was a weekend vacation I intentionally planned to go on alone – not a work trip, not meeting up with friends somewhere, etc. I was quitting my first ‘real’ job, about to move from Nashville back to Kentucky, and was transitioning from living alone for 2 years to moving in with a boyfriend – EEK! So I wanted to just take some time to myself and do a solo trip. I already lived alone and did a lot independently anyway, but this just felt like something I wanted to prove to myself I could do. I wanted to make sure that I was okay being totally by myself in a new environment and could be content with my own company. Here are some things to consider and some tips for traveling alone. Get out there and do it – you may be pleasantly surprised at how much you can enjoy your own company.
Go somewhere YOU want to go.
The great thing about traveling alone is that you don’t have to compromise on anything – you can be selfish! Choose a destination that you’ve wanted to visit. Whether that’s somewhere close to your hometown, somewhere within driving distance, or somewhere you’d have to book a flight to. Go wherever your heart desires!
Decide if you want something relaxing, adventure filled, or a mixture of both.
I picked Asheville, NC for a number of reasons: it’s dog-friendly, it has a great earthy vibe, it’s a gorgeous city, it was driveable for me, and has tons to do both indoors and outdoors. I wanted more of a relaxing trip with some easy hiking, shopping local stores, and sight-seeing. Consider if you want an action packed trip or something more relaxing like a nice hotel and spa weekend.
Don’t plan every single minute.
I typically am a big vacation researcher and planner – I always want to plan every activity of everyday. I tried to ease up for this solo trip – I researched things to do and areas of town I wanted to visit. So I had a list compiled of what I generally wanted to do, but I didn’t restrict myself to a schedule.
Take your pet.
I decided to bring my dog with me on this trip. I adopted her about a year and a half prior to the trip and it was such a great time for both of us as Asheville is super pet friendly. Pets make great company if you don’t want to be totally alone.
Splurge on a cute Airbnb or a nice hotel.
I personally love Airbnb’s because there are so many choices and styles that can really add more fun to a trip. I picked a secluded Airbnb cottage and it was so nice and peaceful. If this is your first solo trip and you prefer a hotel, splurge on a fun hotel instead of a chain you’d normally stay in to make the trip even more memorable.
I actually got a tattoo while I was in Asheville by myself! Okay, it wasn’t that spontaneous because I was considering it before I went and I researched tattoo artists in the area. But considering I usually have to overanalyze every life decision, it was relatively spontaneous for me. I got a wildflower tattoo that is just a reminder of being free, being wild and loving life.
Read that book or binge watch that show.
Use this opportunity of being alone to indulge in a book you’ve been waiting to read or a show you’ve been wanting to watch. I took Karma Brown’s “Come Away With Me” and read so much in the comfy cottage bed – side note: good thing I saved this to read in private so no one could see me sobbing at the end. I recommend.
Since I had always traveled with at least one other person, it was a little scary being a woman traveling alone. Having my dog helped, as I brought her with me almost everywhere for the entire weekend. Think about this when choosing where you’ll stay: I was at a secluded Airbnb so it was quiet but I probably would’ve felt a little anxious being there totally by myself. A hotel may allow you to feel more secure with all the staff and other guests being around. I also made sure to always keep my phone charged and with me and had pepper spray in my purse – can never be too careful!
Chill out and love yourself.
It’s okay to be selfish sometimes. Use a solo vacation to have a selfish guilt-free time by yourself. Sleep in. Eat at any restaurant you want. Drink as much coffee as your heart desires. Read books. Hike. Take naps. Explore. Take some time to let your mind be quiet and enjoy your own company.