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Travelling Solo? A few tips to minimize stress and maximize the adventure

By April 25, 2024No Comments

These past few months, Casa Mia has been inundated with travel request by families, couples, honeymooners, and solo travelers. Solo travel seems to be on the rise, not just according to the bump in inquiries we have received, but also in my conversations with colleagues and friends. People are taking the opportunity to book their own unique adventures by themselves.  To you, I say Bravo and Brava! My first solo travel was to Costa Rica.  It was thrilling, nerve wracking, and unbelievably memorable. I learned so much about my self on that trip as well as plenty of do’s and don’ts. Wherever your next solo journey takes you, here are a few tips to minimize stress and maximize the adventure.

solo travel

1. Do your research

I love traveling by the seat of my pants with no plans. Let the wind take me where it wants. However when I travel solo, I throw this mentality out the window… well to some extent. Research and planning are your friends.  This is not to say you have to have every moment planned out, but get to know the area you are visiting. Start following bloggers, IG personalities and Facebook Groups based on the type of travel you are focusing on. For example, if you planning a backpacking trip, check out A Broken Backpack; if you are want to focus on women forward travel, take a look at Wanderlust Women Travel. If you are reading this blog then you have already found CasaMia Tours! But do take a moment to check out one of our favorites, Romewise. One must-do piece of research, is knowing how you are getting from the airport to your accommodations. Be prepared so you are not overwhelmed upon existing the airport. Bottom line, do your research.

solo travel

2.  Google Maps

Google Maps. Download it. Now, before you travel. As you do your research (see point number one above!), begin to create your list. This will become your bible. Pin your accommodations, the sights you want to see, restaurants, metro/bus stops, etc. Label that list and add to it as you need. Do not forget to download your Google maps to your device so that you can use it even when you do not have access to wifi.

3.  Use your voice

Traveling solo might be intimidating at first, however on the average, people are nice and want to assist others. Utilize this to your advantage. When you take a taxi or car service, talk to the driver. Drivers are typically the most knowledgable individuals in their area as they know their town/city so well.  Ask for recommendation for local restaurants (add to your list, per point number two above!), markets, not to miss sights, where the locals hang out, and areas where you should stay away from. Beyond drivers, talk to shop owners and bartenders,  people who happen to be sitting next you at a restaurant etc. If you are taking a train and are not sure where to go, ASK the train employees. You may be surprised to see other solo travelers who have a wealth of information to share. Do not be embarrassed or shy. Use your voice!

4.  Share your itinerary

Once you have the outline of your itinerary including your hotels/hostels, share it with a good friend or family member. Let them know where you are going to be and when. If it makes you feel more comfortable share your location on your phone. There are a lot of great free apps you can use to create these itineraries such as Wanderlog and Tripit which allow you to share your itinerary with others as well. Peace of mind is of great importance when solo on the go.

5.  Join in

While private tours allow you to get to know the guide on a more personal one on one level, there is something to be said about joining a group tour. There are wonderful companies such as Context Travel  and Tiqets who have a variety of options for solo travel. Again, use your voice see point two above!). People who are joining group tours are typically outgoing, social beings who want to share not only the experience, but their knowledge.  Tap into this resource.

6.  Treat yourself

Stop mulling over that decision to treat yourself and just do it. Whether it’s a piece of jewelry, a meal, new shoes, a full day vineyard tour… you deserve it.  This trip is for you and about you. Never lose sight of your importance. We only get one of these here lives… treat yourself!


7.  Be purposeful

This is not the time to be timid and look confused… even if you are feeling either of those. Even though I stated above the majority of people are kind, we all know there are those who are not. To reiterate what was stated in point number one, know how you are getting from the airport to your accommodations. Whether you are taking public transportation, have a car service, or use a taxi, know what your plan is and stick to it. Always keep your wallet/passport/purse close. Pickpocketing is real, but can totally be avoided. Walk with a purpose, especially at night. Use your instincts. Stay away from poorly lit areas and places that give you the ick. Watch how much you drink when out and literally watch your drink while you are out. Traveling solo is not the time to tie one on and not remember who or what happened the night before. Be present. Be purposeful.

8.  Pack light

Take what you need. I repeat, take what you need. This is coming from an over-packer. Hello, my name is Carolyn and I am an over-packer. I must say I have really worked at this. My mother’s mantra was if you forget something, you can always buy it. Also, you are traveling by yourself… you have to carry your bags. Right? Pack light.

solo travel

9.  Write it down

In the words of Louisa May Alcott, “Preserve your memories, keep them well, what you forget you can never retell.” Invest in a journal for your travel. And then actually write in it.  For me, this is easier said then done.  However when I hold myself to this guideline, I am always so happy I did.  Journaling while in your traveling moment may seem like taking you out of the moment, but in reality it is deepening it. You are codifying this precious time. It is a gift you are giving your future self. The content does not have to be of great depth, it can be light, a quote you hear, a painting you saw, or a glass of wine that blew your mind. Invest in yourself with journaling. Your future self will thank you. Simply, write it down!

solo travel

10.  Know you can do this!

You got this. Traveling solo can be overwhelming but it is beyond rewarding. Do not miss out on this opportunity to engage, discover, and grow. Please know that traveling solo does not mean you have to plan a 5 week trek to Thailand (although I would so be down for that!). Especially if you are new to this idea, start local. Do a staycation and stay a night in or out of your city. Give your self a little challenge by driving an hour or two from home and start there. Baby steps are a necessary part of growth. Above all else, know you can do this.

solo travel


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