A Girl’s Guide On How to Enjoy Traveling Solo and Why It’s Good For the Soul

You don't need a significant other to take you to new places. 

There’s nothing like a quick getaway weekend—clean sheets in a new bed, exotic dining and new places to explore. If you don’t have a boo, and no girlfriends or family members to drag along, that shouldn’t stop you from treating yourself to a solo vacation.

That’s what Sara, 35, did. She “needed to get out of the city, just for a night,” she says. She picked Tarrytown, N.Y., a quaint eastern shore town just 30 miles outside New York City, booked a night at a hotel and hopped the 40-minute train ride. While on her mini-cation, Sara spent time at the pool, popped open a bottle of champagne, took a bubble bath (she doesn’t have a tub in her apartment, so it was a treat) and got in a good nap before setting off to see the town. After hitting Main St., she made her way to dinner. 

“I always take a seat at the bar. It’s easier to strike up a conversation with other people seated there, or I can just chat with the bartender. They’re usually pretty cute,” she says.  

Travel expert and blogger Julia Dimon thinks traveling alone can have many positive aspects. 

“Traveling solo is great because of the sheer independence and freedom to explore at your own pace,” she says.

Author of Travel Junkie: A Badass Guide To Solo Female Travel, Julia spent five life-changing months backpacking through sub-saharan Africa. 

“A good plan starts with inspiration of where you want to go and what you want to do. Start planning your trip by outlining the skeleton of your itinerary: book your flights, your hotels and research a few activities that are top of your list,” she shares. “Post on your social media that you’re going to that particular destination. Friends may want to connect you with their friends or offer off-the-beaten track experiences that will tap you into the local scene.”

If dining alone seems too daunting, Julia suggests checking out cool “meal sharing” sites like EatWith, Feastly, HomeDine, which are great for solo travelers. 

“Through these sites you can get a home-cooked meal with a local, and it’s a great way to tap into the local vibe.”

Here are a few more solo travel tips from Julia that will make you have fun with yourself.  

Plan your trip’s foundation, but leave room to wing it. 

“That’s often where the magic lies. Don’t fall into the trap of over scheduling and over-planning. Leave some experiences to serendipity and chance. Some of the best travel experiences come from those unexpected moments in between your actual travel plans.”

Check online for reviews of your lodgings, you don’t want a surprise—in a bad way. 

“Book with hotel brands you know and trust,” she says. 

And finally, have fun making friends, but trust your gut when you are alone. 

“If something feels uncomfortable, get out of the situation. Often us ladies are too polite and don’t want to offend...but this is your safety we’re talking about, so don’t be afraid to be rude. Trust your intuition, little to that little voice guiding you and make smart decisions.” 

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