Travelers are going through a tough time right now. As the world slowly reopens, we’re here to inspire you and help you plan your next adventure, whether it’s a short break or a flight to places you haven’t yet seen. Until then, we’ve got you covered with the latest travel advice and COVID-19 updates, to keep you in the know and ready to go whenever you feel ready.
There are trips that are particularly dreamy. Better still, they have become myths even if the idea arouses a stab of anxiety among some travelers. Solo travel is one of them. From Marco Polo to Mike Horn, many apprentice adventurers dream of solo explorations around the world. Nevertheless, many of them have not yet dared to take the plunge, especially women. In this article, we give you all the tips and advice to take to the skies with yourself!
As a reminder: we are still in a global health crisis. It is therefore advisable to check local guidelines and follow the health and safety measures in force before booking a trip. Please wear your mask when necessary and wash your hands frequently wherever you are.
Why travel solo?
When we question travelers, the reasons given for a solo departure are diverse and varied: friends or family not very available, desire to roam at your own pace, need to choose without compromising, thirst for living your own experience or will to meet people. Let it be said: it is easier to get acquainted when you leave alone than when you travel with two or more.
Solo holidays sometimes start out as a constraint and often turn into a great success… or even a new habit! Indeed, some left on their own because they had no choice and left the table (or rather the suitcase) afterwards because they loved the experience. You just have to get out of your “comfort zone” once, and “dare” to be pleasantly surprised and to swear by it!
Traveling one-on-one with oneself offers the possibility of choosing without having to suffer: the place of vacation, the dates of departure, the timetable… No one with whom to bicker over bedtime or wake-up time. In short, the good life, without worries, without problems as Mr. Sasha Distel would say! On the other hand, love may be present depending on the encounters on site!
Where to go on a solo trip?
The world opens its arms wide to anyone who dreams of going on their own. The majority of destinations can be discovered solo but some are more suitable than others depending on a certain number of criteria to be fixed beforehand:
– Is this the first time you’ve been on your own?
– Are you anxious about leaving?
– What is your travel budget?
– How long do you want to leave?
– Do you want to go far or close to home?
– Do you prefer discovering or resting?
Some corners of the globe are invaded by backpacker solo. On the long-haul side, Southeast Asia and South America (cheap) and North America (more expensive) are very popular. But you can also choose to leave for closer lands, in Europe or even to stay in France if that reassures you!
We can give the example of a 25-year-old young woman who chose Australia for her first solo start! This departure caused him some cold sweats but the fact of organizing everything in advance and leaving within a defined framework (visa Working Holidays) reassured her a lot and gave her the experience of a lifetime. A nice line to add to your CV.
Do not hesitate to consult our interactive map to find out where you can go now. Whatever the choice, we recommend that you check the site of the local governments before your departure and in particular that of the French government. Indeed, the directives evolve very often while the pandemic is still raging.
When to go solo?
The first step is to check if you are ready. If a single-handed departure can be a little anxious and raise questions, it should not prevent you from sleeping months in advance. If this is the case, it is better to wait a while, to find out well in advance to reassure yourself in order to embark on better arrangements. Try to find relatives who have already done so or talk on social networks with influencers who have taken the plunge!
Have you decided? Well done, that’s already a huge step. Serious things can begin. First, look at your personal schedule based on the important events in your life. Maybe you don’t want to miss a big family event, have professional obligations or want to be present at the next Christmas?
Then, there is no so-called “ideal” period for a trip of this type. If you have already chosen a destination, find out the best time to explore and the prices of plane tickets using the Skyscanner search engine. A table will reveal the best deals to you! You can also let the site work for you by subscribing to an alert.
How to avoid paying supplements when traveling solo?
The news may come as a surprise to you, but be aware that you may be charged a supplement if you book accommodation for one person. There are several ways you can avoid a “heavy” bill, starting with negotiation with the manager… and with a smile! This will obviously work best if you are going out of season.
However, not all accommodations apply this supplement and in particular campsites which prove to be very accessible opportunities on sunny days. Another technique: sharing your room with another traveler, but trust is necessary to accept this deal. Hostels also offer cheap single-sex dorms.
Also keep an eye out for regular promotions given to so-called “single” rooms in certain hotels; they are common in off-peak periods.
How to meet people when traveling alone?
There are a thousand and one ways to meet people who have the same passion for travel as you. It is often easier to meet adventurers who are exploring alone: they are often more open to encounters.
Choosing a dorm in a hostel or opting for a holiday club can help bond friendships. Everything is in place to bring customers together, from the dormitories to the common areas: kitchen, dining room, lounge, bar… Another alternative: holiday clubs that organize special events for solo travellers!
Do not hesitate to go to the restaurant even if you are not accompanied, you may not be the only person in this case! A look and/or a smile may allow you to share your table. Otherwise, are you being pampered by the servers who may offer you good plans for outings?
Other tips offer the possibility of making friends in record time: sleeping with locals in mode couchsurfing (night with locals), sign up for group excursions, go on a voluntary basis, take public transport, do activities such as sports or language lessons…
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What are the apps to download when traveling solo?
They are very numerous. Discover our selection:
– Skyscanner to book in advance or at the last minute a flight (domestic or international), accommodation or a rental car!
– Backpacker for meetings between solo travelers or not
– Couchsurfing Travel App to find a sofa corner at the inhabitant
– MeetUp to meet people with similar tastes
– Travel Tips of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to follow the news of the world in real time
– EarthWith to share a good meal with the locals
– Nearify to keep an eye on events around the world
– TripWhistle Global SOS for emergency numbers abroad.
– Tourlina for women who wish to be in contact with other women planning the same path
Do not hesitate to also download the mobile version of the sites that you usually use such as those of your bank, insurance, etc.
What other advice can you give to a solo traveler?
We could unroll a parchment to reveal all our tips for having a pleasant stay when you leave unaccompanied… Here are our main tips:
- Alternate moments alone and those in the company of your new friends
- Behave assertively so as not to draw attention to yourself
- Keep loved ones informed of their whereabouts so they don’t worry
- Take out insurance: one less worry in the event of a glitch!
- Ask for help if needed: leave with a list of pre-established contacts
- Organize yourself well in advance: ideal for reassuring and limiting unpleasant contingencies such as transport or full accommodation
- Find out about local events: this will allow you to participate and anticipate transport and accommodation
- Have a second credit card (backup) in case of loss or theft
Finally, we give you the advice that in our opinion has the most value: listen to your instincts. If a place, person or other does not “inspire” you, do not tempt fate. If you are tired, listen to your body and skip the planned activity… In short, in three words: trust yourself!
Where can you travel now?
Discover open borders with our interactive global map and sign up to receive email notifications when your destinations reopen.
You can count on us: our article on COVID-19 and travel.
Our selection of trendy destinations for 2021. While waiting for 2022, discover the travel trends for 2021.
Check out our other related articles:
– Summer holidays and covid: when to travel?
– Traveling to Italy: key information for summer holidays during COVID-19
– COVID-19 travel insurance: your questions answered
– What are the post-covid destinations on your travel list? Our Twitter followers are speaking up!