Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Choosing a Solo Travel Destination | A Simple Guide

This post is not about making recommendations on places to visits, resorts or adventures. There are way too many possibilities to write a comprehensive piece with that information. Instead, I’ve tried to break down the decision process specifically for those who plan to travel alone. I’ve come up with questions for you to ask yourself because, while you can travel alone to any destination, you may not want to go to some. 

  • Are you an experienced traveler? If your travel skills are well honed, you’ll have more destination options. If this is the first time that you’ll travel alone, you may want to stick a bit closer to home, to places where you speak at least a bit of the language or with cultures that are somewhat familiar.You may also want to consider a package tour, cruise or resort.
  • Why will you travel alone? For example…
  • If it’s because you’re single and you’re not ok with that, you may want to avoid resorts where couples are on romantic get-aways.
  • If it’s because you want time to read, study, contemplate… a quiet destination may be better than a major city sense.
  • If it’s because you are more intrepid than any friends, take the opportunity and choose a destination that tests your limits – you can always go to easy destinations another time.
  • Do you feel lonely easily? Then cities are a better bet as you will likely meet more people and could find rural destinations to be isolating.
  • What are your needs for this particular trip? If you are tired and need time to rest a beach may beat a city.
  • What are your interests? Indulge yourself by following your interests without compromise. You can visit every church if you want with no one complaining.

What resources do you have to travel alone?

With answers to the questions above, you should have a general idea of your solo trip. For example, “I want to stay in a beach resort, go to a city that has a few good restaurants and a museum or two but is not a big city because I also want quiet. I don’t want a frenzy around me. “

Now have to look at your resources in terms of time, money and energy:

  • How much time do you have? If you don’t have a lot of time you have likely narrowed your choices geographically. If you have lots of time, then this is your chance to go farther afield – seize the opportunity.
  • How much money do you have? Is a flight affordable or does that blow your budget? Again, the money you have available could limit your choices. But, it doesn’t have to. If you have lots of time and only a little money, you can consider low cost alternatives like bus or ferries or spend your money on a flight to some place inexpensive so your cost there is very little. You could work along the way or find cheaper, long term accommodation.
  • How much energy do you have? Do you need a vacation or do you want to explore? If what you really need is time to relax you may consider a resort. If you’re up for a bit of exploring and learning, why not set aside all those packaged trip brochures and put together your own adventure.

If your conclusion is that you want a resort or travel package, then go ahead. The great news about choosing your destination when you travel alone is that the choice is up to you.

You and only you.

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