Suffice it to say, travelling solo can be scary. My friends would say: “You are so brave. How do you travel alone? Aren’t you scared?”. I answer with a smile and a shrug “A single girls gotta do what a single girls gotta do”. And, since travel is my passion, I will not let being single stand in my way.
My first solo travel experience was an Eastern Caribbean cruise on Holland Americas-Westerdam-in 1998. (Well, I actually flew to Florida by myself to meet my friends on the ship. Baby steps.) But, since the friends I was meeting on the ship were a couple, I did some activities on my own. After a day or two, I met a handful of people my age and we would meet to go dancing at the club together or play cards on the pool deck in the evenings. Since this ship has an older clientele, the ship got quiet early.
My second solo cruise was a Western Mediterranean cruise from Italy to Turkey and Egypt on Star Princess. I booked an excursion in all three countries and ventured in Italy and Turkey solo but on a group excursion. In Egypt, I met a couple of very lovely older ladies on the bus on our way to the pyramids. I asked if it would be ok if I tagged along with them and they agreed. I took pictures of them on a camel in front of the mighty pyramids and the great Sphinx and they took pictures of me. We also had a great lunch cruise on the Nile river with upbeat music and belly dancers. Great memories for all!
My third solo cruise was August 2019 on Norwegian Getaway for 9 days to Northern Europe-Copenhagen, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Germany, and an overnight in Russia. I stayed in Copenhagen for a day prior to the cruise and walked to Tivoli Gardens and the Nyhavn Canal from my hotel. I felt very safe walking by myself and stayed where there were always other people. I stayed in a solo cabin onboard the ship and joined the solo group every evening for pre-dinner drinks and games, dinner, and after dinner entertainment and theme parties such as the Glow party. What a blast! I met a lot of great people on this cruise from all over the world and we have remained friends. However, there were times when I just ventured on my own. The choice is yours.
I have also traveled solo to resorts in Cuba. Although I stayed on the resort, I felt safe but still took precautions to not walk alone at night or off the beaten path.
The top 6 things to know before you go:
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help or directions. I would suggest to ask someone who works in the area.
- Feel free (if you want) to talk to the person sitting beside you at your destination but don’t tell them what room you’re staying in. I also tend to not tell them I’m travelling alone until I earn their trust and get to know them better. A simple “Hello, how are you?”, is sufficient. You’ll get a feel if they want to continue the conversation or not and if you feel safe enough to want to hang out or chat more with them.
- Stay on the beaten path and don’t walk alone during the day or night where there aren’t other people.
- Use a hotel door alarm, lock, or door stop if you feel unsafe. I bought all of these, but never used them.
- Use your better judgement/intuition. If it doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.
- Last but not least….keep your purse/bag close to you at all times. Pick pockets are professionals and sometimes you won’t even realize your goods are gone until you need to go into your purse or wallet.
I usually check how safe the countries are that I’m visiting before I get there and plan out my excursions and itinerary ahead of time. That way I look like I know what I’m doing and I can walk with confidence. Feeling lost can be overwhelming and scary.
After all is said and done, I would recommend to travel alone but err on the side of caution. Plan, plan, plan and know your whereabouts. Safe travels my friends!
Please feel free to comment below. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.