7 Tips for Solo Travel: The Indagare Guide to Solo Travel

Of the many different types of travelers that circumnavigate the globe every day, few are as fascinating or enviable as the ‘Solo Traveler.’ Like the ‘Foreign Language Master’ and the ‘Perfect Carry-On Packer,’ solo travelers enchant and inspire us. And while most of our favorite traveling heroes—writers, explorers, philanthropists—set out unaccompanied, some of us are too intimidated to give it a try. At Indagare, we know that seeing the world on our own can lead to uniquely meaningful, transformative experiences, and this method of travel is becoming increasingly popular with seasoned globetrotters and young adventurers alike. As with any successful trip, an independent journey requires some planning, and there are important questions to consider. Here, we outline seven tips for solo travel to help you get started.

Our expert team of trip designers can help you choose the best places to travel solo for your goals and recommend the best hotels, restaurants and activities. Contact Indagare to start planning your solo travel journey today.

Prepare properly and you can travel solo anywhere

One of the most challenging, but also most rewarding, elements of traveling alone is that you become entirely responsible for planning the itinerary and researching your destination. Look over maps of the area well before you arrive so that you will know which neighborhoods not to miss (and which you should avoid), and be able to orient yourself, especially when taking cabs or public transportation. Other practical tips include carrying multiple photocopies of your passport and other personal information on you, in different bags (in case of emergency or misplacement), keeping an extra credit card on you, but somewhere other than your wallet, and sharing your itinerary with friends at home and the manager at your hotel, so that someone will always know where you are. Finally, don’t forget to pack a carry-on full of the essentials. Two of our founder Melissa Biggs Bradley’s must-have items are the Skyroam mobile hotspot and a healthy digestion probiotic.

Related: Melissa’s Summer Travel Must-Haves

Know where to start

The vast possibilities offered by solo travel, while immensely exciting, can be overwhelming when you begin the planning process. Indagare can help you make sense of the logistics with a few “big picture” questions, so that you know where to start. Do you want to stay in one location, or move around from place to place? Are you ready for a lengthy adventure, or would you rather experiment with a weekend getaway that’s closer to home? Do you prefer the amusements of an urban capital, or are you looking to go off the beaten path? Once you make some of these larger decisions, it becomes much easier to choose the timing and destination for your trip—and you can focus on the fun stuff.

Related: The Best Place to Travel Solo

Consider your safety

Related: Solo Travel: My Sister’s Legacy 

Follow your passion

In return for a little extra preparation, solo travelers can enjoy the freedom of exploring any destination that intrigues them, in exactly the manner that they desire. Art fanatics can soak in the details of every single work within Berlin’s Museum Island without complaints of companions’ boredom and sore feet; Hemingway aficionados have full reign to traipse across Western Europe in search of every bar in which he ever sipped a drink; foodies can venture to far-flung destinations to try the exotic dishes that frighten their less adventurous buddies. If you do your research, no place is off-limits, and, together with Indagare, you can craft a dream itinerary that focuses specifically on your interests and passions.

Related: The Travel Bucket List

A solo trip doesn’t have to be a major commitment

Thanks to classic travelogues like Eat, Pray, Love, On the Road and Under the Tuscan Sun, we often associate solo travel with the process of “finding yourself,” usually by backpacking in your twenties or moving to Italy after a mid-life crisis. While such journeys can be infinitely valuable for personal wellness—and they keep the romantic allure of the solo trip alive—the notion that traveling alone should be reserved for particular moments in your life is a misconception. Now more than ever, busy parents are using solo weekend breaks to recharge; ambitious business owners are going on sabbaticals to work on their dream projects; and students are taking gap years before, during and after earning their degrees to participate in philanthropy initiatives around the world. The takeaway? You can (and should) travel by yourself throughout every stage of your life, and it will look and feel different each time.

Related: The Best Wellness Retreats in the World

Remember that being alone isn’t the same as being lonely

Related: The Soul of Sápmi

Tune in rather than out

When many travelers contemplate the idea of visiting a destination alone, they envision themselves sitting at a small table in a café, sipping a coffee or a glass of wine and staring off into space. For some, this sounds like heaven; for others, excruciating boredom. Whichever camp you relate to, we recommend this mantra: Don’t tune out, tune in. Traveling by yourself provides the rare opportunity to open yourself completely to the place that you’re exploring. Instead of zoning out the white noise of your own existence, lean in to the sights and sounds of the world around you. Unencumbered by friends, children and significant others, you are completely free to make new acquaintances and serendipitous connections. Sit at the bar and request recommendations for the best local eateries—and perhaps a personalized cocktail—from the waiter; ask your taxi driver for his favorite side-street for shopping; smile when you are walking down the street. You’ll be amazed by the welcome and help you receive and the rewards that you gain from your efforts.

Related: Rediscovering the Meaning of Travel During Covid

Many members of our Indagare community are firm believers in the power of solo travel, and we are here to help you find the right experience for you. Indagare can help you plan your next solo trip with our destination guides and insider expertise. Contact us now to learn more.

– Elizabeth Harvey on August 23, 2023


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