Debunking 6 Solo Travel Myths

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Traveling provides us with an exciting opportunity to see the world. We get to experience different places, meet new people, and sample traditional cuisine. As inviting as that may be, some travelers wonder how to enjoy solo travel. Of course, traveling with your grandkids or your partner has its perks. Yet, there is something magical about exploring a destination on your own terms.

Many travelers worry about the logistics surrounding how to solo travel. Is it safe? Is it lonely? Is it fun? We’re here to debunk all the myths surrounding solo travel. Check out some of our solo travel tips to ensure you have a fun and safe adventure.

Myth #1: You have to be single to travel alone

Let’s get this myth out of the way first. No, you do not need to be romantically unattached to take a trip on your own. Plenty of married or partnered people travel solo. Some travelers prefer to recharge and take a trip by themselves. Meanwhile, others simply have different preferences. Maybe your husband prefers to stay at home while you want to visit every country on the globe. Or perhaps your partner likes to enjoy the great outdoors, while you’d rather visit museums and galleries. Going it alone allows you to see the things you want to see, without having to compromise. With that said, just because you’re traveling on your own, does not mean people will assume you are single.

Myth #2: It’s dangerous to travel alone

Traveling alone is not dangerous as long as you do your research and use common sense. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, ask locals or your hotel concierge if there are neighborhoods you should avoid. Some areas are great during daylight, but they may get rough around the edges come nightfall. Do your homework ahead of time to ensure there aren’t any things that could put you in harm’s way. This could include political unrest or foods that could make you sick. Always be mindful of your surroundings, especially if you are riding public transportation.

Myth #3: It’s especially dangerous for women to travel alone

Just like myth #2, solo travel is not dangerous for women as long as you are thoughtful about your decisions. You may not walk alone at night in your own city, so why would you do it in an unfamiliar place? Or perhaps you wouldn’t venture down a dark alley in your hometown, so it’s best to avoid doing so in a different city. When you want to check out the nightlife, make a plan ahead of time on how you’ll return to your hotel. It’s always a good idea to know where the nearest police station is and to have an emergency number on hand, too. Also, check in with your friends and family at home, so they know your whereabouts.

Myth #4: It’s lonely

Many travelers wonder, is solo travel lonely? You are alone, but that doesn’t mean you have to feel lonely. This is an opportunity for you to be selfish—you get to do all the things you want to do on your clock! Forget about getting dragged to that art museum when all you really want to do is hike the local trails. Take this time to find yourself and self-reflect. However, if you prefer to be around people, there are a lot of opportunities to meet others. Join a senior travel tour and meet people along the way. You’ll find senior-focused tours, but also all-ages tours that cater to travelers. Solo travel is what you make it, and you are in control.

Myth #5: You have to be young to travel solo

Is it weird to travel alone as an older adult? No! It may be popular for twenty-somethings to head on self-discovery trips before or after college, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only kind of solo travel. Traveling alone is great for any age. In fact, it’s arguably better when you’re older because you aren’t stuck on a college shoe-string budget. Also, if you’re retired, you have more flexibility to travel for longer periods of time.

Myth #6: Backpacking is the only kind of solo travel

Sure, you see solo travelers grabbing their backpacks and heading to the hostels in Europe, but you don’t have to follow suit. If you’d rather stay by yourself in a five-star hotel with room service, that’s solo travel! Forget about lugging around a big backpack and staying in crowded hostels. Remember, when it comes to traveling alone, you get to call the shots. You can travel where you want and how you want. Don’t let the stereotypes dissuade you.

Visiting a new place alone opens up so many amazing opportunities. Still looking for more information? Check out our tips on how to travel solo as a senior and get ready to see the world on your own terms!

Ready to take a solo trip? Check out some of these great destinations:

San Diego vacations
Las Vegas vacation packages
Orlando vacation
Chicago vacation packages
New York vacation packages

Header image via LightField Studios/Shutterstock

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