Darling Escapes: how to make your first solo trip enjoyable
Article published on Darling Escapes
If you’ve never considered travel alone before, maybe it’s time to start. Traveling alone can help you recharge, gain confidence, feel empowered, and enable you to wander outside the boundaries of your comfort zone. Plus, going to a new place without anyone else lets you be fully in charge of your site-seeing schedule. If you’ve never traveled alone, here are some ideas to make your first solo adventure that much more enjoyable.
Go On a Tour
Hop-on-hop-off bus tours are popular in most major cities in Europe and are a great way of getting your bearings in metropolitan areas. But buses aren’t the only way to go—many destinations also offer biking, walking, or food tours. No matter what type of tour you choose, all are great ways of meeting other travelers and striking up friendly conversations with could-be new friends.
Hang Out at Cafes
Cafe culture doesn’t mean finding the nearest Starbucks and ordering your standard beverage to-go. Coffee or tea in other countries is not as instant; in fact, you’ll find that ordering coffee in a takeaway cup is very American. Many countries have their own unique culture surrounding caffeinated beverages. For example, many Italians drink espresso with a biscotti in hand and while standing; Bosnians enjoy their coffee with a small bite of something sweet, like Turkish Delight, on the side. Get better acquainted with the local culture, cup in hand.
Eat at Restaurants Alone
It can feel intimidating to go to a restaurant alone, but when you travel solo, you don’t always have the option. If it makes you feel less awkward, grab a book and head to a place that you’re interested in trying. It might feel a bit nerve-wracking when you first sit down, but you soon realize that everyone else is paying attention to their own meals and conversations. Put your phone away and let yourself fully focus on the meal and the local flavors.
Go for Nature Walks or Hikes
If you’re used to working a 9-5 job, it’s always nice to get outside in nature. When traveling, there are usually places where you can enjoy the great outdoors. If you're in a metropolitan area, check to see where the nearest park or a botanical garden is. If you’re in the countryside, find a hike to go on. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you venture out alone, but be sure to do your research beforehand to find out whether or not the trails are well-marked, if the weather will be good, how long the hike will be, etc. If you feel more comfortable with a guide, you can usually hire a pro to take you out for a day or half-day trip. Either way, being in nature can reinvigorate your soul, give you some time to reflect, and appreciate the present moment.