Travel is ingrained in my DNA. My mother was a woman who traveled across the world with ease. Whether she was exploring France on a European vacation, hanging with the locals in Guadalajara, Mexico, cruising through the Caribbean or sneaking off to Vegas. I still have the postcard she sent me from her Hawaiian vacation when I was a kid. Even as a divorced, single mother she still set aside time and money to prioritize travel. Sometimes she had kids in tow or her girlfriends, but she was also not afraid to travel alone. My mothers ability to globetrott with confidence is one of the many reasons she was and will always be my shero.
|Me and Mom - San Antonio, TX in the early 1980's|
I believe every woman should experience taking a solo trip. You don’t necessarily need to embark upon an “Eat, Pray, Love” adventure or go “Wild” like Cheryl Strayed but taking the opportunity to explore and discover on your own is a brave and bold move that could lead to an empowering experience of a lifetime.
Traveling alone can be a scary thought for many, here are four travel tips that will ease any fears and help make your solo travel experience safe, enjoyable and fulfilling.
1. Identify Your Ideal Destination
Decide if you want to lay around a beach, relax at a spa, shop all day, or tap into some history and culture. If you’ve been stressed lately a relaxing beach vacation may be what you need to unwind. Foreign destinations are always ideal if you are looking to explore history and discover a new culture. Don’t mull over the destination too long, just choose!
2. Do Your Research
Pre plan an itinerary. There are plenty of online resources available to help you figure out where to dine, shop, entertain and sight-see. You can even walk into a nearby travel agency to chat with the experts about your upcoming plans. Professional travel agents will not make you feel obligated to book your trip with them but if you do decide to book with them they can help to customize a trip specific to your travel goals.
|2006 - My first solo trip to San Francisco, California|
3. Be Friendly
Even though you are on the trip to enjoy being with yourself, making connections while there can make the trip more interesting. Don’t be afraid to casually chat with the hotel bartender or smile at other tourists you see while out and about. Maybe you can link up with another group of people to go to dinner or a local tour so you don’t feel so alone, if that is an issue for you. I find that when people are on vacation they are much more open to meeting new people and making fast friends.
4. Be Safe
Always be aware of your surroundings. Make sure you pick a travel destination that is known to be safe and recommended for tourist travel. Even when you are at a safe resort, precautions should still be taken:
- When you check in at the hotel, ask for two keys and let them know someone else will be joining you later.
- Avoid venturing outside of your hotel late at night, if you do, have a cab called ahead of time so you aren’t spotted walking down the streets alone.
- Don’t leave the hotel with your passport, keep it locked in the hotel room safe.