Solo Trip Guide: My Advice On Traveling Alone
There are many reasons to travel solo, from not having to coordinate with the schedules of others' to getting to spend time doing only what interests you. Or, my favorite reason which is just to get away from people and have some time uninterrupted time to yourself!
As some of you know, last December 2018 I took a solo trip to Montego Bay, Jamaica. It was by far one of the best things I have ever done. I decided to do it around holiday time to relieve myself of unnecessary holiday chatter and feelings.
Instead, I decided to enjoy 5 days of uninterrupted luxury and peace at one of the most beautiful resorts on the island. Not to mention I had access to unlimited alcohol and all the jerk chicken you could possibly eat. I came back from vacation feeling extremely liberated, I felt unstoppable in the sense that I literally am able to do whatever I want, solo!
When planning the trip, I tried to avoid telling people that I was going alone in fear that they may try and talk me out of it. The last thing that I wanted was negative people projecting their fears on me because I'm doing things they are afraid to do themselves. I'm a pretty adventurous and impulsive person so once I get an idea, I always follow through.
In this guide, I'm going to walk you through some of the steps I took when planning my vacation in hopes that it'll encourage you to drop whatever fear you have and do the same.
Disclaimer: This was my 4th time going to Jamaica, but my 1st time going alone (Jamaica has been my favorite vacation spot thus far, can you tell?) Which brings me to my first point:
1. For The First Time, Travel Somewhere Somewhat Familiar : Since this was my FIRST time traveling alone I didn't wanna jump on a plane and go to Australia or anywhere else that contains a huge language barrier. There is nothing wrong with it (thats what google translate is for) but for me it would have been vastly uncomfortable. I suggest for your first time to go somewhere you maybe went once before with friends and try it alone and see how it feels!
2. Go Through a Travel Agent If You Can: I use a travel agent pretty much anytime I travel, they're usually able to educate you on things to look out for, and cool things to do. I let her know that I would be traveling alone and I prefer to stay at a resort that was adult friendly and welcoming. I also knew I wouldn't be leaving the resort so I needed a resort that had a lot to do on the grounds and off the beach. She also was able to put additional barriers in place so that I would be safe.
3. Stay In A Resort: I'm not a Airbnb type of person, I never have been and probably never will be. I suggest when traveling alone that you do NOT stay in a strangers home. Stay on a resort, look at the reviews and be safe! My biggest concern was safety at all times.
4. HAVE FUN- I literally went out late, drunk my weight in mimosas and cocktails, went zip-lining, got massages, and laid on the beach pretty much the whole time I was there. Do not travel solo and just sit in the resort (although that is okay too) but try and get out and enjoy what your resort has to offer you, use ALL the amenities. I ate a different restaurant every night. I did french, Jamaican, Italian, you name it!
5. Let Someone Know Where You Will Be And When- My cousin who is more like my sister literally tracked me from the time I left Minneapolis to the time I got back. It's important that someone trustworthy and responsible knows where you are, and when you will be back just in case something weird happens. Also, make sure you keep a notebook with the numbers of those you love and trust easily accessible. You could lose your phone (Lord forbid) so it's just an extra safety measure.
Though I feel like those 5 points are great to get you started, I feel like the most important part is learning how to trust yourself and standing firm in your decisions. Once you start trusting yourself, everything else will fall into place.
Also, just to let you know how much fun I had, I am already in the process of planning my 2nd solo trip :). I am going to Hawaii soon! I hope you all found so much value in this post and let me know where you plan to go next. -B