Last updated on September 24th, 2023
Featured image: Get ready for travel with these solo travel tips from JourneyWoman readers | Photo by DisobeyArtPh on Envato
Best Solo Travel Tips from May 2023
Curated by Marion Broverman, Facebook Group Moderator
Every month we curate solo travel tips from our readers, and this month’s tips are all about getting out and exploring the world. These tips include packing ideas, safety tips and advice to explore cities. Here is the shortlist of the best solo travel tips, culled from inbound emails and our private Solo Travel Wisdom Facebook group. We rely on first-hand solo travel tips from you — our readers — if you have one to share please do so! (You can do that here!)
Tip: You can download these tips as a PDF or print them using the icons above!
Tips on travelling solo
1. New to solo travel? If you haven’t travelled alone before, you might want to start with a short weekend trip to get used to being in your own company before you dive into longer trips. This will also help you to figure out what kind of travel experience you enjoy, helping you to decide what you want to do and where you want to go when you take longer trips. Start by taking a weekend break to a nearby city or take a quick getaway on your own in nature and build it up from there to get an idea of what suits you. – Marion B., Edmonton
2. Be brave and courageous and just do it! Travelling alone is fabulous as we can make ‘friends’ along the way and be totally self-indulgent. — Susie D
3. Take the time to meet the locals and learn about their culture. It’s better than any Google search and you will make memories you will never forget. I was in Kusadasi, Turkey wandering through the market getting lost amongst the handwoven carpets, and stalls of spices. I needed a break from the vendors and the sun so I ducked into a café. I opened my journal and started to write while enjoying the view of the harbour. The owner came and sat down at my table and for the next hour together we drank Turkish coffee and tasted sweets from the most beautiful china. All this while he tried to set me up with his son. I learned so much about his country and what an experience. — Donna R., Toronto, Canada
4. Another way to start your travel alone is to select something you like to do in your home city in one day and do that. The first spring after I retired, I saw the cherry blossoms in bloom around the Tidal Basin in DC, quickly dressed and took a camera and book downtown on the Metro and spent the day relaxing taking photos and reading. It was a delightful day! — Arlene P
5. I try to be mindful of giving myself ample time before and after a trip. Before, to dream/plan/pack and basically get excited about the upcoming adventure. And after, having solid time to decompress, unpack, and absorb. Building this time in as part of the adventure keeps the stress low on either end. — Lynn McN
6. I did a one-page health summary listing my doctor, meds, allergies, and contact info for people with my POAs. I keep it folded up in my wallet just in case something happens, which it has, but at home. (A copy on my fridge, too, for EMTs, who really appreciated it when I fell and was having trouble talking.) — Marti J. S
7. I bought a RoadID years ago when I started traveling solo. I have the “interactive” one. I go to my page on their website and can add/delete/modify information. — Kitty P
8. I Found a very cool island called Niue in the South Pacific. It’s very small and everyone is so friendly, it’s remote and quiet and also great for swimming and exploring.- BJ W
9. Highly recommend Paris walking tours in English with Gil Soltz of Moontown Walking Tours — from his list or created to your request, tell him Jen recommended him!– Jennefer P
Walking tours are a great way to explore Paris / Photo by Envato
10. Annecy, France in the Rhone Alpes, hosts an incredible Flea Market in its canal-filled Vieux Quartier on the last Saturday of every month. Even in May, there are views of snow-covered mountain tops, the glittering Lake Annecy, and flower-bedecked bridges. It’s my favorite place en tout France! — Stacia F
11. Never pack white sleepwear. I did and left it on the bed because I didn’t notice it. Colour is better as most hotels have white sheets. — Tanyss W., Winnipeg, MB
12. I usually travel with a corkscrew (like this one) in checked luggage in case the wine I want to buy isn’t a screw-top. I take an immersion heater (found here) for times when there’s no coffee maker or hot water pitcher in my room. It comes in handy for making instant coffee, tea, oatmeal, soup, etc. On my safari last year, I was so glad I had purchased a phone lanyard. The last thing I wanted was to drop my phone outside the Jeep when we were watching Leopards! – Karen C., Sacramento, CA, USA
13. Do not buy disposable underwear. I purchased some for a trip to Italy and I broke out with a crotch rash. I did not want to go to an Italian stallion-type doctor so luckily, I had packed some anti-itch ointment. Pack your own cotton underwear. — Geraldine T., Colorado, USA
14. The Taj Mahal is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the planet. I highly recommend going at sunrise Mon-Thurs — this is when you will find the least crowds. In fact, the same is true for any monuments or tourist attractions in India. Go early, when they open. Domestic tourists tend to go in late morning or afternoon and that’s when they get super crowded. — Mariellen W, India
15. Just got back from a two-country tour. Several ladies and I laughed because we could not get organized well as we kept moving from one hotel to another and said we are losing our wits.
To keep my wits about me I organized my travel stuff into gallon-size zip lock bags with a list of what is in each bag visible in the front. If I have to buy new items or pack some I have already, I just look at the list inside the bags and add them. A total of 5 gallon-sized zip lock bags. These can be put into compression bags to get the most room when finally packing a suitcase or backpack. Bag 1 has all items that have to go through security at airports that are liquids. They are in the quart size for the airport and then it’s inside a gallon bag just to keep them all the same for preparation. Once I get to the hotel I am staying at, the security items are dispersed into each of the bags with other non-liquid stuff that I use during trips.
When packing up to return home, before heading to the airport I just put the liquids back in the Security quart bag. Bag 1 is all the security liquids. Bag 2 is what I use in the morning like face cleanser, makeup, mascara, washcloths cut into four pieces to leave behind after using, toothpaste, mouthwash, headbands, etc. Bag 3 is what I use at night like shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, hair bands, shower soap, makeup remover, moisturizer, vitamins, etc. Bag 4 is for technical items like chargers, plugs, and battery backups – this bag is in my carry-on for use at airports too.
Bag 5 is snacks, like protein bars, mints, etc. Clothes are rolled and put in compression bags. Labelled…undies, socks, and pjs..tops, pants…skirts…etc, or by outfit depending on the trip. When I get home I left the extra stuff in each bag with the list visible so I know what to add for the next trip. And I reassembled the liquids back into Bag 1. This might help someone. Makes me feel ready to go again! — Jeanette W
16. When we were in Bora Bora, I got seasick on a catamaran as we were on the lookout for whales, tortises and so much more. The captain of the catamaran who was a marine biologist suggested Relief Band. Not cheap but I’ve used it to cross the Tasman Ocean on our New Zealand trip, through the Drake Passage and on small planes. Sometimes I take it with natural ginger. As I get older, the more I seem to need it. Only missed one dinner on our Drake Passage crossing and the staff sent consume soup to our cabin-Stephen of course enjoyed a fabulous dinner! – Sandy Bl, Toronto, Canada
17. Wonderful Cefulú in the photo! I’m getting to the age where I’ll be able to stay longer so this is very relevant to me. One thing I would check out is Facebook groups in the area, especially for expats. You can get a lot of tips and maybe even get to know somebody. — Gudrun O
18. I spent a month in Japan for one year. I was able to take short trips all over; 2 days in Hiroshima, 3 days in Kyoto and Nara, a day in Mount Fuji as well as a variety of other places. I once rented an apartment in Paris, as I was attending a Parisian wedding and wanted to be able to wander after the wedding to old favorites and new places in the city. Both were great experiences! My base was my son’s apartment and I took trips from there. He was working in Japan. I never stayed with him longer than 4-5 days at a time. — Arlene P, USA
More Travel Tips From JourneyWoman Readers
Clothing tips from a plus-size solo traveller to empower women with a fashionable travel wardrobe that combines comfort, style, and confidence.
The best travel tips from JourneyWoman readers in February 2023, covering packing tips, places to stay, how to save money and safety tips.
Our monthly curated list of solo travel trips submitted by JourneyWoman readers, featuring hotels, safety tips, what to pack, and more.