Solo Traveling Tips: Our Guide to Exploring The World On Your Own

July 2, 2024

The world is full of fascinating things to see and do, and traveling alone can be an entire adventure in and of itself! In fact, it sometimes doesn't make sense to wait until you have a friend or family member who wants to travel with you. Solo journeys provide a chance to explore the world at your own pace without worrying about others’ agendas. 

You shouldn't let the lack of company hold you back. Instead, fly solo and satisfy your travel bucket list! Understanding the best tips for traveling alone with this exciting solo travel guide can ensure your experience goes smoothly. Just as significantly, it can minimize potential high expenses, which is one of the biggest downfalls of traveling by yourself.


We'll give an overview of some helpful solo travel tips that will keep you safe, save you money, and make the entire trip go more smoothly as you master these solo travel tips. Please read through them carefully and check out other money-saving travel suggestions from The Parking Spot! We can not only help you reserve a parking spot but provide tips and advice so that your trip goes as smoothly as possible.

Planning Process When Traveling Alone

Choosing the Destination

No solo travel guide would be complete without tips and suggestions for finding a fantastic destination! Traveling alone gives you certain freedoms you might not have if you were with a partner or children, such as going where you want and even eating healthy while on the road. Though it might seem selfish, these solo travel tips can be transformative.

After all, this is your incredible voyage, and you deserve an experience that takes you outside your comfort zone and into an unforgettable world of excitement. For example, a train trip through Europe is more leisurely when you're the only one choosing where to go and how long to explore. You could get out for short periods or more extended stays: the choice is yours!

In fact, most tips for traveling alone focus heavily on making the most out of this personal freedom by helping you avoid the busiest travel days and picking and choosing where you go based on your specific interests! So get ready to open up the possibilities by broadening your search and thinking back to places you wanted to explore when you were younger.

When choosing a destination, make sure you consider things like your:

  • Budget: Overspending isn't a great look for your vacation.
  • Experience: Decide if you want your adventure to be exciting or relaxing.
  • Language Barrier: Go to places where you know the language well.
  • Bucket List: Hit up places you've always wanted to visit!

Factors to Consider on Your Solo Travel Adventure

While choosing a great destination when traveling alone, be realistic about your options. Don’t assume you can go to the deepest parts of Africa or dozens of Oktoberfest events. While you should always try to experience the world while traveling alone, no solo travel guide would be honest without addressing personal limitations. Some tips for traveling alone include:

  • Active Travel vs. More Leisurely Experiences: Consider the amount of required physical activity, particularly if you have many events planned in some far-flung areas. For example, a trek along the Great Wall of China requires walking as long as three or four miles on hilly terrain, while a beach vacation in Australia requires little more than a quick jaunt from your vehicle.
  • Tolerance for Spontaneity: If you thrive on the unexpected, developing and off-the-beaten-path countries could invigorate you on your solo adventure. But what if you prefer strict schedules? You might want to stick to larger cities, including surprisingly European-style American cities with many excellent amenities and experiences.
  • Need for An Internet Connection: Is this a working vacation? If so, you’ll want to go somewhere with reliable internet access. Solo travel tips for business travelers may also include booking hotels with work areas (that include computers, comfortable seating, fax machines, and printers) alongside pools, hot tubs, and gyms for your general relaxation.
  • Currency Conversion: Budget is always a factor in any good solo travel guide. After all, you’ll be flying or riding alone and won’t have anyone to split the costs with you. If traveling abroad, consider how far your local currency will go in each country you’re considering. Furthermore, pay attention to critical money-saving flying hacks that minimize expenses.
  • Climate: Are you prepared to spend time in sweltering heat or frigid climes? Research the local temperatures and weather patterns for your intended destination. Doing so is important particularly if you plan on Christmas travels. Checking out the coolest Christmas towns in the United States could be a great way to end your solo adventure experience!
  • Safety: The U.S. Department of State updates its travel advisory site daily or as needed. It pays to know which countries are safe for U.S. tourists and which to avoid. You can even call embassies in these areas if you want to learn more about their safety. Often, embassies can give you more in-depth information, including how much residents in the area like Americans or other types of travelers.
  • Language: If you aren’t multilingual, you’ll want to go where locals speak at least a little English just to get you started and help you feel comfortable. One of the amazing things about traveling alone, though, is that you could even learn Spanish, German, or Italian (among others) while you’re on your trip! These steps should make a memorable European vacation much more accessible.
  • Friendliness: Research how receptive the destination is to tourists, especially solo travelers. For example, some countries are more receptive to solo women travelers than others. Some good solo travel tips for women planning a solo vacation include guided tours with groups and even learning the language in depth to ensure you know what everyone is saying.
  • Availability: Are there plenty of hotel or Airbnb options where you’re thinking of going? Ensure there isn’t a huge event that coincides with your travel dates during which all the accommodations are booked. Also, make sure you pay attention to important airport parking solo travel tips to save yourself money and keep your vehicle safe while you explore.

Researching Solo Travel LocationsA woman solo traveling in Italy

Creating a detailed itinerary when traveling alone can help avoid wasting precious vacation time or wandering around trying to figure out what to do next. Make a list of must-see attractions and activities. Include their opening and closing times and their less busy times. Doing so helps you book around these often hectic situations alongside hundreds of travelers.

Next to each destination, note the entrance fee and expected wait times. Popular attractions often publish information like less busy times to modulate traffic flow. Look on venue websites for discounts, coupons, and deals. You could save significant money by downloading travel apps that offer exclusive discounts for people traveling alone.

For example, the best January travel destinations typically don’t include many tourists because the weather is so cold! Furthermore, trying to hit up NYC for a Broadway show without booking well ahead of time may require picking a less popular show or going during the slow season in the early fall. Whatever your needs, the following tips for traveling alone can help you!

Solo Travel Guide: Tips for Budgeting and Accommodation Arrangements

For each destination on your journey, determine how much you will spend on food, shopping, and accommodation. Add these items to your budget and reserve accommodations ahead of time so you have an exact address to go to when you arrive. Knowing where you’re going during off-season fall vacations can help you save even more money and still have a lot of fun.

For example, if you plan to attend popular events such as Oktoberfest or Pride events, understand that accommodations get booked quickly. Planning for this eventuality can reduce your risk of missing out on a fantastic adventure. Summer vacations, such as booking June getaways when traveling alone, require a cautious approach.

In the rest of this solo travel guide, you’ll learn not only about booking transportation and accommodations but also about solo travel tips on how to pack correctly, get through airport security, and more essential money-saving tips. In this way, you can ensure your experience is memorable and come back with lots of amazing stories to tell people who doubted your solo experience.

Solo Travel Guide:  Booking Transportation While Traveling Solo

Determine the best way to get to your destination, whether it’s flying, driving, or another mode of transportation like train travel. You can research a variety of economy fares online, utilize money-saving travel apps, and even sign up for travel booking clubs to make traveling alone easier.

When vacation time is limited, it’s usually best to maximize it by driving to the airport and flying there. The simplest option is to utilize a parking and shuttle service. Reserve a parking spot with The Parking Spot to park your vehicle while you check in and board your flight. Simple tips for traveling alone like these help make your experience much easier.

Also, make sure you consider transportation options at the destination. If you’re staying at a major hotel or resort, they will likely have a free shuttle to pick you up. But renting a car gives you more freedom. So, choose wisely based on your budget, fitness, and interests.

Renting a car is particularly nice because when it’s time to fly home, you can drop the car at the airport again and hop on your plane. Other solo travel tips include picking all-inclusive vacations, such as visiting popular golf resorts with comprehensive vacation packages.

Solo Travel Packing Essentials for Your Journey

Packing efficiently is a skill that you can improve with some simple packing tips. Pack lightly because you will likely buy some items when you arrive, including nicknacks for friends. Also, bring clothing suitable for the destination’s climate, not the temperature of the area from which you’re leaving. That’s a common mistake many travelers make.

For example, let’s say you’re booking a February trip to a colder climate requiring bulkier apparel so you don’t freeze. If you’re flying out of a warmer area and plan on skiing, ice skating, or other winter adventures, check out these solo travel tips for packing for cold weather to bring the items you need to stay cozy on your trip.

Next, if you’re traveling someplace where you need special gear, debate bringing your own vs. renting. For instance, if you have special gear, such as prescription dive goggles for snorkeling, bring those with you to protect your eyes. Snorkeling is no laughing matter, and not seeing well while you’re underwater could be a potentially problematic situation.

Similarly, visiting exciting sports destinations like college football stadiums and NHL arenas may require special gear like binoculars, or ear radios that make catching the action even more manageable. You could bring this gear along with you or even buy or rent it at the facility. Typically, these rates are high, so pay close attention to that before booking.

Security Measures for Your Solo Travel

Traveling alone means you must be extra vigilant because no one else is there to look out for you. Again, that’s somewhat refreshing but also a little scary. A few solo travel tips to keep you safe include checking the travel advisories before choosing your destination to be sure it’s safe for tourists to spot areas with potentially upsetting current events that could throw off your trip.

Once you’re there, pay as much attention to the local news as possible. Download free browser extensions that translate online resources for destination safety information into your language. Finally, ask your Airbnb hosts and hotel reception staff to keep you informed about breaking news important to your safety when traveling alone to stay protected.

Choosing Safe Accommodations

Before booking accommodations, read online reviews. Pay attention to reviewers who also traveled solo. Also, review safety features like deadbolts, carbon monoxide detectors, motion sensor lighting, and security gates. Solo travel tips like these are essential even when visiting relatively safe areas like Boulder, Colorado, or adventurous places like Iceland.

Solo Travel Tips for Choosing Your Travel "Informant"

Traveling alone in Europe, Asia, and other new areas brings a rare sense of freedom. It can feel liberating to be somewhere where no one knows where you are in the world, no one can tell you where to go, or what they think of your plans. You could travel through all the cheapest areas of Europe without anybody you know knowing what you’re doing.

At the same time, it’s risky to travel without informing anyone of your whereabouts. To stay safe, share your travel plans with a trusted friend or family member. Send them a quick email or text while you’re traveling, sharing one or two lines to ensure they know where you’re at during your trip. This is particularly important during summer travel when destinations are often packed.

A trusted friend or family member will appreciate knowing where you are so they can send help if needed. Furthermore, if something does happen or they can’t get ahold of you, they’ll know your general area and can do some research. Also, provide emergency contact information to your airline, hotel, Airbnb, or other accommodation host so they know your needs.

This step can include keeping an emergency contact card in your wallet and a list of known allergies. Make an emergency contact on your phone with the same information to call people immediately if you need help. Business travelers and pleasure seekers alike need to be particularly careful when planning their vacations in this way.

Essential Documents to Pack for Travel:

Depending upon where you travel, your solo travel guide requires you to pack different types of documentation. You’ll want to pack your passport and visa documentation along with vaccination paperwork before departure. Make photocopies of everything and mail or email them to a friend or family member at home to ensure your paperwork is in order.

An airport traveler with a US Passport in their hand

Then, if you lose your papers, you can call your friend and get the information you need! They can fax or email it wherever you stay to keep it at your fingertips. Obviously, it’s best to have this paperwork with you when you’re traveling, so make sure you pay attention to trips for traveling alone like these, particularly the next critical step.

Always keep a second copy of these documents in a separate location while on vacation. On day excursions, carry the copies rather than the originals. Ah, now that’s one of the smartest solo travel tips you’ll ever learn! However, it gets even better: keep the originals in your hotel or Airbnb (let the attendant hold them) or in a safe with the hotel reception desk.

Furthermore, consider buying travel insurance that refunds you if your excursion, flight, or any other plan is canceled for reasons beyond your control, such as becoming ill. This means that if you get sick, you can get a refund or credit for your purchase. Keep travel insurance documents easily accessible so you know exactly where they are when filing a claim.

Don’t forget to carry your driver's license or ID card and car insurance paperwork in a secure location, such as your wallet. Doing so is one of the best solo travel tips because many countries allow you to drive a rental car on a U.S. license. You can’t use a copy license, though, so having the original license on hand ensures you don’t run into any problems.

If you get sick while abroad, your health insurance can ensure you don’t have to foot the bill out of your vacation funds. Carry a list of any prescription meds taken and medications you’re allergic to. If you receive a prescription in a foreign country, contact your physician’s office back home to ensure a new medicine won’t negatively interact with anything you’re taking.

Solo Travel Tips for Security and Safety

Situational awareness is very important when traveling solo as a business traveler or pleasure seeker. Stay aware of your surroundings and avoid isolated or unsafe areas. Avoid venturing out at night unless you’re with a group of people. Trust your instincts, and don’t take unnecessary risks.

Furthermore, follow local laws regarding alcohol consumption and avoid  overindulging. That’s always a temptation when on vacation, of course, but any solo travel guide will tell you the best tips for traveling alone rarely includes a guide for the best bars in the area.

Also, use common sense, such as not telling strangers that you’re traveling all alone. If someone asks, give the impression that someone knows where you are at all times or that someone is expecting you back in your hotel room to stay safe.

Utilizing Secure Transportation

Work with reputable taxi services or ride-share apps that have good reviews where you’re traveling and research local regulations about them. In some countries, taxi drivers must wear uniforms or emblems so they can be easily identified. Ask locals about local driving companies to find reputable options or use Tripadvisor or other similar apps to learn more about them.

Most solo travel tips also state that public transportation can be a great way to economize while abroad. However, just like at home, the situation can change after dark. Only take subways, buses, and trams during the daytime hours when there are many other people around. The Parking Spot suggests working with airport shuttles and limos whenever possible.

Lastly, when walking, follow the main routes. Avoid taking shortcuts or routes that take you inside tunnels or beneath overpasses. Tips for traveling alone like these will protect you and your belongings and minimize the dangers of getting robbed or assaulted.

Solo Travel Tips for Protecting Personal Belongings

Use secure luggage and locks to keep your possessions secure. Take a photo of your packed suitcase before you leave so you have proof of what was inside if you need to make an insurance claim. On that same note, avoid packing valuables in checked luggage. There’s no real reason to bring anything truly expensive on your trip.

If you must bring valuables, keep them in your personal or carry-on luggage so you can keep an eye on them. For instance, if you must bring your work laptop when traveling alone, you can use one of many travel accessories. For example, backpacks can help you keep your laptop close and make it easier to store at your hotel.

Furthermore, any good solo travel guide will tell you to avoid bringing along or even wearing expensive jewelry in plain sight. Other items, such as an expensive phone, should be kept in a case that doesn’t attract attention. Similarly, keep your wallet and other items safer in areas that aren’t obvious, such as inside a fanny pack or a zippered pocket on the front of your body.

Avoid putting your wallet or phone in your back pocket or backpack pouch. It’s too easy for a person to slip something out of your backpack where you can’t see what they’re doing. Cleverly, you can also keep emergency cash in your sock or elsewhere. 

Additional Solo Travel Points:

When abroad, you represent your home country. Treat locals in your visiting country with the same sensitivity and respect you do others. Research local customs and etiquette so you don’t accidentally offend your hosts, new friends, and acquaintances on your solo journey. After all, customs vary significantly worldwide, and it pays to know what’s expected. In particular, understand tipping customs. That’s because, in some countries, tipping isn’t expected; in others, it’s an insult.

Dress according to local customs, not your everyday garb. Be mindful of cultural differences and the presence of families with young children in places where scant clothing might be worn at home, especially on beaches. The best solo traveling tips for this situation are to see what the locals wear in your age bracket and dress similarly.

Communication and Language Barriers

When traveling abroad, you’ll encounter language barriers. Even in areas where locals know English, it can be challenging to chat. That said, most people will appreciate your efforts to learn even a bit of their language. Choose some basic phrases to learn in the local language.

Download a translation app or pocket dictionary to translate what others are trying to communicate. You can also use body language and gestures. A friendly smile and a shrug can quickly convey that you don’t understand what is being said. A solo travel guide can also help streamline your communication as well.

Dining Customs to Know When Traveling Alone

In other countries, solo dining is much more common. Don’t be shy about arriving solo at a restaurant or cafe, or you might miss out on exciting experiences. Some countries have tables specially reserved for solo travelers, where you can converse with like-minded people.

When dining alone, keep an eye on your drink and food. Don’t leave these unattended while you use the restroom. Also, don’t entrust anyone with the care of your backpack or purse, no matter how friendly and trusting they may seem. They’re probably safe, but who can be sure?

Stay Active During Your Solo Adventure

Try to stay active and get some exercise on your trip. That extra walking and working out (such as climbing hills) can help burn off any extra calories you ingest while enjoying some delicious local dishes. It can also help make your vacation stress-free and give you an anxiety outlet.

Are You Ready To Solo Travel?

Traveling alone somewhere new is a unique experience that everyone should try at least once. No matter your age or destination, there are things you’ll discover about the world and yourself during solo travel that you’ll never learn otherwise. Keep these solo travel tips in mind when booking, including using this solo travel guide when you reserve a parking spot.

Other tips for traveling alone include bringing books and translation guides overseas and downloading translation apps to make conversation easier. You can also make things easier by using The Parking Spot to reserve a parking spot and have your vehicle ready for your return!


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