Traveling alone, where to go

Female solo travel: here are some ideas and tips for becoming a solo traveler

Traveling alone is scary, and I’ve been there. At first it seemed like an impossible task, but at the same time the thought did not leave me. I could see the others leaving on their own, while I kept waiting for my friends, the guy on duty. And I was suffering from it, I would have liked to have had the courage to buy a ticket for an adventure of my own. But at the same time, it frightened me, in fact it terrified me, so much so that my first trip alone was to Japan. If you are wondering how to travel alone, where to go and how to organize your first experience, read this article where I have gathered some tips from my own experience. And by the way, the girls I saw leaving alone were never Italian, but Australian, German, American and so on.

Traveling alone tips

In this article I give you some tips based on my personal experience and everything I have seen and understood after years and years of just being a traveler. First, I recommend you read this information and if you want, afterwards you can book a consultation with me to better understand how to take the first steps toward your first solo trip. Comparing yourself with me, who has been through this before and made up so many excuses not to leave, might help you overcome your fears or simply clarify some doubts. I’ll leave you the link here to book your consultation, but in the meantime let’s go ahead and see what might make your adventure better and easier.

Choose your intention

Let’s start with some more or less practical advice. I will tell you everything I wish they would have told me before I left. First, ask yourself why you want to do this; this will give value and importance to your journey alone. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, and then I wanted it to be the beginning of many journeys on my own. I thought that once I made the first trip alone, the others would all be downhill. And indeed it was, so just focus on traveling alone for the first time.

In your case, the goal may be different, you want to disconnect from everything and everyone, you want to take a break from the life you’re living because you have a change in mind but don’t know how to achieve it yet, you have broken off an important relationship, you feel sad, hurt, you are grieving, you want adventure, you want to see how strong you are, you want to revolutionize your life, and many other reasons. But it is important to set an intention. The journey alone usually provides answers, perhaps not necessarily during the experience, but once it is over.

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Safe parts

Another key tip is to leave as safely as possible. So be well informed about your destination. If it is a problematic country where there are social, political and economic tensions, it is definitely not the ideal place for your first solo trip. Choose a simple, beginner’s goal.

Also do all the usual checks: passport validity, visa application, necessary vaccinations, how to collect money. For example, as soon as I arrived in Buenos Aires, I thought I could safely withdraw from the ATM, in fact I realized that you can withdraw the equivalent of 15 euros at a time and you even lose out. So I used Western Union. If I had known before departure, I would have organized better. For payments I use Revolut and I do very well because it has a cheaper exchange rate for your travels and I will leave you my referral link if you want to apply for your debit card. Both you and I receive a gift.

Before you go, take out travel and health insurance; I use Heymondo and do very well because it insures you for short trips and long trips. You can also activate extra coverage, to protect your technology from theft and damage. It made me feel very peaceful.

Meet new friends

My advice is: socialize and look for many different opportunities to meet friends from all over the world. Of course, it should not be an obsession, but an opportunity. You need to be able to enjoy the right mix of social time and solo time. By dint of traveling alone you will appreciate your own spaces, where you won’t feel lonely; in fact, those moments will be needed to relax, plan your next stops, get bored, write in your journal, read a book, laze around, go for coffee alone, and more.

Sleep in the hostel

First of all, I recommend sleeping in a hostel because you will easily make friends with your roommates, In most hostels you can choose a bed in an all-female dormitory, and if you don’t feel like sleeping in a room with other people, you can always get a single room in the hostel. If you decide not to sleep in the hostel, because you may have found a cheaper Airbnb with more amenities, still participate in hostel activities, organized evenings, and excursions, for example.

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Use dating apps

Use dating apps, WhatsApp groups and Facebook groups. Looking for new friends online, you can use Tinder and Bumble even if you are not looking for a night of passion or the love of your life. Both dating apps also offer options for meeting new friends, and consider that many travelers are signed up for dating apps. Find out if hostels have a WhatsApp group and sign up to stay updated on events.

Participate in excursions

I really like to organize my own adventures and maybe take a local bus to get to the place I want to visit, take a little longer than I should, make everything a little more complicated, and chat with the locals. Sometimes it happens that there are places that are easier or even cheaper to reach with an organized tour. You can then join a group to participate in an excursion, booking it at a local agency or directly at the hostel. In this way you will meet new friends from all over the world. Then often what happens is that when you have an adventure together, a nice spontaneous and fun bond is born, so I recommend it.

I am reminded of this, when in the Philippines I participated in a’canyoneering activities and there were about ten of us from all over the world diving into the river, going through caves, swimming, we had a lot of fun, then in the evening we all went to have a few beers together at a beach bar. We call it canyoning, basically you travel downriver to the mouth.

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Where to travel alone

Traveling alone where to go: this is the question we all ask ourselves and now we have figured out the reason for our departure, we have to identify the where. First of all, you must not put too much pressure on it. For example, when I was thinking about traveling alone, I imagined myself backpacking for a year in South America. In this way, I would never have left. So I started with a dinner out by myself, a day in a city by myself, a weekend in a capital city by myself, until I got to a two-week trip that then over the years turned into a nine-month trip.

My advice is go by steps. Start this experience of yours with short periods alone, really even one day is enough, to see how you feel. Take a train, go to another city, have lunch alone, visit a museum, go shopping, have a drink. In short, get used to doing activities that you usually do with friends alone.

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Traveling alone in Italy

Traveling alone in Italy is absolutely perfect to start and also to continue since Italy is a country that offers many options for solo female travelers. I recommend visiting a city, my first solo trips included more cities than nature, because in the city you have more activities to do and so you feel less lost and less alone. Then later, when I got the hang of it, I also trekked almost 100 kilometers by myself and it was a beautiful experience, which I recount here.

You could spend a couple of days in Florence, Rome, Milan, Venice, Turin, Naples, Palermo just to give you some ideas, and in general most Italian cities will be fine for your experiment.

Photo by Patrick Carr on Unsplash

Traveling alone in Europe

Another idea to test how you feel about traveling alone is to visit a European capital. Maybe I suggest you do this step after you have done the Italian experiment. I love Spain and in my opinion Barcelona and especially Madrid are perfect cities to visit on their own because they offer so much in terms of museums, shows, restaurants. You could go see a tango show, bring a book and read while enjoying a vermouth in the sun with tapas, then take a siesta (rightly so after vermouth and tapas), visit a museum, walk around.

Photo by Alex Vasey on Unsplash

A good idea when you are alone is to take advantage of the day by waking up early. In this way, you live a little more during the day and less at night, which is precisely the time when it might feel strange to find yourself alone in a big city rather than with your lifelong friends. Then you’ll get the hang of it and even start going out alone at night, although to tell you the truth I’m not a big fan of nights out when I travel. This is because I like to take advantage of the sunlight and also as extra attention to feel safe. So when I travel, I wake up early and go to sleep early. All other European capitals are fine to visit on their own, especially Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Berlin, London, Paris, Prague, Lisbon, and more.

Traveling alone in Thailand

Thailand is a great destination for traveling alone. In general, Southeast Asia is a safe area, the Thai people are very kind and hospitable, and you will find a lot of people from all over the world, traveling alone in Thailand. I created a two-week itinerary for myself, with a mix of city and culture, sea and nature, which is really the beauty of Thailand, because it offers very different scenery.

People often associate Thailand only with the sea, but as a solo traveler, a beach-only vacation might seem boring, in Thailand you can visit Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, if you feel like it you can also trespass into Laos to have an adventure in the trees and do the legendary Gibbon Experience, living in the jungle for a few days and moving by zipper line from one place to another. By participating in similar experiences, you make new friends and bonds that can last well beyond the time of the trip. And then after cities, temples and adventures you can choose an island and relax on the beach with some boat excursions.

Photo by Steven Wilcox on Unsplash

Where to travel alone: conclusions

There are many options that allow you to take a trip alone with complete peace of mind. I leave you with some food for thought for choosing your destination. As I recounted above, take this experience in steps, in small doses, starting with a dinner out, then a day trip, a weekend getaway, and then a vacation alone.

Choose simple destinations, places known to be safe, I’m thinking of Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand. South America is also much more accessible than you think, I would definitely start with Argentina.

Choose excursions and generally activities to do with other travelers so that you do not feel alone and share this experience with those who can understand you. I realized that no one will be able to understand me like other solo travelers, so don’t underestimate the power of sharing and the beauty of being able to exchange ideas and advice. If you can, sleep in the hostel and try to see the whole experience in a positive light, not letting yourself be discouraged by the unforeseen events and difficulties, which yes there are bound to be. It’s all part of the journey.

I hope I have encouraged you with this article and remember that if you need an extra push you can always Book the consultation with me. If you want further advice and insights, you can sign up for my newsletter to read about my personal experience and understand how I became a solo traveler and a digital nomad. In particular, the article below may be helpful to you.

Viaggiare da sola dove andare

Milan – Buenos Aires one way

“One day I will be the protagonist of an epic adventure. I will take my backpack, my laptop, go around hostels, see the sun rise from volcanoes, stay a long time in the places I like, don’t have to think about what I leave behind, only what I find, learn to surf, and get to Machu Picchu by walking.” Cool, isn’t it? Too bad it didn’t turn out that way. Read the full article on Substack, it’s in Italian and in English.

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