In the age of do-it-yourself expeditions, the term “solo travel” has earned a magical ring to it. But here’s something many of us are scared to admit: Travelling solo is actually intimidating. Certainly, there is an overwhelming list of risks involved in solo travel, and honestly? Barely anyone can be instantly prepared for it. Still, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a taste of the rewards of travelling solo. Here are some solo travel alternatives that will let you truly “experience” travelling solo. Who knows? These might also prepare you for the actual thing.
1. Take a day trip
There’s no shame in being more comfortable with a travel buddy, but travelling alone has its own joys that are incomparable to those of travelling with someone. A good idea to jumpstart your guts for long-term solo travel is to take a day trip on your own. Visit nearby destinations and relish in your own company. Being on your own for a whole day may allow you to reflect on your character flaws that might turn into a problem if you travel solo in the future. Improve on these, and I’m telling you: One day, you’ll be ready to take on the world on your own.
2. Visit a friend
Sometimes, the most daunting tasks of solo travel are the ones before the trip. Planning your itinerary, processing your flight requirements, and booking a hotel worth its price take a lot of time and effort. To minimise the stress, try travelling somewhere you already know someone. This way, you’ll have a go-to person whenever you find yourself clueless and scared in a foreign land.
3. Try out voluntourism
Voluntourism, a portmanteau word of “volunteer” and “tourism”, gives travellers the chance to do charity work while on the road. Obviously, the best thing you get out of voluntourism is the privilege to use your skills to help others. But, voluntourism is also a great opportunity for exposure to far flung villages and diverse cultures. It’s also not as threatening as solo travel per se, as voluntourism guides are there to assist you through places and experiences that aren’t familiar to you.
4. Study abroad
If you can, why not try studying abroad even just for a semester? Or maybe even apply for overseas programs or conferences. Having a whole institution looking out for you makes living abroad alone a little less scary. On your time off, you can explore the country. Through this, you’ll get acquainted with the feeling of being surrounded by people who have a different way of life than what you’re used to.
5. Learn a skill
Not everyone can afford to take their time off to study abroad. But if you still want to experience solo travel, having a specific learning purpose will help ease your anxieties about delving into the unknown. Travel to Vigan and enroll yourself in pottery classes. Or go to Baler and learn to surf. Not only will you have some fun while learning, you’ll also be able to interact with your local teachers and other students.
6. Visit a familiar place alone
So, the only thing holding you back from travelling solo is your fear of cluelessness. Then, why don’t you travel alone to somewhere you’ve been to before? A destination you’ve already visited with your friends and family. This way, you actually get to travel solo but you won’t be caught in the hassles of unfamiliarity. When you’re more comfortable trekking distant places on your own, then you can try travelling alone to new places.
7. Represent your company
The next time your company is looking for a representative to meet with people in a remote destination, volunteer! You won’t need to plan much for your trip, and you’ll get to explore a new place on your own. Given this, of course you’d have to actually prepare well to put your company in a good light. But when you have the chance to do so, maximise your break times and explore the area as much as you can.
8. Contact a travel agency
While most solo travellers have the image of being backpackers, it doesn’t have to be the case. If you’re afraid of trip planning, above all else, contact a travel agency. They’ll assist you in all your travel needs so you won’t have to worry about creating your own itinerary. Most travel agencies can tailor travel plans to your preferences. Having a professional group to depend on is a nice way for you to start your journey to becoming a solo traveller. Experiencing travelling solo through a travel agency also gives you an idea on how to plan, so that you can do it on your own once you’re ready.
There’s no need to force yourself to travel solo if you aren’t ready yet. There are several solo travel alternatives out there for you to experience travelling solo without actually travelling solo. These are only our suggestions, but you can definitely try out other ways of travel!