Why do we pass up great vacation deals? Why do we turn down some of the destinations that we have been dreaming of? Often times it is because we have a (or many) solo travel fear(s). Fear is the one thing that inhibits growth and making new memories.
Do not allow fear to suppress the motivation to venture beyond the comfort of your home. Let this post be the encouragement that you need. Overcome any solo travel fear that you may have. (Moana and Maui will navigate this post.)
Solo Travel Fear of Being Alone
This sounds pretty redundant, but it is a common fear. So often people find themselves having trouble being, or going, somewhere alone. Thankfully, I have learned not to be one of those people. The thought of traveling alone is no longer a hindrance. I embrace the idea. Sometimes people need time to themselves and to decompress.
(I’m an introvert, so I like to recharge in seclusion. After being around a lot of people, or people for an extended amount of time, I have to spend at least a fraction of the time that follows in isolation.)
Traveling solo does not have to mean that you are alone. It could mean traveling with a new group, or tour company. On the trip, you may make new friends. Consider the concept of being single. Being alone does not make you lonely. There are still people around to spend your time with, right? It’s the same with solo travel.
Personally, I have no problem traveling alone, though there are countries that I am not willing to venture alone because I am a young AND I am a woman. (Plus, I am not the world’s strongest or biggest woman.) If I allowed myself to fear being alone, then I would rarely do anything or go anywhere. In fact, this post is to encourage you to overcome any fear that you may have when it comes to traveling alone.
Solo Travel Fear of the Unknown
Out of all of the fears, this may be the one that I struggle with the most. Whether I am traveling alone, meeting someone there, or going with someone else, there is always a sense of nervousness because of the unknown. When you have never been somewhere, it can be easy to fear being unprepared or doing something wrong. Some people hate surprises… I am one of them. However, there is a solution for this.
Before going anywhere, but especially a place that you have never been before, do research on it. Learn about the culture, the dynamics between genders, the dress, etc. Look into the crime rates and who they target. Learn as much as you can about the place. Even consider looking into the weather. (It does not matter what time of the year it is, I will always check the weather before I pack.)
While it may be safe for women or solo travelers to walk around freely during the day, in most places, it should be a given not to be alone anywhere at night. Should you find yourself wanting to do something at night, never go alone and try not to walk. Crimes, in any place, are easy to occur at night because of the dark.
Here are a couple of simple rules. One, never go out after the sun goes down alone. Two, if I do, make sure you’re with at least two other people. Three, make sure your phone is fully charged and ready to go should you need to use it. Either way, you cannot let what you don’t know stop you. There is too much easy access to the Internet to travel anywhere clueless. Many websites and blogs are dedicated to solo travel, especially for women. Use them! Pack your bags! And have the time of your life.
Solo Travel Fear of Danger
With any new place, there is a concern for safety for a solo traveler. There are ways to work with, and around, this fear. As I mentioned earlier, it is so important to look into destinations before traveling there. Now let’s be clear, things can happen to you right outside of your door. Nowhere is one hundred percent assuredly safe. With that being said, fear of danger should not dictate your travel.
When looking into destinations that suits solo travelers, find places that make you comfortable with the idea of traveling alone. Sometimes major cities can be the best, or the worst, places for you. I am obsessed with the Caribbean, but I realize some of the risks of being a solo woman traveler in some areas.
On the other hand, I understand the risk of being a solo woman when I walk around some areas in my town alone. When I lived in Atlanta, I often walked around downtown alone. Why? Because I would not allow fear to dictate my life. That’s not to be arrogant. It is simply to say that if we allowed fear of danger to overcome our thoughts, no one would be safe anywhere. Plus, I am a woman of faith. That faith gives me a great sense of comfort anywhere that I go.
Solo Travel Fear of Actually Having a Good Time
This sounds absolutely ridiculous, doesn’t it? Believe it or not, it can be a reason that someone decides not to go on a solo trip. Perhaps it’s because they might be leaving someone/something behind for their own enjoyment. Taking a trip and having a good time may be perceived as being selfish. Regardless, it is not a reason to stand in your own way.
I shared with my friend that I am learning how to do things for me. Unlike countless others, I am single with no children. A lot of parents or spouses feel bad to do things for themselves. I’m here to let you know that it is okay sometimes. A little time to yourself gives you time to regroup and come back better than ever. Even if it is just for a day away. Never feel guilty for doing things for yourself. If you don’t, who will? Once you take your trip… I’ll be here with a great…
What is your greatest solo travel fear? Share them in the comments below. I love to hear feedback, perspectives, and even ways to help others overcome their fears. When you finish, if you have not already, you should check out ways to save on your solo vacation.