Posted by: charityliz | February 13, 2012

Single&Thriving: Lesson 4.5

Lesson 4.5: If you can’t find someone to travel with, go solo!

A few years back, I found myself without any vacation plans one summer.   My plans for a big trip with friends had fallen through and no one else was available to go on vacation when I had time off. I felt like friends and travel buddies were a prerequisite for vacation, so I had almost resigned myself to simply staying home that year.  But at the same time, I desperately needed to get away.  It had been a couple of years since I’d been on a real vacation, and my boss and coworkers practically pushed me out the door, claiming that I had become so “tightly wound” that it was no longer any fun to work with me!  So I reluctantly scheduled myself to be out of the office for a week, and at the last minute, I decided to pack up my car and head to Lake Tahoe.

I had always wanted to go to Tahoe and figured why not go solo?  I loaded my car up with my bike, Stand Up Paddle (SUP) board, and plenty of reading/journaling material; and I set out to see what solo-vacationing was all about. It turned out to be great. I paddled some of the most gorgeous waters, went on some amazing hikes, tried parasailing for the first time, enjoyed napping on the hot beaches and cooling off in the ridiculously clear water, met some fun/random people, and learned the art of going out to dinner by myself.  In the end, I still prefer vacations with friends, but I don’t regret this spontaneous decision to try something on my own, and it’s freed me up to try it a few more times since then.

My top tips for a Solo Vacationer:

1.    Sign up for some “organized touring” activities toward the beginning of your trip; it’s a great way to meet people!

2.    Bring some of your favorite solo activities along (i.e. reading, biking, etc.)

3.    Go out to dinner—who cares if you’re alone!

a.    Sit at the bar.  From my experience, Sushi bars & pubs attract very friendly and sociable people.

b.    Bring “light” reading material, like a newspaper, so you can appear as if you have something to do (i.e. not just sitting there staring at the salt and pepper shakers), but you’re also easy to approach if someone wanted to interrupt you for a chat.

4.    If you miss your friends, send them a postcard and make a vow to plan your next vacation with them when you get back.

5.    Despite all your mother taught you, definitely DO talk to strangers. 

6.    As embarrassing as it may be, be sure to snap a few photos of yourself.  After all, you’ll at least want some proof that you actually went on your solo vaca!



  1. i love the thrill of solo traveling. You can go where you want to go, when you want to go. But then, the joy must be shared.

  2. Like

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