Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Traveling Solo Tips

When individuals lose a loved one who was their primary travel companion, the idea of taking a solo trip can be overwhelming. Adjusting to life after a loved one passes is very difficult. Often times, the death of a loved one requires individuals to take on new challenges. It takes time and patience to get comfortable without your loved one being a part of your daily life.

Whether traveling by air, land or sea, here are some tips to think about before going it alone:

  • Get comfortable on your own. Before traveling long distance, venture out alone within your community, visiting museums, attending movies or plays or taking a walking tour. This will build your confidence and comfort, and help you rediscover the joy of your favorite activities.
  • Start with shorter trips. Visit family or friends within a day's drive and get comfortable with your ability to travel on your own. Notice how many people are also traveling solo and know that you are not alone.
  • Find ways to make meal times more enjoyable. If it's especially tough to eat dinner alone, consider having your main meal at lunch when many others are also dining alone and make the evening meal a small one in your room. Eat in hotel restaurants, as there are often a number of solo diners.
  • Pack lightly since you will often be carrying your own luggage. Go for your smallest, lightest piece of luggage and only bring items that are essential for your trip. Be sure to pack comfortable shoes and tuck copies of your travel documents in a separate suitcase or bag.
  • Safety first. Leave your itinerary with a friend or family member and check in with that person on a regular basis by phone or email.
What other tips do you have to share with fellow solo travelers?

This blog entry was written in conjunction with Arbor Hospice's Workshops for One grief support workshop.


  1. I found your article helpful, and I think all of your points are "right on," Dennis.

    I'd only add that . . . For those of us who are on our own, but are interested in taking an organized tour, there are travel companies that are “solo traveler friendly.” I have enjoyed the trips I’ve taken with Intrepid Travel, Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT), and The Sierra Club.

    Intrepid Travel posts their prices "per person," as opposed to "per couple" (which tends to be how most travel companies list their prices). Intrepid trips are in small groups, usually 15 or fewer participants, and they are physically active. The average participant is probably around 30 years of age, but on the intrepid trips I've been on, there have always been several of us in our 40's, 50's and 60's as well. The groups have been very diverse, with a variety of nationalities, ages, and backgrounds represented; and I have always found the other participants to be both friendly and inclusive. I've never been the only one in the group who is traveling solo, and being older and on my own has never posed a problem. The group leaders have been excellent: personable, well organized, and knowledgeable. www.intrepidtravel.com/‎

    Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) is another company I'd recommend. Even though it lists its prices "per couple," it does not charge a "single supplement" for some of its trips. It also provides a way to find someone to travel with, if you prefer having a traveling companion with whom to share a room. At their website, click on "Community," then click on "travel companion." You can create a profile that will help you find a compatible travel companion for the destinations you are interested in. OAT provides tips regarding what you might want to include in your profile, and things you may want to discuss with your prospective travel companion prior to taking the trip together. I have not used this service, but it seems like it could work well, and I’m glad that OAT is attempting to ease the way for solo travelers. www.oattravel.com/‎

    The Sierra Club offers a variety of active, outdoor trips: locally, nationally, and abroad. In addition to its regular trips, it offers a number of “service trips” which enable you to enjoy a great location, have fun, AND do something to support the area. Here, too, I've never been the only solo traveler, and being on my own has not been a problem. sierraclub.org/

    B. Morr

    1. Thank you for your suggestions! I'm sure this will be helpful to others.