I love solo travel as an introvert because I enjoy my own company and solitude. While I enjoy socializing with people, I love to explore a country on my own and at my own pace.
There are things I can discover, see, do, and eat without worrying about how someone else feels about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve traveled with friends, significant others, and family before and while it’s fun, there is something special about “doing your own thing.”
If you’re interested in solo travel and you’re an introvert, continue reading!
My Guide on Solo Travel as an Introvert
Get a hotel room or book a private room with Airbnb
I recommend sleeping in your own private space. Generally, I prefer getting my own Airbnb in a funky and hip neighborhood. If the place is too expensive, I book a private room or search for a fun hotel. Many people suggest staying in hostels when you’re traveling solo but they’re generally too loud and noisy for me. Some hostels are quieter than others but I really like to be without people for some time during my day.
Set aside time to recharge
Make sure you find time to recharge. Usually, this will be in your hotel room or your private room/Airbnb. Whatever it is that you need to do to unwind, make time for it. I generally like to lay in bed for an hour or two and read, listen to music, or just catch up on the news on my laptop. If you’re at a nice place, a hot soak in the tub always works.
Don’t over plan
I usually have one or two major things I want to see or do in a day instead of having a crazy itinerary. I leave room to get lost, wander, and explore but I may pick out one restaurant that I’m trying to check out. Take it easy. Don’t overcram your schedule. Slow travel is the best travel.
Travel with a hobby/goal
When I travel, I like to travel with some sort of hobby or goal in mind. For me, it’s hiking and food. I have to go on a few hikes to get some epic photos of nature and I make sure I hit up a few of the best or most popular known food spots. For one friend, he travels with a stuffed animal and takes photos of where his animal has been. That’s his hobby. Another person’s hobby or goal is to visit every UNESCO heritage world site. One is photography and likes to photograph food (or architecture, or whatever). Another enjoys visiting historical and memorable libraries. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something you enjoy and like!
Book a Day Tour (or two)
Solo traveling while an introvert can allow for days without speaking to actually anybody unless it’s the ticket person or a server. To make sure that we, introverts, do allow for a little socialization, book a day tour – preferably a small group. I like small group walking tours or foodie tours. The day tour allows for some socializing with the tour guide and other people interested in the same type of thing you are (museums, sights, food, etc). I like Context Tours, Food Tours (Scandinavia), and Portland’s Eat Adventures Food Tours.
Carry a book/kindle or notebook
Solo traveling as an introvert means you’ll be eating alone quite often. I like to people watch and also have a book or my kindle out as well. I also sometimes carry a notebook and a pen to write some thoughts or draw out my plans for the rest of the day or the trip.
People probably won’t understand
While people are starting to understand and embrace introverts, I still get a lot of weird looks from people when they learn I’m traveling solo. I’m not sure why but it is most likely because it’s considered lonely or they assume I don’t have anybody to travel with. I have to explain that I’m traveling solo as an introvert and it is something I enjoy. Most introverts enjoy being on their own, getting lost in their own world and have no taste for idle chit-chat (talking about the weather so many times gets freakin’ old).
Encourage others to travel solo
I’ve encouraged others (especially slightly introverted) friends to travel solo and when they FINALLY end up traveling solo, they love it! If it’s their first time, there’s a bit of an adrenaline rush to disembarking the plane and having to find your way around. It’s fun to eat breakfast twice and dessert before my entree because I damn well want to! If I want to check out this random store, I just go right in. I can leave a museum if it is boring for me or stay as long as I please. It’s a bit empowering even!
Websites to meet other travelers (if you feel the need)
There a slew of websites to meet other travelers and nomads. Some are:
- Girls Love Travel (GLT) facebook group
- CouchSurfing (use the meet for coffee tactic!)
- Meetup.com -I love Meetup because you get to meet locals or people who just moved to the area so you’re not always around other tourists!
Solo travel as an introvert can be fun and fulfilling. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. The world needs to accept that being an introvert doesn’t mean you “hate people” or are socially awkward. It just means that you gain energy by being alone rather than with other people. Solo travel as an introvert means independence and solitude. It’s not always a bad thing.