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Solo Travel for Introverts : 10 Tips for Survival

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Are you an introverted person that loves to travel but feels like you can’t because you’ll be alone? Well, I’m here to tell you that solo travel is not only possible for introverts, but it can actually be quite enjoyable.

Solo travel for introverts can be a great way to get away from it all and recharge, but it can also be daunting if you’re not used to being on your own. Here are some tips to make the most of your trip and make sure you come back feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world.

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1. Get out of your comfort zone

For introverts, our comfort zone usually does not involve anyone else. At home, we see our few close friends (but sometimes not very often). We go to work and chat with the people we need to. But many of us would be very comfortable in our office with the door closed. People are fine: in limited quantities.

For a solo travel vacation, get out of that comfort zone. Take a vacation that is going to put you in close contact with some people you do not know. How much of this you do is going to depend on you. Remember that introverts lose energy when they are around other people. That energy comes back when we are alone. Some introverts will “re-energize” faster than others.

Here are some ways you can put yourself in contact with others:

  • Join a tour group – When you spend a week traveling to multiple places, you will find yourself with built-in “friends.” You still get your private hotel room to recharge, but you will spend your days touring places with the same people.
  • Take a cruise – Even on the largest ships, you still run into the same people frequently. People develop habits and you will quickly see the same people sunning themselves in the same spot every day. Cruise ships also offer dining with other people. Sign up for a table that seats 10. Even if you do not spend the day with these people, it can be fun for everyone to share their adventures over dinner.
  • Take day tours – Nearly every place you go will have someone offering tours for anything from an hour up to 10. Sign up for one and spend the day with new people.

Really get out of your comfort zone and try something like skydiving, bungee jumping, or parasailing. You will find others in the “class” beforehand. And most people (even introverts) will want to talk about their adventure afterward.

2. Chat with new people

This one is going to be harder for some introverts. But even the shyest person can usually find something to say to someone new. It could be as simple as a “I love your shoes!” when you are waiting in line somewhere.

Chatting with new people can be a great way to learn about the area you are in. People love to give recommendations for their favorite places to go. You might find a great restaurant or museum that you would have never known about otherwise.

3. Set some time each day to be alone.

This is probably the most important tip for enjoying solo travel as an introvert. You need time each day to be alone. This is when you will recharge your batteries and be ready for the next day of adventure.

For me, this means I wake up early and go to bed early. I take advantage of the quiet morning hours to enjoy a cup of coffee by myself and plan out my day. I also make sure to have a couple of hours in the evening to myself. This is when I read, write, or just relax in my room.

Some people like to have a “me day” where they do nothing but what they want to do. This could be going to a spa, taking a long walk, or exploring a new city.

4. Have a plan, but be flexible.

One of the advantages of solo travel is that you can do whatever you want. But this can also be a disadvantage. It can be easy to waste a lot of time wandering around aimlessly without knowing what you want to do.

I like to have a general plan for each day. I pick one or two main things that I want to see or do. But I also leave some time open in case I meet someone or find something interesting that I want to check out.

5. Find your people.

No matter where you go in the world, you will be able to find others who share your interests. Use social media to find groups of like-minded people before you even arrive in a new place.

There are also a number of online communities for solo travelers. These can be a great way to meet other introverts who are also enjoying the solo travel lifestyle.

6. Take a class or join a meetup group.

In most places that you travel, you can find classes in a wide variety of subjects. Visiting New Orleans? Take a cooking class to learn about Cajun and Creole cuisine. You may be partnered up in the kitchen with a local or another traveler. There are exercise groups, yoga groups, meditation groups, the list goes on and on.

Look at websites such as www.meetup.com You can find groups that are meeting for everything from hiking to business networking.

For introverts, one of the best things about these groups and classes is that there is no requirement to return (or even to stay the entire time). If you are not enjoying yourself, you can always leave. There is no commitment.

7. Spend time in social spaces (ie. coffee shops or a hotel lobby).

Extroverts flock to places like coffee shops and hotel lobbies. As an introvert, it always made me wonder why someone was reading a newspaper in the lobby of a hotel. He rented a room, why isn’t he up there? Well, if he’s an extrovert, he is getting his energy from being around all the activity.

Solo travelers can use these social spaces to their advantage. If you need a break from being alone, go to a coffee shop or hotel lobby and soak up the energy of the people around you. Read a book, work on your laptop, or just people-watch.

8. Use technology to your advantage.

Technology can be both a blessing and a curse for introverts. On the one hand, it can be a great way to stay connected with people back home. But on the other hand, it can be a distraction from enjoying the present moment.

When used wisely, technology can be a great tool for introverts who are traveling solo. Social media can be a great way to connect with others who are interested in the same things as you.

9. Immerse yourself in the local culture.

This may sound like a strange tip for introverts. After all, aren’t we supposed to avoid large groups of people?

But one of the best ways to connect with the local culture is to participate in activities that are popular with the locals. This could be anything from going to a dance class to attending a religious service.

Of course, you don’t have to do everything that the locals do. Just pick one or two things that interest you and give them a try. You may be surprised at how much you enjoy it.

10. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

This is probably the most important tip on this list. As an introvert, I am always hesitant to ask for help. I don’t want to be a burden on anyone.

But when you are traveling solo, it is important to remember that people are generally happy to help. If you need directions, just ask. People are usually more than happy to give you advice on the best places to eat, drink, and sightsee.

So don’t be afraid to ask for help. It can make your solo travel experience a lot more enjoyable.

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Final Thoughts

Solo travel can be a great experience for introverts. It gives us the opportunity to enjoy our own company and to explore the world at our own pace.

By following the tips above, you can make sure that your solo travel experience is everything that you want it to be.

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