Struggles every solo traveller recognises

Your friends have settled down, have busy jobs, or can only take time off during the high season. Travelling together is not an option for the time being, but you want nothing more than to go out and explore the world. From the age of 30, the above scenario is a common one, but nowadays there is no reason not to travel on your own. You can, of course, pack your bags and go solo, but you can also choose to book an organised so-called ‘solo group holiday’, where you go on a holiday by yourself accompanied by other ‘singles’ in the group. Travelling alone doesn't happen overnight. I’d love to tell you more about some of the common struggles and of course, how to deal with them.

You'll soon notice that touristy things like a double hotel room, the sharing platter in the restaurant, or a day at a theme park are cheaper if the booking is for two or more people. Don't let it stop you and try to think outside of the box. For example, in a hostel, you can book a room where others are also sleeping (dorm), you can choose the daily menu in the restaurant, or you can book certain activities with fellow travellers you have recently met. The latter can often also be booked cheaper at the hostel you’re staying at, as they buy on a large scale and can therefore offer a discount. 

Feeling lonely or in need of a bit of excitement and conviviality? Book a group activity, sign up for a pub crawl, or sleep in a dorm. Keeping in touch with your family, friends, or acquaintances back home is also very common and I would absolutely advise you to do so. It is nice to share beautiful moments with someone you know. Solo travelling doesn’t mean you need to be all by yourself (Celine Dion moment incoming) - unless you feel the need to be alone of course!
You’re planning to take a picture of yourself at that great photo spot, but you don't have a travel buddy around. Well, long live the selfie stick or the self-timer mode on your phone. And you know, if the photo fails because of bad lightning or unwanted people in the background, there's always a wonderful tool called Photoshop.

Right at that moment when you’re packed and ready to go, you desperately need to go to the toilet. Who will look after your stuff? Take your backpack with you (on your back, hang it on the hook or put it in the corner) or, if that doesn't work, at least take your most valuable stuff with you.

Travelling alone as a woman can be experienced as scary or unpleasant, there are even countries that are highly discouraged to go solo travelling. Take those feelings seriously and prepare yourself well in advance so you are not faced with surprises. Avoid quiet places like dark alleys and don't travel alone late at night. Ask a host, guide, or hostel receptionist whether it is safe to travel by yourself or if there are any areas you should avoid. This way, you will know all the do's and don'ts when it comes to solo travelling. Do you still feel uncomfortable? Book excursions and activities from your hostel. You often will be picked up and dropped off after the activity and you will always be accompanied by a group.

It's great to go on a group tour for singles, but what if you end up with a group of teenagers or elderly people when you were hoping to make some friends for life? Now, I'm not saying that you can't still make nice connections but check with the travel company beforehand who your fellow travellers are. This is often already known and sometimes you are assigned to a group based on your age and/or interests. Having drinks together is sometimes organised before the trip and this is a very nice activity to join. A great way to get acquainted and to get used to each other.

Being constantly out and about, socialising, and being invested in conversations, costs energy. If all goes well, it will definitely give you energy too, but don’t be surprised if you’re tired after a day. Just plan some quiet time when you can. Be on your own, read a book, lie down on the beach, watch a film at the cinema or book a nice massage. Whatever it is that makes you feel relaxed; you've earned it woman!