Travel Bag

6 Tips for Women Traveling Solo

There can be several reasons why you might travel alone. Maybe you can’t find a suitable traveling companion or maybe, like me, you simply enjoy solitude during your explorations. And why not? With no one else’s needs to worry about, you control your itinerary — where and when you eat and sleep, how long you linger in a museum or coffee shop. And you’re much more likely to meet interesting new friends along the way than if you were with a pal.

I’ve traveled alone to Italy, France, the Cook Islands in the South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia and all over the U.S. I once spent two months in France with just Noelle, my Jack Russell terrier — but we met another woman solo traveler from Los Angeles, Naomi, and her dog, Seymour, so had buddies when we needed some company.

I’ve had some less-wonderful experiences traveling alone, of course, and am still learning how to do it right. This summer, for example, I was in Italy, where I was happy to learn that many hotels have rooms specifically for single travelers, and reserved one. I ended up with a tiny twin bed squeezed into what felt like a closet. I found out quickly that I would be smarter to opt for rooms described as “doubles for single occupancy,” which are larger but not much more expensive.

More tips for successful and satisfying solo travel:

1. Research and plan your trip thoroughly before you go. While it can be more exciting to adapt your itinerary on the fly, I try to have at least some, if not all, hotels reserved and transportation arranged. It’s worth it for the peace of mind.