Things to do when you travel solo

51 things to do when you travel solo

When I travel alone, people often ask me: don’t you get lonely? To which I reply: absolutely not! Far from it. There are always people to chat to, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes. Being an English speaker means that I get to speak to people from all over the world — travellers like myself — some travelling solo, others as a couple or family or part of a bigger group. So for me, loneliness is never actually an issue.

What is difficult, however, is deciding what things to do as a solo traveller! I’m the first to admit I’m a bit of a lazy traveller (homebody) and I’m not the sort of person to visit every spot mentioned in the guide book (actually, I rarely use a guide book). And while I like to book my visas, flights and accommodation well in advance, once I’m at my destination, I tend to wing it a bit (actually, quite a lot).

Usually on the first day, I take it easy. I go for a wander around my new neighbourhood to get my bearings (make sure you download a map for offline use if you don’t buy a local SIM) and locate the nearest supermarket and ATM. I’ll find somewhere appealing for lunch (or dinner, depending on what time I get there), and spend the afternoon in the pool (usually chatting to other guests).

While I’m eating, I’ll start looking at things I’d like to do, using Viator for inspiration. I check Pinterest (often I’ve saved guides and itineraries ahead of time). I’ll also check blogs and photography guides (photos are my souvenirs). And I’ll check the tours on offer at the hotel. I do a mix of formal and informal things, depending on things like transport, and how easy/difficult or expensive/cheap it is to get around, and what my energy levels are like, particularly if I am travelling for work.

So without  further ado, here are my suggestions of things to do when you travel solo.

  1. Visit museums and educate yourself about local history
  2. Check out art galleries
  3. Check out public art spaces and projects
  4. Go to all the major tourist spots
  5. Ride the hop on hop off bus
  6. Go shopping at a local market
  7. Go shopping at a mega-mall
  8. Go shopping at your local supermarket
  9. Go shopping at a flea or second-hand clothing market
  10. Find a Meetup event
  11. Find an InterNations event
  12. Hire a local guide to show you the sights
  13. Book yourself on a walking tour
  14. Go on a cycling tour
  15. Go on a motorcycle tour
  16. Go on a food tour
  17. Go on a night cruise along the river (or day)
  18. Hire a motorcycle
  19. Take a cooking class
  20. Go on a half day tour
  21. Take an art class
  22. Go see a movie
  23. Go see the orchestra
  24. Find a jazz bar (or whatever type of music you like)
  25. Find a dance class (salsa is everywhere)
  26. Go for a walk along the beachfront (or lake or river)
  27. Eat different kinds of ice cream
  28. Try weird looking fruit
  29. Try an unusual local dish
  30. Try a refreshing drink
  31. Go see a cultural show
  32. Get lost in your new neighbourhood taking pictures
  33. Find a cute cafe (or bar) and people watch
  34. Get some clothes made at a tailor
  35. Browse a local bookshop
  36. Read by the pool
  37. Get a massage
  38. Get a facial
  39. Have a foot spa
  40. Get your nails done
  41. Catch public transport
  42. Take a language class
  43. Watch the sunset
  44. Watch the sunrise
  45. Check out the Botanic Gardens
  46. Take photos based on a theme
  47. Buy some textiles
  48. Order room service and just relax
  49. Spend the day by the pool (or morning or afternoon)
  50. Volunteer for a day (or a morning or afternoon)
  51. Chat to a local
  52. Go to my Things to Do Pinterest Board for inspiration!

What things do you like to do when you travel alone? What have I missed? Add your your suggestions to the comments…!

Image by Thangphan from Pixabay

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