Part of my job here at Budget Travel is to answer reader feedback, often in the form of comments, questions, complaints, requests and suggestions. Lately, I've been noticing a number of readers asking for more coverage in the area of Solo Travel, particularly for female travelers. Being a single twenty–something female traveler, I've rounded up some of my favorite websites in the hope that they might be helpful to you as well.
There are quite a few websites that cater to female solo travelers. The one I keep coming back to is Women on the Road, "inspiration and advice for women who love to travel solo." Think of this as the everything–you–always–wanted–to–know–about-solo–travel–but–were–afraid–to–ask website. Travel writer Beth Whitman's Wanderlust And Lipstick offers important tips regarding how to choose your destination, how to make the best of a lonely dining experience, and a great list of do's and don'ts regarding overall travel safety. Journeywoman features many of the same topics, but focuses more on destination–based safety tips, as well as advice for those interested in cruising, jogging, or falling in love on the road.
If the idea of being alone seems intimidating, you could always pair up with a kindred spirit by seeking out fellow travelers on a message board or by using social media (ie. Twitter and Facebook) to see who else is interested in traveling to your destination. TravBuddy is one way to "meet travelers, share advice" before you leave, while other websites like Meet Travelers peg themselves as the place to "meet locals while you travel and meet travelers when you're at home." Solo Female Traveler has a great article, "Ten Solo Travel Myths Debunked," to help ease any doubts you might have before you go.
In addition to those, we've posted some articles in the past with helpful tips from everything to packing and staying in touch while you're away to a handy list of travel companies who are friendly to solo travelers.
My first solo trip was a three-day stint in Washington D.C. back in April of 2011. I hopped on a budget bus from New York City and four hours later was taking in the sights of our nation's Capitol for the first time. I looked through a number of websites—mainly Trip Advisor and Google Maps—to determine which sites to see and managed to snag a cheap room in nearby Alexandria, just a 30–45 minute DC Metro ride away.
It was a great experience for me, getting a chance to pick out whatever I wanted to do and see whatever I felt like seeing whenever I wanted to see it. The freedom was almost overwhelming at first, but I soon became the boss of my own trip and realized that if I can do it in one city, I could certainly do it in another, no matter how foreign or exotic it might seem on my own. I would encourage everyone to try traveling by themselves at least once, if only just to take yourself out for a spin.
Where have your solo adventures taken you? Please feel free to share any advice or websites you use for solo travel ideas. Happy travels!