While living in Paris I decided to save the money I would spend going to visit all of the old castles (that I had already seen) and the vineyards in the southern part of France (I don’t drink) and travel internationally instead. I wanted to go somewhere that was warm and on my bucket list and so I decided on Morocco. It was an action packed experience, that was at some times a little much for this introvert. Overall though, I had a great time and learned a lot about a new country and people. PLUS I get to say I went to Africa. Amazing. So, in honor of my adventures, please find below three things to remember when putting together your solo travel plans:
- Don’t go too far off your beaten path. Know yourself. – I love to travel and I love to learn and experience my new surroundings like the locals. However, one thing that I know that I can’t do is live uncomfortably. I am not a hostel girl, I am not an AirBnb girl, I am not a less than 3 star accommodations kind of woman. I am just not. So I didn’t push it. I already am going to be by myself, eating new things, and exploring a country whose language I have probably not fully mastered. Why take myself further out of my comfort zone? In Morocco, I needed a place to stay that was comfortable, my type of clean, and, most importantly as a woman, safe. So, I chose the Hyatt Casablanca for one leg of my trip. Maybe you’re not like me about your living quarters but you are serious about you food? Or maybe you don’t like to do a lot of on foot exploring and would instead prefer to relax? Whatever the one thing is that will give you comfort embrace it unapologetically. You will thank yourself later.
- Do your research. – I was planning to visit Morocco as a single woman, alone. It was going to be warm and after a few months of cold weather I was excited to wear shorts and sandals again. Then I started doing my research and found a site written by a Moroccan woman that detailed the kind of clothes that were and were not acceptable in the country for women. She talked about the best way to interact with local people. She detailed the favored religion in the country and talked about how to not look so much like a tourist. All of this was very helpful information for someone who had never been to the country. I totally repacked my clothes, rethought the way that I would travel around the country, and even considered her female centered tour company for an excursion. The lesson here is always do your homework. You don’t want to offend anyone in your host country and as a solo traveler you don’t want to look lost or unfamiliar. The more you know about the place your are traveling the better. Trust me.
- Set Boundaries and then Explore. – There is nothing worse than coming home from vacation and everyone asking you if you did the *THING* that everyone does, in that far away place that you visited, and realizing that you missed out on that opportunity. But you also want to make sure that you have the time, money, or physical means to take part in the activity. So do your research on your destination to find all of the hotspots and must-see places and things. Narrow down your list by figuring out what you want to do that can be done solo and then create an itinerary around it. That way you will wake up each morning ready to explore and not worried about missing out on anything in your new country and none of the activities available will surprise you with strenuous activity, tour size and length, or even lack of food water, or facilities.
Now, of course, there are a ton of other things that you will need to consider before getting on that plane to your solo-trip paradise. However, with these basic beginnings you should be able to craft an exciting adventure that you will remember fondly forever.