The Ultimate 6 Essential Solo Travel Experiences to Have

Updated June 17, 2020.

If you’ve known me or been following the blog for long, you know solo travel changed my life! I strongly believe that everyone should try solo travel at least once, just to see what it’s like and see what you’re made of. If you need some ideas for how to stay occupied, this list of incredible solo travel experiences will give you plenty of options!

Go Out to Eat

That’s right, dining solo is one of the most feared parts of solo travel—who knew?! Take a book, people watch, or sit at the bar and chat up the bartender and make a new friend! However you choose, just make sure you treat yourself to a meal that you want, when you want it, wherever you want! No one else can tell you they don’t like the food, it’s too early, it’s too late, they’d rather have Mexican, etc., etc., etc. That’s one of the many benefits of traveling solo!

Oh, just me and my amazing acai bowl in Waikiki!
Read on: How to Dine Out Solo

Make an EPIC Splurge

You know that one thing you’ve always wanted to do? Visit an elephant sanctuary, stay in an actual castle, take a hot-air balloon ride, go glamping in the desert, the list could go on and on! Well, this is your opportunity to do just that. Don’t let anyone stop you, talk you out of it, or oversleep and make you miss it! Save up your money and your vacation time, and then make it happen!

Waking up way before sunrise to take a hot-air balloon ride over Love Valley, Cappadocia, Turkey? Priceless!
Read on: Strategic Splurging

Schedule a Spa or Beauty Treatment

You read that right, make this a separate event from your splurge! Splurge on an experience, then splurge on papmering yourself, if only just once. Whether that’s a day at a hamam, Thai massage, henna tattoo, facial treatment, or a relaxing manicure or pedicure at the hotel spa, take some time to truly relax and enjoy the person you know best and who will be with you all your life, no matter what: yourself!

All tatted up in Doha, Qatar! (It’s henna!)
Think you can’t afford a special experience?
Read on: Travel Saving and Money

Join a Tour

Traveling solo doesn’t mean you have to spend every minute alone—unless you want to! Join a FREE walking tour, sign up for a food tour, take a haunted ghost tour, do a half- or full-day excursion, or maybe go solo on one of the many organized tours out there! Make some friends, see new places, and enjoy finding out how much fun other travelers learn you are to hang out with! I once took a free walking tour of Krakow and ended up having supper with another solo traveler I met on the tour. She was an Australian living in Norway and traveling through Poland at the same time I was!

You never know who (or what!) you’ll meet on a free walking tour!


So, this is not my favorite, but for all of us non-shopping, non-confrontational people out there, this is a really good exercise! And solo travel is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and into the world. For all of you pro shoppers and deal makers, this is your time to shine! And maybe make friends with someone who’s haggling all wrong (maybe me!), and show them how it’s done! Make a friend!

Light up your life and get a little haggle on!
More here: How to Haggle in Morocco

Treat Yourself to a NICE Hotel Room

When you travel solo, you generally skimp on accommodations because they can be incredibly expensive. I have stayed in hostels, Air BnBs, VRBOs, HomeAways, motels, and hotels all over the world, and one of the best things I’ve learned to do is reserve at least one night in one nice hotel. You know the one: historic (or maybe brand new), the one with a spa, a gym, the best views, the best location, maybe they even offer turn-down service! Treat yourself to one night of luxury at the end of your trip, especially if you’ve been staying in shared hostels the whole time. You won’t regret it!

Backpacking in Hawaii? Make sure to book one night (even in the cheapest room!) at the Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki!

The Legendary Royal Hawaiian
More inspiration here: Legendary Hotels of the World

Want more? Check out my Solo Travel Page for all my tips, hacks, and guides to my favorite solo travel destinations!

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5 responses to “The Ultimate 6 Essential Solo Travel Experiences to Have”

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