Updated June 16, 2020.
Today’s post is all about what to do when you “accidentally” end up traveling solo, but first things first: I’m going to be on a podcast today! My friend Addie from Addie Abroad started a podcast for solo female travelers called Girls Go Abroad, and before the Quarantine Extravaganza happened, I recorded a podcast with her all about solo travel in Japan! Check it out today on your favorite podcasting app (like iTunes or Spotify), and leave a review so she knows how much you love it!
Solo travel is amazing and life-altering, but what if that’s not what we meant to do in the first place? It happens to every traveler who wants to share the joy: your travel buddy drops out. Whether it’s for a good reason (death in the family) or a dumb reason (I changed my mind), it stinks for the one who wants to travel! But never fear: here’s exactly what to do when your travel partner flakes.
1. Decide if You Can Go Solo
In most cases the answer will be YES! But just to be sure, ask yourself these questions:
- Will going solo break the bank? If you were planning on splitting most of the costs, you might be cutting it close. If so, see if you can shorten your trip. Or maybe go somewhere closer or less expensive.
- Is it safe to go solo? Again, in most cases, yes. But if you don’t feel comfortable about it, trust your gut. Go somewhere you will feel safe.
- Would someone else want to go? My friend Andrea was supposed to go to Turkey with two friends, but one dropped out about a month before the trip. So she asked me to step in! Having just quit my job and knowing my ever-present wanderlust, I was the perfect candidate!
Read on: Confessions of a Solo Female Traveler
2. Check All Reservations
The biggest hitch you might run into when someone drops out is if a reservation was booked in their name instead of yours. If your flakey would-be travel buddy already booked anything for the two of you, ask them to forward any email confirmations so you can try to changed them to your name and take the reservation from two (or more) to one. These could be:
- Accommodations (hostel, hotel, AirBnB, VRBO, HomeAway, motel)
- Tours (walking tours, boat tours, horseback riding tours)
- Performances (opera, play, ballet)
- Events (Ziplining, parasailing, skydiving)
- Meals (fancy dinner, afternoon tea, brunch)
Not sure if you can do it? Check out How to Enjoy Dining Solo
3. Don’t Be Upset with Them
I have definitely lost friends over travel. Either they were too needy when we traveled together, they got jealous of my travels, or I was traveling too much so it was an “out of sight, out of mind” situation. But for the most part, it’s not healthy or beneficial to be upset with anyone for dropping out. Just have a good time, live your best life, and move on!
Afraid of what people might say? Have a response ready.
Solo Travel: How to Respond to Naysayers
Have you made travel plans and had someone drop out? Are YOU the dropper-outer? Comment to tell me below!
Need more tips, hacks, and recommendations? You’ll find all my resources on my Solo Travel and Travel Planning Pages!
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4 thoughts on “What to Do When Your Travel Buddy Drops Out”
I actually took time off work, Memorial Day Weekend, drove 13 hours to Michigan, and then drove about 8 more hours with my sister all the way to the tip of the upper peninsula, so we could take the ferry over to Isle Royal National Park in Lake Superior so we could go camping, which is actually closer to the Canada side of the lake than the Michigan side. We got to the shore where we were to take the ferry and my sister said she couldn’t do it, she was afraid of getting sea sick. We camped over night and drove back home. I went back about a month or so later with a friend who actually went to the island with me. I told the ferry man my story about how I almost was here a month ago. He said “Everybody gets sick on the trip in May. Everybody is leaning over the side getting sick. There is still ice along the shore of the island On Memorial Day.” We would have frozen solid. We would have gotten sick ( even though I told her “You’ll be fine.”) We did not have clothes or equipment for camping in that kind of weather. It is SO much further north than mid Michigan. Camping that one night with my sister was the last time I ever heard a whippoorwill in nature. The sound of a whippoorwill is a gift. I also found two large pieces of birch bark at our camp, one a full hollow log shape about 2 feet long. They were a part of my science table for years at the day care center where I used to work and then I brought them home for awhile and then I don’t know what happened to them. Probably gave them to the day care center where they threw them out. I wish I still had them. I never would have had that amazing camping trip with my friend if my sister and I had gone together. I treasure that trip with my friend. Everything works out for the best.
Everything does work out for the best! I’m glad you got to go back at a better time and that you’re not mad at your sister about it!