Advice for Traveling Solo

June 28, 2018

As I previously mentioned back in May, my trip to Disneyland was the first time I traveled by myself. At first, I thought it was the perfect idea and I was so determined to go through with it. I got my parents approval, booked my flights and hotel, and then it all became very REAL. I started to feel a little uneasy, asking myself, "can I really pull this off alone?"

Something as simple as going out to eat by yourself can be a little scary; matter of fact, doing ANYTHING alone has this weird and unnecessary stigma around it. Going to the movies, seeing a concert; there's a list of things deemed unacceptable to do alone. But WHY?

I've always been a very independent person, but I'm not perfect. Like everyone else, I get stuck in the shit hole of worrying about what others think of me. But I've come to a crossroads in my life where if I wait to do things with other people, I may never do them. And I enjoy doing certain things alone ANYWAY.

When I made my decision about Disney, it was because it was something I'd been waiting on my whole life. I wasn't the kid growing up who went twice a year; we didn't go at all. And to be honest, I'm glad I didn't because it made me that much more appreciative as an adult seeing it all for the first time. But at 24 years old, I knew I was either going alone or not going at all, and the thought of going alone really excited me.

I did some research beforehand and read some blog posts about traveling alone; the pros and the cons. The closer my trip got, the more confident I felt that I could do it. I got that "nervous traveling day" feeling the day before I left, but the next morning when I woke up, I felt SO ready.

A lot of my family and friends were curious about my experience traveling alone, so I decided to write about some things I've learned and advice I have for your first solo trip with hopes that it inspires you to plan one of your own.

Here's what I've learned from traveling alone for the first time:

Whatever trip you decide to take alone, do it because YOU want to do it. Pick a place that means something to YOU. It's always nice to get feedback before planning a trip, but don't let opinions make you question your plans. It's okay to be selfish about a solo vacation.

For your first time traveling alone, I recommend starting out small. One of the questions I received was if I thought Disneyland was too big for a first solo trip. My answer to that would be no because even though California was a far distance, Disney itself is safe, easy-going and family-oriented. I never felt afraid or worried while alone there. Somewhere you've been before or a place an hour or two from home would be a great place to start if you feel nervous about going solo.

Since you'll be alone, you won't want to keep track of a lot of stuff. Pack as minimal as possible. This was really easy for Disney because I only needed one outfit a day, which consisted of shorts, a tee and one pair of shoes. It was the lightest I've ever packed and it made life SO much easier. I also recommend using a crossbody style purse; then you can keep an eye on your bag at all times.

I definitely wanted to do this for my Disney trip, but for any solo trip, I think it's important to make a plan- NOT a schedule. I planned out which rides I wanted to go on, the food I wanted to try and so on, but I didn't make a strict schedule that I had to follow. I made a couple of restaurant reservations, but other than that, everything was on my own time, at my own pace. It makes things much more enjoyable because you can relax without the pressure of staying on schedule.

Even if you are the most confident person, don't be afraid to ask questions! I asked so many questions with no shame. I called the hotel three days before my arrival to ask to confirm my reservation. I asked the airport staff where to find security and where to catch an Uber. I asked the hotel front desk where I could eat dinner. I asked a Disney employee how to get out of Space Mountain even though the door was all of two feet away. Even though you CAN figure things out on your own, it doesn't mean you have to.

My favorite thing about doing stuff alone is treating myself. It's like the pat on the back you deserve for being brave enough to do it. I treated myself to a glass of wine when I arrived in California. I also treated myself every night before I left the park to a Tigger Tail. (AKA chocolate covered marshmallow deliciousness) I planned a dinner reservation one day and a breakfast reservation the next. I bought some fun souvenirs. Traveling alone is about more than exploring; it's about unwinding and telling yourself "you deserve this."

This could be a huge step out of the comfort zone for some, but you should really talk to people! Whether it be other tourists or employees, when you are by yourself, it feels great to interact with new people. I talked to people in lines at the attractions, to employees at the stores and to waiters and waitresses. I met some really friendly people who were very helpful with Disneyland tips. I also told different employees that I was visiting Disney alone and some were really excited, while others were shocked! The shocked reaction was most common during my trip, which showed me how uncommon it seems to travel solo. Nonetheless, interacting with other people is something I personally feel is a necessity when you are by yourself.

If you're not used to being by yourself for a few days, the last thing you will want on vacation is to feel lonely. That's why I encourage you to find your comfort; do something that makes you feel less alone. For example, I called my mom each day for a few minutes to fill her in on what I've been up to, along with sending her lots of photos. I kept the TV on when I was in the hotel room so I had some noise to keep me company as well. The small things that bring you comfort will prevent any feelings of worry or loneliness. 

It is much easier to do more on a trip when you're only worrying about you; there's no stress of others wanting to do different things than what you want to do. Because of this, you should not only be doing everything YOU want, but you should also take in as much as you can! I walked all over, rode so many rides and stayed at the park all hours to see it all. Don't make yourself crazy, but DO take advantage of being able to do your own thing. 

SUPER important: Be proud of traveling alone! I learned that it's NOT something to be embarrassed of; people actually think it's really brave! (If you even care what people think!) Take pride in the fact that you're doing something so big for yourself. It takes serious bravery, confidence and ambition to throw the norms out the window and just go for it. If you're 30 miles away or 300, OWN IT!


The idea of traveling alone is scary; I get it. It's definitely not for everyone! But if it even slightly sounds like something you would enjoy, I encourage it! It really taught me what I was capable of, as well as got me out of my comfort zone. Since I've gotten back, I feel more confident in my every day life too. I'm not much of an extroverted person, but I do feel more open to talking to random people and asking more questions now.

I don't regret a thing.

It's your turn,

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