Here at Latitude 21 Resorts, we know how important vacation is. But we have to ask; have you ever day dreamed about taking a trip all by yourself? If the thought of enjoying a week alone on a secluded beach with just “me, myself, and I” appeals to you, then read on. Solo trips can be refreshing and enjoyable experiences! They can allow you to have freedom with the choices you make, and take some well-deserved time to yourself. A vacation alone can be a life-changing experience. However, we understand that travelling alone can be a little daunting, especially if it’s not something you’re used to. So, if you’re considering making your first foray into solo travel, we’re here to give you some tips to put your mind at ease.
The choice is yours! Decide where you want to go!
Is there a destination you’ve always dreamt of visiting? Or would you prefer to just close your eyes and pick a random point on the map? If you are not a well experience traveler, we recommend sticking to well-known destinations. Such as the wonderful latitude 21: Hawaii, Mexico, or the Caribbean. Travelling to well-known tourist destinations means that those destinations are already well-equipped for travelers. These locations generally have special “tourist police”. Which means they speak English and are accustomed to dealing with “tourist issues”. Major latitude 21 resort destinations also have hospitals equipped with staff that is ready to help foreigners. Also, these destinations generally have a population of locals who place value on tourism. Therefore there are always locals who are more likely to help out if you get in a bind.
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You may have a particular interest that draws you to a certain place. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to explore the Mayan heritage of Mexico, or taste authentic Caribbean cuisine? Or maybe you’ve always dreamt of simply kicking back on a beach in Hawaii. Cocktail in one hand and a great book in the other. While your choice may be partially affected by your budget and availability, the beauty of traveling alone, is that you get the freedom to decide. Decide the who, what, when, where, and why, all for yourself.
Begin by setting a budget
We know, this is the boring bit, but it’s vital that you figure this out on the outset. Knowing your budget means you can determine many things about your solo holiday. For instance: where you can go and afford accommodations, how long you stay, and how you’ll get there. Consider the basics. Such as transportation, accommodation and travel insurance, plus spending money for food, activities and souvenirs while you’re away. Always plan a little extra for emergencies to give yourself some breathing room.
Do some research, and get organized
Once you’ve decided where your destination is, it’s time to figure out what you want to do when you’re there! Get your flights sorted first so you can construct the rest of your planning around your arrival and departure. Google to find out what you want to see or experience. Then think about the logistics that will link your trip together. For instance, would you like to stay in one place for two weeks? Or perhaps you would like to hop between a few spots within your destination?
Choose where you’re going to stay
First, establish how many different accommodations you’ll need for your vacation. You might be staying in one place for the whole holiday, or moving between a few different areas. Alternatively, you may even be taking a road trip! If you’re traveling by yourself, especially if you are a woman, you might want to consider sticking to well-known hotels and resorts versus hostels or Airbnb’s. Security in hotels and resorts is much better than in hostels or in private condominiums. There are special security protocols which all resorts and hotels must follow. Avoid giving your room number to strangers and only invite well-known guests to your room.
If you prefer to stay in accommodations which feature living rooms or kitchens, we recommend checking out the rental section of latitude 21 resorts to see what types of timeshare accommodations are available in your preferred destinations. Timeshare rentals generally provide the space and features of a condominium, with the amenities (and security) of a hotel. They really are the best of both the Airbnb and Hotel worlds.
Now for the fun part – plan your schedule
Creating an itinerary for your solitary vacation can be really exciting. Especially because you don’t have to compromise on any of the decisions you make – everything is entirely up to you. An itinerary can also be a little bit of a security blanket as it gives your trip some structure. Meaning your family and friends back at home can know where you are. If you’re going to multiple destinations within one country, make sure you plan your accommodation and travel first. This way you know how many days you’ll have in each place. We recommend sharing your itinerary and accommodations information with family and friends before you leave.
When you’re travelling as an individual, it’s important to pack things that will make you feel a little more secure. This will make all the difference to your trip! For instance, if you’re packing a jacket or coat, make sure it’s one with zip-up pockets to keep your belongings safer. Or consider buying a discreet money belt, which can be worn out of sight under a layer of clothing. Don’t forget that novel that you’ve been meaning to read. Take a look at our packing guide article for more tips for vacation travel packing!
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Make sure you keep your important documents organized in a folder. Pack a basic first aid kit. And keep an emergency contact information card on you at all times in your wallet or purse. This should hold significant contact numbers and personal medical information. Just in case there’s an emergency and someone is trying to help you. Label it clearly with an international red cross.
Stay in touch with family and friends at home…
If you’re away on your own then your family and friends will likely be anxious to know what you’re up to. Solo trips are perfect for taking some time to yourself and disconnecting from the outside world. But make sure you keep the family updated through a couple of Skype or phone calls. Or maybe a few posts on social media! They’ll be desperate to see photos from your time away, and you may even inspire some of them to take their own solo trip!
… But don’t be afraid to make new friends on your trip
Sure, you might be travelling without anyone else because you wanted alone time, but one of the best things about single travel is meeting new people – something you may not be as motivated to do if you were travelling with someone else. Sign up for a walking tour or group hike. Spend a few days volunteering for a local charity. Or maybe take a cocktail workshop or a dance tutorial. Who knows – you could make a friend for life in that sunset yoga class on the beach. One of the many great things about travelling alone is that you can be sociable when you feel like it. But you can also retreat at any time you want and just enjoy your own company!
Enjoy new culinary experiences
You no longer have to suffer the debate of ‘where are we going to eat tonight?’ – you can pick whatever takes your fancy! Have a taste of some unusual food you never thought you’d try! Use TripAdvisor or Where Chefs Eat to find the best foodie spots near you. Or check out Latitude 21 Resorts’ blog for more culinary suggestions!
Step out of your comfort zone
If you’re travelling alone for the first time, then congratulations – you’re already out of your comfort zone! A solo trip is the perfect opportunity for new experiences that you’ll never forget. Test your bravery with a zip line adventure through the jungles of Tulum, Mexico. Go scuba diving with turtles in the reefs of Oahu, Hawaii. Or unwind and take time to reflect with a wellness retreat in the heart of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean
While travelling on your own may appear to be a bit intimidating at first, it can also be incredibly empowering and full of perks. For all ages and walks of life it can be refreshing to spend time alone. To make choices entirely for yourself and immerse yourself in new cultures and experiences. No matter where you go, we’re sure that you’ll return home feeling rejuvenated. And you may even be eager to plan your next solo trip to Hawaii, Mexico, or the Caribbean!