Scared to Travel Alone? 10 Tips on How to Embrace Solo Travel

Scared to travel alone?

Well then, you’re in good company! …And in fact, you’re no longer alone, because there are millions of women just like you who are scared to travel alone.

Fear is the # 1 thing that holds us back from nearly everything we’d like to do, and the fear of travel on your own can be just as real as the fear of spiders. However, you’ve managed to land (🛬 pun intended!) on the right article to learn how to transcend your fear of traveling alone as a women.

Right off that bat, know this: Solo travel is a very normal thing to be afraid. However, if you’ve been dreaming of that bucket list trip but don’t have a travel buddy, it’s time to release the fear and enjoy your adventure. By the end of this article, you’ll have 10 new skills on how to travel alone with confidence.

How do I know? 👋 Hi, I’m Shelley, and I have been living and enjoying solo travel in Mexico since April 2018. I have personally used the seven tips and mindset hacks in this article to get myself out of a place of solo travel anxiety — and into a place of loving the adventure that is solo travel.

Ready to no longer be afraid to travel alone and live your best travel life!? Then let’s get to these tips already…

🎧 This article is also available as a Solo travel podcast!

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scared to Travel Alone: Solo Travel Tips

1. Know that fear is a normal human emotion

Right off the bat: Fear is normal. However, it has also been given a negative stigma to mean “something bad;” so let’s call it what it really is, just an internal alert. Fear can be both negative and exciting, as in how “I’m scared to do this” is the same emotion as “I have butterflies in my stomach,” just different wording.

fear: (noun) an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous

The words “caused by the belief” are bolded because, in the case of your fear of traveling alone as a woman, it’s only a belief, a thought, a speculation, etc. For the most part, fear is what you feel when you’re doing something new or something that you’ve never done before.

As a longtime solo female traveler, I’m going to let you in on this little secret: Even veteran solo travelers (like me!) are afraid to travel alone sometimes. When I visit a new destination for the first time, though I’ve traveled solo many times, I feel fear of this unknown place because I have no idea what to expect.

To me, feeling fear and having anxiety when traveling is normal, and I’ve felt it many times. The difference between someone who has experience with solo female travel, and someone who doesn’t, is that I’m just a bit more comfortable feeling anxiety about traveling alone.

Solo Travel in Mexico: 20 Destinations You Need To Visit (According to Solo Female Travelers Who Have Actually Been to Them!)

scared to Travel Alone: Solo Travel Tips

2. Remember that practice makes perfect(er)

So now that you’ve uncovered the truth — that even longtime solo female travelers have moments of fear and are sometimes scared to travel alone — you’re likely wondering, Then how are they so confident traveling alone?

The answer is this: We practice how to travel alone. Solo travelers practice traveling solo by traveling solo, which makes each trip a little more comfortable each time.

As they say, practice makes perfect; but since there’s no such thing as “perfect,” we can say for sure that practice makes easier, or practice makes perfect(er). Meaning, the more times you travel solo, the easier it gets to find your solo travel confidence.

The reality is that many assume solo travelers are fearless or brave, though this couldn’t be farther from the truth for so many of us. Solo travelers are often fearful and nervous, just like you, but we practice acting in spite of the fear, rather than waiting for the fear to eliminate itself from existence.

If you’ve been wanting to travel solo for some time, and you’re simply waiting to not feel afraid, well, that’s probably why you haven’t taken the trip. In reality, the fear never goes away, you just become OK with feeling it or you never do the thing you’re afraid of… but those are the only two outcomes.

Woman happy pulling her yellow suitcase through town, not scared to travel alone

RELATED ARTICLE ✈️ 111 Solo Travel Quotes About Traveling Alone that Will Inspire You


3. Forget what you “Know” about solo travel

Want the real truth about why you’re scared to travel alone?! The reason you have anxiety and F.E.A.R. (AKA false evidence appearing real) about solo travel is because you have a mental picture of what it’s supposed to look like, and you have no idea how to “perfectly” pull that off.

If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” ―Lao Tzu

Anxiety and being scared to travel alone comes from living in the future. You think you know how it’s supposed to look, and fear being wrong if it doesn’t end up looking that way.

Want the secret to overcoming solo travel anxiety? Forget what you “know” about solo travel — immediately, if not sooner. The reality is, if you’ve never been a solo traveler, there’s no way you can “know” much about it.

The reality is, you’ve made up a mental picture of how your first solo trip should go, how you should feel on it, or how it should play out overall. We’ll get into “shoulding” more in Tip #2, but let’s just say the word “should” isn’t helping to dissipate your solo travel fears.

Now, I love Instagram, but it’s good to always keep in mind that travel influencers don’t depict travel as it exists for the average traveler (me included!). Rather, they are essentially advertising themselves in beautiful photos, because for travel influencers, Instagram is their business.

Therefore, if you want to take that first solo trip sooner rather than later, you’ll want to forget how you think solo travel “should“ look. This includes forgetting what solo travel (and travel in general) looks on Instagram, YouTube and in movies.

The thing with how things “should” be is that you created your own definitions and scenarios to define them. What’s perfect to one person is horrible to another; meaning there is no actual such thing as a perfect solo trip or a perfect anything.

Forget what you know: thought Exercise

🛑 Initial Thought: If my first solo trip doesn’t look the perfect, and I can’t show it off on Instagram so it looks like I had the time of my life and the perfect photos to prove it, there’s no point in going at all.

🟢 Revised Thought: Since I invented what the “perfect” solo trip looks like, I can just as easily invent a new mental picture, and take my first solo trip already. Even better, I can just let it unfold as it does and consider it a “perfect” trip simply because I conquered my fear and went.

Woman in a red dress twirling in the street, not scared to travel alone

RELATED ARTICLE ✈️ 5 Effective Ways to Overcome Solo Travel Anxiety

SCARED to Travel Alone: Solo Travel Tips

4. Stop “Shoulding” all over your solo trip

As an ancient Yiddish proverb says, “We plan, God laughs.” Now, no one’s advocating for not planning around here — Planning and preparedness have a lot of value, especially when it comes to solo female travel safety.

The ideal takeaway from that proverb is that you’ll benefit yourself tremendously by removing all the pressure of doing what you think you “should” do. In short, what it means is don’t should all over yourself!

Now, just what does this clever play-on-words mean to you, as someone wanting to break through your fears of traveling alone. Amazing question 😎

Travel, for many people, means checking off boxes of a predetermined number of sights and seeing as many places as possible. Sound like a chore list? For many, the need to control how things should go can become a To Do list, and it can actually backfire and cause you travel anxiety, rather than help alleviate it.

Stop shoulding on yourself: thought Exercise

🛑 Initial Thought: I’m in Mexico City. I should do these 14 things that I saw the most photos of on ig. I read that these are the Must Sees, so therefore I should see them all on this trip.

🟢 Revised Thought: My trip goal is Self-Discovery? Which places have I seen or heard about that will help me to crush my goal? I only must see what I choose. The internet is not the boss of me!

Woman sitting on a bench under purple and white flowers, not scared to travel alone

RELATED ARTICLE 📸 6 Epic Solo Travel Photography Tips + 5 FREE Presets

scared to Travel Alone: Solo Travel Tips

5. Have a Trip Goal, not a Trip Plan

Instead of formulating a To Do travel list or a preconceived notion in your head about how your first time traveling solo should look, and a play-by-play to make that happen, instead make a trip goal. This simple mindset shift is actually one of the best tips for solo female travelers, that many overlook.

Example: My goal for this trip is self-discovery*. I am OK with having no idea how this will unfold, but I am excited to find out by doing and seeing everything I want in the place I’m traveling, and then reserving some leisure time to achieve the goal. (*Sub in relaxation, personal growth, peace, fun, or any other goal.)

With a goal and not a plan, you’re free to fully embrace the best part of solo travel — Doing whatever the fu+k you want, whenever the fu+k you want to do it! One of my favorite saying is that solo travel doesn’t always mean you’ll be alone, It just means you’re the solo person in charge of how the trip will go.

Woman standing in a city square with her camera

How to Travel Alone for the First Time: 10 Useful Tips for First Time Solo Female Travel

scared to Travel Alone: Solo Travel Tips

6. Check in with yourself each morning

We humans are emotional creatures: Meaning, we feel emotions. The thing is, that’s one of our best qualities. The sooner you know how to effectively work with your emotions, the sooner you will transcend most anxieties in your life — not just solo travel ones.

Since we feel so many emotions, and since they change so often, check in with yourself by writing in a travel journal, or sitting in quiet mediation, or whatever works for you, during each morning of your trip. In doing so, you know where you’re at that day.

Check in each morning: thought Exercise

🛑 Initial Answer: Mornin’ Self, How you feelin’ today? Well, honestly, I need a beach day. I know I planned to go to that famous site, and now I’m not I’m feelin’ it; but I know I should push through, so I’m just going to force it today.

🟢 Revised Answer: Mornin’ Self, How you feelin’ today? Well, honestly, I need a beach day, my book, my headphones, three margaritas and a massage. I know I planned to go to that famous site, but I know if I force myself I won’t enjoy it as much. My trip goal is self-discovery, and I know I won’t discover much when I’m not enjoying the experience.

scared to Travel Alone: Solo Travel Tips

7. Journaling, Meditating & Whatevering

Journaling, meditating, going inward in any way you’d like is great because when you know how you’re emotionally feeling, you’ll know what your logical next step is.

When you’re in this place of self-awareness, you’re never forcing what you should do, and only doing what feels right.

For me, solo travel anxiety came up most when I forced myself to do what I knew, deep down, I was only doing because I thought I should do it.

Meaning, my emotions and intuition were telling me one thing, and my head had other plans based on it’s own agenda of shoulds.

Woman writing in a journal by the pool, not scared to travel alone

✍️ Journaling is a great way to check in, so don’t forget to pack a Travel Journal.

The thing with anxiety and fear is that they are (at least in part) a response to how we think things should be, and then, them not playing out that way. This causes a panic because what’s happening is not what we prepared for.

This also causes you to be afraid to travel alone, because there’s a chance the trip won’t go as planned. If there’s one key takeaway from this article, it’s that anxiety and fear are us not living in the moment. When we live in the moment, we deal with things as they happen, not how we assumed they should happen.

scared to Travel Alone: Solo Travel Tips

8. Practice kindness & self-compassion

When you’re on a solo trip, you’ll have more time than usual to hear and listen to your own thoughts than in everyday life. In case you didn’t know, we humans think a lot of thoughts; research says it’s as many as 6,000 thoughts per day!

Based on statistical probability alone, some negative thoughts will creep in. However, with some practice, you’ll recognize this and involuntarily begin to replace them with positive ones. If you want to say this in much cooler terms, you want to flip the script on negative thoughts.

To quickly stop negative self-talk, pause and ask yourself, Would I speak this way to my BFF? You can always sub in mom, sister, 5-year-old nephew, partner, whomever, but the fact remains that when you’re not saying kind things to yourself, the answer is, No, you most certainly would not.

Woman in front of ferris wheel making heart shape with her hands, not scared to travel alone

RELATED ARTICLE ✈️ How to Travel Alone for the First Time: 10 Useful Tips

Kindness, it costs nothing but means everything. —Baz Gale

When you have a thought that takes a turn for the negative (or the “should”), take a moment to thank it for coming, and politely ask it to leave, then replace it with something pleasant. Remember in Tip #1 that fear is normal? Well you’ll want to also treat a negative thought as normal, hence why you’ll thank it first.

When traveling, keep your vibe high by speaking to yourself with the same loving kindness you extend to your BFF (mom, sister, partner, whomever).

Practice Kind Self-Compassion: thought Exercise

🛑 Initial Thought: You’re in Mexico City and you should absolutely go to the Frida Kahlo Museum. No woman comes to this city and doesn’t go there. You’re a failure of a traveler if you don’t go, this trip will be a waste, and you’ll have no cool photos to post.

🟢 Revised Thought: My trip goal of self-discovery, and honestly, I don’t think there’s any self-discovery for me at that museum. I commend myself for not only having the guts to travel solo, but to do it the way I want to do it! I can always go to see the Frida Kahlo Museum on my next solo trip because I doubt the museum’s going anywhere!

SCARED to Travel Alone: Solo female Travel Tips

9. Take a break before you really need to

Medical science says we’re actually dehydrated hours before we even feel thirsty, and the same is true with our emotional batteries. Letting yourself hit 0% before recognizing you needed a moment to calm yourself, is going to dredge up all kinds of unpleasant feelings, including anxiety.

In an effort to mitigate undesirable outcomes, remember you can take a break before (or even long before) you actually need one. The wonderful part of solo travel, is that when the moment hits when you want to take that break, you just take it. You don’t check in with anyone. You just stop and do you.

When in doubt, remember that solo travel is all about Doing whatever the fu+k you want, whenever the fu+k you want to do it!  

Hitting 0% is the breeding ground for fear, anxiety and negative self-talk. Plus, you now have to recharge all the way back up to 100%, and that can take hours instead of minutes.


🛑 Initial Thought: Self, How you doin? Well, I’m operating at 50%, so I fu+king hate this city, and my hair today, and those flowers, and the blue sky, and all those people over there… but yeah, let’s hit up a museum or whatever.

🟢 Revised Thought: Self, How you doin? Well, I’m operating at 50%, so I fu+king hate… OK, let me stop you there, and we’ll take 5 to recharge. Let’s hit up a cute cafe, refill our water bottle, use the bathroom, eat an avocado toast, jump on the WiFi, put on lipstick, listen to our favorite song, edit some of our trip photos, and then continue on our merry way to that museum as soon as we feel 100% again.

Woman eating alone at a restaurant and drinking an orange beverage, not scared to travel alone

RELATED ARTICLE 🍷🍽 Eating Alone While Traveling: How to Overcome Your Fear

SCARED to Travel Alone: Solo Travel Tips

10. Most travel fears are worse in our mind

Have you ever been really afraid to do something, let’s say doing a dive from a cliff into the ocean below, but then you did it anyway, and it wasn’t so bad? …Maybe it was even fun?! That’s the thing with most of your fears, they’re worse in your head.

As mentioned in Tip #1, fear is normal — it’s a feeling, not a fact. In the case of your cliff jump, your brain was like, Whoa, are you sure? This might not end well. However, since you’ve already seen 12 people do this very same jump, you know you’re likely in no danger to jump also.

Do not fear failure, but please, be terrified of regret. ~Deshauna Barber

Woman eating ice cream on a balcony, not scared to travel alone
IT ME! Enjoying a gelato solo on a solo trip to beautiful, colorful Guanajuato City, Mexico.

If you think one level deeper, your brain is designed to keep you alive and safe, not happy and thriving. It pretty much wants you to avoid any uncertainty, because those are safe, and it wants you to avoid taking risks because it’s interested in your safety more-so than you living your best life.

In the end, whether you take your first solo trip or not will really come down to you being scared, recognizing fear is normal, and going anyway. As a longtime solo female traveler, I can tell you firsthand that I have been scared many times — but I went anyway.

At the end of the day, you can take those first few steps while also feeling afraid, or you can stay home. When put in those terms, I hope the Should I travel alone? choice now feels much easier for you to make.

You’ve done hard things before, and you got this too.

SCARED to Travel Alone: Solo female Travel Tips

Consider solo travel in Mexico

Though Mexico isn’t always on “Best Places to Travel Alone” lists, I couldn’t agree less! As someone who’s been to half the states in the country, I have found Mexico to be magical, diverse, exciting, delicious (tacos!! 🌮), and one of the most safe places to travel alone.

For a deep dive into Mexico solo travel safety and recommendations of the best places for women to travel alone in Mexico, check out SAFE Solo Female Travel in Mexico: 20 Tips & Safe Destinations.

Mexico solo travel destinations

Mexico is a big country, with plenty of amazing solo female travel destination choices. It is also one of the cheapest places to travel alone, an in general, one of the best travel destinations for U.S. travelers.

Below you’ll find a few recommended solo travel Mexico destinations, but for a complete list, head here, Mexico Solo Travel: 20 Amazing Destinations for Female Travelers. In this article, you’ll find Mexico travel destinations recommended by solo female travel who have actually been to them!

SCARED to Travel Alone: Solo female Travel Tips

Solo travel safety items

While the vast majority of solo travelers are safe overall, that’s not to say travel safety is a guarantee for anyone. Whether you’re a solo female traveler, traveling in a couple or a group, travelers are always easier targets, especially for petty theft like pickpocketing.

For this reason, consider the travel safety items below, including an anti-theft purse, anti-theft backpack, and hidden picket security scarf. Some solo women traveling also wear a fake wedding ring, and bring a door stopper with sound alarm.

SCARED to Travel Alone: Solo female Travel Tips

Purchase solo travel insurance

After years of solo travel, I will say there is one certainty with travel: Something will go wrong! That’s not meant to scare you, but just to remind you that just as you insure your car, home and body, you can also insure your luggage, belongings and health while traveling.

For this reason, I have a whole page of this website dedicated to travel insurance — because it’s just that important. Since solo travel fear is on your mind, or you wouldn’t have read this article!, get your free quote below from one of the biggest names in travel insurance.

SCARED to Travel Alone: Solo female Travel Tips

Final thoughts: Solo female travel FAQs

Is solo travel worth it?

Are we allowed to curse around here?! …Because OMFG, HELL YES IT IS.

Solo female travel has personally changed my life in such amazing ways, that I have a solo female travel blog and podcast about the very topic! While I have no idea how you’ll feel about solo travel after trying it, I know that if you’ve made it this far reading this blog, you owe it to yourself to find out.

Here’s why I travel alone

I have said these very words on nearly all of my solo travel podcast episodessolo travel is the quickest form of therapy.

I did about 1.5 years of traditional therapy with an amazing woman who I credit with helping me in countless ways. However, with solo travel, I learned more in a week out in the “real world,” than I learned in 1.5 years in her office! We learn quickest by doing, it’s just a fact of human nature.

Is solo travel lonely?

It can be, and quite frankly, it sometimes will be. Now that that’s out of the way, it may clear up some mental space to be OK with the very normal human emotion called loneliness. Since this is such a normal part of the human experience, you’ve likely also felt lonely in crowds or in a relationship.

Which brings up this relevant point: Being alone is not the same as being lonely. Just because you’re traveling alone, doesn’t mean you constantly feel lonely; in fact, it’s usually the opposite. If this were the case, no one would be spending their hard earned money on solo trips, only to feel bad and lonely.

Is it weird to travel alone?

As with most things, it’s only weird for those who have never done it. For those who have traveled solo before, we know it’s liberating, empowering, exciting, and much more. If you truly want to take your first trip alone as a woman, ask someone who’s done it — and avoid advice from those who haven’t.

Is it safe to travel alone as a woman?

There is never a guarantee of safety: Not while traveling, not while staying in your hometown, not even by laying in your bed in your own home.

Statistically, solo female travel is safe, especially when you consider that “most violence against women is perpetrated by current or former husbands or intimate partners,” according to United Nations statistics. As with laying in bed, travel comes with a certain amount of risk — but for many, the reward outweighs it.

Have any questions about being scared to travel alone?

If there was anything I didn’t cover, please join the conversation and ask away in the comments down below! I’d be thrilled to chat with you 💗

Enjoy these related female solo travel blogs!

Please join me on my Solo Travel & Mexico Travel adventures

¡Hola Chicas!

I’m Shelley, a former Miami travel magazine editor who ditched the office for the world!

I started this Blog and Podcast to help women like you cross Solo travel and Mexico travel off your bucket list… READ MORE

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  1. Michaela

    Great tips!! Wish you had shared this 3 years ago when I was planning my OE haha

    • Shelley

      Michaela: HAHAHA!! I hate finding blogs years after I needed them.

  2. Julie

    Great tips! It’s true! Even veteran solo travelers get nervous before a trip.

    • Shelley

      Hi Julie: I have found that to be true for myself… different places effect me differently, and some are more nerve-racking than others.

  3. Kelli

    I love to travel solo! Such great advice!

    • Shelley

      Kelli: Thank you for saying so!

  4. Linda

    I love travelling solo & always feel anxious before I go. Luckily this settles pretty quickly when I’m on the way. The trick is to book the ticket & get on the plane ……& planning helps.

    • Shelley

      Linda: It’s soooo true… the best advice for how to solo travel is to just go do it. All feelings eventually pass!

  5. Taylor

    Ah I miss solo traveling so much! This is such a great guide. I definitely was nervous to travel alone at first and I still am nervous to travel to specific places on my own, but every time I do travel by myself I let go of that fear and have the best time.

    • Shelley

      Hi Taylor: There is definitely a “hump” that I always have to get over when I start a solo trip. After the hump, the fun begins.

  6. Kirsten Wendlandt

    I adore this post! I’m definitely one of those people who have been afraid to travel alone but you’ve inspired me to give it a go one day. Thank you!

    • Shelley

      Hi Kirsten: I hope you do!! As with most things, I have found solo travel was scarier in my head than when I was actually traveling.

  7. Shay

    The anxiety of checking off that always too long to do list is so relatable!! Great article and great tips 🙂

    • Shelley

      Hi Shay: I’m glad that part resonated with you! My whole relationship & approach to travel changed when I stopped checking boxes of a list.

  8. Emily

    Ha, I am definitely guilty of ‘shoulding’ – #2 is a great tip for solo travellers especially!

    • Shelley

      Emily: You’re in good company!! I think everyone is guilty of this same thing — I know I am from time to time.

  9. Val

    Great tips! I’ve actually never traveled solo before, but I’ll definitely keep these in mind if I do!

    • Shelley

      Hi Val: If you try solo travel, you have to come back & let me know how it went!!

  10. Samantha

    I love these tips! I just heard about “shoulding” yourself recently and I love it 😂. I’ve been wanting to solo travel for so long, and planned to finally do it this year, but 2020 had other plans lol. Definitely 2021!

    • Shelley

      Hi Samantha: I remember the first time someone told me to “stop shoulding myself” LOL!! ….Super hilarious & super great advice. I hope you enjoy your 1st solo trip.

  11. Valerie

    This post is brilliant! I love travelling solo and I remember how scary it was when I first left home all alone to start my adventure. I feel like the tips in this post can be used for everyday life situations as well, forget what you think you know, stop planning so much, go with the flow and love yourself 😀
    It’s just a small comment but I especially love when you say “treat yourself like you would your BFF”, this is actually my mantra at the moment and I try to practice it every day. It works wonders.
    Thanks for sharing, really enjoyed reading this post 🙂

    • Shelley

      Valerie: Thank you so much for your words. I recently saw a kind of follow-up to the “treat yourself like you would your BFF” & it’s …and love yourself like you love your dog!

  12. cass

    In a way this is the most relatable post I’ve read on this topic. The ‘shoulding’ and following how YOUR emotions are actually telling you to react. And yes, I basically found everything I’d heard or expected about solo travel DIDN’T work for me and my unique set of needs. But despite being afraid I still go for it – I still figure it out! It’s worth it.

    • Shelley

      Cass: Thank you so much for your words. They mean a lot to me… I’m so glad this post was relatable for you. I believe we’re all less alone in our thinking than we believe ourselves to be.

  13. Sarah

    I so needed these tips! I just started recently doing things by myself (like hiking, hahaha far cry from solo travel!) but with my husband’s job, he’s worried about travelling now and coming back to treat patients. I may have to do some solo travelling and I’ve been a little wary of it since it’s way out of my comfort zone. These tips are so helpful!

    • Shelley

      Sarah!! So glad you got value out of my post ❤️ ….but don’t sell yourself short, solo hiking & solo travel aren’t vey far off!

  14. Samantha

    I absolutely loved this blog! I haven’t solo traveled yet but had been planning to before covid hit. I’m definitely saving this post to keep as a reminder for the future!

    • Shelley

      Hi Samantha: YES!! I hope you take that 1st solo trip & I hope my post will help guide you during that trip.

  15. Emma Walmsley

    This is a really useful post, thank you! I love that it’s all about reframing thoughts and turning in to yourself, rather than tick off a bucket list and push on through. Excellent tips.

    • Shelley

      Emma: Thank you for saying that. I truly believe it all starts in the mind & w/ the thoughts.

  16. Anna

    Thanks for sharing these great tips! I love the idea of taking a break before we actually need to, it made me reflect on how many times I could have avoided stress on the road!

    • Shelley

      Anna: That one is sooooooo useful… not just for travel, but for everyday life. I try to be preemptive with my emotions.

  17. Taylor Taverna

    These are such AMAZING tips! I have solo traveled on so many different adventures and it is truly the most life changing experience. Thank you for sharing!

    • Shelley

      Taylor: Thank you for checking out the blog & I totally agree — Solo travel changed my life also.

  18. Khyati

    I LOVE this post! It is so full of life. Also reminds me of the time I made up my mind to travel solo back in 2014. What a liberating feeling, really.
    I wish you more travels! Keep inspiring.

    • Shelley

      Khyati: You are so kind ❤️ I totally agree on the liberation you get from solo travel.

  19. Courtney

    As many others have said, I echo the appreciation for this post. I have done some solo traveling, and over time it has really gotten easier. Your post reminded me of my first solo travel when I studied abroad in Tel Aviv, and I can see how much I have evolved since then. But, it is really refreshing to hear folks who travel solo all the time still express that they get nervous or anxious, too! Really is comforting! One of my favorite parts of solo travel has been the few times I have traveled for work and built in side weekend trips. I sleep well on planes, so after a flight from NYC to Hong Kong I was able to get off the plane and start adventuring right away. Would be more difficult if you’re with someone who is seriously affected by jet lag. (Or the reverse, where you as you mention if you’re traveling alone you just take a rest when you need it. No worry you are slowing someone else down.

    • Shelley

      Hi Courtney! I appreciate you appreciating my blog!! That’s such a great point about being on your own schedule & not having to make any concessions for anyone’s jet lag, sleep schedule, etc. I like traveling with people too, but solo travel is much easier & I see/do soooo much more.

  20. patti

    I’ve actually been contemplating doing solo trips recently since the hubby has been pretty busy making his youtube videos.

    • Shelley

      Patti: HOW COOL!! I hope you try it out & enjoy your solo travels.

  21. Sophia Bawany

    A much needed post for everyone who wants to travel and explore alone. The unrealistic “gram” expectations can really make or break a person mentally. This was a much needed reminder of how to center yourself and really create some meaningful experiences! 🙂

    • Shelley

      Hi Spohia: Believe me, I love IG, but I have had to develop a healthy boundary with it too. It can be toxic, if you let it. I try to mitigate that by not following a lot of the big travel influencer accounts… or anyone who presents what I consider an absolutely unrealistic version of what traveling looks like for a the average woman.

  22. SHANy

    Great tips!! #2 is my favorite and most useful for me. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Shelley

      Shany: Yes……. “Shoulding” is something so many need to hear about!

  23. Yukti Agrawal

    I never traveled alone as I am afraid but your post is giving me lots of strength all positive points to go for solo travel. I love your shoulding advice. Also your photos are beautiful and you look happy while traveling.

    • Shelley

      Hi Yukti: Thank you for saying that, I love being able to travel. It is one of my greatest joys in life.

  24. Bliss

    I love this guide. I definitely don’t want to be shoulding all over my travels. I definitely thought your tip on not to get to 0% was really true. It’s something we can forget because we feel like we need to be doing ‘fun’ travel exploring all the time.

    • Shelley

      Hi Bliss: You are exactly correct & I love how you worded this — “t’s something we can forget because we feel like we need to be doing ‘fun’ travel exploring all the time.”

  25. Francesca

    These are some great tips! I have not really traveled solo yet but I feel these are some good tips to get me started. I love the “should” one. We aways feel we “should” do things but it doesn’t mean we need to.

    • Shelley

      Hi Francesca: Not “shuolding” is something that can be applied to pretty much ever aspect of life — but I love how you worded it: We always feel we “should” do things but it doesn’t mean we need to.

  26. Teresa

    Travelling solo can be very daunting but these are great tips! Thank you so much for sharing

    • Shelley

      Teresa: I totally agree, I was super scared the first time… and less scared after each solo trip!

  27. Daniella

    These tips are definitely powerful and really useful! Thanks for sharing.

    • Shelley

      Daniella: Thank you so much for saying that ❤️

  28. Sue

    As a solo traveler, I love these tips and wish I had known them before my first solo trip but of course practice does make perfect, Ive had so many great solo trips since the first one.

  29. Jamie Sharpe

    You definitely reminded me why I traveled solo in the first place, and I can’t wait to get back to it post lockdown

  30. Shafinah

    I love your Thought Exercise for #4! That’s definitely me all over it and I can feel so bummed especially when plans go awry. This is so helpful!

  31. Kayy

    Such an amazing guide for solo travelers . Solo travel is really the best and practice does help. Once the fear is gone , you’ll even forget you’re solo because of all of the fun you’re having .

  32. Krystianna

    Great post! I’ve always been iffy myself on traveling solo just because I like having a friend (especially in case I get lost!) but I have quite a few friends who have traveled solo and loved it. Maybe one day I’ll finally bite the bullet and do it!

    • Shelley

      Hi Krystianna: If getting lost is your barrier to solo travel, buy a SIM card for the country you’re visiting so you have cell data at all time, download an offline map (Google Maps,, etc.), and believe that friendly strangers will help you if you need it!


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