The thought of traveling solo to most people is daunting for many reasons. What will I do by myself? Will I be safe? What about eating alone? Will my family be okay without me? Will people look at me weird? Well, I asked myself all the same questions, but took the plunge anyway many years ago. I’ve since taken many trips near and far, never looked back, and here’s why.
I bet you’ve either never thought about traveling solo, or if you did, you talked yourself out of it. I’m talking no kids, no partner, no family, and no friends, except for those you meet in your travels. Many moms would love to getaway by themselves, but don’t do so out of fear. But, you need to take the time to seriously consider this form of travel. You can even start small with a weekend getaway and see how it feels and hopefully, venture out from there.
Why You Should Consider Traveling Solo
A solo traveler may be traveling for a variety of different reasons, but I truly believe it is important to travel solo for self-grounding. I have found over the years that being a mom allows you to do so much you never expected, but it also often leads to a loss of time alone and a sense of self.
I believe that keeping yourself charged will make you a better person overall and that traveling solo allows you to spend time with #1, you. We, as moms, spend so much time and energy taking care of our family that we forget about ourselves. Getting away, whether locally for a day trip or for a few days or longer, makes a huge difference and I think, makes us better moms. I know you’re heard this many times before, but seriously, without taking care of ourselves, it is hard to take care of others.
One of the biggest rewards to traveling solo may surprise you. Your solo travel shows your partner and children that you are a strong, independent person who likes herself and values herself, making you a better partner and mom. I’ve seen this in my kids as they’ve traveled the world on their own. I like to think I set a good example. Most importantly, my solo travel has taught my kids that taking care of your own needs is a must, and solo travel allows you to build confidence and a sense of self.
Finally, by traveling solo, you get to do exactly what you want on vacation. No more trying to please everyone else! For you, that might be absolutely nothing at all. Or it might include a river raft trip that none of your family ever wanted to go on. The choice is strictly up to you!
When to Consider Traveling Solo
The single most important thing to plan is timing. You want to make sure the timing is perfect for your own well-being. Most moms are the ones who are in charge of the day-to-day running of the family. You want to make sure you get away at a time best for the entire family.
I’ve learned that traveling during my husband’s busy season at work is a huge mistake. He stresses and then I worry. Thus being away makes me, as his partner, feel helpless.
Also, make sure you travel once the kids’ schedules are set and talk to them about why you’re traveling solo. You want to make sure as much as possible is taken care of at home, so that is not on your mind while you’re away.
Where to Consider Traveling Solo
This all depends on your resources and ability to get away, but here are my three simple rules.
- Make it somewhere you’re unfamiliar with.
- Make it somewhere you’re able to both relax and have an adventure.
- Make it somewhere you’re able to be alone.
When I first started traveling solo as a mom, I took day trips. We were young, had twins, and my hubby was a PhD student, so I had to really watch my budget. I would pack my daypack and lunch, and head over to Jamestown, Rhode Island, solo for the day. I made sure I had my favorite foods and a good book. As time progressed and we had more resources, I would venture off to a short overnight within driving distance. Then came my first solo trip as a mom overseas. The twins headed off to summer camp and I left for Greece.
Retreats, spas, or a volunteer trip are all great choices for a novice. You can even search online for traveling solo as there are a lot of companies these days that offer package trips, where you can travel solo with others! You can even check Groupon for great travel deals.
My Top 3 Favorite First Time Solo Trips
It is easy to get to, offers lots of ways to push yourself, and there are plenty of options for where to go. I would stay at one of the Bahia Príncipe properties and take advantage of the excursions as well. Based on your budget, pick the property best for you. I love the Luxury Bahia Príncipe Cayo Levantado Don Pablo Collection. For a first time traveler, you can be alone, yet the staff is right there to be with you. The spa is well worth multiple visits and the food is spectacular. All the excursions are guided, yet you have plenty of alone time.
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico, is a great first time trip for those who want a city vibe, not a resort. You can rent a flat or apartment right in the heart of Old San Juan and live like a local. A short bus ride will deliver you right to the best beach, in my opinion, on the island, Escambron Beach. Staying in an Air BnB, you can hit the local farmers’ markets or visit the local’s favorite restaurants. It is the type of city you can wander the streets for days and always find a new art gallery or street fair.
My glorious Greece trip took me from Athens to Crete to Santorini. On plane, ferries, boats, and with a driver, I saw it all. Starting in Athens, which is deeply rooted in history and culture, you get a feel for the importance of Greece. It is the one place, time after time, that allows you to really understand the meaning of self. Then, picking a few islands to visit you can hike, sit on the beach, or get away alone. I can’t tell you the number of days I never left my own personal oasis on Santorini. It was truly an escape from it all, including yourself, because of the stunning beauty of the surroundings.
If I haven’t quite inspired you to go ahead and book that solo trip, I hope I’ve at least taken away some of the fear and put a little inspiration in the back of your mind.