Solo Travel: is it possible?

Absolutely, positively, yes.

I found that traveling alone is an incredible experience of independence, empowerment, and fun. In contrast to exploring another city or country with a group, you have complete reign over your agenda and what constitutes your day. If you want to spend an hour in a café instead of visiting museums or go to an amusement park instead of watching a concert, you can. It’s entirely up to you.

What about eating alone? Isn’t it lonely? I get this question a lot by friends who wonder what it was like to travel alone. As someone who already (pre-study abroad) likes spending time alone, I had no trouble finding joy in eating by myself. If you’re more hesitant to the idea, here are a few perks:

  • Restaurants that are fully booked likely have spots at the bar that you can take
    • Saturday nights in Vienna mean most restaurants are fully booked, however, my “party of one” got me into Mama Bulle (the New American take on the restaurant, Huth)
    • After turning away larger partiers, the host took me through the kitchen, past the chefs, and down the stairs into their basement brewery!
  • Learning how to enjoy your own company
  • Buying what you can afford (no social pressure to order a drink or dessert if you’re ballin’ on a budget)

However, solo travel is not for everyone. If you are someone who dreads being by yourself, hates the idea of eating alone, or lives for social interaction, traveling alone might not be appealing or a rewarding experience for you.

The primary obstacle that I identified regarding traveling on my own was my anxiety about the logistics of travel, specifically figuring out foreign public transport. I did a fair bit of research before leaving for Vienna to ease my worry.

Here are my suggestions to combat worrying during your travels:

  1. Research if your city has a 24/48/72 hour public transport pass (Vienna has a 48 hour pass on the Wien Linien app for $15)
  2. If your hostel/hotel is not near the airport, check if you need a separate ticket to transport to the city (Vienna: CAT or VAL round trip ticket on Wien Linien app)
  3. Find a local blogger or established travel couple online that gives descriptive recommendations of favorite spots (bonus points if they have an “affordable” section)
  4. Balance activities that cost money with free sightseeing (gardens, palaces/castles, neighborhoods, etc.)
  5. Have several restaurant options in the case that your first picks are closed, booked, or too far away
  6. Carry a portable charger and be mindful of your phone’s battery life–use fast food restaurants‘ outlets as places to recharge (+ use the bathroom), if needed
  7. Keep your life with you–by this I mean carry what you brought with you on your person
    • If you’re staying for a weekend, chances are you only need two outfits, pjs, charger/cords, your passport, and toiletries
    • To avoid anything getting lost or stolen (especially in a shared hostel room), I keep everything in my backpack with me when I leave my room
  8. Identify the local currency, its conversion to USD, and carry cash

Stay tuned for next week: attending the Lyngby v. Brøndby football match and what to do in Copenhagen when your family & boyfriend visit!


One response to “Solo Travel: is it possible?”

  1. Vienna is one of my very favorite cities for a visit! Cafe central is so so good. Glad to see you got out and did some solo travel 🙂


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