8 Ways to Prevent Loneliness While Traveling Alone

February 21, 2017

Congrats!! You’ve Decided to Travel Alone

So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and travel alone!!! That’s truly brave and amazing because you will learn so many things about yourself that you never knew. But, while this decision is exciting, it can also be a little nerve wrecking because you never know what will happen or how you will feel. And these feelings and situations can be hard to manage when you are all alone and don’t really have anyone else to talk to.

Well, this mixture of feelings are pretty normal, so don’t feel bad if you’re excited, nervous and scared, all in one. It’s normal, at least for me. I still get like that now, and I have traveled all over the world by myself. But I still get nervous because you’re entering the world of the unknown and you just don’t know what you’re gonna feel or how you’re gonna react to certain situations.

And one of the hardest feelings to combat when you’re traveling alone, is loneliness. Now, I’ll be honest with you. Traveling alone is the most amazing experience, but you’re gonna get lonely, no matter how much you love it. It’s gonna happen because we’re human. And as humans, we are intrinsically social beings that like to feel connected and cared for by other people. So the question is, what do you do when you get lonely and how can you prevent loneliness altogether?

Activities, like hanging out at the Equator, are a great way to prevent loneliness when traveling.

Well, that’s where I come in!!!! I have traveled all over the world alone (6 weeks alone in China, 3 weeks alone in Peru, etc.) and know what its like to look at a couple and yearn for that to be you. Or, how about when you visit a sight and just want to share it with someone you love, but can’t because you’re alone? It happens and it can really put a damper on the joy and freedom of traveling independently.

So, to cope with these feelings of isolation, or to prevent loneliness altogether, here are list of some tips and tricks that I use when I am traveling alone and feel like I just need a little company.

8 Ways to Prevent Loneliness While Traveling Alone

  1. Join a Tour Group – An easy and effective way to meet fellow travelers. Just drop by the front desk and see if there is a group tour you can join. And you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to chat with the people on the tour. I mean honestly, most people are genuinely surprised and curious when you reveal that you’re traveling alone, so they will pretty readily chat with you. You may even connect with a fellow traveler or get invite to join someone for dinner (A nice change from eating alone, which is not my favorite part of traveling alone).
  2. Stay in a Hostel – Hostels create an open, diverse, and welcoming travel community where travelers can connect and share travel tips with one another. Additionally, a lot of hostels offer free, communal activities, like cooking classes, that create a fun atmosphere in which travelers from all over the world can relate and get to know one another. Now i’ll admit, hostels are definitely geared toward a younger crowd and may have a late night party scene that may NOT be your thing, like I am totally over sleeping in a dorm and will rent a private room every time, but not always. Some hostels are party hostels, while others have a diverse crowd of travelers with a variety of interests. My best advice is just do your research and find a hostel that meets your travel needs.
  3. Not the grocery store but sometimes you have to eat out and try and prevent loneliness.

    Go to the Grocery Store – This one may seem a little odd but a lot of times, it can be VERY difficult to dine alone. Yes, you can bring a book, eat at the bar, or play on your phone, but sometimes it’s so awkward to stare aimlessly, into space, while everyone else is engaged in a riveting conversation ( I mean let’s be real, eating is a very communal activity). And while certain tactics can help you cope with eating alone, I feel like nothing can actually replace the connection and joy that stems from a good conversation over a nice, hot meal.  Well, that’s where the grocery store comes in handy (Also a great way to save money). Just go to a local grocery store, buy what you want to eat, and have a nice little dinner in your room. I do this while watching netflix on my phone, via wifi, and this helps prevent some of the loneliness that comes from eating alone.

  4. Making new friends is a great way to prevent loneliness while traveling alone.

    Chat with Someone on Line – This one always works and is a great way to pass the time while you’re waiting on line. I mean, you’d be surprised how willingly people will chat with you about their lives and where they’re from. I have met a lot of really interesting people, from all over the world, this way and I highly recommend it as a great way to help you feel connected to people and less alone.


  5. Don’t be Scared and Hang Out with Someone 
    – Okay, I’m not saying that you should throw caution to the wind and hop in the car with a total stranger. But, I also don’t think that you should run away from everyone that invites you to dinner or asks you to grab a cup of coffee. By taking a chance and hanging out with some locals, I have be able to meet some amazing and people see some amazing things that I would have never known about otherwise. So while you should be cautious, listen to your gut, and always hang out with someone in a public space, also try and let loose, give people a chance, and see where this crazy journey takes you. I mean, you never know who you will meet or what you are gonna do, and that is so exciting. Besides, it’s a great change of pace from doing everything alone.

    See a show, like the one at the Moulin Rouge, and help prevent loneliness while traveling alone.
  6. Check Out a Show – A lot of times my loneliness really kicks in at night, when I’m alone and have nothing to distract me from the thoughts swirling around in my head. There
    fore, I like to ask the front desk about a variety of night time performances that will distract me and don’t require a companion; things like music performances, plays, puppet theatre, etc. Basically, whatever cultural activity is representative of the country I am visiting.
  7. Bring Lots of Entertainment – I always bring books, magazines, word puzzles, music, guidebooks, a journal, etc. Basically, anything that is easy to carry but that will also entertain you so that you don;t get too lonely.
  8. See Who is Traveling to the Same Place as You – Don’t be afraid to reach out to people and see if they are traveling to the same destination as you. Not only is this a great way to save money, because you now have someone to split the cost of a taxi with, but you will also have a buddy to endure the journey with and someone  who will explore a new location with you ( I always meet the coolest, most interesting people this way. Totally worth it).

girlwiththepassport

Nanny by day and travel blogger any other time.

I love writing and traveling and bearing my soul on the page.
I want to inspire others to face their fears and join me on an adventure.

https://www.instagram.com/girlwitthepassport/
/>
/>

10 Comments

  • Kevin's Travel Diary 9 months ago

    I always travel alone all around the world aswell and I know that feeling. You have given some great tips. Like you have said hostels and tours are certainly the best way. They are also great for making friends and planning another holiday with company. Great post

    • girlwiththepassport 9 months ago

      Yeah. I love traveling alone but the feeling of loneliness can be hard to combat and putting yourself out there and meeting new people always helps.

  • Rhiannon 9 months ago

    This is such a great list! I almost always travel alone. The only exceptions being when it’s a short city break, in which case there’s normally one friend or another who wants to tag along. Anyway, it’s SO difficult not to get lonely when you’re alone! I’m naturally quite introverted and prefer my own company to others most of the time, but even so, it’s important to get out there and actually speak to people.
    One of my favourite things to do is go to a park/plaza de armas/main square and just sit on a bench. No matter where I am it’s only a case of waiting a few minutes before either a child or elderly person comes up and sits beside me for a chat, normally locals.
    Bringing lots of entertainment is super important too!

  • Only By Land 9 months ago

    Joining a tour and staying in a hostel are great ways to meet other people, other solo travelers too! Another good way to meet people is to go to the bar alone, the hostel bar is usually perfect. Playing online makes you feel better too, I agree!

  • Mel 9 months ago

    These are great tips for solo travelers, but I think they are good for anyone. I’m traveling with my family, but we still like to meet up with people, eat at home, and chat with our friends from home. I’m sure it’s intensified when you are by yourself. Reaching out to people can be a great way to stave off loneliness and make gratifying connections.

  • Natalie 9 months ago

    I’ve never traveled alone – first traveling with a BFF and now I travel with the whole family! 🙂 We take the kids and sometimes aunt/grandmother so lonely hasn’t been something to deal with for us. BUT, I’ve always wondered about how that might feel and even though it must surely be a freeing and fantastic adventure it must have it’s lonely moments. Thanks for the great tips. I’m sure every solo traveler can appreciate!

  • Soumya Nambiar 9 months ago

    Initially, when I started traveling alone, I was scared of loneliness. But now I have found ways of combatting it. I love hostels and how easy it is to make friends. Group tours not so much though.

  • sophie 9 months ago

    well i have been traveling solo from last 8 years, but I have never felt loneliness , yes but sometimes I do give a call to my mom and talk! haha! but these are some amazing tips to do when you will feel lonely, I must try them 🙂

  • Sabrina 9 months ago

    I love travelling alone and I’m on my 17th month of this incredible journey around the world. I remember when I was scared and afraid – mainly of being alone – and I wish had these tips. Right now, I just love so much to have my “me-time” that i’m almost addicted to it 🙂

  • Suma Shah 9 months ago

    Very interesting topic you have discussed here as its very rare people who travel solo talk about this. Group tours and hostels are a great way to interact with people and make some new friends. We always wondered how it would be to travel solo, we hope to do that someday…:) For sure we will remember your tips…:)

Leave a Reply