Scared of solo travel? Don’t let anxieties and worries stop you, learn how to cope, and overcome your fear of traveling alone for once and all with these useful tips.
You may have been dreaming about exploring different places, meeting new people, marveling at new sights but wait – your fear of traveling without any companion holds you back. As a woman traveling solo, I have to tell you there is nothing to be scared of. You can learn how to conquer your fear of traveling alone and when you do, you’ll be surprised at how rewarding the experience can be that you’ll think to yourself, “why didn’t I do this way before?”
I totally get it, though – traveling alone, especially when you’re a woman, can be intimidating. After all, you’ll be going to places you’ve never been to before. You’re venturing into somewhere unfamiliar and you’ll never know what’s going to happen. Maybe you’ve even heard horror solo travel stories from people you know.
But as a woman who has traveled alone, I have to tell you, I didn’t regret anything and I wouldn’t trade my solo travel experience for anything. It was a beautiful experience – something I decided I would do more often. And because of that, I also want to share with anyone who has fears of traveling alone that you don’t always have to have someone beside you in order to enjoy an adventure. Sometimes, doing it alone is a lot better!
Why Should You Travel Alone?
If traveling alone is one of the things you want to achieve in life, let its benefits fuel your desire. When you go on a solo adventure, you will likely learn a lot more about yourself. This is because doing things solo means you have to make a decision for yourself. You need to take steps you never imagined you would take. You might even find your purpose. It is then you will find out who you really are, especially when you have no one – but your heart and mind – to listen to.
You have to admit – traveling alone is a whole lot cheaper! You’ll be paying for one and deciding for one. It’s much easier to stick to your travel budget this way. It also helps you save money for other things – maybe you want to try out a thrilling sport or something.
Ways to Conquer Your Fear Of Traveling Alone
Traveling solo helps boost your confidence and teaches you about mindfulness. After having traveled alone, I have become a more confident person. Doing things by myself helped challenge my limits and gave me the necessary tools to deal with obstacles coming my way. And in turn, it helped me become a stronger person.
I also realized that I can do whatever I set my mind to. And if I had that realization, I’m pretty sure you can, too. Below are ways on how to overcome that fear of traveling on your own.
1. Accept Your Fear
My first solo trip was to Mexico. Everyone told me how scared they were for me. Honestly, they were just so wrong and prejudiced. I traveled the local route there, I speak Spanish perfectly and I had an incredible Couchsurfing host giving me tips so there was no reason for anything bad happening to me. I remember being more scared before the trip than during the trip.
Related read: 5 Wrong Excuses For Not Traveling
2. Explore your limiting beliefs
What is your inner critical voice telling you about your decision to venture alone? Are you too old to travel? Do you usually suffer from social anxiety? Or maybe being a woman is the very thing that holds you back? Many solo female travelers have done it. Some are already in their 40s or 50s. There are also others who have conquered their social anxiety just so they can experience a great adventure.
If you can’t conquer your fear of traveling alone just yet, my tip is to start somewhere close to home. That’s about taking small steps. As you do it more often, you find that your fears have subsided and before you know it, you’re already speaking three languages fluently and able to speak several foreign phrases.
3. Come back to why you want to travel alone
Your doubts and fears may be holding you back from achieving your goals of traveling the world on your own. You may have decided you’re going to do it but at some point, the anxiety and fears will try to eat you up. My tip? Always come back to your “why”. Know your purpose behind your decision to travel alone.
Maybe you want to get out of your comfort zone? Gain confidence? See the world the way you want it? On my side I knew I wanted to see how other people like me were living abroad, that’s why I did Couchsurfing right away. If you know your purpose, you’ll find it easier to take steps to overcome your fears.
4. Have a plan
If it’s your first time traveling alone, plan ahead, and also get your backup plan ready. Having a plan (and/or a backup plan) minimizes the stress of having to think where to eat, where to sleep or where to stay, etc. Take the time to learn about the people, the culture, the places, the food, and everything important about your target destination.
5. Blend in
Do as the locals do. Don’t stand out too much. The way to do this is to wear and pack muted clothes or clothes that you can wear anywhere. Another tip is to go to a public place and do some people watching. This way, you can observe how locals behave, how they talk to each other. People-watching can be one of the fun things you do on your solo travel – plus it helps you learn about them.
While taking photos of your travel is inevitable, tone down the camera clicking a bit. Don’t flaunt your map. Just remember to keep a low-profile.
6. Use common sense
Safety is one of the concerns of people, especially women, who want to travel solo. But if you just have traveler common sense, you’ll be fine. And by that I mean you need to behave well when necessary.
Don’t get smashed drunk and don’t do drugs or anything illegal. You don’t want to get in trouble while you’re thousands of miles away from your home country. Basically, you don’t want to do anything you wouldn’t do at home. It also helps if you ask a local, especially when in doubt about the things you shouldn’t or can’t do.
7. Get into the habit of stepping out of your comfort zone
Traveling alone means you’re going out of your comfort zone – and that’s a good thing. Yes, it’s a challenge but that’s the whole point. By challenging yourself and by not letting limiting beliefs hold you back, you’re doing something to conquer your fear of traveling alone. Also, by taking on the challenge and doing something difficult, you are giving yourself an opportunity to grow into an individual.
Get yourself used to stepping out of your bubble. If you’re not ready to travel solo, host couchsurfers at home. If a new environment scares you, why not try a new activity? Try eating at a restaurant alone – that’s would be a big step.
It’s natural for you to feel nervous or experience anxiety before flying or taking a solo trip. But if you make all the necessary preparations – especially when it’s your first time – it will ease the anxiety you feel. I hope my tips should help condition your mind not to be scared of traveling alone. I’d like to congratulate you on your decision to embark on a solo journey and I wish you good luck.