I am an introvert. So I understand the feeling of traveling alone as an introvert. It can be a challenge, but not impossible!
As an introvert, you love lots of alone time and want to do things that are always in your comfort zone. However, when you travel, these are two things that are simply not going to happen.
While you can have alone time, there will be many times when you must step out of your comfort zone if you want to have an incredible time away from home.
Read also: How Travel Changed My Life
Who are the introvert travelers?
“Introverts aren’t necessarily loners or even shy. They’re just more bothered by travel hassles like crowds, intense together time, and interacting with strangers. It’s important for introverted travelers and their traveling companions to plan an itinerary that will make the trip as stress-free and enjoyable as possible for everyone”, says Jim Menge, president of Rovia travel.
Introverts are reserved people, not shy nor socially phobic loners.
Introverts can socialize easily. We just strongly prefer not to. We are not into superficial friendships and small talks.
We prefer our own company. We energized by creative, and meaningful pursuits.
Best places for solo travelers
How to Travel Alone as an Introvert
1. Always Choose a Destination Where You Know the Language
The first country I visited was South Korea, and the second one was the United Arab Emirates. Thankfully, many countries have locals that speak English. But that doesn’t mean you will get lucky everywhere you go.
Therefore, it is usually best to begin your solo travel journeys in countries where you can speak the language. Or somewhere you know that almost everyone who lives there will speak English.
2. Travel During Low Seasons
The last thing an introvert wants is to be surrounded by people. Believe it or not, I feel suffocated when I am in a crowd. I am not claustrophobic though.
And that is why you should at least begin to travel during the low seasons. Aside from getting a great deal, there will be fewer people in popular tourist spots. However, each destination has its own peak season. So you will want to check and see when that is before you plan your trip.
I prefer staying in hotels. Actually I have never stayed on Airbnb. Any accommodations where dining is communal might be an uncomfortable environment for introverted travelers. Larger hotels may allow for more anonymity and independence.
4. Consider Smaller Tours
Most destinations have tours that allow twenty, thirty, or more people in a group. This type of tour is fine for all extroverts, but it can feel like a death sentence to those who are introverts.
Most smaller tours only last a couple of hours, and there are only a handful of people in them. This way, you can easily talk to the people around you without being too self-conscious. Nowadays, there are so many small tour options available, so you should be able to find one that interests you quickly.
Read also: How To Become a Sustainable Traveler
5. Learn How to Strike Up Conversations with Strangers
I admit, apart from being an introvert, I am a bad conversationalist. I just don’t know how to start a conversation. Or the right questions to ask after the initial ‘hello’ without being awkward.
I am awkward in front of a lot of people – the reason why I carry headphones when I travel alone. Plus I am also very skeptical about other people – that doesn’t help at all.
Sure, I will say ‘hello’ to my seatmate on a plane. But that’s it. I don’t know how to strike a conversation especially if it’s a guy and not sound like I am hitting on him. Or to another woman and not sound bitchy or pretentious. LOL
Yes, it can be challenging to learn how to talk to strangers. But you will be amazed at how far you can get with a smile and a simple hello. Just be pleasant.
This is a learning process. You will figure out how to read body language and strike a conversation every time you do so. You will learn if that person can be talked to or not. You will learn when and where to do that.
It will take time. It will not be easy, and you will need to step out of your comfort zone, but it is possible.
6. Create Exit Strategies for Everything You Do
You may think that your small group tour will be amazing or that you will be fine if you visit a popular attraction. However, you should always be prepared with an exit strategy if you begin to feel overwhelmed or simply need a few minutes for a break.
Sometimes having these strategies in place will allow you to step out of your comfort zone even further. Because you know you always have an out if you really can’t handle what you are doing.
7. Move at a Slower Pace
There is no steadfast rule that states you must move quickly each and every day you are on vacation. You are allowed to move at a slower pace. So you do not find yourself worn out and unable to do anything else for the remainder of your trip.
If you want to do three things that are out of your comfort zone, don’t try to get them completed in one day. Spread them out over three or four days. At least you will have time to recoup after each one.
8. Always Have Your Headphones and Books or Magazines with You
When you find yourself in a crowded area, pulling out your headphones or a good book or magazine can help immensely. The headphone can block out all the noise you cannot handle. The book or magazine can redirect your mind and allow you to think about something else than whatever is around you. Plus it alerts your travel companions that you need some time to yourself.
Read also: 7 Ways To Practice Self Care While Traveling
9. Always Carry Your Camera
As an introvert, you may have a difficult time adjusting to being away from home. However, think of all the gorgeous sights you can share if you take the time to photograph them when you are traveling. You will have pictures to remind you of the beauty you discovered and can show them to your close friends back home.
10. Keep a Journal
You will want to remember every moment of your journey. Whether you were alone most of the time and didn’t talk to anybody, your trip is still precious. That is why we recommend keeping a journal as you travel.
As you are jotting down what you did each day, you can reflect on how you felt and what you may have done differently if you could.
On a final note…
These nine tips will help you as you learn to travel alone as an introvert. It is not going to be easy to travel alone. But with a little practice, you can become a pro and will wonder how you went through life without doing this in the past.
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Author's Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the company in question before planning your trip.
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