There are lots of reasons why you might want to take a solo vacation and as long as you squirrel away the time, you can do it on pretty much any budget. Some people think solo vacations are lonely ventures, but nothing could be further from the truth. Alone does not equal lonely. Many of us are big fans of our own company.
Plus, with busy lives filled with work and family obligations, having free time that is completely unencumbered by someone else’s needs is refreshing and precious. Nicole Brewer, educator and travel writer who has visited over 40 countries, agrees with that sentiment.
“I personally love solo travel because I can do my own thing when I feel like it. Group travel can be great, but it is so freeing and relaxing to roll out of the bed when you want or stay in bed all day instead of trying negotiate plans with a group of people,” said Brewer who is the founder of the travel community I Luv 2 Globe Trot.
Amen, sister! Whether you’re balling out of control or if you had to scrape together a few pennies for a much-deserved get-away, you can take yourself on an enjoyable vacation. Of course be smart about it. Plan your trip, research your destinations, get recommendations from people you trust and by all means don’t make a desire to “do it for the ‘Gram” put you in the poor house.
Get familiar with the self-timer on your camera phone and check out these vacay ideas based on your budget:
Make a Dollar out of 15 Cents
Listen, sometimes a vacation pops up on you because you have “use ‘em or lose ‘em” vacation days and time is ticking or maybe you just really need a break from Susie from HR asap. You’re taking the vacation days, but your pockets aren’t quite right? No problem. There are plenty of ways to relax, relate, release without releasing your whole bank account.
If you live in a large or mid-sized city, try doing a staycation. Chances are, you have not explored all the landmarks in your city or at least not in a while. When’s the last time you actually visited that one museum? Kick up your staycation a notch by staying at a hotel for a night or two (you’d be surprised what not having to make your bed will do for the spirit.)
READ MORE: Let Me Upgrade You: Your Travel Cheat Code
If that’s not enough, hop on Amtrak or a regional bus like BoltBus to head over to the next city and explore the sites. Use resources like Travleocity or AirBnb to snag good deals on places to stay. Because you’re keeping transportation and lodging costs low, you can splurge a little at that fancy cocktail bar or take it the other way and rent a cozy cabin in the woods as a mini-vacatoin. No better way to finally start drafting that novel that’s been rolling around your head for years.
Saved Up, Now Living it Up
You saved up a bit of money to get the heck out of Dodge and you’re wondering where to go on this solo adventure. For less than a couple stacks, you can keep it cute with domestic travel and hang out on a beach in Miami, book a yoga/mediation retreat in a rustic locale or even lose all your inhibitions in Vegas. Maybe “bathing” crystals under the moonlight in Utah is more your bag. Your trip, your decision.
But don’t think you have to remain in the States. You can put your passport to work and stay within budget. Caribbean destinations like Jamaica and the Bahamas regularly offer package deals for the budget conscious traveler. If a longer journey is on your wish list, that can be accommodated too.
“I’d suggest European or East Asian cities as far as international travel in that budget range. I’m currently in the Czech Republic solo and Prague is a great, safe destination. Lisbon, Portugal is another budget-friendly destination. If you can catch a flight deal to say Thailand or Bali, these are also affordable locales for people traveling alone,” said travel expert Brewer who often posts deals and flash sales on the I Luv 2 Globe Trot Facebook page.
For those fortunate few for whom money is no object, the sky is the limit. Dive into those destinations that have been filling up your Instagram feed. Turks and Caicos? Of course. Luxuriate in a castle on the Amalfi Coast? For sure. Hang out in Australia? Why not, mate?
For many destinations, it’s not necessarily the cost of food and lodging once you get there that is prohibitive, it’s the time and money spent for travel. A 20+ hour flight eats an entire day from each leg of your trip, so it’s important to maximize time and money allocations. Good thing you’re the only shot-caller on this trip!
“If money is no issue, I’d suggest the Seychelles or the Maldives. Some may think these are honeymoon destinations, but they are so relaxing for a solo traveler too looking for self-care in a remote destination,” notes Brewer.
To really make your solo adventure special, take a DNA test to find out where your African ancestry lies and visit those countries. Plan ahead and immerse yourself in the cultures that shaped your family.
Now gather your coins and frolic the world as you should.