Travelling as an Introvert comes with a fair amount of stress. When you’re an Introvert and are travelling solo, the stress is even more acute. I hope these tips will help you!
Tips to enjoying solo travel more as an Introvert
The most important tip anyone can give you is to do slow travel. When I travel on my own, the first day is definitely scary and uncomfortable, even if I may be in a modern city like Stockholm. My nerves get over-stimulated and it takes more time to calm them, adapt and eventually enjoy.
Therefore, something you can do for yourself as an Introverted solo traveler is to take your trip slower. Don’t cram too many activities and places, especially on the first day. Spend a bit of time to take in the new destination via one of our favourite activities: observing and people-watching. Don’t berate yourself for having ‘wasted a day on doing nothing’. In many countries, especially Europe, people-watching is an art and a very valid activity!
Join short walking tours / workshops / classes
I’ve actually joined a walking tour just once, in Stockholm, on my first day in the city for the first time. Naturally, I was pretty nervous about it, wondering if people are all in pairs or groups and I’ll feel awkward and weirded out.
Turned out, walking tours can be a very individualistic kind of activity. The idea is to just walk around the city, while listening to the stories and information shared by the tour guide. There’s little stress nor excessive group interaction required!
All over the world, there’re also plenty of workshops and classes that you can join overseas, for all sorts of interests: cooking, baking, calligraphy and so much more. A gentle reminder: don’t forget to check out which language the workshops will be in!
Do what you feel like doing, even if it’s staying in
When I was in Tokyo, one morning (thankfully not the day that I was flying out), I jumped awake at 1130am, surprised it was already that late. I’d been too exhausted!
Many solo travellers feel really overwhelmed especially on their first 2 days. It’s perfectly ok to choose to stay in the hotel room to catch up on sleep, or chill at a nearby cafe and just read or write. Anything, really! It’s your trip. Let go of others’ expectations of the Fun Solo Trip ‘you should be having’.
Choose to travel during low-season
There’re plenty of benefits for traveling during low-season – lower prices for one. For people like us who can’t appreciate crowds, travelling during low-season is a great idea. Have you ever seen Santorini’s crowds in photos? It’s crazy! Now, can you imagine Santorini being quiet? I went during off-peak season and it was as close to being empty – perfect for me!
Spend time in nature
Nature has a magical way of healing and rejuvenating you from within. When cities feel too bustling and noisy, choose some activities like hiking or visiting a medieval village. As a form of caution for solo travelling, always do your research ahead and practise safety awareness. Not all hikes or public places in every country are safe.
Book private accommodation to recharge at nights
Book a private room in a hostel, or your own room at an AirBNB apartment, or choose a decent hotel where security is good and the room is comfortable. Knowing there’s your own space that you can retreat into to recharge for the night is a wonderful thought.
| Look for available apartments and hotels via Booking.com! |
Travel with mobile data
There’re actually 2 practical reasons for this:
- To get out of sticky situations fast. That way, if you find yourself in any situation that you don’t wish to be in, such as getting harrassed by strangers, you can quickly Google for emergency numbers and exits and also Uber a car over!
- For contacting people back home. Even if you’re travelling solo, you don’t need to totally shut down. Communicating with loved ones and close friends back home can be very comforting!
Keep your plans and mind open
Don’t be too quick to dismiss the idea of acquainting new friends during your trip. You’ll see solo travelers at the most unexpected places and if you feel like making a new friend, keep an easygoing attitude! Chances are, other solo travelers will also be open to the idea of exploring certain places of mutual interest with a fellow traveler.
Always have a Kindle and earphones in your bag
If you practise mindfulness, at meal-times, a big part of you really wants to focus on and enjoy the food. However, if the idea of stares and unwanted attention from strangers at restaurants gets too overwhelming for you to manage, you can counter this by having a Kindle with you all the time. That way, while you’re eating, you can set the Kindle on the table and read it, or at least pretend to read it.
Another method is to bring earphones out while you’re exploring places. You can plug them in without actually listening to anything. The intention is to help you blend in like the locals do if they do that, especially in developed cities that are full of expats! Also, you can listen to podcasts or music while travelling between places.
Bring a journal (& pen)
I love scribbling notes down in a little journal, especially travel reflections and documenting the days. When you’re on your trip, the days can become quite a blur and memories fuzzy. You can either do this while having a coffee at the cafe, or at nights before bed-time.
If writing is too much of a hassle during travelling, there’re many editing apps that you can use too. I like Day One, a none-public journalling app that allows you to input words and photos. By the end of every day, my daily documentation is completed! You can export your journal into PDF files to keep!
So there you have it, my top tips for enjoying solo trips better as an Introvert!
Feel free to share your tips too!
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More solo travel posts to read!
• How to take your first solo trip & enjoy it!
• How it was like to travel solo in Santorini
• What everyone got wrong about their weird, solo-travelling friend
• 15 reasons Tokyo is perfect for solo travel