The 5 Places I Have to Go When I Travel Alone

I love travelling with Husband, or with my family, or to see friends. However, once in a long while I take a trip where for at least one day I am on my own. This week’s trip is a whopping 4 days long and while I will spend a little time with a friend on one of those days, and two others are taken up with my conference, I have learned what I need when I’m on my own.

I developed these when, after a couple of years living in Europe, I took a trip with a larger group of friends and acquaintances who wanted to go clothes shopping and take pictures of themselves in front of monuments but weren’t interested in learning anything about those monuments at all. I don’t have a problem with people who like these things, but they threw into sharp relief my own loves when it comes to a day of travel. If I get to do it my way, I do this:

  1. Vegetarian Restaurants – I don’t like them better than other restaurants, and I am not a vegetarian, but I think their food is interesting and I’m always a little weird about forcing others to eat veggie with me… so I try to frequent one of these whenever I can by myself.
  2. Bookstores – I don’t buy many books any more unless they are actually used, but just wandering through a bookstore makes me long to look every title up at the library. I will occasionally splurge and get a book that I can read without messing up the spine and give to a friend as a present – two birds, one book.
  3. The Most Unique Park Possible – I like to take a stroll as much as the next person, but I really like something that also gives me interesting things to look at. The High Line in Manhattan is a good example – a raised park that’s more than a mile long? Sign me up. I do this with other people too, but rarely can anyone else handle the level of overdoing-it-on-the-walking that I can.
  4. A Modern Art Museum, or Preferably, Independent Art Galleries – Modern art is another of those things that I love but don’t like subjecting my friends and family to. I understand that it is hard to understand why blobs and splotches are art, but I love it, and I love the way that seeing new possibilities makes me feel.
  5. Coffee Shops – I try to stick with black brewed coffee when I’m home, for the sake of my wallet and the sneaky calories of milk-and-sugar. However, all bets are off when I’m travelling: a cortado? yes! a cool nitro cold brew coffee? Sounds delightfully hipster! Coffee in hand, I’m set for overdoing it on my long walks.

Do you have any must-dos when travelling alone? You can obviously do them with other traveling companions, but are there any things that are uniquely you in your travel itineraries?

15 Comments, RSS

  1. GiddayfromtheUK October 14, 2017 @ 9:21 am

    MessyMapmaker I mostly travel on my own. Am I selfish? Yes absolutely…I love being able to choose whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it. I especially love exploring history and walking tours and books (all of them in much more detail than other people) and a bit of wandering around just absorbing everything around is the best. I also love completely surrendering to my own experiences without discussing the ins and outs/whys and wherefores with anyone else.

    Enjoy your trip!

  2. Vanessa Dias October 14, 2017 @ 12:40 pm

    Loved this post. I subscribe every tip you gave 🙂

  3. Nicola October 14, 2017 @ 6:07 pm

    I am lucky to travel a lot, be it work or family visits – I love the selfishness of travelling alone from choosing my destination, how I travel, what I want to see, the research into “interesting” bits , the far from the madding crowd places hidden in the city.
    Depending on how much time I have and in no particular order ….
    Parks – I love added interest to my walks -Parque-dos-Poetas or Poets Park in Lisbon is an excellent example.
    A beach/lake/river – water is a must for me.
    Music – either international or cultural specific to the region – must be live !
    Local Markets -souq – bazaar – farmers market if in UK
    A coffee shop – to watch the world go by …………. and just absorb the sights, sounds , smells and energy

  4. Chandrima October 14, 2017 @ 7:20 pm

    This is such a novel idea! Loved the post!

  5. Clo October 14, 2017 @ 9:12 pm

    Hi there, thank you so much for joining my blog 🙂
    as you are a WordPress blogger I can’t see your email address to send you my free pattern. If you would like to receive it send me a message at
    Have a nice day ! Clo

  6. Sonal Lele October 14, 2017 @ 11:42 pm

    Interesting article…many women are comfortable travelling with friends or family, but bold and fearless women travel “me” time, doimg the things one wants, and not being controlled by anyones timings and plans..I have loved to travel alone and feel its a great thing to do.

  7. Aletta - nowathome October 15, 2017 @ 10:34 am

    Thank you for following my blog!

  8. Didi October 15, 2017 @ 11:15 am

    Thanks for this – I try many of these things too. I also like to take public transportation whenever possible, and I like to visit a historic museum if I have time.

  9. bmdstudios October 15, 2017 @ 12:51 pm

    I usually travel with others when it’s a new location out of the state/country, but sometimes I will have a me day where I check out a new local restaurant in my area (or one that’s been there for a while but I never visited because it’s out of the way). That way if I like it, I can return there with friends or family to share! I also do the same with thrift stores.

  10. aritheamateur October 15, 2017 @ 7:18 pm

    Cafes are a much when you’re in Europe!
    The best part of traveling solo is having an espresso and people watching.

  11. Cindy Anderson October 16, 2017 @ 2:59 am

    I seldom travel alone. On our itinerary when we travel are restaurants we wouldn’t normally eat at, fancy coffee, smoothies, fun desserts.

  12. gnovember October 16, 2017 @ 12:19 pm

    Love this idea, often the Mr and I have to tag along to each others place and yet we both know the other won’t enjoy it as much. This is so much neater.

  13. sportsdiva64 October 17, 2017 @ 5:30 pm

    I go out for walks , museums , and of course since my blog is attending that sporting event, I go to a lot of baseball , hockey , and basketball games by myself . My motto is ” Staying Home is NOT an Option ” . If I had to wait for someone to go with me, I’d never go anywhere . If I didn’t do it before, thank you so much for liking my post and my blog. I so appreciate it .

  14. willo October 20, 2017 @ 11:39 pm

    My list is a lot like yours.

    I love to visit public libraries in new locations. All those books, plus families and bulletin boards highlighting what people-who-read want to announce to each other.

    I read reviews to search out a great local coffee roaster, too…

  15. jasonlikestotravel October 24, 2017 @ 12:15 pm

    I do this a lot too, I think it’s great to break up a trip for some alone time. I quite often travel with friends and we do our own thing in the day and then meet up in the afternoon / evening for dinner and drinks. Good balance I think and allows you to enjoy your own personal tastes, museums a good example 🙂

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