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Take a Trip By Yourself: Solo Travel Destinations & Planning Advice

by Holly Bianchi

Travel Solo

With a positive attitude and a mind open to adventure, a solo trip abroad can be a thrilling rite of passage that you'll never forget. Without those things, it can be depressing and lonely, even regretful. In order to set yourself up for success, I've broken down a few tried-and-true tips as well as a few of the best solo travel destinations.

Make an Itinerary

Create an itinerary listing all travel plans, accommodations and sights that you plan to see each day. If you're going to London, Tokyo or anywhere else where there's a lot to see in a limited amount of time, planning out each day is essential to make the most of your trip. For a more low-key trip such as the relaxing beach destinations of Costa Rica or Thailand, you don't need to go into as much detail planning daily activities. According to a recent article in USA Today, whether your itinerary is large or small, you should send a copy of it to a close friend or family member so you can be reached in case of an emergency.

Take Care of Everything at Home

Tie up any loose ends at work and arrange for someone to care for your pets to avoid stress on your trip. If you're concerned about a break-in while you're away, install a home security system. Opt for a wireless system that can be remotely accessed on the Internet. This way you can check in on your home from anywhere in the world. Unless you're having a neighbor get your mail, request a mail hold from the postal service at USPS.com.

Be Decisive

Traveling puts a lot of things in perspective and when you're alone, it's often easier to be open to these realizations. One thing you realize quickly is that no matter how much you research and analyze things to make plans, sometimes life has its own plan. Stop worrying about what to do next and just do it.

Trust Your Instincts

Always maintain a keen awareness of your surroundings and listen to your intuition. Everyone on the crowded train isn't a pickpocket. The man offering to carry your suitcase up the subway stairs isn't always trying to steal your stuff. Sometimes a kind stranger really is just that, not an ax murderer. Learn how to tap into your instincts so you can tell the difference.

Best Places to Travel Alone

CNBC recently asked the editors at IndependentTraveler.com what are the best destinations for solo travel. Here's where they recommend:

  • Costa Rica: This central American country has a little bit of everything for the outdoorsy adventurer, including hiking, water rafting, surfing and ziplining through the jungle.
  • Amsterdam: Easy to get around on foot or bike, Amsterdam attracts many solo visitors each year and has a welcoming local culture.
  • Ireland: The Irish are known for their friendly and outgoing spirit, which makes it hard to get lonely when traveling in Ireland.
  • Peru: Adventurous travelers can enjoy a trek along the ancient Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
  • Australia: With a deep appreciation for travel and independence, you won't have to worry about getting any funny looks when you tell people you're traveling alone in Australia.
  • Iceland: Explore the unspoiled natural beauty and welcoming local culture when you visit Iceland to see the Midnight Sun in the summer or the Northern Lights in the winter.
  • Singapore: This English-speaking city-state is an ideal destination for those who want to experience the Far East but don't speak the language.
  • New York City: With plenty to do in the city, from taking in Broadway shows to exploring world-class museums, you'll be too busy to miss a companion.

Holly Bianchi In a perfect world, Holly would have enough time to visit a different exotic location every day. Fortunately, writing about these locations is part of her job, which she loves.

Garden tombs

Delhi

Despite being a bustling, busy and changing city, the capital of India still retains many tranquil historical sites where the past comes alive. Old Delhi, Delhi: The Red Fort, Delhi Tombs are among the best.


The Parthenon, Athens

Athens

Capital of Greece, this is a great destination for the visitor. Tourist Athens includes the ruins of classical Greece, after all the image of Athens - home to the Parthenon is iconic For lovers of Greek cuisine there is a great choice of basic tavernas and sophisticated restaurants. Museums and smart shopping make Athens an all-year destination.


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