What Are Your 5 Top Tips For Traveling Solo?

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Kristen K.'s picture
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What Are Your 5 Top Tips For Traveling Solo?

It's been quite some time since I've traveled without a companion of some sort, but on my upcoming trip I'll be going solo. I'm wondering, is it that different than traveling with other people? I'm really looking forward to going down, just my camera and me, not needing to worry about anyone else's schedule. But are there bumps in the road that I'm not anticipating?

What are your top 5 tips for traveling solo? Let me know!

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Brinbunny's picture
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I have found I do love travelling solo.

I've just got back from a mini solo trip to the island where Mrferret lives, and I did my solo WDW 2 years ago. My observations were.

I loved the freedom of wandering about in my own time, the picking of what I wanted to do when, and the fact I could choose when I needed to rest etc.
I missed pointing out stuff to the person with me - "omg stupid shoe alert", "aww how cute is that plush....", "really?!? Why?!?" And so on, but these moments only lasted a few seconds and if I felt the need I sent a photo home.
I also noticed that cast members were really chatty and that was nice, other families would sometimes chat too, then sometimes when people heard that I'm English I would be quizzed about all of my words and phrases.

In all it is different, in some cases better, in some neutral and some bits I missed (which made up about 1% of my time)

I figure though that I'm lucky enough to have enough different people in my life that I can enjoy some trips with them and some alone - for example I'm going this year with my Mum to tour the west coast, and we also have a cruise booked this year, next year is a solo trip to China to see pandas and the Great Wall,

I look forward to hearing your solo thoughts.

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Mcheal's picture
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If you enjoy the fifth theme park (Disney Restaurants), solo opens up a whole new opportunity. Dining alone can sometimes be a bummer BUT you can now walk up to any restaurant (except Vic and Als) at almost any time and sit at the bar or bar table. This really opens up scheduling. You do not need to rely on advanced reservations. I have eaten at California Grill at the bar and had fantastic food, conversations and the fireworks.

Enjoy!!!

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Figments Girl's picture
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Five best things about going to WDW solo:
You get to wander where you want
You can eat anywhere you want (most of my family is vegetarian so I choose places where they have a choice when they're with me)
You can shop if you want to
You can go at your own speed
People are really friendly and will converse with you if they see that you're alone

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JMed's picture
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I haven't done a "solo trip" but I've had some "solo time".

I made lots of new friends in line for rides. People from all over! Even a guy who didn't speak English but we had a ball riding Everest together LOL

You can eat what, when and where you want - I think I had just snacks the whole day, AWESOME!

This was the day I did all 4 parks in one day. I went for a snack, character meet and one ride in each park.

Maybe one day I will get an entire trip to myself!

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Do what you want! My only two trips were both solo trips, and although I did long for a friend occasionally, I loved the most of it.

As most say, get up when you want, go where you want, eat what you want. I would say enjoy doing what you do, that no one else ever wants to do. Last time, having a little experience then of WDW, I spent two days at Epcot and didn't waste any time going to a water park, because I don't find them any fun when alone. Epcot was amazing, I did start drinking as soon as Cava del Tequila was open...

JoAnn C's picture
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Found this article on facebook on solo travel. Good tips for traveling solo anywhere.

http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/solo-travel/solo-travel-things-to-do/25

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Magic Mirror's picture
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Last summer was my semi-solo trip as I went with a co-worker instead of spouse.

1) eat lots of food. yes! all those foods you would normally not try because it is more expensive to feed a family, or the family doesn't like it, or the family would make fun of you - now's your chance ! eat up!

2) take pics with your favorite characters. I love our pics with the characters together..but its nice to have some solo with a character too! and it looks grand on your facebook page!

3) drink. My spouse doesn't drink that much so I tend to not drink either..hard to justify that $10 drink but when I'm alone, I'm more adventurous! Instead of 1 drink the whole vacation, I had 1 drink per day (yeah, I'm still a lightweight I know)...hello Spiked Pineapple at the Poly ! (aka: dole whip on a rum high )

4) take it all in. I realized that slipping off to Disney Springs in the evening, just as the sun was setting, was one of my favorite evening rituals. I was able to pace myself, enjoy the smells, the sounds, people watch, linger over shopping a bit longer than I might have if with a group. Instead of making conversation, I was able to listen to the clips of conversations going on around me.

5) ice cream. Magic Kingdom- Mickey's Kitchen Sink. YES. Just do it! Don't even give it a second thought. That entire 2 scoops of ice cream, toppings and whip cream are all yours. You don't have to share. and you get the cute kitchen sink to take home. Of course, if you take it home, the family will know what you did..better to destroy the evidence. Send me the sink , I'll hide it for you cool your secrets are safe with me.

jw24's picture
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I've done solo trips so I'm glad to offer my insights on this. I can't stress enough that you always need to have a plan and do your research beforehand. People do make the mistake of doing things on the fly without a plan and then, boom. Unexpected surprises for the worst. At Disney, you always need a vacation plan no matter how many people are going! Trust me, all the time researching and planning will pay off. Anyway, my top five tips go as follows:

1. Know your limits - Don't force yourself to do anything you don't feel comfortable doing or something that could put you at risk. Your health and safety is most important and since you don't really have someone to check in on you, you really need to pay more close attention to your own self than you've ever done before. If you're feeling sick or unwell, get away from the heat, find a safe place to cool down and address it immediately. As for drinking, yes, it's tempting to drink more than normal but still, limit yourself and avoid being one of those people where your name or a video of you is in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. 2 drinks is the max for me but 1 is more than enough, especially if you order food with it! biggrin

2. Be aware and respectful of your surroundings - Traveling solo is great but you still need to be aware and respectful towards others and the physical environment that you're in. If something doesn't look safe, it is more than likely to be true! Be cautious everywhere you go, stay in well-lit and crowded areas at night, don't flash money or wear really expensive stuff (Dress to blend in, not stand out.) Also, you still need to be respectful towards other guest and the cast members. They're all human, too.

3. Always have back-ups for your necessities - This means having more than one form of ID, more than one credit card, more than one place for spare cash, etc so you can spread them out. Place them in the room safe with a very complex pin code or if necessary, feel free to put the do not disturb sign for the entire trip.

4. Keep yourself entertained - On your own, you don't always exactly have someone to chat with. Some have suggested conversing with cast members or other park patrons. But for those who may be more shy like me, I would suggest either writing down your thoughts, feelings and experiences in a journal/diary so that you have something to refer to if you want to do a trip report or blog. Or if you're into photography or video recording, just take photos or video record the atmosphere.

5. Have fun - You're pretty much like Napoleon Dynamite. You get to do whatever you feel like you want to do! You can ride your favorite attraction countless times, eat whatever you want, drink whatever you want. There's no limits and take it all in with this freedom! Do whatever makes you happy but just be mindful of others and your own self!

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Great list jw24! Thank you!

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crazycatperson's picture
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What everyone else said. They've all nailed it.

Number one is not having to consider other people's desires, preferences, and schedules when planning the day. Not to say doing so is a pain, it's fun doing things with others even when those things wouldn't make your "must do" list, but an occasional trip when you only have yourself to please is awesome.

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I've only travelled solo for business, but for me it does have advantages:

Nobody to wake up with my snoring (except the people in the adjacent rooms.)
I can sit on my balcony in boxers and a wife beater singing Disney tunes.
I can wear my speedo without giving my wife and kids a heart attack.
When I wear my speedo, parents tend to grab their kids and clear the pool area. More room for me!
No need to bathe!
Toothbrush, I don't need no stinking toothbrush.
Travel light. I only need one outfit.
Single Rider Line!
Baby Swap!
and best of all...BBQ every meal, including breakfast.

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Colonel
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JMed's picture
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The Colonel wrote:
I've only travelled solo for business, but for me it does have advantages:

Nobody to wake up with my snoring (except the people in the adjacent rooms.)
I can sit on my balcony in boxers and a wife beater singing Disney tunes.
I can wear my speedo without giving my wife and kids a heart attack.
When I wear my speedo, parents tend to grab their kids and clear the pool area. More room for me!
No need to bathe!
Toothbrush, I don't need no stinking toothbrush.
Travel light. I only need one outfit.
Single Rider Line!
Baby Swap!
and best of all...BBQ every meal, including breakfast.

yay rolling

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"I do not like the cone of shame."

"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell."

"It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell."

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The Huotari's Disney Adventures | Promote Your Page Too