Tips for women on travelling solo

Solo travel doesn't have to be lonely. Find out how to make the most of a one-person trip.

Tips on solo travel for women
When I started travelling alone, at age twenty-nine, it was not by choice. I couldn't find anyone to travel with me. I had two options: stay at home and give up my dream, or go alone. So I swallowed hard, bit my lower lip, and told the world and myself that I could do it. I would do it. I would go alone. I did. And I loved it! I traveled solo for the next two years around the world.

Starting out alone does not mean staying alone. There are many other fascinating people out there travelling by themselves, just like you. At times I would hook up with a kindred spirit and we would travel together for a few days, even for a month. Many of these travel companions are still close friends. My decision to go alone was one of the best choices of my life.

What's so great about it? Solo travellers enjoy the freedom of making all the decisions, experience the world unfiltered by anyone else's perspective, live intensely, meet people more easily and are invited into their lives more readily, avoid difficult travel companions, and get in touch with themselves.

Now when I create the opportunity to travel alone, it is a self-indulgent luxury. If you give it a fair choice, you too will discover that solo travel is empowering, intense and exhilarating.

Divorce or the death of a spouse or partner can leave an avid traveller faced with the same dilemma I had. Do you choose to stay immobilized? Can you find a new travel companion? Or should you go alone? Eventually you'll begin doing day trips alone. In the time you may move on to overnights, then longer journeys, until you are surprised and pleased by how confident and happy you are travelling along.

• You can begin traveling solo at any age. Fortunate are the women who begin travelling alone when they were young. Often they tell me they never experienced any trepidation. For those of you who aren't too sure – try it. Don't let fear stop you. Other travellers on the road and local people will support you and you'll discover how much inner strength you possess.

• Consider taking a short trip first to see if you like travelling alone. Find a cute town close by and visit for the weekend. Bring something to read, a journal, and some CDs. Explore your surroundings. Be aware of your solitude and how it feels to be on your own. Then, if you're ready, plan a more adventurous trip. It's OK to start small.

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Excerpted from Gutsy Women: More Travel Tips and Wisdom for the Road by Marybeth Bond. Excerpted with permission from Travelers' Tales. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.

All rights reserved. TVA Group Inc. 2015