25 Things to Do When You’re Feeling Lonely on Your Solo Trip
Sometimes, you might feel lonely on your solo trip. But I think a solo trip allows you to focus on your surroundings and meet new people, which might not be possible if you travel with a companion. It also allows you to learn about the country, its culture, and its traditions.
If you have never been on a solo trip before, the fear of feeling lonely can stop you from making that life-changing decision. I remember being scared when I went on my first solo trip to Bali.
You will see couples, groups of friends, and families enjoying their time while you are out there sitting all by yourself. It happens to everyone, and you will learn to cope with it after a few solo trips.
While the intimidation goes away after a few trips, the feeling of loneliness can keep coming back. And I have to say, even after travelling solo to various destinations, I feel a little lonely sometimes, even today.
To combat loneliness on your solo trips, I have compiled a list of things that you can do to overcome it. This would allow you to explore the places to their fullest and take advantage of solo trips, which wouldn’t be possible if you travelled with a companion or with your family.
1. Come to terms with reality
Let’s just accept the fact that solo travelling can get lonely sometimes, and there is nothing wrong with that. The sooner you accept this, the better will be the remainder of your trip. If you are someone who enjoys your own company, you can consider this as your me-time. Otherwise, you can just accept this fact, normalise it, and enjoy the rest of your wonderful trip.
2. Get the basics done
Sometimes, when your basic needs aren’t fulfilled, you feel grumpy, and things go downhill from thereon. You feel bad about yourself and start feeling lonely as there is no one around you. I know it might sound a bit crazy, but it happens. Doing simple things like eating enough food, staying hydrated, and having a good night’s sleep can work wonders! Occasionally, skipping things might make you regret travelling solo.
This is so obvious, isn’t it? But it can be challenging on a solo trip when you feel lonely and have to go out and talk to people. But tell you what, meeting other travellers or some local people is a great option to get rid of loneliness. You might bump into another solo traveller who is feeling the same as you. Who knows? So don’t be shy and awkward to strike a conversation with someone when your gut instinct says so.
4. Choose hostels over hotels
Generally, Airbnbs and hostels are more social than hotels. There are more than a few ways to socialise and even make some new friends here. Eating at the communal tables, playing board games, having a cup of tea with everyone, and asking for recommendations about tourist spots are some ways that I have made friends during my stays in hostels. You can find your own ways, but trust me, you will never feel lonely in a hostel if you talk to a few people.
5. Take up a day tour
Day tours are a great place to meet some new people. You can take tours lasting a couple of hours to even lasting a couple of days. If you happen to take a tour of something you like, for example, food, you can meet like-minded people and spend hours talking about the same. On my solo trip to Goa, I took the Walking Food Tour of Goa, made a few friends, and even went out on dinner with a group of people. Trust me, it’s a great way to meet some new people!
6. Treat yourself
You might ask, how does this help? Well, treating yourself makes you happy, and happiness makes you feel less lonely. You can treat yourself in various ways. Going to a restaurant and having a huge meal might be satisfying for some. On the other hand, going to a spa and getting a body massage done might relax some. Find what makes you happy, go out there and do it!
7. Follow your itinerary plan
While it is impossible to plan your trip to every minute, having a rough idea about what you will be doing at a particular hour or the next day is essential. Usually, you feel lonely when you do not have a plan. To overcome this, have an itinerary planned before travelling. And if that sounds like too much work, just have a list of things you would like to do on a particular day.
8. Capture some special moments
Photography makes you look around your surroundings and notice the details about the little things. Wherever I go, I always carry a camera and click photos of anything and everything. At the end of the day, I look at these photos, which gives me immense pleasure. I recommend that you do the same, and you will notice all the negativity go out of your head. You need not have a fancy camera to capture pictures. Even a fun polaroid camera of a low cost can give you good company.
9. Bring some of your favourites from home
Having something familiar in totally new surroundings helps more than you think. Something as simple as a soft toy or a family photograph is all the comfort that you need on your trip. Sleeping with the same teddy that you used to sleep next to at home is comforting enough. It might sound childish, but it really is not. For others, having a family photograph can replicate the feeling of being at home.
10. Enjoy some me-time
Trust me, being alone isn’t something negative. All that matters is how you look at things. Whenever I feel lonely on my solo trip, I turn to things that I love and indulge in those things that make me happy. Be it reading a book, listening to music, meditating, having a hot shower, or simply standing on the balcony at night. Do whatever makes you feel happy! If you have never been on a solo trip, I have some tips for you that you must remember.
11. Talk to your friends and family
Who can comfort better than friends and family? A small talk with them is one of the best ways to overcome solo travel loneliness. You can have a group video call with your friends or talk to your parents about everything you did on that day. They will be more than happy to listen to your stories, and all it takes is just a few taps on your smartphone.
12. Stay away from social media
I know that you would want to post about everything you do on a daily basis or look at what others are doing. But sometimes, it’s best to stay away from social media and enjoy your trip. I know that you cannot get rid of social media entirely on your solo trip, but you can take a break from it whenever you are feeling lonely. Rather than looking at your friends’ meetup posts, it’s better sometimes to focus on yourself and your surroundings.
13. Eat some chocolate
I think that chocolate is the comfort food for most people. And what better time to have it than when you are feeling a bit low? I always have a chocolate bar with me whenever I go on a solo trip, which has helped me in various situations. I don’t mean to say that you have to finish a whole bar in one go. Only a couple of squares are enough to release endorphins and the feel-good hormone – dopamine!
14. Learn something new
Trying to learn something new is a great way to keep yourself busy. Not only will you push out the loneliness from your mind, but this also comes with the satisfaction of learning something new. You can attend a class on any skill that you wish to learn. Be it cooking, yoga, martial arts, or learning something about the country’s culture- you can find classes for anything and everything today. If you are interested in learning a new language, you can check out Duolingo since it is completely free!
15. Learn to talk to strangers
Socialising and opting for hostels and Airbnbs are great. But what if you are a little hesitant to talk to strangers? In my opinion, talking to anybody is a natural gift that extroverts possess. But for introverts like you and me, it can be a challenging task. However, if you try to get out of your comfort zone and make a small effort to talk, trust me, things will turn out better than you think.
16. Step away from your itinerary
No itinerary is worth sticking to if it is too hectic! Trying to explore a lot of places is one thing, and cramming sites into an itinerary is another. If you think that you are dead tired at the end of each day to the point that you cannot even get up from your bed after reaching your hotel, you are definitely doing something wrong. This might be one of the many reasons for your feeling of loneliness. Instead, visit only a few places in the first half and end the day with your favourite place/thing to do.
17. Make some friends online
With the advancement of technology, you can now make friends with a tap of the finger. There are various ways to make friends, but you have to choose the right apps. You should also remember that there are all types of people out there on these apps. And the one app that I would recommend is Bumble. It is very safe for women, and unlike other apps, you can actually make some good friends here.
18. Do something nice for someone
Doing something nice for someone can make you feel better. Not only is this a fact, but I have also experienced this many times. Simple things like helping someone cross the road, visiting an old age home and talking to people, helping a homeless, offering your seat to someone on a bus, leaving a tip are some of the many little things you can do to help others. Not only will you be helping someone, but all of this will make you feel better and forget about your sad feelings.
19. Binge on Netflix
What? Are you on a solo trip to binge on Netflix? Sometimes, you need to do what makes you happy, no matter where you are. You can watch a show or a movie that you have always wanted to watch. Or, you can even watch your favourite movie for the twelfth time. I mean, you can’t keep exploring places all day, every day! It will burn you out and ruin the remainder of your trip. And that’s when you need to take a step back and relax a bit.
20. Stop being anti-social
Being an introverted person is one thing and being anti-social is another. If you think that you cannot start a conversation or cannot make friends, the reality is that you need to try a little harder. But first of all, stop staring at your phone all the time and start going out of your room a lot more. I know it’s not easy to do when you feel low, but you have to socialise with people to overcome this loneliness more often than not.
21. Set a goal and accomplish it
You can try and set a small goal and complete it before the end of the day. It can be as simple as making your bed or reading a couple of chapters of a novel or something like visiting a place too. Getting things done in hard times of a solo trip will make you feel good about yourself.
If you maintain a daily journal, you should definitely include all your thoughts on days when you feel low. Everyone does it on their best days, but doing it on the not-so-good days will instantly make you feel relieved. Simply writing about your thoughts and what steps you took to make yourself feel better is extremely helpful.
23. Know that solo travel is your choice
If you think that solo travel is making you feel lonely, know that it is your choice to travel solo. Travelling solo has its own merits and demerits. And after all, no solo travel is straightforward or without problems. Do not give up on travelling solo after the first time you feel a bit lonely. You will regret later not dealing with this loneliness in a better way and giving up on solo travelling.
24. Do what you have been doing
We all feel lonely on our solo trip many times. But there is something that we always do to overcome this loneliness. And when none of the tips that I have mentioned work, you have to do what you have been doing in the past to overcome this feeling of loneliness. You would know better than me what works best for you. Just believe in yourself and do that.
25. This too shall pass
To be very honest, you aren’t even going to feel lonely for most of your trip. You will be busy exploring and learning about the new place. It is only at some points on your trip that you might feel lonely. Just like everything else in life, loneliness on a solo trip is also a temporary phase. This, too, will pass in a jiffy, and you will come out stronger than ever before.
Those were some of the things that you can do on your solo trip when you are lonely. It is a phase that everyone goes through, and there’s nothing wrong with this. Remember that it is a temporary phase of your wonderful solo trip. Do not forget to have fun, as those are the only moments you’ll remember later on in your life. If you have any other suggestions or ways to tackle the loneliness on a solo trip, do share them in the comments section so that all of us can benefit from that.
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.