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Solo Travel

Best activities for solo travellers

Last Updated on August 12, 2020 by queenie mak

Travelling solo is so much fun! I know because I’ve been addicted to it for more than 15 years! 

People always ask me what is it that I actually do when I am on my solo trips. Well, each trip is different. I love exploring a new city, and I love being in nature. But fundamentally I do the same type of activities. I’m going to share with you the best activities that you can do while travelling solo.

 

 

 

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Travelling solo is so much fun! Here is a list of the best activities you can do on your solo trip. And don’t forget to pin it on your Pinterest board. #solotravel #travelsolo #bestactivities #soloactivities Travelling solo is so much fun! Here is a list of the best activities you can do on your solo trip. And don’t forget to pin it on your Pinterest board. #solotravel #travelsolo #bestactivities #soloactivities

 

Be a tourist

Visit a museum. Walk around a neighbourhood. Browse through shops. Hang out at a bookstore. Tour the city. Whatever it is that you decide to do, go for it! One of my favourite things is to experience a new city on my own. I love being free and wandering solo at my own pace. There’s just something about the freedom. Sometimes I would start off with a general plan or an idea of where to go, but I may end up somewhere entirely different. That’s the beauty of travelling solo – just going with the flow! 

So whether you are a solo traveller or travelling with friends, you’ve got to go out and be a tourist. Do everything you can and absorb all the sites and sounds. After all, you left your home to travel for a reason, right? 

 

 

 

 

Join a walking tour 

One of the best ways to quickly learn about a new place is through a walking tour. Most cities have (free) walking tours where tour guides will happily show you their town and give a brief history as well. You don’t need any specialized equipment or anything. It is the perfect activity for a solo traveller!

And if you don’t like any of the organized walking tours, you can create your own. I often do this on my own because I love the flexibility of where I can go, and also I like to walk a lot! There are days where I can walk up to 30,000 steps a day!

Moreover, walking is one of the best exercises you can do, and you can do this almost anywhere. Staying healthy is essential especially when you are travelling on your own. So why not put on your walking shoes and see a new place at the same time?

 

 

One of my best memories as a solo traveller is joining a SUV tour in Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

One of my best memories as a solo traveller is joining a SUV tour in Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Join an organized tour 

I don’t always wander a new city on my own. Sometimes it’s nice to join an organized tour and let someone else do the planning. And sometimes it is the only way to experience a new place. 

During my last trip to Vietnam, I was looking for a tour that would take me to various places in Northern Vietnam. I booked a 7-day tour package, and they organized all the accommodation, transportation and activities. Even though it is quite easy to coordinate all the logistics on my own in Vietnam, I rather pay a little more and have someone else do that for me. It was worth every penny (and it wasn’t expensive at all). Sometimes spending more for an organized tour has its perks. 

One of the best tours I ever joined was an SUV tour through Solar de Uyuni in Bolivia. The driver took four other travellers and me through the salt flats in Bolivia and dropped us off in Chile. It was terrific to have a reliable driver who was also the chef, and a tour guide for this trip as it was difficult to navigate in the salt flats. And also, it wasn’t possible for anyone to do this independently.

 

 

 

Hang out at a coffee shop

I love a good coffee in a cozy coffee shop. Perhaps it is my love (or addiction) of caffeine that fuels my passion for hanging out at coffee shops, but I love every minute of it.

As a solo traveller and someone who works remotely, working in coffee shops have become part of my routine. I can literally spend hours at a coffee shop working away on my laptop. And if you don’t work remotely, coffee shops are great spots to meet other travellers. Chances are, they are travelling solo too. 

 

 

 

 
Riding a bike in Valencia, Spain is one of the best ways to see the city

Riding a bike in Valencia, Spain is one of the best ways to see the city

Bike riding

If you want to see a new place in another perspective, rent a bike and see a new city on two wheels. Major cities in Japan, Taiwan, Netherlands and Denmark have extensive bike paths, and people are encouraged to travel with bikes rather than cars. And if you have limited time in a new city, you can cruise through it quicker than on foot.

Not only biking is an excellent alternative to transportation, but it is also a great form of exercise. But remember to be careful – wear a helmet and stay in bike lanes (when possible)! 

 

 

 

Whether you spend the day at the beach or at the pool, you can enjoy gorgeous sunsets like this one in Bali

Whether you spend the day at the beach or at the pool, you can enjoy gorgeous sunsets like this one in Bali

Spend the day at the beach

Who doesn’t love a beach day? Sometimes I plan a trip around the idea of spending a lot of time at the beach. I always bring a book with me and ample water because you don’t want to be dehydrated. And sunscreen, of course. It is one of the best places to people watch, participate in water sports and enjoy the sunset.

 

 

 

Eat at a restaurant

I know this might not seem like a fun thing to do, but it is really not that bad. 

Many years ago when I started to travel for work, I was by myself a lot. Eating alone felt uncomfortable at the time. But I have to eat! And I didn’t want to order room service at the hotel all the time! So the easiest way to start is to find a restaurant that has a bar option. Once you graduate from eating at the bar, try sitting at the table by yourself. You can read a book or use your phone if it makes you feel more comfortable about the whole experience.

But these days I really enjoy eating on my own without a book and my phone. I like being present while I am eating. And I wouldn’t let the fear of dining alone prevent me from trying a new food or trying a new restaurant. After all, eating is part of travelling! So even if you are travelling solo, don’t miss out on a potentially fantastic eating experience!

 

 
Solo hiking in El Chalten, Argentina is safe and fun

Solo hiking in El Chalten, Argentina is safe and fun

Be adventurous

Whether it is hiking, skydiving, bungee jumping, or anything you can imagine! If you can dream it, go for it!

I’m not a dare-devil when it comes to adventure, but I like to experience nature through hiking. Day hikes are one of my favourite activities because it is easy and does not require too much planning. And multi-day hikes are so challenging and yet exciting. 

The photo above was taken in El Chalten, Argentina. I loved hiking through the mountainous terrain in Argentina. The region has a lot of marked trails and gorgeous scenery. It is pretty easy to get addicted to being in nature. Some of my favourite hiking spots include Patagonia, Cuzco, Peru and Sapa, Vietnam.

Staying safe is a top priority when it comes to solo hiking. Make sure to take all the precautions to stay safe. 

 

 

 

Pamper yourself

Who doesn’t like to pamper themselves? For me, it is all about the spa! I’ve tried many different types of massages, and my favourite has to be the Balinese massage. And the best spas are in Canggu, Bali

Setting aside some time to enjoy “me” time, and allow yourself to be pampered is so important. So no matter if you are getting a massage, sitting in a sauna, getting a facial or getting your manicure and pedicures done, self-care should always be on the top of your list! 

 

 
Try something new when you travelling solo, like jungle trekking in Colombia

Try something new when you travelling solo, like jungle trekking in Colombia

Try something new

I always try to push myself to try something new on each trip. It can be anything. Trying new food. Trying a new activity. Exploring a new neighbourhood (if it is a place you’ve already been to). It makes the solo journey that much more interesting if you try something new.

I didn’t always like to hike. But after travelling to Cuzco, Peru and hiked Machu Picchu, I was immediately addicted to hiking. Soon after that trip, I planned another adventure that took me into the jungles of Colombia. For four days, I trekked through Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City). It was one of the most amazing (and scary) experiences I’ve ever had. There were many times I thought I would slip an fall and potentially die (only because I am really clumsy). And being in wet clothes all the time wasn’t particularly fun. But it was the adrenaline and adventure that I just loved! The photo was taken when the crew pulled me over to the other side of the river on a human dolly system. This was something I’ve never done and would remember it forever.

Sometimes when you will be pleasantly surprised when you push yourself to do something you’ve never done before and didn’t think you are capable of doing.

 

 

 

Do you have any favourite activities for your solo trip? Let me know in the comments below. And don’t forget to share the article! 

 

Pin it on your Pinterest board!

Travelling solo is so much fun! Here is a list of the best activities you can do on your solo trip. And don’t forget to pin it on your Pinterest board. #solotravel #travelsolo #bestactivities #soloactivities

About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 18+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

10 Comments

  • Mo
    July 21, 2018 at 9:23 am

    check, check, check! Your tips are so right on….I did all those things while traveling solo 😉 Sitting in a coffee shop alone was never a problem for me, but eating alone (for some strange reason) took a bit more getting used to. Any way great tips Queenie!

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      July 22, 2018 at 10:35 am

      yes the eating alone part takes time to get used to. but it is totally doable!

      Reply
  • Julie Boyd
    July 21, 2018 at 11:14 am

    Great advice for those who are unsure about traveling solo.

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      July 22, 2018 at 10:37 am

      thank you!! if anyone is not sure about solo travel, just do a simple solo activity and see how it feels.

      Reply
  • janineintheworld
    July 22, 2018 at 4:28 am

    These are really great tips. Traveling solo can definitely feel a little weird and lonely at first, but it’s actually really awesome because you don’t have to compromise on anything!!!

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      July 22, 2018 at 10:37 am

      I totally agree with you! it takes time to get used to. for me, it took almost no time! I really like the independence and freedom of solo travel!

      Reply
  • Stephanie | thefantasia.com
    July 22, 2018 at 5:27 am

    I love this list!! I’m always travelling solo and I definitely do these as well! These are just so spot on!

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      July 22, 2018 at 10:38 am

      thanks so much!! isn’t travelling solo the best thing ever? 🙂

      Reply
  • Suse
    May 26, 2019 at 10:50 am

    Hi Queenie,
    Im travelling solo soon and was wondering about going to the beaches on your own. Have you ever had any problems leaving your clothes and towel on the sand while you go for a swim?? Thanks 🙂

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      May 29, 2019 at 11:54 am

      Hi Suse, I didn’t my comment go through so I’ll type it again. I haven’t had any problems going to the beach by myself. I leave most of my stuff like wallet and other value things back at my accommodation and bring only what I need. I put those things in a ziplock bag (so glamerous haha). And at the beach, I hide it under a beach blanket. And I just leave my small canvas bag on the towel. So far so good! 🙂

      Reply

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