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Solo Travel

Best Solo Activities: 10 Things To Do When Travelling Alone

Travelling solo is so much fun! I know because I’ve been addicted to it for more than 20 years! There is something so special about travelling on your own and doing things for yourself.

And people always ask me what it is that I actually do when I am on my solo trips. Well, each trip is different. I love exploring a new city, being in nature, and everything in between. There are many things to do when travelling alone!

And if you are planning your first solo trip and wondering what to do when travelling alone, I’ll tell you exactly what I do when I am on my solo journey.

In this post, I’ll show you how you can enjoy your solo trip by participating in these 10 fun solo activities.

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10 things to do when travelling alone

I love travelling on my own and always find something to do. I tend to go on my own schedule – which is the beauty of solo travelling. And I always keep things interesting by participating in different types of fun solo activities.

So in no particular order, here are my 10 favourite things to do while travelling solo.

1. Be a tourist wherever you go

One of my favourite things to do when travelling solo is experience a new city alone. I love being free and wandering solo at my own pace. 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 – you’re just going with the flow! 

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!

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? 

2. Join a walking tour 

A walking tour is one of the best ways to learn about a new place quickly. Most cities have (free) walking tours where tour guides will happily show you their town and give a brief history as well.

And if you don’t like any of the organized walking tours, you can create your own walking tour. 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 when 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?

3. 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.

One of the fun things to do on a solo trip is to join an organized tour. I joined an SUV tour and it took us through Solar de Uyuni in Bolivia. The driver took the six of us through the salt flats in Bolivia and dropped us off in Chile. It was terrific to have a reliable driver, the chef and a tour guide for this trip as it was difficult to navigate in the salt flats

And when you join an organized tour, you can also meet other fellow travellers. There might be other solo or like-minded travellers with whom you can share some amazing experiences.

4. 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 read a book or just simply relax. And you might meet other travellers. Chances are, they are travelling solo too. 

RELATED POST – Hong Kong’s best coffee shops

5. Go bike riding

If you want to see a new place from another perspective, rent a bike and see a new city on two wheels.

Major cities in Japan, Taiwan, the Netherlands and Denmark have extensive bike paths, and people are encouraged to travel by bike rather than car.

And if you have limited time in a new city, you can cruise through it quicker with a bike than on foot.

Not only is biking 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)! 

6. Spend the day at the beach

Perhaps one of the best things to do while travelling alone is to 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 and lots of water. And sunscreen, of course. It is one of the best places for people to watch, participate in water sports, and enjoy the sunset.

7. Dine solo 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 always order room service at the hotel!

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 alone while travelling. 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 food experience!

8. Try something 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 daredevil when it comes to adventure, but I like to experience nature through hiking. Day hikes are one of my favourite activities because they are easy and do not require too much planning. And multi-day hikes are so challenging and yet exciting. 

I spent the winters hiking through Hong Kong in the last two years. There are so many hiking trails that I did not know about. I really enjoyed trekking through Ma On Shan, Po Pin Chau, Fan Lau and other off-the-beaten-path hiking trails.

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

9. Pamper yourself by going to a day spa

One of the best things to do when you travel alone is to indulge in a spa treatment. 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, which you can find at any spas in Canggu and Seminyak.

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 sauce, getting a facial or getting your manicure and pedicure done, self-care should always be a priority and should be on the top of your list especially while you are travelling solo.

10. Try doing something you have never done before

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 and 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 will remember this 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.

What are you going to do on your solo trip?

Travelling solo is one of the best life decisions I have ever made.

And I always make sure I’m doing everything I enjoy and make the most of my time. And these are some of the best activities when travelling alone.

I hope you enjoyed this post and find the inspiration for trying some of these solo activities. Which one will you try first? Let me know in the comments below.

Thank you for reading my post about solo activities

You might also like these other travel solo posts:

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 20+ 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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