As a young woman whose biggest travel leap of faith has been across the pond, I was anxious about taking a trip all by myself. But whenever friends couldn’t make it and Barcelona called, I decided to just go for it! Here are a few things I learned so you don’t have to.
- Learn the Language
Here’s a secret no one tells you… most countries in Europe speak English. It’s easy to ask for directions or order dinner. But it’s a polite gesture to learn some phrases you can use anywhere: thank you, you’re welcome, I would like that, and hello are a great place to start. Just search “tourist phrases in [chosen language]” and you’ll be speaking like the locals in no time!
- Stay in a solo traveler-oriented hostel
One of the best decisions I made in Barcelona was staying at Yeah Hostel, because it
allowed me to meet and bond with other solo travelers. Every night, my hostel organized a group dinner and pub crawl, which made me feel safer going out to the pub in an unfamiliar city.
- Know how local transportation works
This is vital. Research if you can pay with card, if you need cash, or if you have to prepay for your bus ticket. You don’t want to be stranded late at night without a way to pay for the bus!
- Book group activities
I booked a group hike to Montserrat with a tour company through AirBnb experiences. Only five other people were on my hike, so I was able to really bond with the others and make some new friends! One of the others even lives in New York, so I made a friend I can meet up with when Barcelona is long over!
- Take naps
Solo travel is also exhausting. In a way, I felt guilty napping whenever I could have been exploring some new things, but taking some siestas (or even just having a coffee and sit!) helped me to recharge so I could fully recharge before the next event.
Solo travel is a learning experience, but it is definitely fulfilling. It’s a great way to learn about a new place and even yourself! Use these tips to make sure you can have the best experience possible.