How To Journey Solo In Europe

Many individuals are intimated by the considered solo journey however loads of individuals journey alone in Europe. The truth is, my first backpacking Europe journey was a solo journey and I’ve now performed 10+ solo journeys to Europe. And whereas I used to be a bit fearful at first, I now discover touring alone to be an excellent rewarding expertise. 

And whereas touring alone does have some downsides, I nonetheless wholeheartedly endorse solo journey to anybody.

On this information, I’ll educate you methods to journey solo in Europe—together with the positives and negatives, methods to meet individuals, methods to keep protected, methods to combat loneliness, and loads of different sensible recommendation for benefiting from your solo travels. 

Observe: On the lookout for female-specific recommendation — try our Information To Solo Journey For Girls in Europe

The Finest Issues About Solo Journey In Europe

Solo journey has all the time been a distinct segment type of journey (try the r/SoloTravel subreddit) but it surely really began booming alongside the surge of post-pandemic journey (Kayak’s Journey Pattern Report states that single-person ticket gross sales are up by 36% in comparison with 2022). Many main information publications have additionally not too long ago written about the advantages of touring alone—The Solo Journey-Discover at Your Personal Tempo – NY Occasions, How (and Why) to Journey Alone – Vox, and Solo Journey: Why Extra Folks Are Doing It – BBC.

Let’s bounce straight into a few of the greatest issues about touring alone (don’t fear, I’ll cowl the downsides within the subsequent part).

Simpler To Merely Get Began

I’ve met numerous individuals who have delay journey for five or 10 years as a result of they couldn’t discover somebody to journey with.

Taking a visit to Europe is an enormous dedication. It takes a number of money and time. Attempting to coordinate schedules and budgets of a number of individuals is commonly sufficient to delay (and even stop) the beginning of a visit. 

And each group appears to have one one who can’t commit or cancels final minute—which might throw a wrench into the complete journey earlier than it even begins.

However with solo journey, all you must do is purchase that ticket and also you’re in your manner.

Full Management Of Your Day

Touring alone means that you can be in complete management so you are able to do no matter you need, everytime you need. You’ll be able to eat each time, see no matter, and go wherever you need. 

Really feel like sleeping in? You bought it.

Wish to simply stroll for hours? Go for it. 

You’ll be able to’t absolutely admire this freedom till you journey with different individuals.

Meals Freedom

From my expertise, selecting the place to eat is among the most nerve-racking elements of touring with different individuals—particularly whenever you’re touring with a bigger group of individuals. 

Whenever you journey alone you possibly can select precisely the place to eat and also you don’t have to fret about splitting payments and ensuring you receives a commission again. 

Eating alone can even assist you to get seated quicker if the restaurant has seats on the bar.

Select Your Itinerary

Attempting to get a whole group of individuals to conform to an itinerary may cause a number of fiction. 

Some individuals love the seaside. Others love metropolis adventures. Some individuals wish to journey cheaply and others wish to drop a number of money. Some wish to cease at each memento store and others wish to spend their days in museums. Inevitably, these misaligned journey types issues trigger stress and battle.

Solo journey means that you can do belongings you wish to do. You don’t must reply to anybody else. In a gaggle, everybody has their very own concepts of what to see and this may trigger a number of conflicts.

No Arguments

Journey is nerve-racking. And also you often take out that stress in your journey companions. This will trigger riffs between you and your journey companion or riffs inside a bigger group. 

I discover myself getting a lot much less confused when I’m touring alone… as a result of I’m not going to argue with myself. 

Complete Focus

There is no such thing as a one to “distract” you whenever you’re touring solo. You’re completely targeted on no matter it’s you’re experiencing.

An Alternative To Reinvent Your self

You could be whoever you wish to be whenever you journey alone. Solo journey provides you an opportunity to shake off the “previous you” and take a look at being another person for some time.

Meet New Folks

Teams are inclined to unknowingly put up a “wall” between themselves and different vacationers—which frequently prevents them from making associates with different individuals.

I’ve additionally discovered that solo vacationers have a tendency to satisfy different solo vacationers—particularly if you happen to’re staying in a hostel. 

No Giant Group Points 

Touring in a big group poses different points {that a} small group received’t expertise. 

One of many greatest points is discovering a desk at eating places as a result of reservations for greater than 4 individuals is usually a problem. The truth is, even a reservation for 4 individuals can be a lot more durable than a gaggle of two. 

Even discovering two and three-bedroom rental properties could be tough.

Giant teams additionally stand out so that you’re more likely to be pegged for vacationers.

An Alternative For Self-Development

Most solo vacationers discover that self-growth is the best long-term advantage of touring to Europe alone. You study which you can depend on your self. You study which you can determine stuff out whereas on the street. You develop self-confidence after determining a tough drawback. 

In the long run, you grow to be a stronger particular person.

Disadvantages of Solo Journey

Consuming alone on the “bar”

I’d be mendacity if I mentioned that solo journey was all the time wonderful—as a result of it’s not. And typically it type of sucks. 

However I’ve additionally discovered the difficulties of solo journey find yourself being essentially the most rewarding experiences.

Consuming Alone

Many individuals really feel actually uncomfortable consuming alone—particularly in eating places. It isn’t dangerous for breakfast and lunch however dinners do get a bit lonely.

Actually, consuming alone isn’t almost as awkward as we expect it is going to be… however, given the selection, I’d nonetheless slightly eat with somebody than eat alone.

Undesirable Isolation

Solo journey could be isolating. And each solo traveler will expertise bouts the place they need they’d somebody to hang around with. 

I bear in mind my very first evening of solo touring. I used to be in Dublin and the hostel was overrun by a big group of Spanish college students.  didn’t meet any English audio system that first evening so it was fairly lonely. I used to be additionally a brand new traveler so I used to be fairly timid. Fortunately, events like this have been fairly uncommon.

However, I nonetheless discover going to bars alone to be intimidating.

No “Buddy System” 

Having somebody to share your reminiscences with could be good—particularly if everybody travels nicely with one another. 

Touring with a good friend additionally helps with different practicalities like having somebody watch your luggage, watch your drinks, save your seat, assist you to remedy an issue, and so forth.

Too Many Selfies

Most of my journey images are selfies. Minor challenge however all of your images begin wanting the identical after some time. After all, you possibly can ask strangers to take your photograph however that additionally will get previous (and other people take actually dangerous images).  

Normal Security

Europe is a really protected place for solo vacationers however there’s all the time security in numbers irrespective of the place you go. 

Alternatively, touring with a big group makes you stand out as a bunch of vacationers—which brings one other host of points. I’ve written extra about security as a solo traveler additional down on this article.

No “Single’s Tax”

Solo journey could be costlier (on a per-person foundation) than touring with a gaggle since you’re not capable of cut up some journey prices—notably lodge rooms/rental flats and meals. For instance, splitting the price of a lodge room between two individuals is a big cash saver. 

Suggestions On How To Journey Alone Efficiently

Home made meal with my Airbnb hosts in Naples

Now that we’ve lined the positives and negatives of solo journey, let’s check out some suggestions that can assist you efficiently journey alone. 

Think about Staying In Hostels

Hostel life isn’t for everybody but it surely’s a superb solution to be immediately related with different vacationers (particularly different solo vacationers).

Hostels have modified so much previously 5-10 years. Europe now has a variety of higher-end hostels so many really feel extra like boutique accommodations than the stereotypical price range backpacker flops of yesteryear. 

Moreover, nearly each nicer hostel has personal rooms and lots of hostels cater to each age so that you received’t really feel misplaced if you happen to’re not the standard twentysomething traveler. 

Many hostels typically plan group meals, bar crawls, and strolling excursions to assist create a communal vibe so perform a little analysis to discover a hostel that matches your journey type.

Extra Suggestions On How To Meet Folks In Hostels

Hostels are naturally social however there are some things you are able to do to extend the possibility of assembly different individuals.

  • Don’t Break The Unstated Hostel Guidelines: Try The Savvy Backpacker’s information to hostel etiquette.
  • Be Pleasant and Outgoing: Smile and be the primary particular person to introduce themselves. If somebody new arrives on the hostel greet them. An introverted solo traveler can have a tough time assembly new individuals.
    • I didn’t do an excellent job being outgoing my first few nights and I had a tough time assembly individuals. However after the third evening, I compelled myself to be a bit extra outgoing and it opened up so many doorways.
  • Purchase Folks Beer: Purchase some low cost beer and provide it to individuals. You’ll meet TONS of individuals this manner. Folks will typically do the identical for you. Belief me, this would be the greatest €10 you possibly can spend.
  • Cook dinner Meals In The Hostel: You’ll meet so many individuals if you happen to hand around in the kitchen round time for supper. Or, if nothing else, grasp across the kitchen at time for supper and also you’ll most likely be invited to eat with different visitors.

Try my Information To Hostels in Europe to get a extra in-depth have a look at the world of recent hostels and go to my Lodging Web page to see my checklist of the most effective hostels in Europe.

Keep In A Enjoyable/Well-liked Neighborhood

I all the time attempt to e-book lodging that’s positioned in a enjoyable neighborhood as a result of I like having the ability to stroll out the door and immediately have espresso retailers, eating places, purchasing, and nightlife inside strolling distance.

Enjoyable neighborhoods additionally are typically the most secure since they’re the most well-liked so there are all the time individuals out and about.

The most effective neighborhoods are sometimes the costliest by way of lodging so that you’ll pay a little bit of a premium, however I believe it’s value the additional prices.

Take A Meals Tour, Cooking Class, Wine Tasting, And so on. 

Taking part in a gaggle occasion is a wonderful solution to meet different individuals.

I like taking meals excursions when touring solo since consuming is of course a communal occasion—particularly when there’s alcohol concerned. Many meals excursions happen at evening so it’s a good way to fill your night after you’ve spent the day exploring the town. I’ve personally taken Devour Meals Excursions in Rome, Seville, and Madrid—all have been glorious (try my Devour Rome Meals Tour evaluation to study extra).

Cooking lessons are additionally a good way to satisfy individuals because you’re all in a kitchen getting ready a meal collectively and you then all collect to eat every part you simply made. For instance, I’ve taken cooking lessons in Paris at Cook dinner’n With Class and a cooking class in Florence. These lessons usually final 3-5 hours so you continue to have loads of time to do different issues that day.

Take A Strolling Tour

Strolling excursions are typically rather less social than meals excursions and cooking lessons because you’re principally listening to the information discuss but it surely’s nonetheless a superb solution to be round others.

However you’ll naturally begin up conversations when the information isn’t speaking and also you would possibly find yourself making a brand new journey buddy alongside the way in which.

Most cities have free strolling excursions (the guides work off suggestions) so it’s an inexpensive exercise as nicely. You may also discover extra specialty paid strolling excursions and people have a tendency to draw like-minded vacationers.

Couchsurfing, Reddit, and Different Meetup Teams

Most huge cities internationally have lively Couchsurfing and Reddit meetup teams that entice individuals keen to satisfy and chat. These teams sometimes meet at a neighborhood bar to assist the conversations stream. 

One of the best ways to seek out these teams is to Google “CITYNAME Couchsurfing Meetup” or “CITYNAME Reddit Meetup.” will also be useful resource for locating people who find themselves additionally on the lookout for issues to do.

Lease A Room On Airbnb

Whereas not assured, renting a room in an Airbnb is usually a good solution to work together along with your hosts. Loads of hosts will invite you to dinner or be open to hanging out. 

For instance, my Airbnb hosts in Naples invited me to have a home made dinner with them one night out on their stunning rooftop patio.

Use Courting Apps

Utilizing relationship apps is usually a great way for single vacationers to satisfy locals and different vacationers. Plus, assembly a neighborhood is an effective solution to discover cooler locations that you simply may not discover by yourself. 

Hit The Bar

The bar has all the time been a pure place to satisfy different individuals.

In the event you really feel bizarre about consuming alone, I like to recommend bringing a e-book and sitting on the bar as you look rather more approachable than if you happen to’re simply scrolling via your telephone.

Security Suggestions For Solo Vacationers

Whereas Europe is a really protected place to go to, frequent sense security measures are nonetheless one thing that each one solo vacationers ought to contemplate.

Act Like You Belong

Top-of-the-line issues you are able to do whereas touring alone is to easily act such as you belong. Stroll with confidence. Fake such as you’ve been there 1,000,000 instances earlier than. Individuals who look misplaced and bewildered immediately stand out.

Keep In A Secure Neighborhood

At all times do a little analysis earlier than reserving your lodging to make sure it’s in a protected neighborhood—particularly at evening.

TIP: The areas round practice stations in Europe are sometimes a bit sketchy (since there’s a massive transient inhabitants) however that is additionally the place a lot of a budget lodging is discovered. So hold this in thoughts when reserving a spot to remain.

Hear To Your Instincts

If one thing doesn’t really feel proper you then shouldn’t do it. It’s a fairly easy idea however typically it’s simpler mentioned than performed.

Know The place You’re Going

Pulling your telephone out each two seconds to see the place you’re going will naturally draw consideration to your self and it’s a sign that you simply’re misplaced. So spend a bit time finding out your route so that you solely must examine periodically.

Hold Related With Dependable Cellular Information

Having dependable cellular information on your telephone is usually a big assist when touring—you want it for Google Maps, rideshare apps, digital practice tickets… and absolutely anything else so don’t depend on hard-to-find free wifi to maintain you related.

I like to recommend shopping for an affordable pay as you go European information plan—try my information to Find out how to Use Information Plans and Smartphone Telephones in Europe and my information to the greatest eSIM information plans for Europe.

Get Acquainted With Frequent Journey Scams

As G.I. Joe says, “Understanding Is Half The Battle” so it’s sensible to familiarize your self with the commonest journey scams so you possibly can keep away from them.

I’ve written extensively about Find out how to Keep away from Pickpockets and Outsmart Thieves in Europe and Find out how to Keep away from Frequent Journey Scams In Europe however listed below are just a few security tricks to contemplate whereas touring alone.

You may also Google “scams in CITY” to get a greater thought in regards to the specifics of frequent scams in particular person cities—for instance, the “deaf/mute petition rip-off” is fashionable in Paris and Bus #64 in Rome is a hotspot for pickpockets.

Pack Gentle and Mix In

Lugging round an enormous, heavy suitcase or huge backpack makes you an on the spot (and slow-moving) goal. That is much more true in chaotic, crowded, and pickpocket-heavy areas like practice stations, subways, and metropolis buses.

Moreover, figuring out methods to costume so that you don’t immediately stand out as a vacationer can even provide you with one other stage of security.

I’ve written a number of packing-related articles you would possibly wish to try:

Purchase Journey Insurance coverage

Journey insurance coverage is wise for all vacationers as a result of it may save your butt financially. I take advantage of and advocate World Nomads for many vacationers however there are a handful of different journey insurance coverage corporations.

James Feess
Newest posts by James Feess (see all)

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