Today ‘Style My Soul’ seeks expert advice on how to enhance solo and group travel experiences.
Opt for Shared Airbnb Experiences
Although lodgings are perfect for meeting different explorers, I find that a shared Airbnb is best for meeting local people. I stayed in a local house on my solo trip to Bali. My host father was phenomenal, taking me to neighborhood cafés and temples I could not have possibly known about otherwise. The same thing occurred in Mexico. The proprietors of the Airbnb took all new guests on a free orientation tour of the area. - Axel Hernborg, Founder and CEO, Tripplo
Choose Accommodation Wisely
No matter if it’s a solo or group trip, it’s important to choose your accommodation wisely. Think about what you want to get out of it and what each option offers. If you’re on a solo trip, you can book a hotel room for yourself, which guarantees that you won’t meet other people. Alternatively, you could stay in shared accommodation, regardless of whether it’s a shared or single room. The moment you use common areas, such as a kitchen or TV room in a hostel, you’ll meet fellow solo travelers, and this is where the magic happens. The same is true for group travel. Think about where you will stay, how much time you will get to yourself, and how you will meet others. The accommodation you choose is decisive for the level of engagement you get with others. - Julia-Carolin Zeng, Director, Charlie on the Move Ltd
Enjoy Your Own Company
Remember, even when traveling with others, the primary focus is you. Your solo trip, or even group travel, is about understanding and connecting with yourself. You’re the boss, and it’s a chance to truly get to know yourself better. Always prioritize your own needs and set aside moments every day just for yourself. It’s perfectly okay to enjoy a coffee, have a meal, or dine at an upscale place solo. Just you, without distractions like phones — cherish these moments.
- Sam D’Cruz, Managing Director, Cheap Surf Gear
Prioritize Safety and Communication
One important tip for both solo and group travelers is to prioritize awareness of your surroundings. Trust your instincts — if something feels off, it likely is. Stay connected with your family by sharing your daily plans in case of communication issues. This ensures safety during unexpected situations, like natural disasters or areas with weak Wi-Fi.
- Mo Pristas, Charterguru, Charterguru
Balance Planning with Spontaneity
One valuable tip for both solo and group travelers is to embrace spontaneity while maintaining a loose itinerary. While planning is essential, leaving room for unexpected adventures can enhance your travel experience. Solo travelers can seize opportunities as they arise, fostering personal growth and serendipitous encounters. For group travelers, flexibility allows for group members to contribute their ideas and adapt to changing circumstances, leading to a more harmonious and enjoyable journey. Balancing structure with spontaneity can result in unforgettable moments and deeper connections with both the destination and fellow travelers. - Bryan Mullennix, Owner, FeelingVegas
Dine at Local Establishments
Eating where the locals eat is a travel tip that transcends the boundaries of solo and group travel, offering a multitude of benefits that enrich the overall travel experience. For solo travelers, it provides an immediate connection to the local culture, offering a taste of authenticity and a sense of belonging in a foreign place. It fosters opportunities for spontaneous interactions with locals, encouraging a deeper understanding of traditions, customs, and daily life. Additionally, dining at local establishments often suits solo travelers’ budgets, offering delicious and affordable options. In group travel, this tip promotes bonding among companions. Sharing unique, regional dishes becomes a communal experience, fostering camaraderie and providing moments for reminiscing. It also allows the group to veer off the beaten path and discover hidden culinary gems, adding an element of adventure to the journey. - Hammer Tsui, Travel Blogger, A Fun Couple
Adopt the “Local Lens” Approach
To truly experience a place, try embracing the “Local Lens” approach. This means immersing yourself in the local culture and seeking out authentic experiences that go beyond the usual tourist attractions. By interacting with locals, sampling local cuisine, and participating in community events, solo travelers can gain a deeper understanding of their destination. This immersion in the local culture often leads to personal growth and connections with individuals that one may not have encountered otherwise. When traveling as a group, adopting the “Local Lens” approach can foster a sense of camaraderie. Instead of strictly following a preset itinerary, encourage the group to engage with locals, participate in local events, or even volunteer together. These shared experiences will create enduring memories and strengthen the connections within the group, resulting in a more enjoyable and unforgettable trip for everyone involved. - Sean Walsh, Founder, Pilot Passion
Carry Essential Safety Measures
For solo travelers, always pack a kit with a pain reliever, something for the stomach, electrolyte powder packets, allergy pills, band-aids, and antibiotic ointment. You never know when you may need something, and when you are traveling or not feeling well, the last thing you want to be doing is taking time to search for things. For a group, be sure to get the contact numbers of at least two people stored in your phone in case something should happen where you get separated, lost, or left behind.
- Trina Leckie, Breakup and Relationship Coach, breakup BOOST
Embrace Solo Travel Connections and Safety
Traveling solo can be remarkable and gives you the opportunity to open doors to unique experiences and meaningful encounters. One of the greatest advantages of solo travel is its innate ability to facilitate connections with new people. Without the comfort zone of a familiar group, solo travelers are often more approachable and receptive to interactions with locals and fellow wanderers alike. Striking up conversations with strangers becomes second nature, leading to friendships that transcend borders and cultures. However, while embracing the spontaneity of solo travel, it’s essential to prioritize safety. Researching destinations, staying in well-reviewed accommodations, and keeping friends and family informed of your whereabouts are crucial steps in ensuring a memorable and secure journey in unfamiliar places.
- Sarah Marie Naska, Owner, SMHavice Investments
Pack a Portable Door Lock
When traveling as a solo woman, safety is always top of mind. A useful travel-safety hack is to pack a portable door lock. This adds an extra layer of security, often for less than $20. These locks are small, lightweight, and can fit in anyone’s bag, even a backpacker short on space. If you’re worried about damaging the door, a simple doorstop will also do the trick. Whether you’re staying in a plush hotel, an Airbnb, or a budget-friendly room, this hack will work. Adding this extra safety measure when traveling alone means always sleeping better, sure that there won’t be any disturbance by intruders.
- Rebecca Webber, Head of Content, World Meters