A Few Not-So-Solo Travel Tips From A Female Solo Traveler

Meredith in front of Sandiego sign painted on wooden fence
Affiliate disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links and will deliver a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase through the links presented. Meredith San Diego only recommends products and services, however, which she genuinely supports and utilizes for her travels.

Traveling solo shouldn’t have to translate to being alone, especially in the information age. These days it seems as if anywhere and anyone is accessible with a few clicks of a keyboard. Leaning on this fact alongside my personal experience as a solo female backpacker, I’ve decided to share a few obvious (but maybe not so obvious) facts about how one can travel solo, but not really. 

There are a handful of ways solo travels (like myself) can adopt when the novelties of planning logistics, budgeting for solo accommodations or being selective with destinations strictly because they’re affordable wears out. Here are three tried and true tips to traveling solo, while not so solo at all.

Social Media

When used the correct way, social media outlets such as Facebook or Instagram serve as primo starting points for making travel connections. Network groups are available by the dozen, some even specific to a destination. When planning to piggyback on a friend’s birthday trip to Taiwan I reached out to a Facebook network group specifically for travelers (expats) in Taiwan. I was elated to find five other women traveling through the country at similar times and we successfully arranged more than one meet up and even day trips. 

If you’re new to social media or unaware where to start, try these:

Outside of social media, word-of-mouth serves as a default networking tactic that still packs a solid punch. While visiting Poland with some Macedonian friends I mentioned my future travel plans to Portugal during casual conversation. One of the members of our entourage had a friend (met in college years earlier) born and raised in Lisbon that they could connect me with. Hospitable people are my favorite kind of people. Not only was this person a gem, inviting me to her home for lunch with her family (originally from Africa), but she also selflessly showed me around town on her downtime. These connections are truly priceless to me.

Location: Jiufen Teahouse in Jiufen, Taiwan (2019)
Female travelers, as found on a Facebook network group, met for a day trip in Jiufen (Taiwan) where we met two other female travelers along the way.
Location: Pensão Amor, Lisbon, Portugal (2018)
With a local friend(s) as introduced to me by another friend in Poland.

Planned Tours 

Arranged tours take the hassle out of planning every detail of your adventure. As a solo traveler, I’ve joined at least a dozen group tours during my travels. Considering the fact that most people reserve these tours in sets of two or three, as a solo traveler I’m often the odd woman out. That considered, I was often gifted my own room without needing to pay the additional solo charges linked to such journeys. More often than not, however, I am assigned a roommate (of the same gender). Not all roommates are created equal, and admittedly, I’m not always a cake walk myself, but the majority of them I befriend instantly. These connections are priceless in more ways than one; traveling alone makes executing decisions quick and easy, but experiencing a culture with someone creates a bond like no other. Further, these connections can serve as an opportunity for future travel with like-minded people and/or open the door to new destinations where you now have a buddy and, depending on the circumstances, a place to crash when you do.

A great place to begin when considering planned tours is Tourradar. Compare tours by cost per day, destination or by the length of stay. I’ve made countless good friends on adventure tours like those featured on this site. 

Location: New Year’s Eve somewhere in Rajasthan, India (2016)
A few amazing human beings I had the pleasure of befriending on a 3-week+ journey (via train) through India.
Location: Central Coast, Australia (2018)
These beauties, as seen in the image above, I was reunited with on their home turf in New South Wales. The other two in the aforementioned photograph I’ll reunite with on their home turf in Switzerland Fall 2019.
Location: Outside Rotorua, New Zealand (2017)
These beautiful souls and I clicked instantly the first day of our 2-week adventure tour through New Zealand; one is from Holland and the other Denmark.
Location: Viborg, Denmark (2018)
We reunited in Denmark a year later. Still posing in the same positions, but at least in the sunshine and tank tops!

Hostel Stays 

Hostels have a bad wrap, but as a solo traveler on a budget, these types of accommodations are next to impossible to avoid. I’ve both lived and heard many of the horror stories (bedbugs, theft, sexual assault) but overall my experiences have been quite pleasant. In fact, the friends I’ve made from hostel stays go on to become consistent travel companions not to mention the money I’ve saved sharing transport costs or piggybacking on to day tours. Hostels nowadays can be tricky, especially for the more “experienced” individual. Placing age limitations (certain hostels have begun to prohibit guests over the ages of 30-35, depending) along with the implementation of night minimums during reservations can make it tricky to navigate. Always be sure to read the fine print, the devil really is hiding in those details.

Booking accommodations can be easy when using comparing websites such as booking.com. Take your travel plans the extra step towards humanitarianism by using that same platform via Hotels That Help. This volunteer-run organization partners with companies like booking.com to help stamp out homelessness. You were going to reserve a room anyway, why not allow ten percent of that cost to go towards helping someone in need. Vacation and/or solo travel with a purpose.

Qatar Airways
Location: Loboc, Bohol, Philippines 2018
Two road friends, I met in a hostel in one city in the Philippines, clicked with, then traveled the rest of our trip in hostels together. One is from Holland and the other a Filipina.
Location: Sam Roi Yat National Park, Hua Hin Thailand (2019)
The Hollander backpacked his way from the Philippines back to Thailand where we adventured around town for a month.

Post Tags:

2 Responses

  1. I love hostel life! Every time I travel on my own or with friends, I do my best to always choose hostels! They are great places to meet beautiful people 🧡
    Loved this post! It reminds me that there is nothing to fear, that we women have to just ride on!
    Love ya! 🧡

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search the blog
hey, I'm meredith!
bagLady Meredith SanDiego in front of wooden fence painted with a sign Sandiego

Welcome to Bag Lady Meredith San Diego!

As a global citizen with more than 57 passport stamps, my adventure mandatory, serial-expat existence offers intuitive insight into globetrotting as a solo Black, female.

Whether it’s by plane, boat, moped, bus, or train, I LIVE for traveling.

100+ travel apps for wayfarers

Get your free copy of A Wayfarer’s Mobile Application Checklist!

101 mobile apps for travelers, from flights and accommodation to tours and sustainable travel.

popular posts

Join our newsletter

white arrow on grey and white checks

Bag Lady Meredith San Diego is always on the move! Completing her 57th country in 2022, where can you spot Meredith San Diego adventuring in 2023? Stay tuned to find out just where in the world is Meredith San Diego!

A Wayfarers Mobile Application Checklist mockup of 3 pages with Meredith having a hot drink and working on her laptop in the background


long brown arrow over a brown and white check icon

Get your free copy of A Wayfarer’s Mobile Application Checklist!

101 mobile apps for travelers, from flights and accommodation to tours and sustainable travel.

This free guide covers all the apps you will need to make your solo travel easy!

By entering your details you will be added to my mailing list. You can unsubscribe anytime.

Where in the world?

white arrow on grey and white checks

Bag Lady Meredith San Diego is always on the move! Completing her 57th country in 2022, where can you spot Meredith San Diego adventuring in 2023? Stay tuned to find out just where in the world is Meredith San Diego!