Another New Year approaches, and travel mania continues; essential worker strikes and misplaced baggage pieces be damned. Even solo traveling is trending for 2023, which we fully support, but remember that we also lean into responsible traveling ‘round these parts. As a result, I am compiling an educational list of sustainable travel methods for solo travelers. This is to help those seeking the opportunity to embrace a more sustainable approach to travel in 2023.
Travel is life-changing. It sounds cliche, but it’s profoundly true. Why else would a large percentage of the masses seek a lifestyle that includes vast amounts of traveling? Seeing the world is often smack a the top of many folks’ “bucket lists” or dead center on dream boards around the globe. And as an avid solo female traveler, I seek to motivate fellow females to get out there and explore more, even if it means going solo — if you’re a female over age 30, I am talking directly to you as I type that last bit.
BUT… And there is a big ole but here. Solo travel embracing sustainability! Why? Because how we spend our money in this industry matters as much as the impact we leave as tourists in the communities we “visit” does. How? Try out one (or ALL) of these suggested travel methods for solo travelers for your next destination.
Sustainable travel methods for solo travelers
Sustainable solo travel will be the top trend for travel in 2023 (remember who said it first). And as trendsetters — present company included — here’s your chance to get ahead of the curve. If you’re looking for the truth about sustainable travel, look no further. If you’re wondering what sustainable travel has to do with solo traveling, the short answer is everything.
In many ways, sustainable traveling will be the future of the travel industry. Even luxury travel is rebranding to attract a sustainable travel-based audience. Dubbed “high-end tourism” travelers with responsible consciousness but deep wallets stay at luxury-priced accommodations that are wildly unique in presentation.
The Desolation Hotel is a prime example of this concept. This establishment brings the outdoors indoors via its decor and uses locally sourced goods and services, delivering sustainability in full. Its niche is so tight it’s cleaning up with reservations by outdoor enthusiasts by the dozens.
Travel methods for solo travelers used to be scarce, but come 2023, that’s going to change. As travel continues to make its massive comeback, try planning the next jaunt with one of the sustainable travel methods below.
Slow traveling is as romantic as (solo) traveling can get. Taking the time to introduce yourself to a culture and vice versa is the fundamental point — or it should be. Travel should leave its mark on the soul as much as the heart and mind. Even further, slow traveling positively impacts areas of a destination not regularly touched by tourism. Double down by staying in a locally owned Airbnb (haggle for stays longer than 30 days) and shop for groceries at non-brand name stores.
This travel method may be tricky on the wallet for solo travelers, but I still recommend it. Here’s what you should know about slow traveling, it rocks! Especially if/when the budget and timeline are flexible.
The global pandemic of 2019 helped the world come to almost a complete stop. Many began to embrace a slower pace of life and witnessed the beauty of nature when left untouched by humans. That same year I relocated from Thailand to Andalusia and wasted no time exploring the enchanting region one typical white town at a time. Good thing, too, considering the lockdown that brought movement around the region to a halt for almost six months.
Once the strict rules of the lockdown began to ease, I was back at it. And slow traveling Andalusia has been the most culturally emerging travel experience. As a victim of a nomadic heart, it enthralled me to the point of wanting to stay.
One of my favorite trends for travel in 2023, impact adventure companies continue to sprout in the environmental sector making it one of the leading sustainable travel methods for solo travelers. With a focus on regenerative action and sustaining local tour guides and small businesses, impact adventure tourism is a staple in “developing” places like Africa and the Caribbean.
Traveling with intention is an easy-to-learn skill set with one prerequisite; empathy. After that, it comes down to awareness. When I began researching my impending trip to Sub-Saharan Africa, I knew I would be reaching out to internet-friend-in-my-head and Bag Lady Monthly newsletter spotlight, Sham of Travel 4 Purpose in Kenya. These impact adventure tours are hand-selected by Sham, a Kenyan native with a heart for sustainability. The website also suggests sustainable accommodation stays in seven cities around the country.
There are more and more companies similar to Sham’s that prioritize responsible travelers by providing them with easy access to sustainable travel methods and information. Wrapped in with impact adventures are zero impact or zero waste tours teaching travelers how to exist in nature without polluting it.
Although these ideals for impact tours are nothing new, their popularity is. And I am looking forward to continuing to watch it thrive. Understanding the profundity of our impact is the best baby step any traveler can make toward embracing our interconnectedness.
The best way to get up close and super personal with a culture is through a cultural emersion tour. These tours introduce visitors to cultures by putting them alongside the locals vs gawking at them from the typical tourist perspective. A great destination for memorable cultural emersion tours is hands down the Red Center of Australia.
The increase in participants in the Aboriginal-immersive journeys on the massive island has helped bring several environmental issues plaguing the culture to the forefront. Issues like inadequate water supplies, poor housing structures, and the lasting impact of wildfires on the outback. The same goes for another island nation, Cuba.
Cultural emersion tours in Cuba will change you forever. It’s not an exaggeration when people say that going to Cuba is like going back in time. Discover the wonder of the Santaria faith, wonder about the old neighborhood of Napolean, and take care of falling pieces of abandoned colonial balconies.
Cuban people are some of the most resourceful and amicable people on the planet. The cultural fusions between African, European, and Asian ethnic backgrounds mixed with a tumultuous and tragic history of the land have made Cuba a primo destination for many.
What’s trending for travel in 2023?
In addition to traveling with newly drawn border lines, civil unrest, and Presidential coos, wayfarers can anticipate several disruptions in the travel industry for 2023. Including, but not limited to, new types of visas, fingerprinting at passport control checkpoints, and increased ticket prices across the board.
The financial impacts of the strikes in aviation coupled with the introduction of competing budget airlines have the industry hovering in recoup mode. That means that travelers will pick up the slack and be forced to shell out more cash for seats and unforeseen or increased prices on baggage fees.
Expect new visas on arrival in SE Asia and the introduction of the new Schengen visa for non-EU citizens traveling to/through Europe. Keep your vaccination card up to date and handy (a digital copy of this would be a smart travel practice) as the world isn’t done with deadly influenzas and mutated viruses. Though full border closures — as we saw in 2020 — are unlikely, we never know, do we?
In the meantime, stay healthy and keep a record of vaccine responsibility if it becomes necessary for international travel once more. On that note, stash an extra pack of medical masks in that carry-on bag or favorite travel clutch. Some nations continue to keep face masks compulsory for public transportation. Plus, it’s responsible traveling to wear one if feeling the slightest bit ill or in large groups indoors.
Travel methods for solo travelers trending in 2023
Some trending travel ideas circulating the community as standouts for 2023 are adventure-based. Big cheers should be ringing out from the adventurous solo female traveler crowd in the front row about that. These next two are core memory-worthy experiences that I can’t say I would rush to create, but totes see the appeal for some much braver than I.
Trending in travel for 2023: Extreme stays
Near the top of the list of trending travel methods for solo travelers are extreme stays. What are those, you ask? Seen those trending content videos of folks sleeping in a hammock dangling thousands of feet up in the air? How about those showing a sleeping bag strategically wedged between two adjacent walls of a cliffside? Those are extreme stays.
They are also not for the faint of heart or those that suffer from vertigo or acrophobia. But for those adrenaline junkies out there, these extreme stays were designed with you in mind. Slowly creeping into the mainstream after trending TikToks and Youtube videos, extreme stays are what’s in style for travel in 2023.
Trending in travel for 2023: Experience tours
Have you been wondering how you might survive a Hunger Games types dystopian existence? Or want to test the limits of your body by submitting it to subfreezing temperatures to learn how to build an igloo? If yes is your answer to any of those two examples, then experience tours might be for you.
Less “Naked And Afraid” and more “Wild” these experience tours are often done in small groups making them ideal travel methods for solo travelers. If adventure is the muse of the hour, these tours will certainly not disappoint. By the end of one, the question won’t be how far you pushed your comfort zone, but rather, what even is a comfort zone?
Whatever sustainable travel methods you choose to adopt as a solo (female) traveler, remember to come prepared. Sustainable traveling is only sustainable on the outside if it’s not actively practiced whilst traveling. Get travel-friendly sustainable products made by brands that give a damn at a discount when using the savings/affiliate codes found on the Travel 101 page of my website.
You can thank me later! In the meantime, adventure on… Sustainably!
This was an amazing post! I will be sure to include more sustainable travel methods this year!