"You're forced to step up": The 6 things you need to know about travelling alone.

Travel is well and truly back, and for me there is nothing more exciting than holding a boarding pass and walking down the aisle of a plane. 

Solo travelling gives you total control of where you go, how you spend your time (and money!) and the type of holiday you'll have. I've just come back from my third solo trip, and while it might seem daunting, it's one of my favourite ways to see the world.

Here's what I've learnt while travelling solo in my 20s.

1. It's not all backpacks and hostels.

If travelling solo makes you think of carrying a massive backpack and sleeping in a 20 bed dorm, then same... Until I actually started planning my own trips. 

There are so many different ways to travel on your own and there’s no right or wrong. Take the time to research, speak to friends, join Facebook groups and figure out what style suits you.

For me, it’s group tours. They’re usually full of other solo travellers, and they’re planned to maximise your time in your chosen destination - which is perfect when you need to make the most of your hard earned annual leave.

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Video via Mamamia.

My most recent trip was in Croatia with Koda Sail. Their tours are designed for young professionals, and the second I discovered them I was sold. 

I’m a gal who loves a bit of luxury, so the premium A+ boats, private ensuites and air con in every bedroom were an absolute must for me during the European summer. 

Every day was perfectly planned (love not having to plan or think about anything) with beautiful swim stops, delicious food, and there was always the chance to party the night away. 

It was exactly what I wanted out of my holiday, and I know for me, this is exactly the kind of trip I’ll book again (hello, Maldives island hopping tour).

Our mode of transport in Croatia. Image: Jordan Scott. 

2. You will find your people.


Like-minded people gravitate towards each other. I’ve made some amazing friends after arriving in a new city or country alone, just by going on free walking tours, opting to have a roommate on a group tour, or simply saying yes if someone asks to sit next to me at dinner.

When I was in New York solo in 2019, I met a Swiss girl named Kristina on a walking tour through Brooklyn. We spent a super fun couple of days exploring the city together before we went our separate ways. 

Fast-forward to Croatia three years later, and unbelievably I discovered my Koda Sail roommate and Kristina had gone to uni together. Somehow we had a mutual connection despite being from opposite sides of the world.

Whether for a reason (someone to visit a museum with), a season (besties for the time you’re away) or a lifetime, I can guarantee you’ll make new friends, and they’re the people who will make your trip so much more exciting and memorable.

With travel buddies in New York. Image: Supplied. 

 3. Just say yes.


Would I step off a ledge 150 metres above the ground to zipline across a mountain range at home? Absolutely not. Did I do it in Croatia? Without a second thought. 

Say yes to every opportunity, especially the ones that take you right out of your comfort zone. You’ll have a better experience for it, and usually those are the moments you look back on and think, ‘I cannot believe I actually did that!’.

Ziplining in Croatia. Image: Jordan Scott. 

4. Literally no one cares if you’re eating alone.


This was one of my biggest fears before I travelled solo. I thought it would be so awkward and embarrassing. I quickly realised that if you’re at a bar, cafe, or restaurant, everyone is way too concerned about what they’re doing to even think twice about the person eating alone. 

If you’re a bit nervous, opt to sit at the bar instead of a table and you can chat to the staff. Or instead of asking for the WiFi password and spending your time scrolling, bring a travel journal and use this time to reflect on your trip and stay in the moment.

5. You’re braver than you think.

It’s scary arriving in a new place alone. It’s scary when things go wrong and you have no one to freak out with. After three flight cancellations and a huge storm, I was once stuck in LaGuardia airport at midnight alone. The only nearby hotel left to book had… questionable reviews, but it’s moments like this when you have only yourself to rely on that you’re forced to step up. 

With no idea when I’d be able to fly out to Canada, and total panic that I’d miss my tour starting in two days, I had no choice but to work it out.


It’s scary stepping onto a boat, or a bus, or a room filled with faces you’ve never seen and knowing that if you want to make a friend, you need to smile and say hi. But it’s those moments that might seem terrifying that teach you how brave you really are. 

If you’ve made it to the point of getting on the plane or arriving in a new place solo, you’ve already proven to yourself that you actually can do it - even when things go wrong.

6. Age really is just a number.

With only a few weeks until the big 3-0, my recent trip to Croatia was dubbed ‘the farewell tour to my twenties’. 

I thought it would be the last time I could party all night in a European nightclub, spend my money on pricey cocktails and silly souvenirs, go on a group tour and make friends from all over the world. I was totally wrong.

Throughout my solo travels I’ve met people of all ages and life stages, and the common thread between them all is the thrill of exploring new places and connecting with new people. 

Travelling solo in my 20s has been exciting, terrifying, and life-changing all at once.

I’m so glad that doesn’t have to end as I start a new decade.

Feature Image: Supplied

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