Solo Travel: 5 ways to overcome loneliness

Solo travel has countless benefits, hell, we could write an endless post on why solo travel is the best kind of travel. BUT, one of the major downsides are those times you find yourself alone, needing someone to chat to, or just need someone to grab a beer with and watch the sunset. Let’s not beat around the bush – solo travel can be lonely. So rather than ignore it we’ve come up with some ideas to tackle it. Also, remember, loneliness is not a weakness, it’s your brain’s way of telling you to keep moving on and meeting people (well, that’s our scientific explanation anyway)!
solo travel overcoming loneliness

1. Do something that makes you SMILE

What’s your weakness? Sitting with a coffee and people watching for hours? Watching a game of thrones marathon? Grabbing your camera and hitting the streets? Whatever you love, do it, just do it. Be selfish, selfless, greedy, un-sociable, over-sociable. You deserve to do what makes YOU happy. We all know what it is that never fails to make us happy – go and do that. Simple as that. It also helps if you go and do something that you just couldn’t do at home
solo travel happiness freedom experience

2. Give yourself some luxury

Sometimes we just need a slice of luxury to help us feel more comfortable. Especially if you are travelling in a country less developed than your own – we’ve all been there when all we have wanted was a hot shower and a comfy bed – that alone can actually make you feel down. So splash out for a night or two, maybe upgrade to a private room in your hostel or check out some last minute hotel deals or Air B n B. Give yourself some R&R and then pick up where you left off – ready to explore the world.
solo travel indulge luxury kayak

3. Attend events and get to know other solo travellers

Now, this may be one of the easiest ways to cure loneliness! Meet-up groups and local events are full of people doing exactly the same thing as you. You can almost guarantee that you will find a like minded fun person there to hang out with. Utilize our “Meet Other Workawayers” feature. Sign up to and search for local events happening near you. Another great option is to take a free walking tour. Most cities in the world offer them and are full of young adventurous travellers wanting to learn about their current stomping ground. Join them, learn and then go for a coffee after. Sounds like a good day plan to us!
meet up travellers network community

4. Distract yourself

Read! “The more you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Read as many books as you can – you may never have this much free time again. You may have seen our post on ‘The best travel books to fuel your wanderlust’ so how about you start making your way through those?
travel book wanderlust escape

5. Go slow and welcome change

Solo traveller Kathy tells us:
“I do slow travel, so I’ll go to the same cafe each morning for coffee and another cafe for a glass of wine each evening. By the second day the owner and the regulars usually engage me in conversation. Also, if I hear someone speaks English, I’ll ask where they are from. If they give a short reply, I leave it at that. More often than not, they respond with enthusiasm, and we talk about each other’s countries and our travels. Many times I have clicked with people and we end up going out to dinner a couple times or wander the city together. Now that my Italian is better, I have been able to engage better with locals, which is my favourite thing. I used to be shy, but through solo travel I have morphed into a gregarious person!”
embrace beauty slow solo journey

We think this is a great way to travel – slowly and passionately. Take your time with this experience, it is not going to last forever. Savour every moment, even the lonely ones – let them help you grow. Embrace the change!

13 replies
  1. Jackie Turner
    Jackie Turner says:

    I just returned from London last night; had an amazing 5 days! I have traveled solo for over 20 years. Every now aND again a hint of loneliness may try to creep up but I remember why I travel solo – freedom, no compromising, my terms!

  2. Katelyn Bellerose
    Katelyn Bellerose says:

    #1 stay in a hostel and you’ll probably never be lonely, because there’s a ton of other solo travellers looking to make friends!! I’ve literally never been lonely travelling alone. In fact, it’s hard sometimes to get that alone time that I wanted! Also if you’re doing a workaway I’m sure you’ll make tons of local friends :).

  3. Kristina Mi
    Kristina Mi says:

    No blues! Either go to a hostel or join a pub crawl or couchsurf 🙂
    I am rarely alone when i travel alone…someone always wants to drink! Sometimes i crave to be alone haha

  4. Barbara Appleby
    Barbara Appleby says:

    Just because you are “alone” doesn’t mean you’re lonely. Having time by yourself is as important as socializing – maybe more so. Give yourself time each day to process what is happening around and to you.

  5. Fbento
    Fbento says:

    I actually been struggling with the oposite, sometimes I just want to be with myself but people keep pulling me to some party or wtv :p. Beeing alone it is also a good experience, you have the chance to tink about what you did and want to do 🙂

  6. Adina
    Adina says:

    You don’t cure loneliness by having more fun. That’s just a distraction. Loneliness is brought on by a disconnection from Self by identifying with surroundings. In that moment, your Self protests. It’s not “telling you to meet more people” but to stop identifying with the outside world, to know that you are ok by yourself. I get the loneliest when I travel with other people, NOT when I travel solo. Not because it’s all fun and “my terms” (would be lame if being solo were the only way to travel on one’s terms… after all I believe in negotiations) but because with other people there’s not much attention paid to the inner self. There’s always laughter, talking, requests and social masks, no matter how chummy you are with each other. And THAT is the loneliest feeling.


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