Home Travel Pack Light: Why Every Professional Woman Should Consider Taking a Solo Vacation
Pack Light: Why Every Professional Woman Should Consider Taking a Solo Vacation

Pack Light: Why Every Professional Woman Should Consider Taking a Solo Vacation

I love going on vacay… BY MYSELF.

Yep. Alone.

I’d like to say that I became a solo traveler because I was on my Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love author) flow in search of some next level of existence and understanding; but in reality my first international trip alone happened because none of my friends were available to go with me. I’d officially reached the point of being tired of not doing things because other folks couldn’t fit me and my wanderlust into their Google/Outlook calendars and decided to pack my DVF bags (Marshall’s find) and headed to Barbados for the 2013 Food, Wine, & Rum Festival anyway.

Scary? No. I figured since I traveled regularly by myself for work, going on vacation alone had to be just as easy.

Game changing? HECK YES! I had the most amazing time doing every single thing that I wanted to do during the 6 days and 5 nights that I spent in Barbados. Being alone meant that I had to be creative about the activities that I filled my days with. After waking up each morning to eat breakfast and pray in the ocean, I found some new way to spend my time; from attending festival events (one of which was a catamaran situation with an open bar), to going on a date which included a personal tour of the island with Beres Hammond as the soundtrack. And while I left the man in Barbados, I came back with a deeper sense of self and a hunger for my next solo trip. In 2014 I went to Mexico and Panama, and this year I’m scheduled to visit South Africa and another TBD location SOLO.

Here are my tips for traveling alone:

  1. Use a Travel Agent/Travel Specialist: Having this support is super helpful in planning the logistics of your trip and keeping an eye on prices. For 2 out of 3 of my trips, my go to agent www.sodynamite.com got me price adjustments on my packages after we booked.
  2. Buy Travel Insurance: Travel insurance protects you to and through your trip.
  3. Follow Travel Focused Accounts on Instagram: Use them for inspiration on where you should go and what you should do while you’re there.
  4. Stay at All-Inclusive Resorts: It takes a lot of the pressure off of finding food and cocktails during your trip.
Suezette Yasmin Robotham Suezette’s professional background includes work in and with large urban school districts’ administrative offices (Atlanta Public Schools and Metro Nashville Public Schools) and with education reform organizations Teach For America, The New Teacher Project, and The Achievement Network. With nearly a decade of leadership experience, Suezette’s key strengths include talent acquisition, leadership development, strategic planning, and relationship building. An alumnus of the University of Florida and the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, Suezette currently lives, works, and plays in the Bay Area. Find her @gohigherandhire on all social channels and at gohigherandhire.com.

Comment(25)

    1. I promise I have this same issue being the only single(unmarried) one with no children out of my group of friends it has become very frustrating to get folks on board. I do have a guy that I’m seeing but sometimes you want to hang with your girls. Even my single friends are always full of it. They make up every excuse in the Guiness Book of World records of why they can’t go. Finances, Kids, School, work. I try to be understanding because I too once had a complex schedule, grad school etc..but if were planning months in advanced there is really no excuse other than you just don’t want to go. I can accept that and now I’m confident I can indeed travel alone. Great article!

  1. I have traveled solo for years. My first trip was earned as a Sales incentive trip to Monte Carlo, there was a guy I was dating but I didn’t think he was worthy of taking to Europe, (sidenote..we are no longer dating :-)) Anyway, I had a fabulous time with my co workers in Monte Carlo, but I extended my trip and went to Paris and London alone. I have to say it was one of the bravest things I have every done, and I look forward to traveling on my own now. I have since gone to several islands in the Caribbeans on my own, and look forward to going to Central and South America, Middle East, Africa, etc all on my own. It changes how you think about yourself, if you can have a good time in a foreign, non-English speaking country alone you will truly feel a strong sense of independence.

  2. Help! I am also traveling to SA solo in Feb 2016. I would love to know the details of your trip. Do you have an email?

    Ky

    1. Ky, I am also going to SA on vacation Dec. 24 – Jan 7, 2016. I have a great travel agent that hooked up the best package and it’s a mice mix of luxury in the wine vineyards of Stellenbosch, a 5-star spa experience at Bushman’s Kloof, some beach activity in Durban and of course a few days in Jo’burg where there are loads of city shops. I also plan to see Soweto and visit Robbin’s Island for a bit of history. I have traveled SOLO through many countries and continents but also purchase a Lonely Planet or Fodor’s guide in advance.

      If you are interested in a great travel agent that knows the ends and out of South Africa, I’d recommend Mary Ellen Chown at Lion World Travel.

  3. I’m so excited to read this post. This has provided me with inspiration to go after what I love. I love traveling, and I’m tired of not being able to see the world with people because I don’t fit into their Google calendar either. I love yoga and want to do a yoga retreat that I plan on doing next year by myself. Yup sure am. Lol, I wanted to know what Instagram pages do you recommend following for inspiration with traveling?

  4. Went to Paris and the South of France for 9 days, SOLO! If was one of the best decision I’ve made. I will promote that self experience to anyone!

  5. I too am all about that solo vacation life!! I’ve gone to New Orleans and St. Maarten by myself. I’m looking forward to my next solo adventure!!

  6. I have been doing this for sometime; friends unable to take long blocks of time off and no interest in Europe or cruising. I have been through a host of international destinations alone. First of all. you do not need a travel agent. There are some great online sites for hotels, cruises, transportation and dining; not to mention travel magazines. It may take sometime to go through initially but once you’ve done it a few times you know which are the best for you. I do not use Instagram but read and subscribe to travel magazines. They are a great source of off the beaten track places; where to stay, where to eat and sights to see. I find what appeals to me and I am off. At all-inclusive places; I guess are good for the islands, you miss the local life, cuisine and culture. Really, finding food and cocktails is pressure?! Arm yourself with a few articles or guidebooks, ask the locals and enjoy.

  7. I would say about 90-95% of my trips are solo and I love them 😀 I have never used a travel agent or stayed at an all-inclusive resort however, but I have had a wonderful time planning out what I want to do and figuring out what restaurants and places I want to eat at during my trips. One tip I want to add, research local writers for places you are going as I find locals have the best tips. 😀

  8. A friend shared this with me just as I was wrapping up my blog post on the same topic. I love that you said you travel for work, so a vacation should be just as simple. I don’t travel for work but love to travel so I knew whether I do it with friends or alone, it shouldn’t be much of a difference. Keep inspiring others to live outside the box!!

  9. As I just arrived at JFK to fly out to Spain, solo, and for my birthday weekend; I could do nothing but smile! I really wanted to wave my hand in the air and yell, “Testify!” I’m traveling to Madrid just got the weekend to experience good food!

    1. Thank you ladies for sharing your stories. I too took the BIG plunge and took a trip solo. My trip turned into s four city tour in Europe before moving back to the U.S. I too ran into friends not being able to take off of just simply back out. I decided to go to Barcelona, London, Budapest & Rome. One of the best decisions I ever made. Due to my career, I haven’t had the opportunity to do it again but I will plan something big before leaving Cali. Wish me luck and please continue to enjoy all that life has to offer us.

  10. I value my solo travel time as it allows me to fully decompress and recharge. I’m glad to know that there are many other women who feel the same way.

  11. Great post. I made my first international trip last month to Aruba but I went with someone else who has traveled alone internationally. I’m most concerned about safety and feeling like the things I want to do off of the resort I should be doing with someone else. My birthday is in December and I definitely want to plan a trip

  12. I’ve gone to both Rome, Italy and the Dominican Republic solo. D.R. was all inclusive, Rome was not. You can always hop in a cab and get a local meal and/or shop. Thoroughly enjoyed both. As you mentioned, your itinerary is all yours. I highly recommend it.

  13. I enjoy traveling as well. I’ve also found it difficult over the years to find friends that can go along with me because of scheduling. However, it has never stopped me from traveling internationally. I recently went out on a leap of faith because I felt as though I needed a change in my life. I decided to move from from the U.S. to the Middle East in 2014 all by myself. Most people thought I was losing my mind when I decided to do this. I talked to my parents about the decision in which I had made; they to thought that I should do what I felt would make me happy. That’s all I needed to hear. I really didn’t care what anyone else thought. It turned out to be the best decision I could’ve ever made. I am a divorced 38 year old female that realized I needed this change to grow. This has been a breath of fresh air for me. I now know that I can conqueror anything. I often look at life now by saying…. Failure is not an option. I will be returning back to the U.S. in 2016 to enroll in a doctoral program. Being here has enabled me to grow and aim higher.

  14. I love this article. I took my first overseas trip (Thailand and Singapore) 3 years ago solo. It was the best experience ever. cant wait to do more dolor traveling!

  15. This just came right on time. Literally just booked my train tickets as I am spending 10days in Italy on my first solo vacation in July. I super excited and nervous at the same time. Taking this time to heal from a broken marriage and finding self again!

  16. As a single lady, I always travel solo and I love it! There’s nothing to it, but to do it. Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you have to put off living your life. Choose to live your life fearlessly and don’t sit around waiting for the right time or the right people to show to join you. My travels are very relaxing, engaging & uplifting. I always meet cool people and others’ who tend to “watch” out for me. Either out of sympathy because I am alone. Or because they think I’m the bomb for being able to committ to this act of bravery and want to assist me in my endeavors. In my opinion, every woman should challenge herself by stepping outside of her comfort zone and trying it. Guaranteed it will grow on you!! Pack those bags, chickas!!

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