Ever considered a solo international adventure but are feeling unsure about travelling alone? Meet our avid solo traveller Joanne from Boston, Massachusetts. The 59-year-old American is about to embark on her sixth solo tour with Trafalgar, so we asked her where she gets the courage to travel solo as a female and what it’s like on the road.
Read on to discover her advice for solo female travellers and why solo travel doesn’t have to be scary.
You’ve been on five solo tours with Trafalgar. Tell us about your first solo trip and where in the world we’ve taken you?
My first solo trip with Trafalgar was Best of Italy. I remember overpacking, not knowing what to expect and wanting to be prepared for everything. It was an incredible trip! My fellow travellers were extremely welcoming and friendly. I loved the large reserved breakfast tables and made a point of joining different people every morning in order to get to know my tour mates. Oh, the places we saw and the laughs we shared. It was the match that lit my fire to see the world.
In addition to Italy, Trafalgar and its sister brands have taken me to Spain and Portugal, France, Peru and Greece. My sixth tour departs at the end of August and I’ll be exploring Switzerland, Austria and the famous Passion Play at Oberammergau.
GET INSPIRED BY: Switzerland and Austria with Oberammergau
Do you always travel solo or sometimes with others? What’s the best thing about travelling solo?
I’ve travelled on most of my tours solo. I did one tour with a person I met on a previous trip. Travelling solo has given me the chance to meet so many wonderful people from all over the world. I still keep in touch with my Australian travel mates.
I also enjoy taking photographs and being solo allows me to spend extra time finding that right shot. Don’t worry, Trafalgar travellers are always happy to take your picture for you – I have not mastered taking a good selfie yet!
What lessons have you learnt about yourself while travelling solo?
What have I learned about myself traveling solo… I guess I would say that I truly enjoy meeting new people, love learning about them and hearing stories about other tours they have taken. Also my sense of adventure increases with every tour I take!
Do you have a favourite destination, country or Trafalgar travel experience? Tell us about a favourite memory from on the road.
Every Trafalgar tour has been incredible, I smile at the memories and love to show off my pictures. Machu Picchu was a bucket list trip since sixth grade – before I even knew what a bucket list was. Visiting Monet’s home at Giverny brought his paintings to life. And visiting the Vatican in Rome was the highlight of my Italy tour.
When I return home and tell people all the places I saw they are amazed. If it wasn’t for Trafalgar’s meticulous itinerary none of that would be possible. Silly to say we skip the lines, but we do! While independent travellers are waiting to enter museums, our group’s reservation allow us priority entrance.
GET INSPIRED BY: Italy Bellissimo
Why do you choose Trafalgar for your solo travel adventures?
Trafalgar saves valuable time allowing more sights to be seen. The group tour aspect also gives you the sense of not being alone. If someone is nervous about solo travels don’t be, the group soon becomes a family.
What is it like to join a tour group as a solo traveller?
Generally you won’t be the only solo traveller on a tour. So I look at it as an opportunity to meet new people who have all picked the same destination as you to travel to. That’s the first thing you have in common! The second is that you’re going to have a wonderful adventure.
Do you have any tips or advice for other women considering solo travel for the first time?
My advice to new solo travellers is to be open to meeting new people. Don’t be afraid to join a group at a table and start the conversation. I introduce myself and say where I’m from. Ask others to take your picture and offer to take theirs. Sign up for the optional excursions, especially the dinners.
Feeling ready to explore the world solo? Tell us where is next on your bucket list in the comments…