Traveling Solo—Good Idea?

Most of the time when I travel, I’m going solo. Of course I’ve traveled a lot with my wife and I took my daughter on a cross country train trip when she was about 11. But over the last 20 years, with only a few exceptions, I’ve traveled on my own, often being away for as long as 30 days. (Remember, I live in Hawaii, so it takes me longer to get to and from wherever I’m going.)

The fact is, traveling solo is quite a different experience. For one thing, there is a somewhat greater chance for something to go wrong. And that’s understandable because there’s no traveling companion to notice that you left your laptop on the conveyor belt at airport security.

And so, Rule Number One is slow down!  Don’t cut things so close that you’re forced to rush. Allow a few extra minutes whenever your itinerary has you moving on. When you cut things close, mistakes happen.

Rule Number Two: Pack light. Plenty of collared knit tops and two or three T-shirts. Jeans: pack one, wear one. Socks and wear one pair all-purpose shoes. (Ladies can pack a second pair.)

Take also a small shoulder bag or back pack in which you keep a copy of your itinerary, your passport, your tickets, and all your prescriptions and medications. (Do not pack medications in your suitcase, especially if you might check it.) If you don’t have a item of clothing you absolutely need,  buy it there.

The fact is, in several ways I think solo travel is more interesting and even—dare I say it?—more fun. For one thing, if you’re at all gregarious, you will meet many more people along the way than you would if you were traveling with a companion. And what could be more interesting than that?