Traveling alone is one of those activities that looks rather sad to an outsider but is a wonderful gift for the traveler themselves. It gives you the chance to set your own schedule, you can do exactly what you want, where you want, and for how long.
Choose Your Activities
If you love museums and your partner loves to camp as far from the city as possible, take separate vacations. Schedule them at separate times. Let your partner head off into the wild with great gear and a GPS while you stay home and care for kids and pets, then switch places so you can head to a new city and take a brain bath in your favorite museum.
Vacationing separately can be a great gift that gives you the chance to support your partner, rather than either of you feeling that you’re being a burden on the other. If you’re concerned about safety on your solo trip, book yourself into group activities. For example, a trip to Chicago to visit the Art Institute can include a cruise on the river to study the architecture, or a cruise on the lake to enjoy the lights of the city.
Shed the Schedule
If your daily life is highly regimented with a pretty tight schedule, make sure you shed the schedule while on vacation. If you want to hike along Loyalsock Creek before enjoying a swim at World’s End State Park Beach, then make that your activity for the day. The rest of your time can be filled with the necessities, like food and bathing, but once the hike is done, plan a nap or some time with a book.
You’ll find plenty of natural beauty to enjoy from the many campsites in PA. If you’re not up for a long hike, pack a picnic and find a tree to park under, or use one of the many picnic spots you’ll find in nearly every campground. Soak up the isolation and the quiet.
Ditch the Electronics
If you’re on vacation, you’re on vacation. If you’re still taking emails and calls from work while on vacation, you’re working. Make sure that you get at least a few days to completely disconnect from life back home.
Of course, you want to be notified in an emergency. However, it’s a good idea to be really careful about who gets your phone number. At least limit the number of times you check your phone for contacts from work. For example, if you head to South Carolina to hang out on the beach, make electronics off-limits on the sand. Just you, a beverage, and a book.
Enjoy Some “You” Time
Solo travel doesn’t have to mean isolation, though if that’s what you need, take it. Celebrate simple connections. Go visit a restaurant or a bar that looks fun, safe, and inviting. Sing some karaoke. Try the deep-fried alligator or snake.
It can be really easy to let the worries and stresses of everyday life get in the way of your sense of adventure. Enjoy small bits of freedom to get your brain aligned to being completely on your own. There’s great freedom in thinking, just for a few minutes, “Nobody knows where I am right now. I can do whatever I want!”
Stick to Your Budget
If you’re planning a camping trip, you’re probably driving. Do what you can before you leave to make sure that you don’t end up blowing your budget on the trip and go back to more stress in real life.
Should you find that money is tight for this trip, schedule your days around the dollars you do have. Travel to upstate New York, pitch your tent in Robert H. Treman State Park, and spend your days swimming and hiking the gorges while dining well from your cooler. Plan a solo trip into Ithaca for a meal at the Moosewood Restaurant, or take a winery tour and treat yourself to a single bottle. Cheap travel can be lush with a bit of planning.
You deserve a break. Too many of us are completely buried in the stress and storm that has been 2020. Take a long weekend away, or schedule a two-week hideaway in the woods somewhere. Protect your body and brain from stress with a solo vacation.