Solo journey — curating a trip completely suited to you and nobody else — is the last word idiosyncratic expertise.
For some, the aim is to totally check their limits and develop confidence. Others say the attract of touring alone lies in wholly embracing their wishes and their very own tempo. It will also be about rediscovering pleasure after a very difficult interval in a single’s life.
We spoke to eight readers about their latest solo sojourns. Here’s what they instructed us. (These interviews have been frivolously edited and condensed.)
Reader: Heather Hodges, 52, New Orleans
Where she went: Seville, Spain
Tell us about your journey: I booked the journey two days earlier than flying out to Spain. I spent day by day sightseeing and each night time at a flamenco efficiency. Everything about Seville jogged my memory of New Orleans, and it’s certainly one of three locations I’ve visited on the planet as an African-American Southerner the place I felt fully comfortable — and at dwelling.
How a lot did it value? About $3,000 for every week final December. The largest expense was airfare. There will not be many direct worldwide flights out of New Orleans, so I needed to take a number of connecting flights.
Most shocking value: No actual surprises.
Why did you select this journey? I wished to see flamenco and study extra concerning the lengthy African presence in Iberia and Andalusia. It’s vital to understanding the historical past and tradition of the place I reside and the broader African Diaspora from which I’m descended.
Was this your first solo trip? No. When I first began doing it nearly 20 years in the past, folks nonetheless discovered solo Black ladies vacationers uncommon, particularly on the holidays. First I ventured to Caribbean locations. Then, as I grew to become extra snug touring alone, I went to greater European capitals. And I haven’t stopped.
I all the time take into consideration whether or not I will likely be secure — who else will likely be there? — and concerning the intersection of each ethnicity and gender. That’s a actuality for solo vacationers.
A widow’s Caribbean cruise
Reader: Barbara Boykin, 76, Alexandria, Va.
Where she went: Eight Caribbean islands on a Viking cruise: Puerto Rico, Tortola, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Barbados, Antigua, St. Martin and St. Thomas
Tell us about your journey: My husband died a yr in the past, and I made a decision to take a solo cruise slightly than spend Christmas alone at dwelling. We used to take pleasure in going on cruises collectively. It was nice. It was simply what I wished. The ship was luxurious, and the folks have been very pleasant.
How a lot did it value? About $8,000, together with journey insurance coverage, for touring solo on an 11-day cruise final December.
Most shocking value: I needed to pay a single complement on the cruise. (Single dietary supplements typically double the cost of ordinary cruise charges.)
Why did you select this journey? I believed going on a cruise would even be a great way to journey solo. I actually didn’t need to face Christmas right here with out my husband.
Was this your first solo trip? I had by no means cruised on my own. I used to be frightened I might really feel lonely, however I actually didn’t. I’ve booked one other cruise for May 2024 in Alaska, which I’d attend solo.
Reader: Cort Harlow, 29, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Where he went: Buenos Aires
Tell us about your journey: I booked the journey two weeks upfront — it was fairly final minute. I’m a software program engineer and wished to see how I felt working remotely in a overseas metropolis. I flew nonstop in a single day from New York (I splurged a bit on a premium financial system improve) and stayed at an Airbnb condominium within the Palermo Hollywood neighborhood for seven nights.
How a lot did it value? About $3,200 for every week in January.
Most shocking value: My round-trip flights accounted for greater than half of your complete value of the journey. Everything else was extraordinarily inexpensive.
Why did you select this journey? It had been a very long time since I spent an prolonged period of time alone. I wished to push myself out of my consolation zone, to flex my autonomy and self motivation. I additionally wished to get out of chilly and grey New York City, and had been studying about city growth in South American cities.
Was this your first solo trip? I’m a 29-year-old homosexual man, and this was my first solo journey. I cherished it. I walked away feeling a lot extra succesful — and empowered. I’m very eager to attempt it once more.
Reader: Alison Heebsh, 49, St. Paul, Minn.
Where she went: El Paso, Texas, and San Lorenzo, N.M.
Tell us about your journey: I volunteered with a corporation that gives hospitality to asylum seekers within the United States. I went a few days early to see the New Mexico desert, visiting the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument and driving down by the Chihuahuan Desert.
How a lot did it value? Between $800 and $900 for about two and a half weeks final November. Lodging for a lot of the journey was supplied by the group I volunteered with. I rented a automobile to discover New Mexico and stayed at a few Airbnbs there.
Most shocking value: The $500 flight to El Paso was larger than I anticipated.
Why did you select this journey? It was an opportunity to step out of my every day life, serve alongside fascinating and beneficiant folks and spend time attending to know migrants on the ultimate phases of inauspicious journeys. I additionally cherished the possibility to discover new locations solo. The sunny skies of the New Mexico desert and mountains didn’t disappoint!
Was this your first solo trip? No, I’ve achieved a complete lot of solo backpacking journeys, together with alongside the Colorado Trail in 2018.
Reader: Mary Wiley, 60, Minneapolis
Where she went: Monaco, Switzerland, France and Italy
Tell us about your journey: I plan one massive abroad journey every year. I search for low cost fares and noticed some good costs in France, so the planning began there. I had by no means been to the Côte d’Azur, and I like Formula 1 and wished to see racing websites. I noticed the tracks in Monaco and Monza, in Italy.
How a lot did it value? About $7,000 for 11 days final November. The journey was greater than I might usually spend. It was a birthday journey, so I actually didn’t maintain again when it got here to meals.
Most shocking value: The worth of meals in Monaco and Milan was larger than I anticipated.
Why did you select this journey? I celebrated my 60th birthday there.
Was this your first solo trip? No. I wish to take myself on worldwide journeys and have become snug with being alone due to enterprise journey. I like with the ability to set my very own agenda, to really feel like I match into the town. And I actually have met some fascinating folks.
Fulfilling a Mexico dream on a funds
Reader: Sandy Snowe, 73, Merritt Island, Fla.
Where she went: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Tell us about your journey: In February I went to beautiful San Miguel Allende, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Mexico’s northern highlands. It was considerably impromptu; I booked my tickets in January. I significantly loved the strolling and meals excursions, and visiting the native thermal springs.
How a lot did it value? Just a little over $800 for six nights final February. I used United Airlines factors to fly.
What was a shocking expense to you? No surprises. Eating largely within the native market stored meals bills low.
Why did you select this journey? I’d heard of San Miguel de Allende from a buddy’s mom and had all the time wished to go to. I’m glad I lastly did. It’s an amazingly lovely and rugged colonial metropolis.
Was this your first solo trip? No. I lived in Latin America in my 20s and backpacked many occasions. I desire touring solo! You know you’re nicely accompanied while you go by your self. You don’t should make any compromises.
Finding solace within the Faroe Islands
Reader: Meg Christensen, 37, Portland, Ore.
Where she went: Edinburgh and the Isle of Skye, in Scotland, and the Faroe Islands
Tell us about your journey: I bought to the Faroe Islands by touring by Edinburgh, and on the finish of my journey I took a three-day tour as much as the Isle of Skye. Because there are so few eating places (and motels) on the Faroe Islands, I stayed at Airbnbs with kitchens so I might prepare dinner for myself. I rented a automobile to island hop.
Some highlights: kayaking on an enormous lake and taking in a wonderful waterfall within the sunshine — probably the most lovely sights I’ve ever seen.
How a lot did it value? About $3,500 for 2 weeks final October.
Most shocking value: I made a decision spontaneously to journey to the Isle of Skye ($520), an add-on that I booked whereas I used to be in Edinburgh.
Why did you select this journey? I wished to be exterior surrounded by pure magnificence, and I wished to take pleasure in my very own firm. I selected the Faroe Islands as a result of I like Scandinavia, they usually appeared spooky and delightful. It additionally appeared secure for solo feminine vacationers.
Was this your first solo trip? No, but it surely had been a decade for the reason that final one. It’s vital to me to have a very good friendship with myself, and being alone on some tiny islands within the North Atlantic felt actually highly effective in that regard. I had a good time. I took measures to remain secure — actually grippy mountaineering boots, venturing out solely within the daytime, speaking typically with my husband.
Reader: Gordon McHardy, 65, Lafayette, La.
Where he went: Paris
Tell us about your journey: I went to Paris for 25 days. It was my fifth go to to the town however the longest I’ve ever been there. I stayed in a small resort close to the Cluny Museum and was capable of stroll to a majority of the nice points of interest and discover the very best neighborhoods. I visited many museums, some a number of occasions over the course of the journey. I rediscovered my favourite elements of Paris and explored new areas, too.
How a lot did it value? About $7,300 for practically a month final November.
Most shocking value: I discovered every day gymnasium passes, at $30, to be pretty costly. The museums have been very nicely priced.
Why did you select this journey? It had been about 15 years since my final go to to the town, and I’d lengthy dreamed of returning to immerse myself within the Parisian life-style.
Was this your first solo trip? My favourite solution to journey is solo. It opens doorways that usually you wouldn’t all the time get requested to undergo. It retains me grounded in what I consider: that all of us have to maintain one another and be open to new folks and experiences.
Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. And join our weekly Travel Dispatch e-newsletter to obtain knowledgeable suggestions on touring smarter and inspiration to your subsequent trip. Dreaming up a future getaway or simply armchair touring? Check out our 52 Places to Go in 2023.