When I told my friends and family I was taking my first solo trip, I received mixed reactions. Some people were thrilled for me. Others were skeptical that I could enjoy traveling alone. And some thought I was crazy.
I wasn’t fully prepared for the negative reactions, but I should’ve been. Even though solo travel, especially solo female travel, is one the rise, there are still some negative stigmas associated with solo travel that had my loved ones concerned.
The truth is, not everyone will understand your decision, and that’s okay. You’re not trying to convince your loved ones that they have to travel solo. You’re telling your loved ones that solo travel is the best option for you.
That’s why I’ve compiled this guide about common questions and scenarios you’ll encounter when discussing solo travel with your friends and family. Our loved ones want the best for us, and we want them to be supportive of our decisions.
You want to have these discussions in a positive, non-confrontational, informed way so that you and your loved ones can feel good and be excited about your solo trip.
So Here’s How To Talk To Loved Ones About Traveling Solo!
Be Prepared to Explain ‘Why’ You Want To Travel Solo
One of the first questions you’ll probably be asked is, “Why do you want to travel solo?”
My primary reason for wanting to travel solo was: I wanted to travel, but none of my friends or family wanted to go with me. So, my options were traveling solo, or not traveling at all, and that was an easy choice.
You might want to travel solo for self-discovery or to prove to yourself that you can be self-reliant. Whatever your reasons for wanting to travel solo, make sure that you’re fully aware of your “why.” And then make sure you can articulate it to your friends and family.
Tell Them How You’re Going To Stay In Touch
Even if all of your loved ones are 100% supportive of you traveling solo, they’re all going to want to know how they’ll be able to contact you on your trip. So make sure you’ve already done your research on what type of phone plan or service you’ll be using.
Once your loved ones understand how they’ll keep in touch with you, go ahead and make a communication schedule with them. For example, agree to email every day, text every other day, or call at least once a week.
This will show your friends and family that you’re not going to “drop off the face of the Earth” on your solo trip. And they’ll appreciate you anticipating that they’d want to know this information.
Put Travel Safety Into Perspective
One of the most common misconceptions about solo travel is that it’s not safe. This just isn’t true. Solo travel requires a different mindset than group travel, but traveling by yourself is no safer or more dangerous than going with others.
Then go one step further by reassuring your loved ones that travel really isn’t that much safer or more dangerous than being at home. You could be hit by a bus, or get food poisoning, or be robbed in your home city as easily as you could overseas.
You should also explain that traveling solo doesn’t mean you’re traveling alone. In almost every destination, you’re going to be around other people most of the time, even in your accommodation. I always tell people that I could fall in my house and it could take people longer to find me than if I was traveling.
Already knowing information for your destination, such as the local emergency number and where your country’s embassies are will also give your friends and family peace of mind.
If your loved ones still need convincing, then send them to my website to see an example of a woman traveling solo safely and joyfully! Or you could send them to The Blonde Abroad, Legal Nomads, Wanderlust and Lipstick, Barefoot Theory, Suzie Agelopoulos, or any of the other hundreds of solo female travel influencers out there.
Visually Present Your Destination Research
When you have these solo travel conversations with your loved ones, you should already know where you’re going and have most of your trip “mapped-out.” You’ll want to be able to tell your friends and family what your accommodation will be, how often you’ll be moving cities, if you’re renting a car, etc.
And instead of just telling this information, have a PowerPoint or slideshow prepared. You don’t have to put together an elaborate production, but letting your loved ones see pictures of other travelers enjoying where you’re going can go a long way towards reassuring your friends and family.
Many people have the wrong impressions of some countries. For example, when some of your loved ones think of Costa Rica, they might envision drug cartels and civil unrest instead of the eco-resort, or yoga retreat, or scuba camp where you’re going to stay.
Ask For Trust and Support Not Permission
Make it clear you’re asking your loved ones for their support and trust, not their permission. Your life is your own, and you’re going to travel solo. You don’t want your friends and family to think this is up for debate.
You want your loved ones to realize you’ve made a decisive, well-thought-through decision that they would want to support. Our loved ones want us to be safe and happy. And once they realize you’re going to be both of those things on your solo trip, then they can get excited about your travels.
But you need to be prepared if you can’t convince a friend or family member to get “on-board” with you traveling solo. Even with everything presented in this article, some people might never be able to support solo travel because it’s something they would never do themselves.
Don’t let these people’s fears or preferences affect you. Listen to your loved ones (just like you want them to listen to you), acknowledge that what they’re saying and feeling is valid for them, but that it’s not the case for you.
Then keep preparing for and planning your dream solo trip. I’ve always got your back when it comes to solo travel, so if you need more advice, encouragement, or support, then I’ve got you covered!
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This article about how to talk to loved ones about solo traveling is not a sponsored post, and, as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely my own. Some of the links in this guide on how to talk to loved ones about traveling solo are affiliate links, and, at no cost to you, I may earn a small commission.