Exploring the world has always been a deep-rooted quest for mankind. We are always looking outside of ourselves hoping to learn more, experience more, and perhaps know more. In other words, traveling is a fun escape from our busy and stressful lives. And as a teacher, I cherish my summers for one reason, and one reason only: TO TRAVEL!
There are times when a group of friends and I were readily available to travel together. However, more times than often, due to conflicts, our traveling windows didn’t match. So I was left with a deep hunger to travel with no one to travel with. I dabbled around the idea of joining traveling groups, solo traveling groups, and even solo cruises. Although the trips and the itineraries were attractive, I could not wrap my head around the prices. In no way am I discouraging from taking group trips. All I’m saying is that you have the option to be a great solo traveler, and love it!
When I announced my potential summer trip, friends and co-workers would ask where and with whom. I knew Spain was the place to visit: my parents always wanted to go, a priest told me I would not regret it, and there is no language barrier since I speak Spanish. When I stated that I was going solo, you would think I announced that I am going to Mars. The perplexed looks and genuine words of worry were clearly made against traveling alone:
The best advice I received was from my father and closest friend: say YES to new adventures! And so I did! In July of 2019, I ventured to Spain, and had a glorious and memorable trip:
All in all, it was one of my favorite trips. If you are worried that you cannot travel alone, I’m here to dispel the notion that solo traveling is for the faint of heart. A fellow teacher at my school travels solo yearly. Even when I pitched the idea of going on a joint trip, she politely declined because she genuinely enjoys solo traveling. And like her, I’m already planning the next solo trip.
Below are some valuable tips that helped when taking the plunge to travel solo. It does take quite a bit of planning on your end, but that is the exciting part. You are basically creating a trip catered towards your levels of adventures, budget, risks, and interests. Make sure to visit
Packing with Ease & a Glass of Wine for ways to pack, whether it’s a carry-on bag, check-in bag, or a backpack. The prelude to an amazing trip does not have to be stressful.
Not only can you book a place to stay in Spain for less than $50 a night, you can also book fun Airbnb Experiences with other people. On the app, you can see who’s attending, exchange messages with the host, and keep all your bookings organized. I did a tapas crawl every night, went on hiking trips, attended a cooking class, went sailing, and did a photo crawl. See, you can have fun solo traveling while meeting new people! Read the reviews before booking.
Instead of carrying a purse, worrying if someone would pit pocket me in a crowded area, an anti-theft purse backpack was the best choice to keep me worried-free. The zipper is against your back, so like in the title, it is pretty impenetrable from thieves. Also, it’s another reason to have your hands free while roaming the street and a great place to keep your souvenirs and camera!
Since it was more difficult to find an Airbnb in the heart of Barcelona, Booking.com was helpful in finding a competitively priced hotel in the Gothic area. In fact, it found the best hotel I’ve ever stayed in Spain (breakfast included & they held my bags until the room was ready!) Read the reviews prior to booking any hotel and/or hostel.
Get Your Guide
Get Your Guide is a great place to book tours and skip the lines, especially if you plan to visit La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. That line was nearly a block long, and I simply walked in with my reservation. Print the reservations just in case of spotty cellular signals. Tripit will automatically add it to your itinerary (have I mentioned how much I love Tripit!)
I rather not carry paper maps, so Google Map is an extension of my hand while traveling! Highly recommended!
For those needing a bit of translation help, the Google Translator app will get you by!
Omio: Train & Busses
Train and busses can be reserved on the Omio app. The app was helpful in finding the best routes around Andalucia. Tripit will also add the reservation to your itinerary.
This is the Uber app of Spain. I was even able to schedule 3 am pick-ups in order to catch an early flight. Completely safe, and all the drivers were super friendly.
I love TripAdvisor mainly for the reviews. Before booking a hotel or getting ideas of how to fill my itinerary, this was super helpful.
This app completely kept all of my bookings, flights, tours, and Airbnb reservations in one, well-organized place. The app even has a map to help you navigate to the next item on your itinerary. This is your ultimate itinerary builder. Every time you book, it will gather the info from your inbox and add it to the itinerary. No more need to walk around with a travel book! (Sorry Rick Steves!)
Pretty sure you are aware of Whatsapp, and how great it is to message and video call people without spending a leg and an arm. I video called my family in Colombia as well as my father in the States, and it was perfect.
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