marco island marriott hammock

Thinking of Traveling Solo? Start in Florida

Have you ever wanted to travel somewhere, but none of your friends or family had the time off work to go with you? Did you just delay your trip or not go at all, because you were afraid to travel alone? I have spent the past few years traveling the world mostly solo, visiting Australia, South Africa, Croatia, New York, Florida and more. While traveling I was constantly writing about my solo travel experiences on my blog www.travelyourself.ca in hopes to encourage others that they can do it too. Hopefully this post and my tips will encourage you to get out there and see the world for yourself! Don’t be afraid to travel solo and one of the best places to start is the sunshine state of Florida.

Research

Florida is a great place for your first solo adventure as it is a sun destination with tons of beaches, nightlife and things to do. It is easy to navigate, and the landscape varies from the Ever Glades, to islands and canals of the Marco Island area and more. A great tip for traveling solo to Florida or anywhere is to do your research before your trip to find activities a solo traveler would enjoy.

Marco Island Marriott Beach or PoolIf you are looking to get away and want some time for yourself you might want to pamper yourself with a spa weekend and just lay around by the pool or on the beach. I loved my time in Florida relaxing in a hammock by the beach, and being pampered at the spa with fruity cocktail in hand. Or if you are a social butterfly and want to mingle and meet new people plan some social activities like taking a cooking class in Orlando with Truffles and Trifles or take a salsa dance class in Miami.

Stay at a hotel with a pick-up service

If you don’t like the idea of renting a car by yourself for the first time when traveling solo, a great tip is to stay at a hotel that has a shuttle pick up at the airport, like the Orlando Airport Marriott.  From there you can explore the exciting attractions Orlando is known for. Visit Disney or Universal Studios solo and ride the roller coasters as much as you want (solo thrill seekers often get on rides faster), go geek out at the Kennedy Space Centre, and so much more. Staying at hotels with shuttles also save you from trying to navigate public transit in a city you have never been to.

Be smart and make good decisions

One of the best tips I can give you when traveling solo is to trust your gut. Try to avoid situations and people that make you feel uncomfortable. Also make good choices, like avoid going out by yourself at night and having a few too many drinks. Instead, stay near your hotel or even enjoy your own hotel bar. You might even learn about a new cocktail you have never heard of like I did when visiting Florida last year. I asked the bartender at The Vinoy in St. Pete for his favorite drink and he brought me the Arnie Palmer, a slushy drink made of iced tea, lemonade and vodka. Delicious.

Be outgoing and you will never be lonely

I find I am never really alone when I travel, because I always meet other travelers along the way. I take group tours, I mingle at the pool, I try to be outgoing and choose a hotel that appears to be friendly and outgoing as well with activities for guests. Check out the hotel’s social media channels and see if their guests are interactive and read their reviews. A hotel like the Hollywood Beach Marriott would be a great example of a great hotel to meet fun like-minded travelers. They are located at the beach and on the Hollywood Beach boardwalk, so there are always lots of people around and things to see and do nearby, as well as some great people watching.

Traveling solo can be fun, exciting and quite the learning experience as long as you are smart and safe about the way you travel. I hope these small tips will encourage you to get out there and try it for yourself.

Leave a comment below with your best suggestions for traveling solo!

About this Blogger

Cailin O'Neil  Cailin O'Neil has been the host of the travel web series "Travel Yourself" since early 2009 and currently travels the world hosting, filming, editing and producing the whole series herself on www.TravelYourself.ca. When not on camera she is also a food, travel and video blogger, a sommelier in training and works as a freelancer in the Film and TV Industry in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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