If traveling with family, friends, or a significant other is the norm for you, the idea of booking a trip alone can be intimidating and even a bit scary. But taking this time to yourself, whether it be for business or pleasure, also has the potential to be an enlightening experience, ideal for garnering introspection and exploration, gaining independence, and escaping the stress of everyday life.
Keep in mind these five tips from Michael Tompkins, CEO of Miraval Resort & Spa, when traveling solo.
Select a location with plenty of activities. “Regardless of whether the activities are strenuous, fitness-related, or all about pampering, select a place that will have plenty for you to see or do,” Tompkins says. “It’s easy enough to find quiet spaces and harder to create adventures. When traveling alone, it’s good to have the option to do both so you never feel lonely.”
Create a schedule. Nothing too formal or strict, but when you have an idea of what to expect each day you’re less likely to encounter large blocks of time with no idea what to do, he shares.
Try something new each day. “Whether it be a new activity, class, exercise or food, trying new things keeps us entertained and engaged,” continues Tompkins. “Also, when we travel with friends we tend to fall back on things we know. Traveling is about exploring the unknown, and when you’re alone you need not take anyone else’s preferences or desires into account but your own.”
Tackle that far-too-long must-read list. “Reading is something people barely find time to do, yet it relaxes us, stimulates creativity, and is good for the mind. Time goes by in a flash when you’re lost in a good book,” Tompkins says. “Take suggestions from your friends or grab several best-sellers you’ve been meaning to check out. If you are looking for a recommendation, take a look at Miraval’s Book Club for a selection of preferred reading material from our specialists.”
Disconnect. Turn off your cell phone and refrain from checking your email every hour. “Truly enjoy being in-vacation without the fear of missing something at home or work,” he adds. “The world will go on, and you’ll regret not enjoying every moment of your escape from daily life when you return if you spend too much time fretting about an upcoming project.”