You may hear warnings from others that older women shouldn’t travel by themselves. Traveling alone overseas and even domestic trips is often depicted as a scary experience that women over 50 should avoid. But, while traveling with family or friends is fun, solo traveling also has a unique appeal. Seasoned travelers will agree that every woman should travel solo at least once.
If traveling solo appeals to you, create a bucket list of places you’ve always wanted to visit. Then research and plan your trip carefully to create your ideal experience. Some activities that solo female travelers often enjoy are food tours, festivals, spa treatments, and curated group tours.
The tips below will give you ideas for fun and adventurous solo travel. If you plan carefully a solo trip may help you grow as a person, meet new people, and acquire life skills—even if you thought you’ve done it all.
19 Activities to Consider for Solo Female Travelers Over 50
1. Write About Your Journey
We live in a technologically advanced age that allows us to document and share our experiences online. As a solo traveler, you may want to start a journal to remember every step of your adventure or to collect data to write a book. You can also share memories of your trip with family and friends by taking photos or videos. After you return, you can write or video blog (vlog) about it.
Choose any medium you like depending on what you feel most comfortable with.
2. Visit a Comedy Club
If you’re traveling solo abroad, you may enjoy a night at a local comedy club if you are able to speak the language. Sometimes it’s fun to learn about cultural differences in the form of humor. Understanding the nuances of comedy in another country could significantly broaden your worldview.
3. Book a Spa Day
If you love spending time at a spa you may have a better chance of squeezing in a treatment traveling solo than if you were on vacation with others who do not share your passion. As a female solo traveler, you can book as many spa sessions as you want without feeling rushed.
Plan a solo trip to a spa resort or an area of the world like Montecatini Terma, in Tuscany known for its mineral hot springs. Spas in foreign countries may offer unique services that are not available where you live locally.
4. Attend Local Events
Local events are often posted on social media platforms. Search your location on Facebook and scroll through relevant groups and pages, to see what activities are taking place during your stay.
Pro Tip: You can also search for other solo female travelers in your area by joining solo travel groups on Facebook and Meetup. Having one or two fellow female adventurers watching your back is reassuring and will give you a better chance of staying safe in case the event gets too wild.
5. Try Going Out on a Date
If you are single and interested in romance, you may want to attend a speed dating event or local singles mingle in the area you are visiting. Who knows? You may find new love or a friendly person willing to show you the sights.
It’s not uncommon for older women to hook up with someone while traveling solo. However, don’t make that the focus of your trip. Instead, enjoy your adventure. If you happen to find love along the way, consider that a bonus.
6. Book a Five-Star Hotel if You Can Afford It
Staying at a luxury hotel is not always practical moneywise during a family getaway but it may be just what you’re looking for when you travel solo. If opulence is what you crave, why not book yourself a treat even if it’s only for one night?
Splurge on a luxury hotel suite and enjoy pampering yourself. If you plan ahead and collect credit card points you may be able to cover the full price of your stay at a five-star hotel for free.
7. Take a Guided Tour
While some tourists enjoy carefully researching the best sightseeing spots, others find it confusing or may even loathe it. If you’re the latter, why not sign up for a guided walking or bus tour given by a local? Group tours allow travelers to enjoy unique sightseeing experiences without having to deal with directions or logistics. It also gives you a chance to get your bearings, learn more about your destination, and gives you ideas for future activities you may hear about along the way.
Some group tours are specifically designed for solo travelers. If you’re in luck, you might make friends with like-minded peers that you can connect with after you return home.
8. Go On a Social Media Detox
If you find yourself spending hours every day on social media, consider detoxifying from it so you can completely immerse yourself and enjoy your solo trip. Put a halt to all your social media activity. Don’t post updates, engage with posts, or even scroll through your feed and instead, be present and in the moment.
Pro Tip: Your social media profiles will come in handy during an emergency so don’t delete your accounts completely while you are solo traveling.
9. Visit Museums and Art Galleries
The advantage of solo traveling is that you can take your time in museums and art galleries without feeling rushed by tour group operators or a cranky companion. There, you can learn more about the history and culture of the country you are visiting and may be able to view artifacts and artwork that are thousands of years old.
And, although the Louvre and the Prada are thrilling, you may enjoy smalltown or unique museums as well.
10. Go Skydiving
For risk-taking solo travelers, skydiving is one of the most exhilarating activities on the planet. No other extreme sport has the same impact on your brain. First-time skydivers often report a sudden burst of feel-good hormones giving them a natural high that lasts weeks. Conquering a “scary” challenge like jumping out of a plane may help you overcome your fears.
11. Get Lost
Solo female travelers should not fear getting lost; instead, embrace it. Allow yourself to end up in unexpected places or intriguing situations. Experience the culture and tradition of your destination first-hand by walking down ancient alleys or spontaneously turning in a different direction.
In a worst-case scenario, you can use your smartphone to get back to your hotel. GPS navigation and ride-sharing apps make the chances of you getting lost in a major city slim to none.
12. Go Bar Hopping
Some people perceive a single woman going into a bar alone as desperate or lonely so many women avoid it when they’re traveling solo. But, don’t let that hold you back. Popping into a bar or pub may give you a chance to talk to locals and find out more about your destination.
Note: If you go into a bar alone avoid getting drunk at all costs. If you become inebriated it can put you in a dangerous and even life-threatening situation no matter what your age.
13. Go on a Prison Tour
Solo female travelers looking for a unique tourist experience may want to consider taking a prison tour or visit a prison museum. Historic prisons and jail cells hold as much history as museums do. An in-depth prison tour can also give you a deeper appreciation of history. Learn about notorious criminals from the past and how they were kept behind bars or even tortured.
14. Make Money as You Travel
Traveling solo can be expensive especially if you have limited funds. Even a few day’s accommodations or a fancy lunch can set you back. However, there are multiple ways to make cash while you enjoy your vacation.
Digital nomads who live overseas for several weeks or months often work as online language teachers. All you need is a laptop and good WIFI. Becoming an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher has minimal requirements and all that is needed is a TEFL certificate. ESL teaching sites allow teachers to work remotely and have control over their schedules.
15. Consider a Co-Living Arrangement
If you are traveling solo on a budget you may want to stay in a co-living dorm. Shared rooms cost significantly cheaper than most Airbnb rental rooms, and you get the chance to interact with others who are also solo travelers. However, make sure to vet your roommates before agreeing to month-long living arrangements.
16. Spend Long Days at the Park
You do not have to spend big bucks to enjoy your solo trip. Sometimes the best way to see how locals live is to hang out at a local park. You may decide to spend the whole day there. Observe how locals interact with each other, what their daily activities are, and how they spend their lunch hour. Take in any cultural experiences going on in the park such as festivals, art shows, and flea markets.
17. Get Connected with Other Solo Travelers
It’s a misconception that solo travelers have to spend their trips alone. Many women traveling alone use their social media connections to meet up with travelers who are in the area. Keep an open mind when making new acquaintances. Engage with people of different backgrounds to broaden your cultural and social outlook.
18. Explore Cultural Nuances
Often it’s exciting to get away from large cities and interact with locals in small towns or rural areas. Shop for groceries at the local market, attend religious ceremonies or take part in local events.
19. Visit the Local Library
If you are a history or culture buff, visit the library in the city or town you are visiting. Browse old books and possibly research your ancestry if you are in a destination your relatives immigrated from. You never know what you’ll discover.
So, What’s Stopping You From Solo Traveling?
If you plan your trip carefully, traveling solo should give you little to fear. While it may pose some risks, taking precautions and doing research will help you stay safe. If you are traveling solo abroad, check with the embassy in the country you will be visiting for travel advisories. Keep emergency numbers and contacts on hand, and always purchase travel insurance in case you become ill or have an accident.
Make sure to check with your doctor before booking a solo trip especially if you are over 50. Traveling has multiple benefits, but always be prepared for emergencies especially if you are not traveling with a tour group. If you take medications, bring an ample supply in case your return is delayed as your meds may not be available in some destinations.
Have you ever gone on a solo trip before? Share your experience with us in the comments section below!