In Partnership with Road Scholar
No matter your age, solo travel can be a great learning experience that allows you to look deeper within yourself, forge strong relationships with people you encounter, and discover the world on your terms. However, in recent years, solo travel tours for those over 50 have become increasingly popular.
Solo travel over 50, which is part of the “grey nomad” movement, offers a plethora of benefits, from self-discovery and personal growth to freedom and empowerment. Taking the leap of travelling solo as you grow older can seem intimidating.
However, this doesn’t have to be the case, and shifting your mindset can open up a whole new world of possibilities and adventure. If you’re itching to explore new areas across the globe, read our guide on the importance of solo travel in your 50s and beyond.
Shifting Your Mindset
It’s human nature to prefer consistency, especially as you age and become comfortable in your daily routines. This can make it challenging to get the courage to embrace courage and break out of your shell. It’s often thought that solo travel is for young travellers.
However, shifting your mindset and telling yourself that solo travel is meant for everyone can help you step out of your comfort zone and start a journey of personal growth. Shifting your mindset about who solo travel is for and that travelling alone over 50 is possible can bring many benefits. Here are some ways changing your perspective can benefit you:
- Embracing independence: As you enter the later stages of life, embracing independence is important, especially if you spent most of your adulthood with a partner. Viewing solo travel as an opportunity to assess your autonomy can help you make decisions based on your preferences while enjoying the many freedoms that come with it. This way, you can fully immerse yourself in new experiences without relying on others for companionship or validation.
- Personal growth: With newfound independence for solo travellers comes the opportunity for personal growth. When travelling solo in your 50s, you can embrace a growth mindset that allows you to expand your horizons, challenge your comfort zones, and discover new things. Having a growth mindset with each new experience will allow you to enrich your life.
- Overcoming fears and uncertainties: It can be daunting packing up your bags to travel to a new country alone. While this can be scary, taking the leap can help you overcome any fears or uncertainties that come with it. Through solo travel, you can find that you’re self-sufficient and can handle a detailed adventure independently. Through self-discovery, you’ll be able to put fears behind you and find confidence in yourself that you might not have realized.
- Rediscovering passions: Solo travel allows you to rediscover passions and interests. As you navigate a new area you’ve never explored, you can draw inspiration from the people you meet, the food you eat and the sights you see. Upon return, you can bring your passions to life, whether adding new flavours to your kitchen when cooking or picking up a hobby like painting or photography.
- Celebrating achievements and memorable experiences: Another way shifting your mindset is beneficial is by allowing you to celebrate achievements and unforgettable experiences along the way, whether cresting the top of a mountain or meeting a host family.
Researching the Best Destination Options for Solo Travelers
When it comes to solo travel tours over 50, a key part of planning is finding the best destination. There are a variety of factors to consider when travelling solo, such as transportation, language barriers and finances.
Researching options for solo travel tours can provide peace of mind that you’re travelling to a new destination that meets your preferences. Some considerations to keep in mind include:
- Safety: Above all else, it’s important to keep safety top of mind when travelling alone. As you research destinations, consider the safety reputation of the area by looking at factors like crime rates, healthcare facilities and political instability. You can also try connecting with travellers who’ve visited the potential destination recently to get their input.
- Solo-friendly infrastructure: Sometimes, solo travel can be more expensive because certain costs, such as transportation and lodging, aren’t shared. With that in mind, look into destinations with solo-friendly infrastructure, such as their transportation system, tourism infrastructure and accommodations, such as hotels, B&Bs and hostels.
- Accessibility: It’s crucial to keep accessibility top of mind as a solo traveller over 50, such as flight availability, visa requirements and the overall ease of getting around.
- Activities and interests: The area you’re travelling to should match your interests. For example, are you looking for outdoor adventures, including hiking and biking, or are you more interested in art or cuisine? Taking the time to assess what you’re interested in seeing and doing can help you find an ideal travel destination.
Connecting With Fellow Travelers
Travelling solo as someone 50 or older doesn’t mean you have to be alone. A helpful solo travel tip is embracing discomfort and connecting with fellow travellers you meet. There are various ways you can meet new people, including joining a travel group or club that allows you to adventure on your own with the safety net of a group.
Or, you can connect with fellow solo travellers in online communities and travel forums where you can join before meeting in person. Another option is signing up for organized tours and activities, such as a walking tour of a city or a boat tour along a coastline or river.
Embracing Solo Travel as a Lifestyle
Whether you’re taking an extended vacation or spending your golden years globetrotting, certain tips can help you embrace solo travel as a lifestyle. Some tips include:
- Planning an itinerary: When it comes to long-term travel, make sure to plan an itinerary that outlines the destinations you will visit. However, ensure your itinerary is loose and allows for adaptations, as spur-of-the-moment activities are often the most memorable.
- Pack smart: It can be easy to overpack, especially when travelling for an extended period. Make sure to choose versatile clothing that can be mixed and matched, and only pack the essentials, as you’ll most likely want room for a souvenir or two.
- Stay flexible: When travelling solo, challenges can arise. Maintaining an adaptable mindset can help you when things don’t go as planned.
- Trust your instincts: There’s a reason why people say to trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s best to trust your instincts and remove yourself from a situation.
Final Thoughts on the Transformative Power of Solo Travel
Travelling solo beyond 50 can be an extremely rewarding experience. Through solo travel, you can learn more about yourself by embarking on a journey of personal growth and development.
By travelling alone, you’ll connect with locals and fellow travellers, participate in activities you decide to pursue, and learn more about the world without relying on a companion or outside opinions. If you’re looking for a sign to travel solo as you grow older, let this be it.