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Since I have been traveling alone in every decade of my adult life (now 43), I have a lot of wisdom to share. So if you are thinking of taking your first solo trip and wondering what to expect solo traveling in your 40s, you are in the right place.
This ultimate guide will contain all my best tips and advice as a seasoned solo traveler. Basically, everything you need to know for traveling alone as a woman in your 40s.
As I mentioned, I started my solo travel journey in my 20s and all through my 30s. Traveling by myself was certainly different when I was younger than it is now. Now we have the internet on our phones ; )
In so many ways I much prefer solo trips now in my forties than I did in my 20s! For me, solo traveling has been more enjoyable the older I get.
Top Tips For Solo Traveling in Your 40s
When planning your first solo trip you will want to consider everything that I mention in this list when crafting your adventure.
#1. Book the Best Hotel in Your Budget
The older I get, one thing is clear. I require a nice, higher-quality hotel. Being close to the nightlife is the furthest thing from my mind, but a hotel with an onsite fine dining restaurant is top of the list.
When you are looking for hotels consider a few key factors:
- Guest Rating
- Proximity to Transit
- Safe Area
I could deal with a lot in my 20s when traveling alone when it came to the quality of my accommodations. But now in my 40s, I have up-leveled and I am not going back.
Expert Tip: Want to ensure the hotel is in a nice location? Map your hotel to other five-star hotels or high-end boutiques.
When choosing a hotel, I used to base it on what the star rating is, but I don’t do that anymore.
I learned that to get a four-star rating the hotel needs to offer room service. It doesn’t mean the hotel is guaranteed to be great, just because it has four stars.
Some of the nicest hotels I have ever stayed in only had three stars. These were boutique hotels and they were way better than the four-star hotels I was finding.
Read the guest ratings in great detail! I like using Booking.com for most travel destinations and VBRO depending on where I am going.
#2. Pay for Convenience (You’ll Thank Me Later)
I know it may be important to stay on a travel budget, but I also know that when I am traveling solo I want to be as comfortable as possible.
That might mean splurging on that airport transfer when you arrive in a new city after a long flight.
When I was younger and traveling, like in my 30’s, I was confident I could navigate the transit. But now that I have been there and done that, in my 40s I just don’t want to bother with public transport.
I want to be the only one with her name on a whiteboard when I leave the baggage claim. Take me to my hotel now, please. Start your solo adventure in style!
#3. Book Dinner Reservations In Advance
Are you a solo traveling foodie like me? If you love food and want the travel dining experience to go seamlessly, then book your dinner reservations ahead of time.
In some destinations, like on a solo trip to Paris, you might need to book a month or so away.
It is worth it, I promise! And if you are worried about dining alone, don’t be! Sure if you are traveling alone in your 40’s for the very first time, I get you might feel a little awkward to eat by yourself.
But if you bring a book or plan a little project like editing your photos while doing the time will fly and you won’t notice you are alone nearly that much.
#4. Research Age Appropriate Group Tours
An example would be maybe not joining a booze cruise that is marketed to 20-year-olds and finding something with a little more of a relaxed vibe.
When I traveled solo in Amsterdam in my 20s and took a canal cruise it was all the party. Then when I went back for a solo trip in my late 30s I opted for a cruise with dinner and wine tastings.
Joining group tours as a solo traveler is a fantastic way to meet new people and get a little social time on your trip.
On my solo trip to Athens, I did a walking tour with a bunch of people and ended up with a couple of friends at the end of the day.
There are several sites that have free walking tours in most major cities! Walking tours, paid or free are one of the best ways to really see all that a city has to offer!
#5. Invest in Safety Products to Ease Your Mind
Will I be safe traveling alone? I know that the top concern of the other women I meet traveling alone is being worried about being safe.
There are a number of things you can get to add extra security to your hotel room. A great way to do this is to get a lock like this one.
Solo Female Travel Safety Gear
Emergency Number in Europe: Dial 112 & Emergency Number in the United States: Dial 911
#6. Be Less Ambitious in Your Solo Travel Itinerary
When I was younger and planning my trip to Europe, I was very adventurous and pushed myself to see as many places as I could on one trip. Now, I much prefer to take it slow and not rush just to check another country off my list.
I would say 3-4 nights in a city is a good start. Unless it’s a small village, then maybe 2 nights. When I travel solo in the Greek Islands I like to stay 4 nights on each island.
My idea of a dream trip is one where I can spend about 30% of the time relaxing and the other 70% exploring. Maybe you would rather spend more or less time relaxing.
When you go solo, the best part is there are absolutely no compromises. It’s amazing!
#7. Join Solo Female Travel Groups in Your Age Group
These days there are so many ways to find others with similar interests! One of the best websites to find a new travel best friend is Meetup! You can find loads of activities that are local or abroad!
Facebook is also full of groups for different interests and age groups. I recommended joining some of these groups for solo female travelers to get an idea of a destination and seek any advice that other solo travelers may have.
You will be amazed at how many new friends you can make in these groups. They are filled with interesting people who all share a similar desire to travel.
In these groups, you can ask for advice on your travel plans and get suggestions for the best destinations in the country you are hoping to visit.
I created a free-to-join Facebook Group, A Solo Woman Traveling.
#8. Get Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is a no-brainer. It is not something you just want to skip in order to save money. Your trip is an investment, and something you should protect.
Travel Insurance will ease your mind knowing if something unfortunate happens you are covered!
You can get affordable comprehensive coverage from Safety Wing!
#9. Upgrade Your Cell Phone Plan
Having a working cell phone is a non-negotiable. Don’t try to save money by thinking you will just use Wi-Fi when you find it.
While that is a nice trick to use less data, you want to make sure you have internet when you need it!
I would also recommend getting an international SIM card if you are going to be away for more than a week!
What works for me is going with Airalo, and with 150,000 + reviews, I am not alone.
#10. Renting a Car to See More
Consider renting a car for more freedom. When I was traveling when I was young I wasn’t confident to rent a car.
But now when I am traveling in my 40s I feel like I have the experience needed to rent a car and see more of the destination not being limited to just the public transit system.
Best Places To Go Solo Traveling in Your 40s
The destination you choose for traveling alone in your 40’s could be different than the destination you choose in your 20’s.
You want to find a place that takes you out of your comfort zone a little, but not one where you simply don’t belong.
For example, going to Mykonos solo in your 20s may be more fun than in your 40s. A great place I would recommend you visit instead is an island like Milos.
Bascailly if the island is popular for students I would say stay away. It might even be a good idea to visit more of the idyllic small towns than big cities, depending on your travel style.
Some of my favorite destinations to visit alone in my 40s have been:
What to pack when solo traveling in your 40’s
I pack better now in my 40s than when I first started traveling by myself. You won’t need nearly as much as you think you might.
Just remember whatever you bring you are lugging around the whole time. It’s a liability in my opinion!
Take the basics and consider the climate you will be traveling in. You want to be comfortable, but don’t bring more than a couple of sweaters.
I wear the same thing at least twice on any given trip. No one cares, nor will they know you wore that shirt 2 days ago ; )
If you forget something, don’t panic, there are often plenty of opportunities to find a replacement for what you left behind.
- Pack light and easy-to-fold clothes.
- Bring items versatile items for mix-matching
- Comfortable shoes (2 pairs)
- Take medications and supplements
- Electronic chargers and adaptors
- Large bulky sweaters
- High Heels
- Luxury items (bags, wallets, watches, jewelry)
- Any “incase items” unless they couldn’t be purchased where you are going.
What NOT TO DO When Traveling Alone
1. Don’t Flash Valuables: Leave the Louis Vuitton at home. Seriously, avoid displaying expensive jewelry, electronics, or large amounts of cash.
2. Don’t Share Too Much Information: Be cautious about revealing your travel plans, accommodation details, or personal information to strangers. Where a fake wedding ring if you are concerned about unwanted attention.
3. Avoid Risky Areas: Goes without saying I’m sure, but stay away from poorly lit, deserted areas, especially at night.
4. Don’t Overindulge: Limit alcohol consumption and never leave your drink unattended. I basically limit it to 2 drinks at dinner.
5. Avoid Showing Off Large Maps: This can mark you as a tourist. Instead, use discreet digital maps or apps on your phone. If you are feeling lost, locate a hotel or convenience store. There are usually people that can help.
6. Don’t Trust Strangers Blindly: While it’s great to make new friends, always be cautious. Trust your instincts.
7. Avoid Risky Modes of Transportation: Choose safe and reputable transportation options, especially at night.
8. Don’t Keep All Valuables in One Place: Distribute money and important documents in different hidden pockets or locations. I also take pictures of my cards and passports and email them to myself.
10. Don’t Forget to Inform Someone: Always let someone (a friend, or family member) know where you’re going for the day and when you expect to return.
Traveling alone can be a wonderful experience when done safely. Always prioritize your safety and well-being, and you’ll be set for an unforgettable journey.
How to Explain Your Solo Trip to Friends and Family
Deciding to take a solo trip is a big decision, and from personal experience, loved ones can have a lot of questions. Don’t be surprised if friends and family have a not-so-supportive reaction at first.
Remember what is scary for them might just get projected onto your adventurous decision. It can take a few conversations to get everyone on the same page with your plans.
Being prepared and having a well-planned solo travel itinerary typically calms those fears in others.
I always share my location with my loved ones, it is easy to do if you with your phone. Just research how to do it based on your phone model.
A good tip for any solo traveler is to save places for emergency services in your phone ahead of time.
Tips to Save Money on Solo Trips
- Book travel in the shoulder and off-seasons. This will help with the cost of accommodations.
- Skip sit-down restaurants for both breakfast and lunch and hit the food trucks.
- Use flight alerts and use the search everywhere feature when using Skyscanner.
Benefits of Solo Travel
If you are looking for a new life perspective, there is no better way to find one than taking a solo trip. You don’t even have to leave your own country. Hell, you could travel just a few hours away and go to a wellness retreat. Just get out there and spend time with yourself.
I find that the more I travel alone, the more I enjoy my own company. you are on
The best experiences in my life have been when I took that chance and got out of my comfort zone.
Not sure where to go? Take the quiz and find out which European City is the best for solo travel!
Not sure if you are ready to go solo?
Still contemplating whether solo traveling in your 40s is right for you? If so, consider small group trips with other female solo travelers.
There are a lot of great options for a small group tour that could be the perfect introduction to traveling on your own. You could book a city break vacation to fun places like San Francisco. Or, you could join my tour in Europe.
Conclusion: Solo Traveling in Your 40s
I hope this blog post provided the information you need to feel confident to book a solo trip.
Solo travel can be the most transformative experience that will strengthen your inner confidence and ability in yourself.
Need some support to get started? I offer one-on-one coaching! Fill out the contact form here to get in touch.
FAQs Solo Travel in Your 40s
Yes, it’s safe to travel solo in your 40s, just as it is at other ages. Safety largely depends on the destination and the precautions you take. Many solo travelers in their 40s (and beyond) have fulfilling journeys. Women, in particular, might consider researching the safety of specific destinations, using registered taxis, and staying in well-reviewed accommodations. Staying aware of your surroundings and not sharing too much personal information with strangers is always a good rule of thumb, irrespective of age.
Absolutely! There’s a growing community of middle-aged solo travelers. Joining travel forums, participating in group tours, or attending local events and classes can be great ways to meet fellow travelers. There are also specific travel groups and platforms online where solo travelers in their 40s share experiences and arrange meet-ups.
Yes, many travel agencies and tour operators recognize the unique needs and interests of travelers in their 40s. These specialized tours often focus on a blend of adventure, relaxation, and cultural experiences, ensuring you’re with like-minded individuals. Researching online or consulting with travel agents can help you find the perfect group or tour.
Popular destinations can vary based on individual interests. However, some favorites among solo travelers in their 40s include cultural cities like Rome, Kyoto, or Barcelona; nature retreats in places like New Zealand, Costa Rica, or the Canadian Rockies; and relaxation spots in Bali, the Amalfi Coast, or the Greek Islands. Always consider your own interests and comfort levels, and research destinations accordingly.
Preparation is key. Ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance. Keep both digital and physical copies of your important documents. Research local customs and norms of your destination. Stay connected by keeping a local SIM card or a global roaming plan. Finally, always let someone know your whereabouts and your plans.