Don't you think we should we be able to travel alone and love it? Planning solo trips can be tricky, and depending on the person, picking a place that makes you feel safe while also exploring somewhere beautiful can be tough.
I have lived abroad now for 5 years and love the opportunities I have to do some extra travel outside the time frame of each season I play. This spring I decided to book half of my travels alone and the other half with my brother around the islands of Greece.
Rhodes was the most perfect place to conquer by myself. I stayed for 4 nights, but being by myself that was the perfect amount of time for the size of the island. I chose to stay at Casa Cook hotel in Kolympia (Κολύμπια) which was centrally located on the island making each direction only a 30 minutes drive all ways. It was AMAZING! It helped complete the perfect solo trip.
For all you solo travelin' gals and guys out there, I am going to give you the breakdown around my favorite Greek island thus far and how you can enjoy it to the fullest even without any other wing(wo)men!
Casa Cook Rhodes
Seafood Limanaki restaurant*
(1) Ready, Set, Go! My initial advice for traveling by yourself, or in general, is to pre plan using Google Maps. It allows you to label your map with 'Favorites', 'Want to go', 'Starred places', or you can create your own 'New list' if you want to have more specified categories. That way, when you're on the go, starving or in need of a caffeine kick, or find yourself with time to kill, you've already saved some options for a quick and easy transition!
(2) Rent a car. With a car charger!! You never want to be alone anywhere without a phone and sometimes when we use the GPS plus the camera, it kills the battery quickly. The freedom of travel this way opens so many spontaneous benefits; and the roads are flat and well paved, eliminating any "one lane island road" stressers. Trust me, some islands are not the funnest to drive on up and down the cliff sides and down to many beaches. But if you're on a budget or too nervous to drive, the buses are good too! The options for where you can get on and off don't have you missing out on much. And public transportation in Greece is very affordable.
* Direction North from Kolympis to Rhodes (Old Town)
Anthony Quinn Bay
Oasis Beach Bar
The Auberge of the Langue of Auvergne
Fort of St. Nicholas
Kato Petres Beach
Acropolis of Rhodes
(3) Plug In! Having a portable charger allows for you to go where ever you want, however long without worrying. We tend to lose track of battery while taking pictures and using up data on the apps that upload or download things.
* Direction South from Kolympia to Lindos
Monument Ioanni Zigdi
Beach of Lindos
Olive Street restaurant*
Relief of a Rhodian Galley
St. Paul's Bay Beach and Chapel
(4) Roads in Rhodes! Some people don't mind it, but avoid driving in the dark at night when you're alone. Orientation can become difficult, as well as determining the safety level of the areas you're traveling through. Its always smart to make sure you have all contact information before you set out for adventure because our ability to call upon help can be different in different countries. I tend to get up early, explore all day, and make an effort to stay at a place that has a nice nightlife near by so I am not obligated to travel far in the dark.
(5) Big dawgs gotta eat! Meals in public places can be intimidating. When you're looking for a place to eat or drink, its always a positive when you can smile, start up some small talk with those around you or engage with the barista making you coffee. And as you're sitting, bring a book or magazine, or listen to a podcast on your phone if you need some more distraction than the people traffic. Depending on weather, sit outside and enjoy the sounds and people watching. If you can't get outside, try eating at the bar or a communal table.
* Direction West from Kolympia to Monolithos
Seven Springs Waterfall
Artemida Traditional Taverna
Kameiros ancient ruins
Castle of Monolithos
(6) Let's talk the talk. Establish a routine, pop into the same coffee shop each morning to get to know the locals or employees as they will then continue to look for you. Be curious and ask questions to begin conversations. Plan tours, as the easiest way to see a place without your own planning.
The coolest part about traveling alone is you get to be in complete control. The speed of your day, the amount of things you do within it, fast or slow, it's all on you. It's a pity for people to think if they can't find someone to travel with, they can't travel at all. Its like any skill to be acquired, you try some travel alone once and you can do it anywhere! So get out there and see the world you SOLO travelin' BOSS!