For some travelers, there is no need for solo travel themes. They just want to get away.
For others, a focus for their travels is important. They build their trips around specific activities or interests. I love to hear about these various themes as it suggests new ways of entering a destination when I travel.
For this post, I have gathered together the many themes Tracey and I have used as we've traveled solo.
Perhaps one of them will interest you to explore your next destination in a new way.
12 Solo Travel Themes to Consider
- Hiking/Walking Holidays. I discovered that I love walking/hiking trips way back in 2009 when I first started Solo Traveler. I have since hiked in Chile, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Hong Kong, Italy, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, and I am sure there are more. Read Solo Hiking: Top Tips for Walking Holidays
- Group Tours. Group travel is great for solo travelers. It is solo, because you are leaving behind all who you know and expect you to behave a certain way day-to-day. Like independent solo travel, it frees you to explore interests you may not be able to pursue with a friend or partner. In a group, you also have the pleasure of other people's company as well as their expertise. I have often enjoyed the knowledge that fellow travelers have shared while on a tour. Check out our Solo Travel Deals page for trips with no or very low single supplements.
- Road Trips. I love a road trip and judging by the popularity of the two recommended reading posts at the end of this listing, so do our readers. Road trips are synonymous with freedom. Take the main roads or detour down the back roads just to see what's there. Personally, if there is an end to the road, I like to go there. This usually takes me to a small village by the seas. Check out our Solo Road Trips category for posts on the how, where and why, as well as road trip stories from us and readers.
- Food & Wine. This is Tracey's territory. She is our food and wine writer. It's not that I don't enjoy delicious treats of my destination along the way, it's that Tracey makes it the focus of her travels, like in Benedictine to Baked Alaska: A Culinary River Cruise in France or Cockles to Cakes: Discovering the Food of Wales. To learn how she plans her food and wine trips read Culinary Travel: Top Tips for Food and Wine Travel Planning.
- A Great Music Scene. Whether you're traveling in a language you know or not, music is a great focus for travel. It can be enjoyed in any language and it attracts locals as well as tourists. Festivals, small clubs, and concert halls all present great opportunities for enjoyment. Read La Fete de la Musique: A Summer Solstice Festival in France and How to Go to a Bar Alone: Best Music in Nashville.
- River Cruises. River cruises allow you to unpack your bags once and travel the back country, visiting cities large and small. Like most cruises, they move at night and arrive at a new port in the morning. The thing about river cruising is that the new port is often a small town or city that you would not normally visit. It's off the beaten path. And, unlike ocean cruises that tend to let off thousands of visitors in cities already suffering from over-tourism, river cruises may hit one or two of those popular cities along the way. It's a luxurious, close-to-the-ground kind of travel. Read River Cruises for Solo Travelers: A Great Option to Consider or for a little photo inspiration, Paris to Normandy: A River Cruise in Photos.
- Popular Cities. There are some cities in the world that just have to be seen. These are cities that have cultures unto themselves. London is unique in the UK. Rome offers different things than Italy. Amsterdam is in the Netherlands but is not the Netherlands. You get the idea. The same goes for Paris, New York City, Berlin, and others. To help you tour some of these cities, use the search box in the green bar above and read Rome and Paris in One Trip, Solo Travel London on a Budget, and Solo in Amsterdam: A City that Left Me Wanting More.
- History. It is often the history of a destination that attracts me to it. I want to put my historical knowledge into geographic context, for geography is important. I want to see what things are like now and try to connect the dots with the past. Read On Seeing History As You Travel and Contemplating History in Nuremberg. Museums are great places to learn about history. I cannot recommend The Canadian Human Rights Museum strongly enough.
- Circular Trips. I've circumnavigated Lake Ontario and the Adriatic Sea by car – two different trips, of course. I've traveled around the edges of England by train in one big circle, leaving from London and returning back again. On my 10-month trip in Europe, oh so long ago, I focused on the middle first and then toured around the coast line from Italy, through France, parts of Spain, Portugal, France again, Belgium, and then the Netherlands. I find something particularly satisfying in a circular trip. Planning a Road Trip Around the Adriatic: Slovenia, Croatia & Italy.
- Self-guided, Supported Travel. I have taken two trips in which the planning and logistics were managed for me. I was picked up at my point of contact and taken care at every move from one place to another yet I was left free to explore the destinations on my own. Read Travel Solo on a Self-Guided Walking Tour: Seeing France Slowly. Tracey did something similar in Exploring London Solo with Ease.
- Go to Run. You don't have to run marathons to enjoy running. And you don't have to do the Boston to turn a love of running into a wonderful trip. Whether you join a running crew for a one-time jaunt or a team in a relay race covering the weekend, it will connect you to locals and others for a social, solo trip. Read Solo Travel, Running and Run Crews.
- Train trips. Building a trip around a pleasurable mode of transport is still another of the interesting solo travel themes to be considered. It could be a short, luxury trip that is all about watching the landscapes roll by, like in Stopped in My Tracks on the Rocky Mountaineer. Here are a variety of stories about train travel experiences in Taking the Night Train Alone: Five Mini Adventures. And here are expert tips for booking your trip: Train Travel: Best Way to Book Tickets – Europe. You might also enjoy The Pleasure of European Train Travel.
Have you ever built trips around solo travel themes? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.