Travel is my passion. One of the many perks about being married to a project manager that travels often for work is inviting myself to tag along on a business trip. Hubs gets to travel on the company’s dime and I get free hotel accommodations. When I learned that the he had to go to New Orleans for a conference, I was beyond thrilled! I booked that flight faster than you can say jambalaya with andouille sausage! I have been wanting to visit New Orleans since we relocated to Texas over 7 years ago so this trip was a no brainer.
To be quite honest, my excitement turned into concern once I saw the itinerary for my husband’s conference. He was going to be booked solid from early in the morning to late in the evening all weekend. This would mean that I would have to explore NOLA all alone. Let me clarify this. My fear wasn’t for my safety because though she be small, she is crazy lol! My fear was that I was going to be bored out of my mind exploring The Big Easy all alone. This was the first time that I would have the *almost* solo traveler experience and I didn’t know what to expect. My fear was totally unjustified as this trip was one of the best trips ever!! Here’s why: For the first time ever, I was able to create an itinerary that focused primarily on all the things I enjoy doing. I had so much fun by myself and learned so much! If I ever felt lonely, I just FaceTimed my mom for a few minutes while traveling between destinations and it was like she was right there with me.
Travel tip: I used an app called CityMaps2Go to layout different sites to visit, restaurants to try, and places to shop while in New Orleans. Whenever I entered a new neighborhood, I would open the app and it would give me a list of the places that were in the vicinity. I was able to effectively use my time and check all the boxes on my list. The best part is it gives you offline maps so you don’t have to use your data plan or find a wi-fi hotspot to see your map.
I never knew that I would fall in love with the idea of solo travel. I feel stronger as a person having had the experience. I would do it again in a heartbeat! (Next time completely alone so it’s legit.) Here are my top 4 reasons why you should try solo travel at least once in your lifetime.
- Freedom! You are completely in control of your vacation. If you want to sleep late, no problem. If you want to go sightseeing for 24 hrs straight, go for it. Options are endless.
- Growth! You will definitely grow as a solo traveler. Even though my trip was only for 3 days, I feel like I grew a lot. I grew confident with interacting with strangers, finding my way around the city, and being assertive. My waistline also grew from all the amazing food but that’s neither here nor there.
- It’s budget friendly! A lot of time when traveling with a group or partner, you have to keep in mind a variety of budgets. As a solo traveler, you can decide to splurge and eat at that expensive fancy restaurant without the guilt that others may not be able to afford it or you can do something inexpensive to save money like a walking tour of the city vs taking a sightseeing tour with a hop on/off bus company without the objection of others.
- No coordination of schedules! When trying to book travel with others, sometimes the stars have to align perfectly in order to book a vacation. Even then, life happens and people sometimes have to change plans or forfeit going on vacation all together. When traveling alone, your schedule is the only one that matters. It also can be more cost effective if you travel solo during the week vs the weekend. Solo travel for the win!