I’ve been solo traveling since 2011 and over the years I’ve learned about how to plan my vacations to the best they can be. Sure I’ve made some mistakes but I learned from them and improved the next year and each trip I take gets better.
1. Take advantage of state tourism : every state has sites for most of the cities in their state and those sites will happily send you a travel guidebook free of charge with all the highlights of their cities. Sure half the stuff is promotional but there really are some good articles and recommendations in those books plus it’s free. My home state of Michigan has a great website Pure Michigan, which highlights all the cities in my state and lists all the lodging in those areas. You can always keep the guides or pass them on to others who want to travel there after your back.
2. Use Traveler Review Sites: I use Tripadvisor whenever I am planning a vacation, sure the restaurant, hotel or attraction may seem great on their website but these review sites give you real opinions from people have visited or stayed there and some of the news is surprisingly bad. You get pictures from the locations and can find some quality recommendations. Also, it’s fun to write reviews that help other travelers.
3. Research the local transit systems: Whenever possible limit your taxi usage and if you have to use taxi’s then call around to cab companies to get their rates instead of going with the first company on the list. I did this recently and got a great deal vs the higher priced companies. Find out the bus systems from where your staying many cities have extensive networks of buses that if you buy the day pass its easy to get around town. Towns like Newport RI and Charleston also have trolley systems which are great to use.
4. Bring Versatile Clothes : If you are going to be gone for a while and want to save on space in the suitcase consider bringing several outfits that can be interchanged and take advantage of the hotels laundry so you can rewash the outfits and re-wear them by mingling the outfits and making new ones. I plan to do this on my next vacation thus fitting all my clothes into a small suitcase by packing 4 outfits that can be worn multiple times. Make sure you are going to actually want to wear it not just toss in anything that you think you will need because then you will end up with too many suitcases. A great resource for travel fashion advice is Travel Fashion Girl.
5. Consider Trains: If you are traveling to the next state over and don’t want the airfare or dealing with driving consider taking Amtrak, I’ve used them several times and its often less expensive than booking a flight and its a neat way to travel. When I want to go to Chicago it only costs me $30 to get there and in 3 hours I’m there.
Hope these tips help you plan your neck getaway and if you have any tips to add then I’d love to hear them. Safe Travels.