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The Secrets to Successfully Traveling Alone in Your 40s

Written by Chris Osburn

Who says solo travel is just for kids? Mature, aware, and adeptly in tune with what you love (and don’t love) — those who enjoy being in their 40s know full well that having found their stride now is an excellent time to see the world on their own. Of course, not everyone who’s over 40 feels perfectly secure about hitting the road alone, especially if they’ve never done it. Everyone can benefit from learning how to make the most of opportunities to embark on adventures by themselves.

So here are a few tips to help ensure your experiences traveling alone in your 40s are as amazing as you deserve them to be.

Solo Travel Curious? Dip Your Toes in First

Happy middle-aged man hiking and enjoying the mountain landscape

For the uninitiated, the thought of traveling alone can seem overwhelming and maybe even a little scary. On the contrary, most people who like to take trips on their own know these moments away from the daily grind can be a lot of fun and are ideal for self discovery and building confidence. If you’ve never done any sort of solo traveling before, but you think that you would like to start out light, why not plan a day out on your own in a nearby city or go on a long hike somewhere in nature that’s close to where you live? Similarly, a quick overnight trip to an interesting destination that’s a short flight or drive away might be an easy way to determine if solo travel truly is for you.

Consider How Much Time Is the Right Amount of Time to Be Away
Traveling Alone in Your 40s - right amount of time

When you’re certain you’re up for traveling on your own, think about how much time would be the right duration for going away. A long weekend? Ten days? Two weeks? A month-long sabbatical from work? For some people a few days away is the perfect way to re-energize. Others need more time to unwind and reconnect with what matters most to them.

Reconnect with Your Younger Self

Active senior on bike in spring nature, Senior with his bicycle

Remember back when you were a child? What did you want to be when you grew up? Well, now that you are grown up does the life you live sync with what you dreamed about back then? If not (or not quite), consider setting off somewhere relevant to reconnect with your younger self and your youthful dreams. For instance, if you wanted to be an actor as a child, book a flights to New York to catch a string of Broadway or off Broadway shows.

Do Something Different

girl backpacker laughing while eating delicious octopus balls by chopsticks outdoor.

Do you always tend to do package holidays with the family? Sat shotgun for one to many road trips with your bestest buddy? Then try going against the grain and set out for something different for your solo sojourn. Never been to London? Or Paris? Or Tokyo? Why not?! Never just sat by the pool of a Caribbean resort for a few days with a constantly refreshed frilly drink at your side? Try it — or anything else you’ve never done but have contemplated doing. You might like it far more than you think!

Engage in Maximum Me-Time
Travelling alone in our 40s - me time

Wherever you go and for however long, just be sure to go deep while you’re there. There’s little point in heading off on your own if you don’t intend to enjoy completely whatever it is you hope to get up to. Don’t be cursory, be thorough. Were you daydreaming about a back rub the other day? Book a full day at the spa. Craving a plate of pasta? Now’s the time to plan a Roman holiday!

Have Someone Waiting on the Other End
Traveling Alone in Your 40s - someone on the other

Arrange to catch up with a good friend, family member, or significant other soon after your trip so you can recap about all the fun you had. Having this date in mind while traveling will help keep you from idling or stay cooped up in your hotel when there’s a world to explore and later rave about.

If you are over 40 and love to travel on your own, we would love to hear from you. What solo travel wisdom do you have to share with others?

About the author

Chris Osburn

Chris Osburn is a freelance writer, photographer, consultant, and curator and the driving force behind the long running and award winning blog, Originally from the American Deep South, Chris has lived and worked all over the world and has called London home since 2001.