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An Introvert’s Guide to Traveling

Introversion may not seem synonymous with the idea of traveling, but in fact, introverts make some of the best travelers. Due to an introvert’s tendency toward organization and planning, as well as savoring experiences and being deeply reflective, traveling may be one of the most fulfilling life experiences an introvert can have.

If you identify as an introvert, you should never cross globetrotting off your list. You have many strengths within you to make traveling a magical, wondrous adventure. Read on to learn about some tips curated just for your personality type to make travel a breeze. 

Travel at a Slower Pace.

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There’s no one to keep up with on your travels but yourself unless you have friends or family along with you. If you’re traveling solo, there’s no need to rush into your adventures. Take your time, soak up the experience, and let yourself wander.

If you are with companions, express your needs to them, or, plan some personal time away from them on certain days. What other travelers enjoy may not suit your preferred pace, and that’s totally okay. Remember that this is your trip, and you can do it your way.

Don’t Feel Pressured to Join Group Tours.

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Group tours often boast an excess of tourists who are strangers, an overload of information, and more interaction than you may want. While it’s a popular way to take in and learn about your surroundings, group tours don’t have to be a mandatory part of your itinerary.

If you’d rather go at your own pace to experience a certain area, do it. Additionally, many cities and sightseeing spots offer solo tours with headphones or an app to follow, which gives you the liberty to go your own way while still learning about the history.

Plan Your Accommodation Around Your Desired Social Interactions.

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If front desk check-ins and round-the-clock room services sound unnecessary—or even completely awful—to you, it’s a good idea to plan around this before your trip. Hotels aren’t likely to be your best friend if you want to limit social interaction, so you may much prefer to go the route of Airbnb or other self-check-in places. For most Airbnb accommodations, you are able to arrive and check in yourself.

If you want more luxury, you may also find some accommodations where you can splurge to intentionally have a more private experience.

Choose Your Travel Buddies Wisely.

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While your best friend or family member may be awesome to hang out with at home, they may be an utter nightmare for you to travel with as an introvert. Assess the personality of anyone you consider traveling with.

  • What activities do they enjoy?
  • How outgoing are they?
  • Do they prefer a more social experience?

These are questions to ask yourself about any potential travel companion. You don’t want to get stuck with someone you’re incompatible with for an entire trip. Don’t be afraid to say no if you think you wouldn’t vibe with someone. It’s better to go alone than to go with someone totally opposite.

Keep a Travel Journal.

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Empty your chaotic headspace by keeping track of your adventures and your emotions in a travel journal. Introverts often need the option to unload all their pent-up stress and excitement, and writing is an excellent way to channel those feelings onto paper. What’s better: you’ll have a whole diary of incredible memories to look back on, able to relive all the best moments of your travels. Always carry your journal with you as you wander the places you visit, writing down observations, notes, feelings, ideas, or anything that comes to mind. You may even like to sketch. Make it yours!

Wear Headphones, but Remain Vigilant.

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Introverts plus headphones equals bliss, most of the time. When you’re traveling, it’s entirely possible to keep using your headphones to tune out the world while you simultaneously take it all in. However, it’s vital that you stay vigilant of your surroundings since headphones can drown out the noise of the real world (in a bad way). When walking alone at night, it’s also wise to put the headphones away, especially if the city is known for crime. However, if you remain cautious, it’s unlikely you will run into trouble and you can continue to enjoy the escape of your headphones.

Choose a Destination That Is More Introvert-Friendly.

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Every destination around the world has its own unique vibe and personality, which means when it comes to deciding where to go, you have the power to select a place that is more conducive to your lifestyle preferences. As an introvert, you may enjoy a tranquil retreat into natural wonders over a busy, bustling city voyage.

Don’t let large cities scare you away, though. Many large cities across the globe offer a more relaxed experience and, as a whole, have a more chill atmosphere. Do your due diligence to research a place that’s perfect for you rather than jumping headfirst into a hub of chaos.

Take Baby Steps to Get out of Your Comfort Zone.

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For many introverts, getting out of our comfort zones sounds like misery. But if you’re already a seasoned traveler, you know that it’s a necessary evil. If you’re just starting out on your journey of wanderlust, know that it is okay if you need to pace yourself into adjusting to a travel lifestyle. This is part of why travel can be such an opportunity for growth!

You will undoubtedly run into several situations where you are navigating unknown territory, being forced to talk to strangers, and bringing unwanted attention to yourself. Take baby steps to get used to these inconvenient interruptions, and you’ll be all set before you know it.

Plan Your Itinerary to Include Quiet Time to Recharge.

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You may be on an adventure, but every trekker needs a break—especially those of us who are introverts. Between all the fuss and excitement of your travel adventures, plan some time for yourself to calm down and take a breather. This could be anything from resting at your accommodation to taking a short nap, grabbing a rejuvenating tea at a quiet cafe, or taking a stroll in a park and sitting on a bench to lose yourself in the pages of a book. Adapt whatever calm, mindful activities you partake in at home to fit in during your excursion away.

Retreat Into Nature.

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Even if it’s just a small park or garden within a city, escaping into nature for a relaxing reboost can be a wonderful experience for introverts in the midst of their travels. Traveling can be intimidating and overwhelming, and nature is a perfect utopia for decompressing and reenergizing our introverted spirits.

If you are already on a wild nature excursion but have other travel companions, excuse yourself to go on a solo hike, take a dip in a lake, or just relax by yourself under a tree. If you’re in an urban region, research the green areas nearest to you. Getting away from the hubbub to immerse yourself in the natural world is an introvert’s dream. And this is your trip: enjoy it how you want!

Practice Plenty of Self-Care.

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It’s easy to get caught up in your exciting plans and forget to take care of yourself, but as an introvert, this is one of the most crucial factors in thriving while you travel. Make sure you get enough sleep to be refreshed for the next adventures ahead of you. Eat timely, nutritious meals (although we all know street food is irresistible! It’s okay to go off course as long as you remember to nourish yourself). Take some alone time to recharge your social batteries. Balance all the movement with a relaxing bath. Whatever the phrase “self-care” means to you, make sure you weave that into your travel plans to nurture your well-being.

Be Open to Having Meals in Public by Yourself.

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Even though introverts value their personal space and alone time, eating by themselves in a restaurant or cafe can sometimes stir up anxiety. What if I’m drawing attention to myself? What if a stranger asks to join me? However, the truth is, dining alone can be pleasant if you set the right mindset.

Go into an establishment knowing that you will be able to order whatever you want and enjoy your own company however you like. Sitting alone is entirely acceptable, and it’s likely no one will bother you—whether you read a book while you eat lunch or have a coffee while you work on your laptop.

Schedule Transportation in Advance.

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With the growing popularity of rideshare apps, airline ticket add-on features, and scheduling websites, it’s easier than ever to arrange all your transportation needs early. If you want to reduce as much social contact as possible, this is the way to go. It can also help you avoid missing out on certain travel options due to sold-out tickets, as well as taking the stress away when you’re traversing an unfamiliar area.

You may like to go the extra step to have a travel agent arrange everything for you remotely as well. Whatever you decide, your introverted self will thank you.

Be Sure to Make a Backup Plan.

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If you end up finding yourself in an overly uncomfortable situation and you want to abandon your current trajectory, have a backup plan so you don’t fall into the vicious cycle of decision-making instead of continuing to enjoy your trip. Many of us introverts have been there: our best-laid plans didn’t turn out quite how we expected and now you’re in panic mode. Ensuring you have a solid Plan B in place will help you avoid the stress of trying to figure out what to do next in the heat of the moment. And who knows…maybe your Plan B will be even better than Plan A!

Don’t Be Afraid to Just Do Your Own Thing.

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Image Credit: Depositphotos.com.

Don’t feel bad about separating from your travel companions or not following the most popular routes. This is your trip for you to organize however you personally want. If you’re one of those people who loves to go off the beaten path, then that’s great!

If you don’t always feel like doing what your travel companions enjoy doing, take the day to explore by yourself doing what you like to do or visiting places the rest of your group isn’t interested in. No matter what, it’s important to treat yourself well as an introvert as you adapt to a world made for extroverts. Rules do not exist when traveling!

Best Destinations for Women Traveling Solo

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Photo credit: Depositphotos

If you're ready to plan your next adventure, these destinations are some of the safest and most fun for women traveling alone.

Author: Jorie Logan

Title: Writer

Expertise: Travel, Wellness, Advocacy

Jorie Logan is a copywriter, brand strategist, and traveler with extensive solo travel experience. She's passionate about sharing stories that empower women to explore their world and discover their authentic joyful selves.