Want to see the world but don’t always have people to go with? A former United Airlines employee and TikTok creator explains why you should book a solo trip.
Megan Homme, who has had a few TikToks go viral encouraging others to book solo trips, told Digital that taking your first solo trip is “life-changing.”
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When she worked with United, Homme said she had the perk of free flights and many of her co-workers would go on solo trips, which Homme initially thought “there’s no way that’s enjoyable.”
“I did not think it could possibly be a good time. I was like, you’re going to be so lonely. But no, once you do it, it’s like oh, I get it now. Everyone tells you, you just have to do it, and that is so true,” she said.
Homme said she was “tired” of waiting for others to join her to use her flight perks. She embarked on her first solo venture to Key West, Florida, saying she wanted to go someplace “easy” and “comfortable” for her first trip.
“Once you do it once, you’re like, oh, okay, I can do this. So ever since then, I’ve gotten more and more comfortable going to further destinations,” she said.
Homme explained that one of the main benefits of solo traveling is getting to do what you want “100% of your time” on the trip, citing how people don’t always have a ton of vacation time or money to spend on trips.
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“When people are spending a lot of money on a trip, you don’t necessarily want to have to do things you’re not thrilled about just because that’s what your friends want to do. So I feel like being able to use 100% of your time is so valuable,” she continued.
Venturing off solo forces you to make connections with new people in a way that traveling with your friends does not, argued the TikToker.
“When I’m with my friends, we maybe don’t bother to interact with other people on the trip because you have people to hang out with already. But when I’m alone, I’m so much more motivated to go strike up a conversation and meet someone while [I’m] there,” she explained.
When embarking on your first trip, Homme recommends starting small and going someplace that would feel comfortable to you, stating that a weekend trip somewhere near a beach in the U.S. is a great place to begin.
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“I think everyone pictures solo travel and [sees] these videos of people who are backpacking Southeast Asia, [but] that does not have to be your first trip,” said the TikToker.
“You’re getting used to the actual physical aspect of traveling by yourself. Like going to the airport, boarding a flight, checking into a hotel all by yourself. So I feel that’s probably the easiest way to start,” she said.
There are many ways to make friends and stay safe when traveling alone, Homme said. Staying in hostels is a great way to meet other solo travelers, but if that is not for you, Homme suggests booking a variety of group tours to put yourself around other people.
“You have a captive audience when you’re on these things. [Say] you’re on a little river cruise for a couple of hours with the same 15 people, you’re going be able to start a conversation with them,” emphasized Homme, saying another good way to meet others is to strike up a conversation by asking someone to take your picture.
“A couple of girls asked me to take their photo, and then I started talking to them. They’re like, ‘Oh, we’re actually just waiting on our dinner reservation. You want to come?’ And then I end up hanging out with them for the rest of the weekend,” recalled the creator about her summer trip to Denmark.
Homme says staying in a hotel over an AirBnb is one of her favorite ways to feel safe when jet-setting solo, citing how she feels that the hotel staff are “watching” over her. Otherwise, practicing basic safety measures at home is the same as when you’re traveling.
“Don’t be out after dark by yourself super late. Just be cautious of [the] area you’re in. But these are all tips that would apply to you, whether you’re solo or with a group,” Homme stressed, adding that she has yet to feel unsafe while traveling by herself.
Encouraging others to take the leap on booking a solo trip, the creator implores that you are never “stuck” anywhere if you need to end your vacation.
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“There’s always a flight home. You’re never stuck. If you go and are just having a terrible time, there is a flight home tonight, tomorrow,” reassured Homme. “You can always change your mind if it doesn’t work out. But I would say you truly don’t know what it’s like until you do it, and you just have to go for it.”