Sometimes only a beach holiday will do. Culture, famous landmarks and a plethora of activities are all well and good, but there are times when you just need to relax, unwind, lie on the sand and do very little apart from dip in the sea and enjoy the sun with a few drinks. But what if you’re going solo? My first solo trip was to a seaside resort and I’ve had several beach holidays by myself since. Here are my answers to some common questions that I’ve encountered about this type of solo travel.
Won’t people think I’m weird for being on a beach vacation by myself?
Think about the last time you went to the beach. Were you peering around, making judgements on the people next to you? Or were you too busy relaxing and having a good time? No one cares. They’re too wrapped up in their own holiday. Even if they do spot that you’re alone they probably won’t think anything of it; your companions must be in the water or have gone to buy ice-cream. I have never caught anyone staring at me and have never been questioned as to why I’m soaking up the rays by myself. Slather on the suncream, get out a good book and enjoy your day of peace.
Is it safe for a woman to lie on the beach alone?
I wouldn’t recommend spreading your smartphone, iPod, purse and Kindle around you on your towel and then going to sleep…but that’s common sense! I don’t believe that anyone, male or female, is in any more danger relaxing on a beach during the day by themselves than with someone else. Just be aware of where your stuff is, especially if you’re lying back and closing your eyes (and you shouldn’t be falling asleep in the sun anyway – did I mention suncream already?).
What do I do with my stuff when I’m in the water?
This is the most common question I get asked, and the trickiest one too. Janice at SoloTraveler wrote a good post about solo beach trips a while ago which includes lots of tips from her followers. Personally, I try to book accommodation a few minutes’ walk away from the beach – then I can just take my towel and key and go for a swim before heading back to my room. If I fancy a dip while I’ve got my bag with me, I take my cue from what everyone else is doing – if families and couples have left their stuff unattended while they go in the sea together (as is often the case), I do the same, throwing my towel over my things and making sure I keep it in sight while I have a short splash-about. I’ve never had anything stolen or meddled with.
Alternatively, you could always try to find your own personal beach, like I did in Greece last year!
What do I do at night?
I can only speak for European resorts, but they tend to be busy right into the late hours of the night, with open shops, busy restaurants and bars, and plenty of people taking a stroll along the promenade. Go for a walk, grab an ice-cream, or have a long dinner or a quiet cocktail in a beach bar. If you’re not too confident about being out and about alone at night, you could choose accommodation with a bar attached, or a room with a balcony where you can sit out with a glass of wine and enjoy the balmy evening air.
OK, I’m sold! Where should I go?
I always start by using Skyscanner, setting the destination to “Everywhere”, to find out which countries are the cheapest to fly to on my preferred dates. I then tend to use a package holiday website, such as On The Beach, to find the names of some beach resort areas, before heading over to my usual accommodation booking sites (I start with Booking.com) to see what I can find in those areas. Read the descriptions of the properties carefully, look at a map, and consider using Google and TripAdvisor to check out areas you’re interested in – beach resorts vary wildly in nature and you don’t want to end up staying somewhere with a prominent strip of loud nightclubs if you’re after somewhere peaceful and quiet!
Would you go on a solo beach trip? Is there anything I haven’t answered here to convince you? Share your thoughts in the comments.