Pack your bags: My solo vacation to Jamaica
Last month I did something pretty impulsive. I booked a trip by myself to Montego Bay, Jamaica. I haven't traveled alone in almost 15 years but I really felt the need to get away to someplace warm and just recharge my batteries. I'm fortunate enough to have friends to travel with and in the past few years have gone with them to Montreal, Italy and Ireland, but I really didn't want to worry about working around someone else's schedule so I decided to just throw caution to the wind and go solo.
I had a wonderful time and it definitely was 'mission accomplished' in terms of coming back refreshed. So I thought I'd share some tips in case you think you might want to travel solo too.
1. Books are your friends
Thank goodness for my Kindle app! I stockpiled half a dozen books (after getting lots of recommendations from friends) and in the 5 days there, I read 4 of them! Because it can get lonely at times, the books kept me company at meals and at the beach or pool. And they made the time go that much faster because I was so engrossed. Even better, no distractions from a friend or my child wanting to do something. I was my own boss!
2.All inclusive is the way to go
I knew I didn't want to do any heavy lifting so for me going someplace that I didn't need to think about anything or plan anything was perfect. I had options for my meals on property and yes, I could have taken an excursion, but really I just showed up and never left the property. They had activities all day long if I wanted to participate (and I did play beach volleyball and do some beach aerobics), but mostly I sat at the pool and beach and occasionally had a cocktail or two. Plus, as a single woman, I knew I would feel safe on the resort unescorted.
I can talk to anyone and I'm pretty comfortable talking to strangers (I'm from NY, after all), so when I wanted to chat with people it was pretty easy. Of course, this being Jamaica, everyone is relaxed anyway (and cocktails make that even easier), so I would sidle up to the bar and just start talking to the person next to me. I met people from Canada and the UK as well as of course, NY (cause we're everywhere!) and it was nice to see familiar faces day after day as I walked around.
4.Do what you love
Just because it's vacation, doesn't mean you need to put aside some of your regular routine if that's what makes you happy. I love to workout, so for me this vacation was a chance to do it every day and on my own schedule. And because it was just me, I really had no excuse not to! From using the fitness center to playing tennis, walking on the beach and even doing some of the resort activities, I made sure to do what makes me happy and get my sweat on.
5. Go with an open mind
You can't dictate everything, nor can you anticipate what might happen or who you might meet. So keep your mind open to new people and new experiences and you just might surprise yourself.
Have you ever taken a solo vacation? I'd love to hear all about it.