Traveling Solo

All the world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page

St. Augustine

Whether you are traveling for work (look at you fancy grown up lady!), or just want to treat yourself, life after graduation will likely include some new travel opportunities. Here are my tips for exploring solo!

  • Start Small

Your first venture traveling solo doesn’t need to be a full on trip, in fact I would recommend testing the waters with smaller adventures. My first time traveling solo was on a business trip to Syracuse. When the rest of my traveling group wanted to stay in for the evening, I took it upon myself to get out and see the town. Whether it’s getting out on your own on a business trip, or taking a day trip from your hometown, starting small is definitely the key to solo travel success.

  • Stay Safe

I was hyper aware of safety while traveling on my own, and that’s not always a bad thing! Make sure you have designated check ins with family or friends while you’re gone, or even share your location on your IPhone. I texted my parents when I got in the Uber and when I made it to my destination.

Also do some research about where you’re visiting. If it’s a metropolitan area maybe exploring alone at night isn’t the best plan. My rule is only to take Uber by myself during daylight hours. Do some research and figure out what’s smart for you- you can never be too cautious!

  • Listen to the Locals

No one knows the town you’re in better than the people who call it home. Chat with someone at the visitor center, or your Lyft driver to see the best places to go. Or if you’re feeling super anti-social do Yelp or Pinterest research of your own! While in Syracuse my Uber driver recommended a place called Pastabilities for dinner. More on that in tip #4

  • Take Yourself to Dinner!!!

No seriously, this tip might be my favorite and my biggest recommendation. I can’t tell you how nervous I was when I realized it was dinner time as I was out and about in Syracuse. I was really intrigued by my driver’s recommendation of Pastabilities but was incredibly intimated at the idea of walking into a cute sit-down restaurant solo. I contemplated what I could order back to my hotel with GrubHub or where I could go, but in a few seconds of courage decided to go to Pastabilities.

I was so glad I did! The food an ambiance was incredible- if you’re ever in Syracuse definitely stop by- their homemade pasta and hot spicy tomato oil is to die for. But if the idea of walking in alone and taking up a table seems super intimidating, just grab a seat at the bar. On a crowded night at the restaurant no one will know that you’re alone (I promise you’re the only one that cares), and bartenders are often very nice and fun to talk to.

  • Take photos (and be ok with not being in them!)

I’m not sure what it is about Instagram, but I always feel like I have to be in the photo to post in, no matter how pretty the sunset, city skyline etc. I snapped is. It just feels like in order to get likes I should be in them. Plot twist: WhO cAreS?? Your Insta should be a place to share images you love, forget the likes. If you aren’t comfortable sharing everything in a post, add your travel images to a story so you can save them forever.

Investing in a Working Wardrobe

When college is finally over, so are your days of rolling out of bed 5 minutes before class and throwing on the standard uniform of a Comfort Colors sorority tee, athletic shorts and Chacos (or Birks, but personally I’m team #chaconation). Unless you go into the medical profession and are lucky enough to get to wear scrubs every day, you’re going to need a brand new working wardrobe. Whether you’re teaching or accounting, hopefully these tips will help you build a stylish new closet (without breaking the bank!)

1. Stock on the staples

There are some pieces you can just count on needing. A well-tailored pair of black plants, a cardigan to take dresses from summer to fall, a pair of comfortable booties and some statement flats are my essentials. And don’t forget a tote bag big enough to hold your laptop and planner!

2. Can I wear this to work?

Whenever I’m shopping for a piece of clothing, whether its work specific or not- I always ask myself – is this something I can wear to work? The key to not spending too much is to let your clothes do double duty. Would the top you’re contemplating look just as cute with jeans on date night as it would with a pencil skirt in the office? If yes-buy with my blessing, you found yourself a worthwhile investment!

3. Watch where you shop

While a working wardrobe should be an investment, it doesn’t need to be a huge blow to your bank account! My favorite stores to check out are H and M, Old Navy and yes even Target! While you may absolutely need a blazer from Banana Republic, I promise there are places you can find it cheaper. Save the name brands for your CEO years!