How Self Isolation Compares to Solo Travel

Self Isolation expert or novice?
How Self Isolation Compares to Solo Travel

Like never before, travel has been stopped dead in its tracks – with travel plans thwarted. And now, maybe for your first time ever, you’re in self-isolation.

Confined to my home, it got me thinking about how I feel about self-isolating. I couldn’t help but find similarities to travelling solo. And if you’ve never travelled alone and something’s been holding you back, could a dose of self-isolation be just what you need to prove to yourself you’ve got what it takes to travel solo?

Take a glimpse into what it’s like to travel solo through self-isolation.

1. Staying Social

When you travel alone, finding ways to connect with other travellers and people along the way can play a big part in enjoying your travels and feeling grounded. Just a few days into self-isolating and working from home, I realised how much I need to ‘be connected’, especially facing the prospect of self-confinement for an unknown amount of time.

Already I am using two new apps to connect ‘face to face’ with colleagues and friends.  Using for work to connect with the team remotely, and discovering the HouseParty app, for virtual parties with friends, all from the confines of my living room.  We humans need to connect and socialise. When you travel solo there’s also options to find these connections; it may be that you choose hostels so it’s easy to meet other travellers. Or, that you join guided day tours, not just to experience the sights but as a way for social interaction. Or, you join a solo travel tour so you’ve got that guaranteed companionship along the way.   

When you’re deciding on your style of trip, first work out what you need when it comes to staying social – what’s your threshold for being alone?  When you know this, you’ll know the kind of trip you feel comfortable taking.  

2. Rediscovering Hobbies

Solo Travel Tour Art

It is mostly downsides coming from this COVID nightmare. But, something positive could be the more hours at home; giving us the extra time to rediscover some favourite past times.   Rediscovering your hobbies is also a great way to approach solo travel,  if you’re not sure how to get started.

Maybe you love to paint and you can join an art program in another country, or perhaps you’ve always dreamed of taking a cooking class in Italy. Create or find a trip where you can participate in something you love, and best of all you can share the experience with other travellers that share your same interest.

3. How We Adapt

In my first few days of self-isolation I felt a tad unsettled.  Before the corona virus reared its ugly head, self-isolating was foreign to most of us. If you’ve never travelled alone, it can feel the same when you first start out.

COVID-19 Self-isolation

My first few days of self-isolation was marked by way too much chocolate, carb-loaded food and not enough exercise. But with those first days behind me, I’ve shifted into my new norm and I’ve found my feet; less chocolate, less carbs and back to exercise.  I think it’s the same when you travel solo. At the beginning you may have a day or so when you feel out of your comfort zone or don’t quite feel you’ve found ‘you’re groove’ but then before you know it, you have, and your revelling in every moment.

4. How Will I Fill My Days?

Isolation 24/7, day in day out, how will I fill my days? If you’re pondering some travels on your own, you could be thinking the same – what am I going to do with all this time to myself?   When you’re planning your first solo trip (or any solo trip), it’s a good idea to make a travel plan / set an itinerary.  You could consider the same for self-isolating – make a plan.  Avoid squandering this time; whether it’s in isolation or travelling solo.  You don’t have to have every hour planned but thinking about what you hope to get done during this time could be the difference between enjoying it or feeling like it was wasted time.

Travelling alone? Make a plan – research what you want to see and do,  book some tours, or decide on the travel group you want to join.
Self-isolating? Plan some time for hobbies and exercise, maybe look into online learning, or something as simple as setting up time to catch up with old friends.

5. Your Time

Whether you’re in solitary confinement living through COVID-19 or travelling solo, you’re going to have the time for self-reflection, time to think and time to evaluate. We can use this time to slow down from our busy lives, take in what’s around us and decide what’s important.  You never know how your solo travels, or a dose of self-isolation could change your life direction or at least give you a new outlook on something.

There’s probably never been a time like this (COVID-19) in most of our lives before, and hopefully never again.  Maybe the silver lining will be that you set down some plans for your own solo travels, ready to take off - once we arise from the dark haze of COVID-19 to see our world as we knew it before.


Check out our Solos Only Tour Groups
For a full list of small group tours.

Cruising Solo?
You can avoid dining solo when you join a Cruise Circle for Solos for group, with cruises departing from Australia, or join

Solo Traveller Dining Events
Check out our events in Sydney and then from time to time, other cities in Australia including Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Getting Started For The First Time?
Check out my book, How To Travel Solo But Not Alone

Something To Share?
Have you got a story to share?  Send us your solo travel story, for inclusion on our blog page. Know anyone that could find some encouraging words from my story? Please share and be a voice for travelling solo.

Find Us On Facebook
Travelling with us, or thinking about it, or just curious? Join our Facebook Tribe of solo travellers.


Visit our Contact Us page on our website.

About the author

Justine Waddington

Justine Waddington is the founder and director of Encounter Travel, a company that creates holiday groups exclusively for solo travellers. As a solo traveller with 60 countries under her belt and 14 years of leading travel groups, Justine is in the unique position of being able to offer tips and advice from the perspective of an experienced solo traveller and also that of a travel agent.

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