How young is too young to travel solo?
Updated: Jan 4
When you think of solo travel, what is the image that comes to mind? Do you see business trips where you had to go by yourself or do you see a backpack strapped to your back going solo from one place to another? What is that immediate image that comes to mind when thinking of solo travel?
From my experience, most people think of solo travel as having to explore and travel 100% on your own. The image that stereotypically comes to mind is of a traveler either backpacking or lone wolfing a travel experience. While this is not incorrect, I want to reframe your thought process when it comes to solo travel. Solo travel can also be setting off on your own and being willing to meet new people to travel with or it can be joining a group where you do not know the other travelers. These are also things I qualify as solo travel experiences.
It takes guts to do anything on your own and to not have the safety net of going with people in your immediate network.
Would you let your kid at age 15 travel alone?
Would you choose to travel alone at that young of an age?
Have you traveled solo already in your life? What is holding you back?
This is an image of me at 15 on my first solo travel experience. I am happy to share my insight as someone who has boldly traveled starting from a young age.
From a young age, my parents drove me to up north Michigan summer camps. Summer camps are the test drive version of solo travel. You get dropped off in a new place, without knowing a single soul, to create new memories and experiences. Summer camps are like solo travel with the training wheels still on. There are camp counselors, activities, dining halls, required community participation, all there with the intention of making the time away from friends and family an amazing experience. I believe that my time at summer camps at a young age helped encourage me to take on solo travel later on in my life.
The trip I qualify as my first solo trip was to the Caribbean at the young age of 15. I navigated the airport and got on the flight 100% by myself, arrived in country by myself, and joined a group of fellow high schoolers to live on a catamaran for one month in the Caribbean sea. We were accompanied by two adults, one sail instructor, and one scuba instructor. We collectively learned how to sail and scuba dive throughout our time on the catamaran. By the end of the trip, each of us was sail and scuba certified.
With world travel already under my belt prior to the Caribbean solo trip and all the years of summer camps, for me, I was ready to take on my first solo trip. I was nervous to take on the challenge, but with encouragement I set off. It ultimately was an incredible experience. I made friendships that I maintained for years. The memories that I have from this trip are unforgettable.
I see my purpose as creating a life full of joy and making impact within our world. I extend this purpose through travel and empowering women to travel widely when the travel bug bites. I enable women to travel through fully planned experiences, creating a comfortable and welcoming environment to show you that the world is limitless. There are so many ways to explore. I highly encourage you to reflect on your own need for travel within your life. If you have kids, reflect on if travel would be of value within their lives.
I believe you are never to young to start traveling. There are many options that allow for yourself, your child, or whomever to travel safely even from a young age. The biggest thing to consider is when are you personally ready for travel?
Memories that you make are priceless. You will never regret starting your travel journey no matter what age you may be.