7 Ways to Deal with Anxiety and Boredom as a Solo Traveler

Jessica Peterson

Behind the Scenes filming Barcelo Stories in Dominican Republic

If you have been inspired to embark on a solo traveling adventure of a lifetime, then you’re on to a winner! There are always some additional feelings that are associated with this type of life decision, both before and during your trip, such as happiness, excitement, contentment, apprehension, boredom, anxiety and stress; it’s a real mixed bag!

Don’t let the emotions sway your decision though. This is an experience you will not regret, and the benefits truly outweigh the detriment of not going. Instead, read your way through our top tips for overcoming both boredom and anxiety as a solo traveller which will also help you sleep more soundly at night in the runup to your trip of a lifetime.

Ways to Overcome Boredom

Jessica Peterson, Global Girl Travels on Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia

Creating a list: Do some background research on your upcoming destinations prior to setting off. You can educate yourself on some of the kinds of amazing and exciting opportunities you can enjoy as a traveller.

You can get lost for hours by figuring out all the things you want to do, see and tick off your list. Take your list with you too, so that you can cross each accomplishment off. Remember, it’s a fact that keeping yourself busy is a definite way to counteract feelings of boredom and is better for your health!

Asking questions: This is a good one while to note while you’re on long journeys. It’s amazing who you end up sitting next to when you go away travelling. This is an awesome opportunity to soak up some knowledge on places you’ve never been to.

Conversation is a wonderful way to pick up more information, ideas, learn about a destination, and it might even inspire you to try visiting somewhere else and extending your trip.

Pre-filling your evenings: The nights can sometimes be tricky for solo travellers, depending on where you go. Having said that, if you are staying in hostels, people are almost certainly going to want to talk to you and will gladly get you involved with what they are doing.

So, have it in mind that you should fill your evenings with things to do, and don’t just sit alone in your room. Occasionally, it’s okay to get things sorted and chill out, but you’re there to soak in all things new and experience the world, so just go with the flow.

In fact, Psychology Today states that the spontaneous you are the less anxious you will be!

Setting yourself goals: If you set goals, or kind of ‘mini-assignments’ for yourself, whether it’s logging a regular travel journal, creating a cool, classic-style scrapbook, or reading an assigned number of books, these are the types of things you can do to stay busy.

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By having that feeling of purpose, it will help maintain your focus and defend against the onset of boredom.

Ways to Manage Anxiety

Sydney Opera House, Australia

Making new friends: As we touched on in one of the previous points, nothing staves off the sense of loneliness like being with other people and not being alone.

Again, as we said, meeting people is easy when you’re travelling, especially if you’re in hostels, join organised tours, or volunteer, for example.

Electing an emergency contact: knowing that you have all the necessary precautions in place before you leave to go travelling can help with reducing the sense of anxiety.

Choose an emergency contact and let them know before you go. You’re best served to keep their contact details info to hand wherever you go when you’re abroad. Also, if you are doing things by yourself, you should think about messaging a friend or loved one to let them know your intended plans.

By taking these steps, you can ease your anxious thoughts in the knowledge that someone is thinking about you and will be waiting to hear from you when you get back.

Applying self-care: Traveling has the ability to throw out some of your regular routines, which can be not so helpful, but can also be pretty cool!

However, avoid letting your self-care slip. By this we mean, getting enough sleep, eating healthily and regularly, staying physically active. Oh, and don’t be put off seeking out help/comfort if you have spells of anxiousness that spike and need help with.

If you consciously take sufficient care of yourself while you’re away, it will make it notably easier to deal with any potential stressors that may pop up along the way.

Final thoughts

Don’t see your anxiety or tendency to get bored as a negative, you can turn them around and use them to your advantage by creating opportunities for yourself.

The positives of remaining open-minded and adopting the ideas covered above will ensure that as a solo traveller you can overcome boredom and anxiety in productive ways.

Jessica Peterson
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Jessica Peterson

Jessica Peterson is a travel filmmaker, photographer, and journalist. She released her first documentary film about indigenous culture on Guam in 2016, after having lived nearly 7 years on the Pacific island.
Jessica Peterson
Follow me

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