Confession: I’m an introvert. Being an introvert is a beautiful thing, but sometimes it can feel like we are just bystanders in an extrovert world. And this is especially the case when it comes to travel. Below I’ve provided a few tips to help introverts navigate the world of travel.
Cliché travel questions are your friend.
Small talk can be painstakingly painful for an introvert. However, when traveling, those cliché questions can be a lifesaver. So, where are you from? How long have you been traveling? How do you like it so far? Even if these cliché questions don’t segue into a lengthy conversation, no harm is done.
Never travel without headphones, a sleep mask, or a book.
For those times you have hit your introvert wall, one of the easiest ways to avoid a conversation is to put in your headphones or pick up a book.
Skip the B&B or Airbnb.
While your extroverted friends might rave about the friends they made at that little B&B or trendy Airbnb, all you need as an introvert is rest. I love being able to end my day by closing my hotel door and knowing no one else will bother me. Solidarity is essential for recharging after a long day of travel and exploring.
Related: How to Sleep Better in a Hotel
Get up early.
Getting up before your traveling companions is a great way to steal some solo time without bothering anyone else.
Avoid scheduling your travel from sun up to sundown. Build-in some time to recharge. Scheduling downtime is essential to prevent feeling overwhelmed, even if it is just grabbing a coffee at a local cafe and people watching.
Try a walking tour.
Guided tours are a great way to experience some human interaction while you are on your travels, plus you get to learn a little something about your destination. Additionally, there isn’t a ton of pressure to talk, but you can have small interactions with the individuals in the group.
Take your hobbies with you.
Traveling is all about experiencing new things, but that doesn’t mean you have to skip the joys of home. Increase your photography skills by spending time behind the lens, practice your sketches by taking in the scenery, or simply soak up the sun with a good book.
Keep a travel journal.
Keeping a travel journal is a great way to decompress after a long day. It allows you the chance to reflect and process what occurred in your day, as well as give you something to do when you are tucked away in a corner cafe or bar.
Sit at the bar or near the kitchen for meals.
One of the most intimidating things, for me, is eating alone. It just feels weird to be in a restaurant surrounded by people lingering over their meals. I typically either try to find a casual place where people are in and out, or I request to be seated at the bar/in the bar area or near the kitchen.
Book group travel.
Most people think that traveling with a group of strangers is the reverse of what an introvert needs, but it is my preference. I think group travel with strangers is the perfect balance between solo travel and traveling with friends or family. Plus they take care of the logistics.
Related: The Introvert’s Guide to Group Travel