12 Tips For The Introverted Traveler

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Confession: I’m an introvert. And as other introverts know, even though we make up almost a third of the population, sometimes it still feels like it’s an extrovert’s world, especially when it comes to travel and being that “weird girl” who is happy being on her own. One of the biggest misconceptions is that introverts hate being around people which isn’t true at all. Introverts’ brains literally work differently than extroverts. It doesn’t mean that you’re shy, or anti-social. It just means that you quickly become over-stimulated after interacting with too many people and lose energy in social situations. We are just as capable of going to new places, meeting people, and functioning in group travel situations as anyone else. So with that in mind, here some truths about being an introverted traveler and some tips on how you can have a better travel experience when you make the right choices for your personality type.


1. Never travel without headphones, a sleep mask, and a book

Unless you’re genuinely interested in chatting with someone, small talk can be exhausting. If you’re worried about looking rude, the easiest way to avoid a conversation is to put on your headphones or bury your nose in a book ASAP.


2. Skip the B&B or Airbnb and stay in a conventional hotel

While your extroverted friends might rave about the friends they made at that little B&B, getting to know every guest may be more than you need after a long day of travel and exploring. Stay at a big hotel where people will leave you alone and you can unwind in peace at the end of the day.


3. Try a retreat

Retreats are pretty perfect for introverts. Whether for yoga or writing or whatever else inspires you, retreats are usually set in pristine natural settings, offer quiet spaces for thinking and meditating and you’re surrounded by like minded people who will probably stay to themselves.


4. Order room service

Whether you’re traveling solo or with friends, eating out for three meals a day can be exhausting. If you’re not feeling up for the social interaction, order room service one night or stop at a local grocery store and stock up on some snacks you can enjoy in your room when you need a quiet, easy meal.


5. Keep a travel journal

Travel journals are almost like therapy while you travel and whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, it’s very helpful to download your feelings at the end of the day and express all the joy, frustration and fears you’re experiencing on your trip.


6. Schedule downtime

Travel sometimes equals high stress and even though you want to see as much as possible when you’re out, you also need to take time to recharge. After a long day of sight seeing, take the next morning to set up at a local cafe and just enjoy the people watching. If you don’t schedule down time into your schedule, it’s easy to start feeling overwhelmed.


7. Don’t be afraid to travel solo

Honestly, introverts might be even better at traveling solo because we are perfectly happy to entertain ourselves for long periods. When you travel alone, you can do whatever it is you want to do and you don’t have to worry about other people. Sometimes you’ll feel like you’re missing out on the “true” travel experience, which is often portrayed as long, heartfelt conversations with locals. I believe that an introvert who spends the day watching the goings-on at a public market gets just as much out the travel experience — it’s just a different experience.


8. Try a walking tour

I used to avoid anything that involved the word “tour” because I didn’t want to be forced to a schedule. But actually, walking tours are a fantastic way to learn a little bit about the city you’re in with zero commitment. Often the tour is free and there usually isn’t much pressure to talk, but you can have small interactions with the group for an hour or two.


9. Be open to conversation but don’t be shy about ending an encounter when you’re ready

Introvert doesn’t mean anti-social and no matter how much you love your alone time, it’s equally important to have some social interaction to keep from getting lonely. Random conversations can lead to invitations to parties or a casual travel companion. The biggest thing here is to never feel ashamed or embarrassed to say “no” if you’re not feeling it. Then again, say “yes” sometimes, too. You never know what might happen.


10. Choose your destinations by your energy level

If the thought of late night partying and packed subways make you feel vaguely nauseous, maybe you should take places like Cancun or Ibiza off your travel list and opt for quieter locations like Iceland or New Zealand. Consider a more off-the-beaten-path destination that lets you introspectively experience a new culture without having to worry about getting dragged from one night club to another. Slow travel is a great way to spend more time in a place instead of cramming every tourist activity into one or two days.


11. Take your hobbies with you

Yes, the point of traveling is to experience new things, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave all your other little joys at home. Work on your photography skills by enjoying the view from behind a camera lens, take in the scenery with your sketchbook, or soak up some sun with a good book. People are less likely to bother you if you’re actually doing something and creating something you love will put you in a good mood.


12. Know what you need and how to get it

Even though introverts often get a negative rap, it’s important to know what you need. Your trips will be so much more satisfying and enjoyable if you’re not stressed and anxious. A good travel companion is a joy but know when you need to take a break and spend some solo time in a museum. Just because you’re an introvert doesn’t mean you’re not cut out to travel. I love traveling because all you need to do is watch the world go by- there’s nothing else you should be doing. Traveling can be a great experience for introverts since it offers the opportunity for solitude and self reflection as well as the the chance to get out of your comfort zone, experience a new culture and engage with others in meaningful ways. While you might not come back from your trip with 500 new Facebook friends, you’ll leave with quality experiences and relationships that expand your horizons.

Are you an introverted traveler? How do you cope with the stress of traveling? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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    September 25, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    if you’re an introvert, don’t try to fight it. There are countless ways to enhance your travel experience without trying to bend yourself into something you’re not. Following are a few scenarios that can play very well to the strengths of an introvert, as well as some simple tactics to help assuage your introverted tendencies without sacrificing the countless opportunities for human contact while traveling.

    sheree millington
    July 29, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Funny, I never would have described myself as an introvert, but this is me! I’m quite loud, outgoing and social so I guess I always thought of myself as an extrovert BUT I have to have my own solo time. If I don’t, I go mad. I enjoy my own company more than anyone elses and the thought of travelling with someone for a long period of time freaks me out. Maybe introverts are the best solo travellers!

    Nadia Natalia
    July 29, 2015 at 1:50 am

    Great post! I am an introvert as well and this post relieves me as I am not alone in this world. :p Thank you for sharing!

    Kim | The Wanderlist
    July 17, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    So refreshing to see a post about embracing your own company and learning to enjoy it whilst travelling, instead of the usual hype about how to make a hundred new friends, party every night and do everything as a group.

    I’ll happily admit that eighteen months of travel has made me realise I’m more of an introvert and more introspective than I originally thought. I love meeting likeminded people, having drinks with new friends etc. like anyone else but soon feel exhausted by everyone and want to please myself again/go off and do my own thing.

    I’ll be travelling to New Zealand and Sri Lanka solo in a few months. I won’t be able to afford anything more than dorms in hostels and backpacker busses (in NZ) but I still can’t wait for the independance!

    Keep up the good work! x

    July 16, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Interesting to see a post about tips for introverted travellers rather than tips for overcoming the fact, pushing boundaries and socializing regardless.

    Andrea Petersen
    July 16, 2015 at 12:00 am

    Lovely post! Although I am deffoes an extrovert it was really interesting seeing your views as an introvert! 🙂 Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    July 15, 2015 at 12:31 am

    Great tips! As a fellow introvert, I really appreciate these. Travelling is often portrayed as such an extroverted activity, and I always feel like I’ve missed out on something when I come home from a trip and don’t have a million stories about all of the awesome people I met. I do enjoy travelling with others, though — they act as a confidence booster and help me do things outside of my comfort zone that end up being really fun; not to mention they can take care of the necessary social interactions (ask for directions, talk to the tour guide, check in to a hotel…). 🙂 It is so important to just be alone sometimes, though!

    July 14, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    I”m an introverted traveler as well and, just as you suggest yourself, the magic of walking tours really saves me from feeling lonely while solo traveling! It’s the best tip ever, actually – you always have the choice of either socializing with people if you feel like it, or staying quiet… You’re not really pushed to do anything you don’t want – apart from sticking to the tour schedule. But that’s something I can live with 🙂

    July 14, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Thanks for the tips! Fellow introvert here too 🙂
    Could you tell me where the first pic was taken? I want to add those colorful houses to my bucket list for traveling!

    July 14, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Terrific post Kate! I consider myself to be a more introverted traveller and really enjoy my experiences when going on a trip by myself. It is so true that you don’t have to be wildly extroverted to have a good time while travelling and it really is all about seeking out the best activities for yourself xx

    North India Travel agent
    July 14, 2015 at 8:03 pm

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    July 14, 2015 at 6:44 am

    Thank you for writing what you did about being an introvert and wanting to travel. Last year I went to Seville in Spain. I think I’m often thought of as that weird one travelling on her own. After finding no one to go with this year as all friends are married/have children I booked to go to Fuerteventura in the Canary Island’s and looking forward to it. Love seeing your photos and what you write. Maybe this is something I could become good at 🙂

    July 13, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Thanks for a great post, pretty much describes me and my life and travels perfectly and really good to know I am not the only one who feels like this. x

    July 13, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Says an extrovert. Observing local people definitely gives you a great impression of the culture and habits too, without having to interact with them, which can be stressful and exhausting for an introvert. Great for you that you enjoy it so much, but please realize there are other people who don’t and there is nothing wrong with that.

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    July 13, 2015 at 7:58 am

    Great article. You described me perfectly. It’s nice to know that someone understands I am not anti social or a snob, I am truly overwhelmed by too much environmental stimulation. I really do value my alone time. Peace and quiet is something that much to underrated in today’s world.

    The Oracle
    July 13, 2015 at 6:46 am

    Very helpful and insightful. This is good to know

    July 13, 2015 at 1:43 am

    I’m an introvert, too! I’ve actually found that AirBnb can work quite well though, I just always get the entire apartment to myself rather than renting a room. This saves a ton of money on food because I can cook, plus I don’t have to worry about dealing with eating out 3 times a day.

    Nora @ Forgotten Recipe
    July 12, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Allowing yourself downtime is just so important! Even as someone that has traveled a lot and does not consider herself and introvert, I need that downtime when I am travelling. Otherwise, I end up feeling overwhelmed and unable to continue and therefore unable to get the most out of my vacation and that feeling sucks.

    Amber Rhodes
    July 12, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    Great tips for the shy traveller .I haven’t done much travelling at all and spend most of my time alone. It is good to know that it is possible.

    Beth Kempster
    July 12, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    This is a really meaningful post to me.
    I’m very introverted, however I also have a passion for travelling. Next year.. I’m gonna do it. I’m finally going to take the leap and fly around the world!
    Thank you for writing this, its a little boost of confidence, even knowing that I’m not the only introvert ready to explore the globe!
    xox Beth

    sarah vernon
    July 12, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    what a great post, would love to go solo travelling one day, could relate to alot of these!

    Faryal saleem
    July 12, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    It is a wonderful article. And i usually do the things mentioned in the article as am an introvert too. And thats true we have a lifestyle of our own which is totally exciting and wonderful within itself. I love travelling

    Miles of Happiness - Marie
    July 12, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    I love this post ! I’m an introverted too – and it’s great to read your thoughts about traveling solo. Actually traveling literally changed me – I’m not as shy as I used to be anymore 🙂

    July 12, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    Fellow introvert here! Growing up, I always felt like I was so different from other people because the States is such an extroverted, get-ahead society. I actually think of travel as an adventure to find where I being in the world…where I “fit.” I’ve recently moved to Australia, and I’m loving every minute of this work -to-live pace!

    July 12, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    I had the feeling that this article was more about how to stay alone while traveling…Which is a shame I think. I mean how can you enjoy a new culture if you avoid social interaction?

    Samantha Elisabeth
    July 12, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Wahoo! Fellow introvert here. Although I wouldn’t rule out AirBnbs! They’re actually very private and not at all like a BnB or hostel depending on what you choose.

    Kate Thorn, even though you’ve only written 3 articles for WoW, I’ve found myself seriously loving each one! Can’t wait to see more xx

    Claire @ TallGirlBigWorld
    July 12, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    Wonderfully said! I actually prefer traveling solo because I’m more introverted, so I’m thrilled to have this list of suggestions. You definitely hit on some points I hadn’t thought of before. I’ve never considered doing a retreat, but you’re absolutely right, it sounds perfect for me!

    Amy Jet Mags
    July 12, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    I’m 100% introverted and still highly recommend staying at AirBnB locations, rather than hotel, as I do when possible. I love having a local host/guide who often becomes a friend. When I need private time, I say “I need to be writing” and excuse myself.

    July 12, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Great tips! I love your photos!


    July 12, 2015 at 10:45 am

    This is a brilliantly written article.

    July 12, 2015 at 9:11 am

    I would consider myself to be an introvert as well and this advice is spot on! A lot of my friends and family don’t understand but I actually really enjoy travelling and experiencing a new place solo. And I think observing and taking everything in around you is the best way to experience a culture 🙂

    Tessa / Bramble & Thorn
    July 12, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Yep, I’m nodding along to all your points here! I actually prefer AirBnB over hotels though, as I always rent out the entire space (no human contact necessary, hooray!) and find it’s a much less sterile environment than a hotel.


    July 12, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Oh gosh!! These are spot on. I do all these things (and they work great!!)

    July 12, 2015 at 6:34 am

    Im now at this moment traveling alone trough scandinavia and as an introvert I really learn to set my own boundaries. I met a lot of people and everyday I had some talks, sometimes long conversations and somedays just small talks.
    For me this is enough and after a few hours hanging out with people I loveeee to be alone. And sometimes this is not easy because I had to find an excuse to leave somebody and do my one thing. Everyday I get the question: what are you plans for today? And I like to spend the day just alone, walk around the city, sit in the sun, visit a museum and drink coffee and so on. I dont like to hang around with someone for the whole day.. But traveling solo realy learn me to just do my own things and learn to finish conversations with people in a polite way. The funny fact is that introverst als really need company, because some days I had not talked with people for a longggg time and than I feel lonely. Just a short conversation can fix that feeling directly. But now I really love being alone and have the talks with travelers. 🙂

    Nicole Rose
    July 12, 2015 at 4:54 am

    This post is absolutely perfect and amazingly helpful. Thank you so much. 🙂

    July 12, 2015 at 4:04 am

    I’m an introvert and this is really helpful! I’ve been wanting to travel solo and these tips shall really come in handy. 🙂

    July 12, 2015 at 12:25 am

    These are great tips. I am from Finland and we actually don’t do small talk at all here which makes me feel a little awkward when strangers come talk to me when I’m abroad. Of course I enjoy it sometimes, but not all the time. That’s why we are always staying at hotel while traveling. In your hotel room you can be sure that you can rest after a long day.

    July 11, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    great tips!

    July 11, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Great post! I’ve been an introvert all my life and my mom still thinks it’s weird and tries to get me to “come out of my shell!” I’m 23 😛
    Was this written by Brooke or Kate though?

    July 11, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Great article. It’s always when it comes to staying in hostels in certain situations I find this the hardest to handle.

    July 11, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    This is a great write up Brooke!
    I’m a massive introvert as well so could definitely relate with a lot of what you’ve written.
    My headphones are by far the best thing I travel with.

    July 11, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    I just want to know the location of that top shot.

    July 11, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    THANK YOU for these great tips! I’m an introverted traveller myself and I can relate to all the things you talk about. I’m making the move from Denmark to Hong Kong next month, and one thing I’ll have to remind myself to do when I get too exhausted from the crazy crowds in the city, is just to sit down and relax. Maybe find a great view and just soak it all in. That’s my best advice (:

    Tausha @ The Globe Getter
    July 11, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    These are great tips! As a “social introvert,” something else that works for me is to engage with individuals or small groups – two to three people – versus large groups. Introverts are more comfortable in intimate settings, so even if you find yourself at a party or large gathering, focusing on connecting with one to three people makes it less overwhelming.

    Luna | Flowers and Pearls
    July 11, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Love these tips! I always like to sit somewhere and enjoy the view.

    July 11, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    Great article! It’s so recognizable. Even though I’ve been traveling by myself already, these tips still come in handy.

    July 11, 2015 at 8:01 pm
      Great post and I love your photos! So colorful and fun 🙂
      x M.
    Nicola Watkinson
    July 11, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    I’m super introverted and have social anxiety, so I relate to all of this! I went travelling alone for a month on my gap year, and it was fantastic – didn’t have to worry about talking to people on trains, didn’t have to panic about missing connections because someone else is disorganised -all in all I saved myself a lot of stress. I did get a bit lonely, but I was staying in hostels, so whenever I wanted someone to talk to I could strike up a conversation with someone in my room – and if I didn’t want to talk, I could put my headphones in and read a book. And being on your own means you can stick to your own schedule: so I would get up really early, explore all day, and return to my hostel about 5pm and have an early night, rather than having to go out for dinner/clubbing like I would have done if I’d been with friends – like you say about scheduling downtime, it’s important to make sure you’re not cramming too much stuff into your days! Thanks for this great article. 🙂

    July 11, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    woohoo! Love all the comments from other introverts, and a great little article! Introversion makes for a great solo traveller

    Deepti @ Endless Postcards
    July 11, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    I lean towards being an extrovert, although I lean towards the in between of the two. I thrive off of people’s energy, but I’m extremely shy at first. As I get older and experience more, my level of shyness in first meetings has gone down. I’m planning a trip next summer to Europe (I’m from Chicago) and I couldn’t be more excited, but I’m also terrified. In such new surroundings and such unfamiliarity, I think the introverted side of me will come out more than I’m used to — thanks for the helpful tips!

    July 11, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Excellent article! I’m introverted person, too. Most people really do get it wrong and think we’re some kind of anti-social freak. It’s just we need some alone break. I especially enjoy put on my headphone and bring a book to cafe to enjoy a beautiful morning while traveling 🙂

    July 11, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    I wouldn’t consider myself and introvert, but sometimes constantly having to interact with people can be so tiring. I usually opt to stay in hostels and airbnbs because it’s much cheaper. But sometimes I rather just have a single room instead of staying in a dorm.
    Some useful tips on this list I’ll def remember when I’m traveling alone again!

    X Carina

    Claire Shefchik
    July 11, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Nice article! Keep in mind that in some ways introverts actually have an easier time traveling solo than extroverts. I know this because I am an extrovert in that I gain energy from people, but I’m also shy (yes, it’s more common than you think!) When you want to be around people but you’re alone in an new place and don’t know anyone it can be really, really hard. Introverts, however, are more comfortable being alone so this isn’t much of a problem for them.

    Michelle | Lights Camera Travel
    July 11, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Oh I thought this article was written by Brooke until I got to the bottom!

    I think I’m on the cusp of introvert/extrovert, but it can be a bit of a balancing act. Some nice tips here, thanks for sharing!

    July 11, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    I’m a total introvert too and I love this post. I’ve only recently started to dabble in solo travel. It’s something that used to terrify me but after trying it out I absolutely love it. I guess it goes to show that introverts can travel solo too! I agree that people watching at markets is one of my favorite activities when I travel. And I love it when I travel solo because I feel like I can really take my time and do as much people watching as my heart desires 🙂

    July 11, 2015 at 11:59 am

    LOVE everything about this post. I’m such an introvert and now that I’m going to be traveling more often these tips are so helpful! Thanks.

    July 11, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Yay for fellow introverts! These are all really helpful tips that I will definitely keep in mind. I especially like the part about scheduling downtime and people-watching… so relaxing, haha. Thanks for sharing! 🙂