March 29, 2017

Solo Travel Tips: 5 Things to Look for in Lodging

Room at the Doubletree Savannah

Cushy, king-sized poster beds do not a solo-friendly hotel room make, but they certainly don’t hurt.

In my years of traveling solo, I’ve stayed in all sorts of lodging, from a tent at the edge of a beach in the U.S. Virgin Islands to some pretty swanky digs (by my standards) in Savannah, Georgia. Each time I’ve traveled, I’ve come away with a new appreciation for how different amenities have specifically met my needs as a solo traveler. Room service, cushy king-sized beds, and a mint on my pillow are nice touches and all, but they don’t necessarily make or break my travel experience. Here are a few solo travel tips for finding lodging that meets the needs of the single traveler:

Rooms with interior entrances

You can find accommodations with interior entrances at pretty much any price point.

As a safety issue, I prefer to stay in lodging with rooms that must be entered from within the building because of the extra layer of security. As a solo traveler (and a woman), I simply feel safer knowing no one outside of the building can see that I’m on my own as I’m coming and going into my room.

Proximity to the action

Cheaper accommodations outside the city center aren’t always the better deal. If it only saves you a few bucks over the hotel nearer or at the heart of the action, opt for proximity over price. If public transportation options aren’t available to take you between the city and your hotel, your savings (and time!) could well be eaten up if you have to take a cab and foot the fare by yourself.

In-room refrigerator and microwave

Many “extended stay”-type hotels, provide a full in-room kitchenette complete with table settings and cookware.

Restaurants generally serve more than I can eat on my own in a single sitting so more often than not, I’m left with the dilemma of the doggie bag. Having a refrigerator and microwave in your hotel room is a nice convenience that’s a good way to stretch your budget by getting two meals out of one. Many hostels also offer access to a public kitchen, which is also a good alternative.

Internet access

If you’re traveling abroad, lodging that provides internet access via a business center or free-wifi is always a nice bonus. If your cell phone doesn’t work internationally or the time difference makes calling a challenge, it’s always nice to know that you can connect with friends and family online if you’re feeling lonely or to let them know you’re okay.

Lobby/common area

Solo travel doesn’t have to be all solitude, all the time. Staying in lodging with a proper lobby provides a place where you can connect with other travelers to your destination who may offer input on the sights you want to see, or suggest activities you hadn’t thought about before. Plus, if you’re ever in the mood for a little company you can probably chase up a little chit-chat in the common areas.

Are there any other amenities or services that you look for as a solo traveler that should be on this list? Add yours to the comments below.

6 Responses to Solo Travel Tips: 5 Things to Look for in Lodging

  1. Gray says:

    I agree with all of these. Bonus points to hotels that check room keys before letting people on the elevators to the rooms. They do this quite a bit in Vegas. More bonus points to hotels that offer single rooms (at a lesser price than a regular sized room).

    • Marsha says:

      Thanks, Gray. I do hope that as solo travel becomes a more popular option for people who want to travel, more hotels consider creating smaller single rooms for people traveling alone.There are hotels that do offer this option, but they’re few and far between….for now.

  2. Rhona says:

    Great ideas. The common rooms are the best. Meeting random people to chat with or take day trips with or have a meal with is ideal for the solo traveller when company is actually wanted.
    P.S., that hotel in Savannah looks so swank! Loves!

    • Marsha says:

      Hey there Rhona! Thanks. It is nice to have the opportunity to have a chat or some company when you want it. P.S. I never stay in lodging this nice…totally lucked out on a good deal thanks to Travelzoo.

  3. Suzy says:

    Great things to look for as a solo traveler. I would say safety is the most important thing for me. I can’t sleep if I am not comfortable with where I am sleeping.

  4. Stacey says:

    One thing I look for, especially on road trips with multiple stops along the way, are B&Bs. Many have single rooms (or small rooms discounted) and as a solo female, having others nearby at night makes me feel safer. Plus, the included breakfasts are great and I can ask questions about the area with the hosts. I’ve found many to be cheaper than hotel rooms.