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Top 5 tips for traveling solo

Although common sense for veteran travelers, new travelers, particularly conference attendees, may not know the pitfalls of traveling alone.



business travel

business travel

Everyone is a traveler now

With the rise in popularity of international conferences and international business, it is increasingly common for professionals across all industries to jet across the nation, but traveling alone can be a challenge. Whether it is catching a flight to South by Southwest or an industry conference, or perhaps to meet a client to finalize a deal belly to belly, traveling is no longer reserved for the traveling salesman or elite vacationer, no, everyone is now a traveler.

But how do you avoid the lonely feeling of being in a strange city without anyone by your side without, well, having someone by your side?‘s Lucy Maldonado offers the top five tips for traveling solo:

1. Talk to strangers

We know your mom told you never to talk to strangers, but in this case we’re sure she’d give you the green light. First off, if you don’t you’re going to find yourself very, very alone and likely bored. Of course you use your instincts and talk to people who seem warm and friendly. If you’re a woman and you don’t feel comfortable talking to random men then talk to another female. But then again, there are lots of stories of love on the road, so keep an open mind!

2. Get the right guidebook

Certain guidebooks are geared towards families, while others cater to those who are only interested in luxury travel. Snag a guidebook like Lonely Planet or the Rough Guides and you’ll find a plethora of listings that are aimed at pleasing the solo traveler from restaurants to hotels.

3. Eat at the bar

When you’re solo, one of the easiest ways to make new friends is to sit at the bar. Other people are likely to sit next to you and seeing you sitting alone, are more likely to strike up conversation. If nothing else, you can always chat up the bartender for a little conversation.

4. Avoid Romantic Destinations

Unless you’re masochist, trying to hang solo in a place that’s known more for honeymoons is a recipe for disaster. The nightlife will likely be non-existent and you’ll feel left out as you watch couples canoodling.

5. Stay at the right hotel

It might not seem like the most important consideration, but don’t be fooled! This one is seriously essential. A bland chain hotel might earn you points, but you’ll be enjoying those perks alone. You’ll want to choose a hotel that has an active nightlife scene, communal eating, or revolves around a group activity like yoga or surfing.

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

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  1. SadieHeldberg

    August 1, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Traveling alone has become a regular thing for me; my business trips for Dish are frequent and lonely. I have however spent my alone time finding fun things to do to fill the time that would make me blue. Along with the great tips in this article, I have a couple I’d like to share. When you’re traveling alone with no kids, husbands, or girlfriends it’s the perfect time to visit somewhere near your destination that you have always wanted to see. Who knows if you will be back to the same place again? I also bring along my iPad loaded with travel apps, but especially my Dish Remote Access, which provides me with movies and TV for my hotel room or wherever as my own special showing. Movies take my mind off the fact that I’m by myself and entertain as well.

  2. chad2012

    August 7, 2012 at 10:13 am

    great advice. although i hate traveling alone. But I can definitely see how this would help the situation.

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Business News

$100m reimagined convenience store startup to open 25 stores in 2022

(BUSINESS) Foxtrot is looking to redefine the convenience store as we know it. This startup is looking to make it a whole new experience.



Laptop with Foxtrot convenience store locations in Chicago.

Move over 7-11, there’s a new player in town! There’s always room for competition, even in the world of convenience stores. Yes, you read that right, Quick Trip has some serious competition from a newcomer, Foxtrot.

Foxtrot is a curated, modern convenience store offering a brisk 30-minute delivery and 5-minute pick-up. It was created by Mike LaVitola and Taylor Bloom in 2014. These stores will undoubtedly be popular in walkable areas, but also with their online ordering convenience. This modern version of a convenience store offers the combination of an upscale corner store with a digital-first e-commerce platform. Sounds pretty glorious, right?

However, the original convenience store is safe as long as people are traveling and need to stop for gas or a restroom break.  If you’re from Texas, then you know and love, Buc-ee’s, the Texas-born chain. Buc-ee’s have been creating their own in-store products garnering a cult following among their customers. Still, Buc-ee’s doesn’t have an online ordering or delivery option unless it’s offered through a third party.

Foxtrot has raised $160 million in Series C funding and they are expecting to open 25 locations in many cities in 2022. There are a few different levels of funding. If a company makes it to Series C funding, they are already successful and looking to expand or develop new products per Investopedia.

According to Retail Dive, “About half of the new stores will be in Chicago, Dallas and Washington, where all of the 16 stores Foxtrot currently operates are located, LaVitola said. The tech-focused retailer is also planning to begin operations in Boston and Austin, and intends to open four or five new stores in each of those cities during the next year and a half, he said.”

Foxtrot is testing out technology equipment that would allow customers to leave the store without stopping to checkout at the counter. They plan isn’t to go entirely self-service, but as the creator LaVitola stated, “the more hours we can allocate towards sampling and storytelling and interacting with customers and less [on] tasks that don’t add on to value, like checkout, that’s great.”

Foxtrot is redefining convenience by including carefully curated products. They aim to offer local popular products as well core pantry items. They aim to make the commonly unpleasant experience of convenience stores enjoyable. Let’s hope they succeed.

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Business News

What small business owners can learn from Starbucks’ new D&I strategy

(BUSINESS) Diversity and inclusion have been at the forefront of Starbucks’ mission, but now they’re shifting strategy. What can we learn from it?



Hands of all different skin colors on green background representing Starbucks' D&I.

Starbucks was one of many companies that promised to focus on diversity and inclusion efforts after the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police in 2020. What sets Starbucks apart from other companies were its specific goals.

How It Started

They began with hiring targets and have now added goals in corporate and manufacturing roles. Starbucks’ plans and goals revolve around transparency for accountability. They released the annual numbers for 2021 as a way to help hold themselves accountable. The data they’ve released so far show that they’ve met nearly a third of their 2025 goals according to Retail Brew. Because of this information, we can see why they are choosing to move in the direction of manufacturing and corporate jobs. In 2021, POC’s fell to 12.5% of director-level employees from 14.3% in 2020 in manufacturing.

How It’s Going

Per Starbucks’ website stories and news, “[I]t will increase its annual spend with diverse suppliers to $1.5 billion by 2030.  As part of this commitment, Starbucks will partner with other organizations to develop and grow supplier diversity excellence globally.” To put that into perspective, they spent nearly $800 million with diverse suppliers in 2021. With these moves, by 2030, it will increase by almost double.

As part of their accountability and progress, they plan to partner up with Arizona State University to give out free toolkits to entrepreneurs on fundamentals for running successful diverse-owned businesses. Another goal they’ve listed is to boost paid media representation by allocating 15 percent of the advertising budget to minority-owned and targeted media companies to reach diverse audiences.

At the heart of all this information on their goals and future plans, data transparency and accountability are what’s forcing them to look at the numbers to make specific goals. They are doing more than just throwing money at the problem, they are analyzing how they can do better and where the money will make a difference. Something that, as entrepreneurs, we should all do.

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Business News

Peloton is back-pedaling: Reports of price increases, layoffs, and cost cuts

(BUSINESS) After a recording of layoffs leaks, ‘supply chain’ issues cause shipping increases, and they consult for cost-cutting, Peloton is doomed.



Man riding Peloton bike with instructor pointing encouragingly during workout.

Is Peloton in Trouble?

According to many reports, Peloton had success early in the pandemic when gyms shut down. Offering consumers a way to connect with a community for fitness along with varying financing options allowed the company to see growth when many other industries were being shuttered.

After two years, CNBC reports that the company is “being impacted by …supply chain challenges” and rising inflation costs. According to the report, customers will be paying an additional $250 for its bike and $350 for its tread for delivery and setup.

As demand has decreased, Peloton is also considering layoffs in their sales and marketing departments, overheard in a leaked audio call. The recording details executives discussing “Project Fuel” where they plan to cut 41% of the sales and marketing teams, as well as letting go of eCommerce employees and frontline workers at 15 retail stores.

Nasdaq reported that the stock fell 75% last year, after a year where it soared over 400%.

Peloton reviewing its overall structure

According to another report from CNBC, Peloton is working with McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm, to lower costs as revenue has dropped and the growth of new subscriptions has slowed since the pandemic. Last November, according to NPR, Peloton had “its worst day as a publicly-traded company.” It also anticipates greater losses in 2022 than originally predicted. It makes sense that the company would reexamine their strategy as the economy changes. They aren’t the only one that is raising prices amid supply chain issues.

It will be interesting to watch how Peloton fares

Peloton has a large community that pays a monthly fee for connected fitness. While growth has slowed, the company still has a strong share of consumers. Although it is facing more competition in the home fitness market and more gyms are reopening, as Peloton adjusts to the new normal, it should remain a viable company.

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