Moi, Moi, et Moi: Traveling Solo in France
If you’ve never thought about a solo trip to France, let me just say—HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
Copywriter at Ultimate Break
I studied abroad in Paris in college, didn’t know anyone else going to France in my group that semester, and I gotta tell ya, it was one of the best experiences of my life. The feeling of absolute freedom, sitting by myself outside a café for as long as I wanted, booking a last-minute flight to another country on a whim; it was all pure bliss. And I ended up meeting so many great people! Earlier this year I went solo on a group trip to Budapest, Vienna, and Prague with 28 people I didn’t know, and that was also a super fun experience. In both cases, I learned a lot about myself, and it did come with a learning curve, but I firmly believe everyone should consider a solo trip, especially to France. Why is traveling solo in France so great, you ask?
You’re on your own time
Solo travel in France means you have more flexibility and can be more spontaneous. Want to spend the entire day at the Louvre? Do it. Feel like parking it at a café table for hours, sipping wine, and watching people walk by? Go for it. What about shopping your way through all the antiques and flea markets? By all means. When you’re flying solo, the world is your macaron.
Meeting new people is fun
If you’re traveling solo in a group situation, you’re not really alone—you’ve got friends built right in! I myself recently went on a trip as a solo traveler within a larger group, and I had such a good time meeting everyone. A few of them I still talk to! Traveling in a group means you can find time to yourself if that’s what you’re looking for, but when you want company, you’ve got your fellow travelers to hang with. It’s also easier to talk to strangers when you don’t have a friend or acquaintance as a security blanket. Plus, you’ve got conversation material ready to go, because people love a solo travel story. “Oh wow, you’re traveling all by yourself?! That’s amazing, I could never do that.” You can be the cool and mysterious wanderer.
Eating alone is * chef’s kiss *
One of my favorite things to do ever in the whole world is eat alone. No, this is not sad. And no, it’s not always easy. But once you get over the hump of feeling self-conscious, a whole new world is open to you. For starters, one person can usually get in anywhere without a reservation, so that hot spot that’s always booked? Try to get in solo. It’ll probably work. Also, it’s an absolute pleasure to sit with your own thoughts and enjoy a drink or a meal by yourself, IN FRICKIN’ FRANCE. My favorite spot was a café at Place du Trocadéro (inspiringly called...Café du Trocadéro) which had an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower. Sometimes I'd bring a book, other times I’d just watch the world pass by and the tower sparkle. It’s like meditation, but with croissants.
It’s easy and safe to get around
You might be wondering “Is France safe for solo female travelers?” and the answer is absolutely. Obviously, you’ve got to use common sense and keep your wits about you, as you should anywhere in the world, but France is very welcoming to women who are traveling alone in France. Public transportation and infrastructure are well-developed and easy to navigate, plus, the tourism game in France is super established, since the country receives millions of visitors every year, so there are many resources available to solo travelers.
You’ll get to know yourself
Traveling in France alone, or anywhere, really, is a great opportunity to get in touch with yourself and learn so much about what you like and what kind of traveler you are. Paris was where I found out how much I love and need time to myself, and that that’s totally fine. It’s where I discovered that solo travel is one of the best ways to get to know a place. And it’s where I met some amazing fellow travelers.
Considering solo travel in France? DO IT. Whether you’re exploring entirely by yourself or thinking of booking a trip with a group of total strangers, you’re going to have an unforgettable adventure, and you’ll probably discover some things about yourself that will change how you travel forever. You won’t regret it. Pinky swear.