One of the hottest travel trends for 2023? Solo travel.
While family vacations, friendcations, and couples’ getaways have their time and place, many travelers have discovered the benefits of going it alone.
Solo travel lets you do what you want, when you want, helping you make the most of your trip. At the end of each day, you’ll have ample time to reflect on your experiences. And many travelers come away from their solo vacations with a newfound sense of confidence and independence.
March 1 is Plan a Solo Vacation Day.
If you’ve been considering a solo trip to Orlando, this day is the perfect chance to start designing your dream vacation. As you choose your own adventure, use these seven tips to guide you.
1. Do a Solo Travel Practice Run
If you’ve never traveled alone before, know that it’s totally normal to be nervous about your upcoming adventure.
Sometimes, the nerves arise as you’re researching things to do during your Orlando vacation. You may find yourself wondering if your vacation will be as much fun alone (trust us, it will be). Other times, the feeling comes as a sense of shock when your plane touches down at the airport.
While pre-travel jitters are inevitable, you can minimize them with a few practice runs at home.
Start with a low-stakes outing like a trip to the movie theater, where everyone will be sitting in silence. Then, try dining alone at your favorite restaurant. If you plan to spend your vacation at Orlando’s theme parks, spend a day on your own at an amusement park or carnival close to home.
2. Create an Itinerary
Traveling alone is all about freedom. But first-time solo travelers may be overwhelmed by the number of choices they need to make: where to stay, what to do each day, where to eat each night. This is especially true in Orlando, with its wealth of world-famous attractions and restaurants.
Make solo travel easier by creating an itinerary before you go.
As you plan your vacation, consider the following:
- What Orlando attractions do you want to see? Will each take a whole day, or are there multiple attractions you can visit in a single day?
- Are there one-off events (e.g., concerts, games, festivals) that you need to do on a certain day?
- Would you rather be on the go all vacation or have ample downtime?
- Are there Orlando restaurants you absolutely must try? Are they close to any of the attractions you’re visiting?
3. Pack Practically
When the time comes to pack for your Orlando vacation, you may feel the need to squeeze half your house into your luggage.
After all, as a solo traveler, you need to be prepared for anything.
But before you start playing suitcase Tetris, remember that you’ll be solely responsible for carrying your bags. Don’t pack more than you can manage by yourself.
The same goes for packing a day bag for the theme parks. You’ll want something you can carry easily, as you won’t have someone to watch your stuff while you’re taking a picture with Mickey. Orlando’s major theme parks provide things like bug spray, bandages, ibuprofen, and water for free, so there’s no need to bring them with you.
Keep in mind that selfie sticks are not allowed at Walt Disney World. Don’t worry — you’re welcome to hand your phone to a cast member if you’d like a picture in front of your favorite ride.
4. Take Advantage of Single Rider Lines
Sometimes, long waits can’t be avoided at the parks. Without someone to talk to in line, you may want to pack a lightweight book or game to keep yourself entertained.
But when you spot an attraction with a single rider entrance, you can keep that book in your bag. Chances are you won’t need it.
So that ride queues move as quickly as possible, some attractions at Disney and Universal fill in empty seats with guests who are riding alone. Single rider lines usually have shorter wait times. They attract a mix of solo travelers and groups that don’t mind being split up.
As of early 2023, attractions with single rider lines include:
Single Rider Lines at Walt Disney World
- Expedition Everest (Animal Kingdom)
- Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run (Hollywood Studios)
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (Hollywood Studios)
- Test Track (EPCOT)
Single Rider Lines at Universal Orlando Resort
- Doom’s Fearfall (Islands of Adventure)
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts (Universal Studios)
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (Universal Studios)
- The Incredible Hulk Coaster (Islands of Adventure)
- Jurassic Park River Adventure (Islands of Adventure)
- Revenge of the Mummy (Universal Studios)
5. Seek Out Ways to Socialize
While you may be traveling to Orlando on your own, that doesn’t mean you have to spend your whole trip alone.
You never know who you’ll meet when traveling solo. You may strike up a fascinating conversation from someone from another part of the world or get useful travel tips from an Orlando local. A random chat in the ride queue could even result in a longtime friendship.
Here are some easy ways to meet people while traveling:
- Volunteer time to a cause important to you. The local United Way chapter can help you find voluntourism opportunities in Orlando.
- Sit at the bar at a restaurant and chat with other diners.
- Buy a ticket to one of Orlando’s many dinner theaters. You’ll be seated with other guests, and the live entertainment is a great conversation starter.
- Save a spot with the Dinner Party Project. Once a month, this initiative brings eight strangers together for a delicious meal.
- Book a small group tour and get to know the other travelers. In Orlando, you’ll find everything from thrilling airboat tours to a unique walking tour about Mister Rogers’ time in Central Florida.
6. Keep Safety in Mind
Well-lit, busy, and patrolled by security, Orlando’s theme parks are a great first foray into solo travel.
Still, in and out of the parks, it is crucial to take precautions. While exploring Central Florida alone, follow these safety tips:
- Share your itinerary, including your hotel information, with a friend or family member back home. If your plans change, let them know.
- Book your flights so that you arrive at, and depart from, Orlando International Airport in the daylight.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Avoid scrolling on your phone or listening to music in public if you find these activities distracting.
- Always lock and deadbolt your hotel room door. Leave valuables like your laptop and passport in your hotel safe.
- Get to know people before telling them you’re traveling alone. If someone asks, you can always tell them that a friend or significant other is meeting you in Orlando later in the day.
- If spending a day at a beach near Orlando, only swim where lifeguards are present. Before hitting the waves, store any valuables in your rental car or invest in a small waterproof bag you can bring with you.
7. Stay in a Centrally Located Orlando Hotel
Navigating a new city as a solo traveler can be daunting.
Spend less time poring over a map and more time enjoying Orlando. Rosen Plaza is on International Drive, within walking distance of world-class restaurants and shops. If you’re headed to Universal Orlando, skip the drive and meet new friends on our free theme park shuttle. Each night, reflect on your solo travel experiences in your modern and spacious guestroom.