Traveling is an incredible experience—I know, I do it as much as I can. But as an introvert, I know that travel can be challenging for introverted travelers. After all, you want to see all of the things, but you need some down time in order to truly enjoy your trip. Here are a few things I’ve learned about how to take care of yourself as an introvert while you’re visiting new places.
1. Find a quiet place to stay
Hostels are usually busy and don’t have a whole lot of space for a person who needs some time alone to recharge their social-interaction batteries. Instead, try an Airbnb or a bed and breakfast. Oftentimes, you’ll have a room to yourself, and you’ll have the chance to socialize at meal times if you wish to do that.
2. If you’re traveling with a group, arrange some down time
It’s totally okay to opt out of group tours or group meals—at least, the ones that aren’t as important to you. If you’re in Paris and you want to go to the Louvre while the rest of your group wants to visit the Eiffel Tower, go to the Louvre! Museums are great places to catch some culture and history of the place you’re visiting, and the etiquette of museums doesn’t require social interaction.
3. The coffee shop is your friend
Not only is a coffee shop a haven for introverted travelers who want to spend some time observing and journaling about their voyage, they often have free wi-fi so you can send messages to your family and friends. The baristas will probably be able to give you some good tips about local attractions that aren’t frequented by tourists, too, so you’ll be able to get an authentic taste of life at your destination.
4. Spend time apart
If you’re traveling with an extrovert who wants to “do all of the things,” arrange it so that each of you has a chance to do what you want to do. Introverted travelers may not be into large group tours, but extroverts typically eat those kinds of experiences up. Let your extrovert go do their thing while you spend some quiet time in your room or at a coffee shop.
5. The camera is your friend
A favorite tool of introverted travelers everywhere is the camera. It allows you to keep memories of your visit, and it also provides some distance between you and your subject. Laurie Helgoe, author of Introvert Power: Why Your Inner life Is Your Strength, told Buzzfeed, “Documenting a moment behind the camera is a great way to experience it without having to be fully there in terms of the social element.” She also recommends picking an item you want to photograph and taking as many photos of those things as you can on your trip.
6. Nature is also your friend
Most introverted travelers love taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the city by heading to a park or wilderness. It’s an opportunity for you to have some quiet time and take some really beautiful photos for your post-trip memories.
Are you an introvert? What other recommendations to you have for introverted travelers? Please share them in the comments.