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Coming back from an epic 9 months around the world solo adventure with my 8 year old, it was high time for my own solo getaway. In almost 9 years of being a parent, I’ve never taken a solo trip that wasn’t to a conference or on an organized press trip.
There were so many thoughts running through my head as I packed up by carry on and headed out the door with no car seat in sight. I was worried how my husband would manage the camp drop offs and pick ups and if he could keep alive the 42 monarch caterpillars my son and I were raising.
However once on the familiar road to LAX, I let go of my anxieties and enjoyed listening to the news on NPR in solitude, excited for my adventure to begin.
My Solo Sedona Getaway
I’m not new to solo traveling. My travel career started in my mid 20s with a friend who ditched our month long Europe plan at the last min. Left to decide whether to go alone or cancel, you can guess which one I chose. The rest is history as they say. A decade of solo travel to Central America, South America, China and India taught me all I needed to know in the world of travel. I relished going at it on my own, seeking out off the beaten path adventures to test myself a little more each time.
However since having my son, he has become my de facto travel partner. Gone were the days of biking down the world’s most dangerous road. Instead, I welcomed more family friendly destinations like Costa Rica. And thus, 32 countries later I could barely remember what it meant to truly travel solo.
When Expedia asked me to plan a solo trip I knew just where I wanted to go. Sedona, a small town in central Arizona, is known not only for its stunning beauty but also for its luxury resorts, healing energy, and outdoor adventures. What better place for to mama refresh to rejuvenate and soak up nature? Sedona was the perfect backdrop for my first time on my own again in almost a decade.
A Momcation in Sedona
I won’t lie, it took a minute for me to let go of 5 pm dinner times and 6 am wake ups on my Sedona getaway. However, I soon got into the swing of things. Coming and going as I pleased. Lingering over my breakfast without calls of ‘can we go’ and spending hours pouring over the overstuffed bins of gems and rocks promising good health and prosperity.
One thing I couldn’t shake was my need to be doing and seeing rather than just relaxing! It’s the one momcation recommendation I would remind myself for the future- go somewhere with less to do!
What to Do on a Sedona Getaway
Sedona is a town of about 10,000 people, but don’t let that fool you into thinking there isn’t a ton to do there. I struggled with overload trying to balance the relaxation Sedona is known while also trying to fit in some of the outdoor adventures it is also known for. With over 130 hiking trails you can imagine that I was desperate to get out on at least a few of them during my visit.
Thus, my Sedona getaway routine was quickly set. From my morning trail hikes to afternoon yoga sessions to shopping and getting a massage, I sampled everything Sedona has to offer including the famous Pink Jeep Tour!
During my visit I managed to fit in 4 hikes with my favorites being Fay Canyon and Soldier’s Pass. One allowed ample opportunities for me to observe the beauty of nature, while the other was full of healing vortex energy Sedona is known for. I spent ages spying out all the different textures and patterns found naturally in nature. If only my visions could reproduce themselves on paper, I would have sat up a watercolor stand right there.
The must do activity in Sedona is a Pink Jeep Tour. I found this tour on my Expedia App and decided to give it a go. I had so much fun being silly out there with the other guests, but I did miss my son on this as I know he would have loved it even more than I did.
And finally, you cannot visit Sedona without doing some serious shopping. From gems to carpets, there is something for everyone. I came away with a crystal vortex bracelet and too many healing rocks to count!
My time in Sedona felt like my own personal metamorphosis just like what I’d been witnessing at home in our butterfly nets. My travel life started off as an explorer on my own, venturing around as I pleased. And then came the period of hunkering down (not that my travel ever really stopped or slowed.. it just changed) and then to my beautiful reemergence as a fully formed entity..a mom who can travel on her own again.
Now that I’ve gotten my feet wet back into the solo travel world, I’m already dreaming up the trips I can take when my son goes to sleep away camp next summer!
How to Plan Your Own Solo Vacation
If this is your first or your fortieth trip, my best recommendation is to book as much of your travel as possible in one place – namely the Expedia App. This was the perfect companion for my solo trip. I was able to book my hotel, my rental car, flight and even discover things to do in Sedona (which is how I found the Pink Jeep Tour) through the app.
I LOVE the Expedia App for many reasons, but namely because it stores my travel itinerary in one place. No more searching through emails trying to find the rental car or flight details in various messages. It also sends reminders when it is time to check in, complete with your flight reference code copied and ready to enter on the airlines website. So convenient!
Another perk I found using the app was that I was able to secure exclusive deals that weren’t available on the computer version. If you are booking a trip, make sure to always check the app before you finalize your booking, especially on hotels as they often have in-app deals not available on the computer. If you want even more of a discount, use my code SOLOTRAVEL to receive 10% off hotel bookings in the app.
Lastly, if you aren’t a member, make sure to sign up so that you can earn double Expedia Rewards while booking through the app. My accumulation of points reduced my already low hotel rate even lower.
Why YOU Should Take A Solo Trip
Can you believe that I felt nervous to go on a trip on my own? My entire career is travel focused. But, somehow having an 8 year old travel companion was my security blanket. Now that I have done it though, I am singing the praises of why EVERYONE needs to take a solo trip, especially all you moms out there who have never left your kids for more than a few hours.
Expedia created their first Solo Travel Report to help educate first timers and solo pros alike with destination recommendations, planning tips and insight on how travelers navigate their own solo trips. Expedia’s Solo Travel Report revealed that 60% of travelers will take a solo trip in the next year. I found this super surprising and sadly not representative of the mom’s that I know. My goal though is to make this a reality for all the moms in my community!
Getting out of your comfort zone, taking time for yourself to reconnect is an amazingly rejuvenating experience. It helps bring focus back to your day to day life, helps you feel more confident in your abilities to be solo and provides the avenues to meet new people.
No matter what type of solo trip you want to take, check out the Expedia App to get inspired and book your next adventure.
5 Tips on Planning a An Amazing Solo Adventure
One of the questions I was most often asked about my Sedona getaway was whether I felt nervous being out on my own. Overall, I didn’t feel nervous. One, Sedona is super safe being a small spiritual town filled with lovely people looking for healing energies. Second, I kept myself busy when I wanted to be and found plenty of relaxing solo activities for when I needed downtime.
That said, I did feel slightly nervous hiking by myself since that was the first time I had ever hiked alone. But it was SO empowering once I made it through. I followed basic safety tips like providing my location and estimated hiking time to others before I left as well as made sure I always had plenty of water and snacks, just in case!
In general though, traveling solo is amazing regardless of where you go. To help you plan your solo trip, I am sharing a few tips on how to make the most of your time alone.
#1 Plan the big parts of your trip in advance. Expedia’s App is a great place to do these things with their 24 hour flight cancellation policy, hotel deals and destination guides. (Book your hotel in the app using my 10% off code SOLOTRAVEL)
#2 Choose hotels or hostels that have opportunities to meet other people. When booking your trip, read the reviews to find out if the hotel offers communal areas, free events for guests like wine tasting or nightly campfires.
#3 Make a list of things you want to do, but don’t overplan. When traveling solo it’s reassuring to have a basic plan of what you want to do so you don’t feel lonely or find yourself sitting around in your hotel room bored. That said, it’s also great to keep an open schedule at some points to be able to go with the flow with people you meet along the way.
#4 Bring a good book. This is my favorite thing to do when I have down time or am on my own. I love to catch up on a good novel, but I also really enjoy going back to my roots and writing in a journal. When you have a book or journal you can occupy yourself easily at meal times or just sit in a park or by the pool relaxing.
#5 Participate in Social Activities. For example, book a day tour, yoga class, cooking class or other activity where you know you will meet other travelers. A great activity is to look for a pub crawl or food tour.
What do you think – are you ready to plan your own solo vacation?
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