10 Ways Introverts Can Enjoy Travelling the World

There are thousands of blogs, websites and stories from fellow introverts who have travelled the world and loved it. Many offer itineraries, tips and tricks, conversation starters – anything you may need to convince yourself to take a trip.

If you are up for socialising but maybe aren’t a big party person, alternative activities can include sunset hikes, cooking classes, or street food tours.

The benefits of travelling are so well-documented that it’s hard to argue against them. Exposing yourself to other cultures, nationalities, traditions and histories is one of the best things you can do to improve your wellbeing and enrich your life.

From Forbes to The Guardian, to bloggers like Inthefrow and Lost LeBlanc, to everyday people looking to inspire others: travel is mesmerising.

It doesn’t have to be long-haul or long-term; it’s whatever you want it to be.

iTHINK have pulled together a list to encourage introverts to travel, based on any worries, concerns or misconceptions you may have.

So, let’s get into it!

Location

Introverts

The first – and perhaps the most important – tip for travelling introverts is to pick a suitable location!

Whether you want to get off the beaten path, fully immerse yourself in nature, roam about quaint villages and towns, or still want to remain close to, or within, the hustle and bustle of big metropolitan cities: don’t underestimate the importance of choosing the right place for you.

When choosing which part of the world you want to explore first, there are a few things that you do need to consider, namely: budget, time, transport, accessibility, and distance.

Every country offers travellers something unique; the countries themselves are often so varied and vast that there are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of places for travellers to explore.

While another post is coming about the best places for introverts to travel to, I will say this: the backpacker crowd in South America tends to be older and more experienced than in South East Asia.

So, if it’s people your own age you struggle to converse with then the countries in the western hemisphere might be worth researching.

Joining Online Groups

Anxiety can get in the way of travel, even if you’ve been excitedly counting down the days for a long time. Perhaps you’re not the best at striking up conversations in real life, but you’re a communication whizz online.

Joining groups of like-minded travellers, i.e. fellow curious introverts, who have similar interests or temperament, or just to find people who are travelling to the same place as you, can be a good boost if you’re struggling with the thought of packing a bag and journeying to a new location.

Using online communities to seek out potential travel buddies, or simply to get some advice, can lift a weight off your shoulders and encourage you to get out and see the world. Plus, it’s always nice to turn up to a new place and see a friendly face.

If you’re an introverted traveller who doesn’t mind spending a lot of time alone, or you thrive in unfamiliar circumstances, then feel free to stay away from the forums.

Volunteering

Introverts

Volunteering is a perfect option for introverted travellers; not only does it offer a more enriched travel experience, but it allows you to travel more slowly and cheaply too.

The best sites to use are Workaway and WWOOF, as these are the most ethical, environmentally friendly, and respectful of the local population.

You receive bed and board in exchange for offering your services or labour for a few hours a day. This could range from housesitting to fruit-picking on a farm to reception work in a hostel to designing a community mural.

It’s a great way to really explore a place that’s off the beaten track and interact with locals. After completing your workload that day, you’re pretty much left to your own devices!

Accommodation

Travelling isn’t always about mad parties, drinking until dawn, constant noise and less than pleasant shared bathrooms – aka, hostels.

If you want a little privacy, whether you fancy a place for yourself for a few nights or just simply want to avoid the crowds, guesthouses and Airbnb’s are great accommodation alternatives.

Guesthouses are particularly enjoyable because they allow for easier access to the local community; you can get advice about nearby hidden gems and recommendations for tasty local food dives from your hosts.

Airbnb’s, on the other hand, offers much more independence if you are truly trying to get away from it all.

The price tag is a little (or a lot, depending on your destination) more expensive than guesthouses or hostels, but you are able to live in a similar way as you would back home – for a fraction of the western prices.

Hostels

If alternative forms of accommodation are unavailable for whatever reason, opt for a private hostel room. These are perfect if you’re open to or enjoy socialising.

You maintain the hostel atmosphere and easy access to other travellers but have the bonus of your own bathroom and private space.

These can get pricey, however. So, if you want to stick to the budget, opt for three or four-bed dorms. People usually staying in these types of dorm rooms aren’t looking for super long chats, like those staying in eight or ten beds.

They are less popular to budget travellers as they can often be a few pounds more. Sometimes, you might be as lucky as to end up with an entire room to yourself anyway!

Hostels are as social as you want them to be. Reading the noticeboard section on the Hostelworld app, in addition looking at the pictures and reviews, will help you decide which ones are to be avoided and which ones you do want to stay at.

If you are up for socialising but maybe aren’t a big party person, alternative activities can include sunset hikes, cooking classes, or street food tours.

Museums

Someone in one of my Facebook travelling groups pointed out that not many backpackers favour museums or art galleries nowadays, preferring more interactive means of exploring a country.

Museums are a brilliant way to learn about local culture, history and art. They’re informative and education. They’re often not that busy, especially if they’re targeted at older crowds. They’re quiet. Basically, they’re an introvert’s dream.

Top tip: always carry a student card with you (if you have one). There are often times when a museum will offer international students a discount on entry.

Museums also have a knack for partnering with other cultural centres to give customers a cheaper multi-ticket if they want to explore more.

Exploring nature

Cities can be overwhelming at the best of times, which is why most introverts look for an easy escape into nature. The serenity of the mountains and lakes, calm oceans, and dazzling forests are all irreplaceable places to truly unwind. Introvert, Dear wrote a brilliant post highlighting the benefits of spending time in nature.

You could easily create a trip that is entirely focused on nature; whether that be weekend camping trips, cycling across state lines, or hiking your way through national parks.

There are plenty of inspirational travel guides out there for people who are set on exploring the natural world.

Slowing down will allow you to truly take in all of the various landscapes a country has to offer – you can easily spend the entire trip in isolation if you please!

A Good Book

Never go anywhere without a good book. This isn’t a travel tip per se; anyone who frequently uses public transport in the UK will know about the unpredictability and unreliability of it all.

A book (or Kindle) is an absolute must for introverts when travelling. Books can take away the stress delayed flights, missed busses, mealtimes, early mornings, jetlag, and layovers.

Not forgetting about those unavoidable long journeys – whether they’re by boat, by bus, by taxi, by train, by plane, by rocket, or by woolly mammoth – all you need to pass the time is a good book.

They’re also a fantastic way of avoiding talking to people. Some would say headphones are another means of doing so, but I’ve been stopped thousands of times while wearing headphones… I’ve never been interrupted while reading a book or magazine before *touch wood*.

Changing location

Sometimes travel doesn’t always work out the way we want it to. You might find yourself not enjoying the place you’re in; that’s not a bad thing.

Travel is about opening our minds, spreading our winds, embracing the world and all its different beings, and forever chasing the next adventure – whatever you want it to be. It’s an opportunity to taste real freedom, whether that be temporary or forever.

As a traveller, everything you do every day is up to you. So, if you find yourself not enjoying a hostel, a certain area of the city, the city itself, an island that was supposed to be paradise but it’s not – even if you don’t like the country, you can leave. Nothing is forcing you to stay.

Exercise your newfound traveller freedom and head to a destination that seems more you, or maybe to the one you’ve been and absolutely loved!

There’s also no shame in deciding that travel isn’t your thing; you’ve always got the option to go home and shelve your international adventures for a while.

Recharging

Just like your iPhone, you need a recharge too. Travel can be stressful; airports are hectic and can often be overwhelming, even to the most seasoned travellers.

If you’re backpacking for an extended period of time, there’s also the added pressure of planning, budgeting and the unsettled feeling that comes with constantly being on the move.

With that in mind, it’s vital that introverted travellers take the time to recharge and recognise when they may be beginning to feel run down.

Although, it’s not only introverts who find themselves feeling this way – even the most extroverted personalities or expert adventurers can fall victim to traveller’s fatigue.

It’s best to use the recharge techniques you’ve picked up from everyday life to help reset. Spending the day in bed watching Netflix, journaling, yoga, hiking or being around water, are a few ways to de-stress and reflect on the last few days.

Recharging often, even for just five minutes a day, will help make you feel focused and give you more energy to power through the day.

Nonetheless, this list has proven there are many ways introverts can enjoy travelling. There is no right or wrong way of travelling as long as you are safe and enjoying yourself.

We hope you enjoyed our list of 10 ways introverts can enjoy travelling and stay tuned in for more mindblowing travel articles. 

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