Before my first trip with “just me”, I had to be fairly comfortable with my self-projected survival rate. I wasn’t headed anywhere particularly risky (unless you count the new emotional frontier I was crossing), but there were some general things that I needed to know. My “must have” information was actually pretty similar to what I research before taking any or all of the kids on a trip. These are the basic parameters that I consider:
Transportation: I’m a competent navigator and decent driver, but my skills diminish dramatically when used simultaneously. I can either locate Fulton Street on a map or make a left turn when I get to it. Not both. If I’m to be the only licensed driver on a trip, I prefer to leave the truck parked when I get there or leave it at home in the garage. The best trip for “just me” is to a place where I can walk/run/bike wherever I want to go and/or a destination that has easy public transportation options. I much prefer soaking in the nuances of my surroundings over jerking my head to spot a random panorama while clutching a steering wheel and chanting my directions aloud in a (hopefully) memorable-to-me manner. I aim for energizing excitement when I travel rather than the varieties that bewilder and drain…
Hotel: Remote is romantic. For a single traveler or a single mom with kids, this is rarely a good choice. Being alone in a crowd is, for me, a much more comfortable travel experience than being truly alone. You can keep it self-contained or meet your fellow traveler/residents as the mood ebbs and wanes. You have a choice. In a more intimate setting, you’re pretty much stuck with being a temporary hermit.
Options: Keep them plentiful and open in multiple directions. I can’t even predict with any certainty what I’ll want to eat for dinner tonight. The joy of “no schedule” is in filling it in random and satisfying ways. For me, the best trip is one where I have plenty of physical exercise options such as running, swimming, biking (bonus points for snorkeling, kayaking, or zip-lining); where there will be moments and people that compel photography and reflection; and where I will learn and grow from who I was when I first unpacked my suitcase.