Samantha Brown On Why A Wellness Trip Should Be Your Next Solo Adventure

Solo travel is often seen as a self-indulgence. You might go on family vacations, business trips, maybe brief staycations with a partner — but rarely, if ever, that independent trip for you and you alone. Samantha Brown, a well-known travel expert and TV host, advocates for the transformative power of solo wellness trips on her blog, Samantha Brown's Places to Love. In a world where the hustle and bustle of daily life can leave us feeling drained and disconnected, Brown suggests that taking a wellness trip alone can be a profoundly rejuvenating experience.

What is it about the magic of solo travel? It offers a unique opportunity for self-discovery and self-restoration away from the familiar and comfortable. Samantha Brown writes that "mental health is just as important as my physical and emotional health. One of the many ways we can improve our mental health is through travel." Scientific research proves this time and time again. A 2014 Cornell University study found that even the mere anticipation of a trip can significantly increase a person's happiness. 

There's also an undeniable sense of strength that comes from navigating a new place on your own. You are pushed to step out of your comfort zone and focus solely on yourself — a rare pleasure in the frenetic pace of modern life. Moreover, Brown notes that a solo wellness trip can help spark your creativity. Having new cultural experiences, indulging in a niche interest, and simply being somewhere different can "get those engines running again."

Philosophies to stick by for your solo wellness trip

Brown suggests that while planning a solo trip, everything "should be kept simple. The more you overcomplicate it, the less it becomes a wellness vacation and the more it becomes an obligation." Type A folks, especially, should try to avoid fully planned itineraries and overbooked reservations. Instead, give yourself the space and time to simply enjoy — whether it's a camping trip at Yosemite National Park or an intuitive stroll through the streets of New York.

You don't need to travel halfway across the world for this trip (though, you sure can), but it should be at least one or two hours away from home. Samantha Brown explains, "If you do a staycation down the block, it's all too easy to slip home and back into normal life." The closer you are to the dishes, the kids, the errands, and everything else related to home life, the less the trip becomes about your restoration process — that physical distance is a necessary element.

If you're wondering what's the right thing to do on your solo wellness trip, there is no such thing. "When planning what you want to do on this solo wellness vacation, make sure you focus on activities that are there to simply spark joy," recommends Brown. Unleash your inner child, explore simple pleasures, and choose experiences that delight you. Travel influencer trends shouldn't hold power over this trip — look to yourself and do something that will make you genuinely happy. 

Possible ideas for your solo wellness trip

Since this trip makes you both the captain and the passenger, you get to do whatever you want. Samantha Brown explains that "all a solo wellness vacation has to entail is you hopping in your car or on the train and traveling to a cute small town." This type of trip would be especially great for a first-timer. Similarly, a road trip to a nearby state or a beautiful region is incredibly freeing.  

For the more adventurous, Brown recommends a cultural city break or an outdoorsy escapade. Maybe it's a trip to Paris to enjoy all the croissants and museums it has to offer. Or perhaps you want to fulfill your childhood dream of climbing a mountain somewhere far away, like Peru or Nepal. No one can define wellness but yourself. If stunning landscapes, 20,000 steps a day, and the spirit of adventure make you feel good, then that's your solo journey.  

How about a cruise? Samantha Brown writes, "Cruises are a way to enjoy a lot in a short amount of time." Some cruises, such as Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean,  offer single occupancy rooms at no extra charge. Ultimately, a solo wellness vacation is for anyone. Whether you're a parent or a busy professional, if you've always wanted to give yourself this incredible gift, don't hesitate. "There will always be other trips you can take with people, let this one be just for you," says Brown — and we couldn't agree more.