I often travel solo and I totally agree with everything you have said. As a photographer I like not having to be tethered to anything but my camera. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and I have a lot of significant people in my life I enjoy spending time with. I even enjoy traveling with some of them, but when I am in “Shoot mode”, my head is into my art. I don’t care about selfies or being in in the images I am creating.
I plan, but losley. Allowing for bad weather and crowd conditions that might make getting “That shot” impossible on the first try. I tend to shoot early mornings and late afternoons and evenings. Those are the times that the light proves to be most favorable for certain effects. That leaves the main part of the day to wander the streets and be spontaneous. Meet people and take in the local flavor.
I too like Hostels when traveling solo. It’s an economical way to travel plus it is the greatest way to meet people. I agree that Hostelworld is the best resource when hosteling. Just choose your spot carefully. Read all of the fine print to see exactly what the location offers.I always look for places with things like luggage rooms and storage lockers. This makes it easy to secure your possessions when taking a shower or any other time you might not want to have everything with you.
Many locations offer free breakfast and almost all of them have a community kitchen which is convenient for a late nite snack and provides an easy way to stretch the food budget.
Another lodging option I find useful is AirBnB. They have a wide range of accommodations in every price range and are a good alternative especially if you are traveling with someone. When ever I am planing a trip I always research both HostelWorld and AirBnB. I have never found a situation where a conventional hotel is a better value.
Additionally, I would advise planning within your comfort zone. If the idea of solo travel is new to you start small. Maybe do a long weekend and build out from there.
Do your research. There are a ton of resources TripAdviser among them. I will be writing a lot more on this subject but I wanted to chime in here since I found this article so helpful.
I will be making a solo trip to the west coast starting in mid-April. If you would like to learn more about this project you can follow along at.