Jennifer Huber is on a mission to encourage more women to build up their courage to travel alone.
For Jennifer Huber, travel is part of her everyday life. During the day she holds down the fort in Charlotte County, Fla. as the tourism public relations manager and when time permits she logs her travel experience on her blog, SoloTravelGirl.com .
Jennifer started the travel blog in 2009 after her grandmother passed away and the unexpected death of her former husband. To deal with her loss, Jennifer took a road trip out to the west coast. She drove through San Francisco, followed U.S. 1 all the way up to Oregon and pulled over for winery tours along the way. “I found myself traveling alone, not lonely. ”
She hopes her writing will inspire Baby Boomer women to travel on their own. “I’ve met a lot of other women … who are afraid to go out and do things on their own or travel by themselves,” Jennifer explained. “Through my blog, I find that I am inspiring women over 50 [to travel and do things on their own.]”
Why Older Adults Travel Alone
In 2014, AARP conducted a study to determine what drives adults over the age of 45, to travel by themselves. Out of 1,202 adults surveyed, 57 percent said they travel alone because they don’t have a traveling partner, while 27 percent said they just prefer to take a trip alone.
Taking a deeper dive into the report, AARP found that only 14 percent of women are willing to take a solo trip overseas. Jennifer Huber is one of those solo travelers. Her passport has stamps from Cuba, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and more.
Solo Travel Appreciation
During her travels, people are shocked when they learn Jennifer doesn’t have a travel companion. “Couples would ask, ‘aren’t you lonely,’ and I would say ‘HECK NO!”
Although having a travel companion is ideal, Jennifer said she’s able to do so much more without having to deal with one. “I get to set my own schedule, and I do what I want to do,” she shared. “I find that when I make plans with other people, they don’t necessarily come through.”
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Travel Safety Tips
Jennifer admits that the one downside to traveling solo is safety. “You don’t know if you’re going to get swindled or conned [by the locals],” she said. “Traveling by yourself makes you more of a target, so you need to be aware of your surroundings.”
I get to set my own schedule, and I do what I want to do,
If you’re thinking about traveling alone, Jennifer recommends the following tips.
– Keep your guard up and be aware of your surroundings
– Trust your gut instinct. In other words, if something doesn’t feel right then leave.
– Keep your alcohol consumption to the minimum
– Don’t brag about your travel plans before or during your trip
Where’s Solo Travel Girl Off to Now?
If you’re a Southwest Florida resident who is giving back to the community through your writing, we’d love to hear from you. E-mail your story to stories@HelloSWFL.com .