Learning To Travel Again After The Loss Of Your Spouse Or Partner

When we promise to spend the rest of our lives with our significant other, we never truly understand how short forever is. There is never enough time well spent with the people we love, especially our spouse. Unfortunately, life is full of unexpected twists and turns, and we may be saying goodbye to our partner sooner than we had hoped. It’s difficult to imagine doing anything solo without the person we loved most.

Traveling again may feel particularly strange after the loss of a spouse. Though you may have imagined seeing the world with your partner by your side, solo traveling can serve as a healing experience after loss. 

Why Would It Be Important To Start Traveling Again After the Loss of Your Spouse or Partner?

The grieving process is different for everyone, we all handle grief in our own way. Coping with the loss of a spouse is one of the hardest deaths one can ever experience. Getting back to your daily routine after losing your spouse will take time. Eventually, however, you must move on and learn to live with the cherished memories of the time you two spent together.

Taking a trip can help you to overcome your grief and learn to live a life independent of your spouse. Planning a trip out of town will break up your daily routine and give you something to focus on other than your grief. It will give you some space between your daily life and obligations.

You’ll be free to grieve alone without the interference of others. Maybe you won’t grieve at all, maybe you want to take a trip to forget your grief. Either way, you can do so without the judgment of other people. 

If you were once a jetsetter or loved to take trips with your spouse, going on a solo trip will be a return to doing something you love. Sure, it will be strange to embark on the journey without your partner, but it will still give you an opportunity to reclaim a small piece of yourself.

Traveling after loss is a first step to healing and moving on. You will experience a sense of freedom exploring somewhere new. It will give you a chance to reconnect with yourself and create new memories. 

Ways To Help You Take the First Step Back Into Travel

How do you know when you are ready to travel again after death of a spouse? There is no right answer that works for everyone. You may find that you must travel out of necessity (to visit a sick friend or family member, for example) or you may be considering a trip to help ease your grief. Either way, it is natural to have some anxiety over taking your first solo trip without your spouse.

Below are some ways to travel alone after losing your spouse. 


While traveling alone can be a big step towards healing and may make you feel empowered, only you will know when you’re ready for it. Grieving is different for everybody, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to do anything that’s out of your comfort zone. Be honest with yourself and gauge how comfortable you feel with the idea of traveling alone.

It’s normal to feel some sadness or anxiety about the idea of going on a trip by yourself. However, if you find it difficult to take a trip to the grocery store by yourself, you may need more time before you consider traveling alone. Take it day by day and gradually build up your confidence in doing things on your own.

There is no set amount of time that is acceptable to grieve. Some people may feel ready to travel after only a few months after their loss, while others need more time.

That being said, understand that at some point you will need to face your fears of venturing out alone. Planning a vacation after death of spouse can be a steppingstone to regaining your confidence and independence. 


Much of your fear and anxiety of traveling alone after loss comes from not knowing what to expect. What will you do if you get lost in a place, you’re not familiar with? Who will you call if you get sick or injured? What if you get bored? Planning ahead of time for these situations can help prevent them from ever happening.

Start by making a traveling alone 2022 checklist. Include all the things that you need to take on your trip, the landmarks or places you want to see while on your trip, how much money you will need to bring, whether you will need a translator, etc.

Being prepared will give you a sense of confidence for moving forward with your trip. When you have a plan for getting through any sticky situation you might encounter, you won’t feel so lost and vulnerable. Some travel planning ideas could include:

Plan a travel itinerary. Plan each day of your trip out before you leave. Make the reservations for museums, tours, and even restaurants that you want to dine at. Take the guesswork out of your trip so that you won’t be caught off guard once you arrive at your destination.

Research the area you will be staying in by looking it up on Google Maps. Study the different street names and intersections as well as nearby landmarks. This will help you gain familiarity with your surroundings when you arrive. Should you get lost, knowing street names or landmarks will help you find your way back to your hotel.

Make a list of emergency contacts before you leave for your trip. Write them down in your phone or on a piece of paper and have them on your person wherever you go. In case you were to get into an accident, someone would be able to reach out to your friends and family. Let your emergency contacts know you are going away and encourage them to check in on you, just in case.

Practice doing things by yourself before you go on your trip. If you have never dined out at a restaurant by yourself before, try it out at your local diner or cafe. See a movie by yourself or check out that new museum exhibit you’ve been wanting to see. Get used to doing things by yourself now, so that going solo won’t feel so scary when you’re on your trip. 


Talk to your friends or family members about the idea of you traveling alone. Sometimes our own judgment can be clouded by our emotions or anxieties. Your close friends and family know you best and may be able to provide you with outside guidance you can’t see for yourself.

For example, maybe you feel that you are ready to go on a solo trip, but your close friends recognize your false air of confidence. Or maybe you are holding off on going on your trip, but your family knows when you are being overly cautious and will encourage you to take a chance.

Additionally, your friends and family may be able to offer you tips about taking a solo trip. Maybe they will be able to give you advice on where to go, what to do, and where to eat.

They may also be able to give you tips on stuff you hadn’t thought about, like which areas are unsafe to go by yourself or the best train to take to get to a popular tourist spot. It’s always a good idea to let your loved ones know your plans for travel when you are taking a solo trip. The more they know about your whereabouts, the easier it will be for them to check up on you.


While it is useful to take your friends and family’s concerns into account, don’t let them dissuade you from traveling alone after death of spouse.

Plenty of men and women of all ages travel alone and feel completely safe. You should of course always be cautious, especially when traveling alone, but don’t let fear stop you from having new experiences.

Your friends and family may be coming from a place of love by convincing you not to travel, but only you know what’s best for you. Don’t be afraid to push against the norm and have your own adventure.

Take a moment to sit with yourself and discover what your intuition is telling you. What does your gut feeling tell you to do? Are you sure you are making this choice because it is something you want to do or something your friends and family want you to do? Do what’s best for you, not your friends or family. This is your life, and you get to make the decisions. 


Your first solo trip after the loss of your partner doesn’t need to be a big one. Start with a small overnight trip to a nearby town or city. Going on a smaller trip by yourself will help you build your confidence about traveling alone. A short road trip is a great way to get in the groove of doing something by yourself and being in a new place.

The benefits of being close by is that if you do get nervous or emotional, you are only a short way away from home. Visit a friend or family member in the next town over and ask to stay the night, or book that quaint Airbnb by the ocean you have been wanting to vacation in.

You can take these small trips by yourself or with friends and family. Either way, you will be getting out of your daily routine and finding a new way to cope with your grief. 


No matter how many activities you have planned or how many fabulous restaurants you dine at, you are going to miss your spouse. In truth, you will likely always miss your significant other. Time will ease the pain, but there will always be moments you wish you could share with them.

Understand that you will experience some grief while on your first solo trip. You may even feel some guilt at having a new experience without your significant other by your side. These feelings are totally normal and may pop up when you least expect it.

You may be waiting in line for a scoop of gelato when you are suddenly reminded of the last time you ate ice cream with your spouse. Let yourself feel these emotions and take time out of your trip to do so in peace. 

Understand that your spouse would want you to move on and enjoy yourself. Moving on and having fun doesn’t mean you are forgetting your loved one, it just means you are learning to have a life without them. 


The best part of traveling solo is that the rules are up to you. You are the only one on your trip, so you are the person calling the shots. While at first it may feel strange to be on your own, take advantage of the perks of being alone. You can make your own schedule and do what you want when you want to.

There is no one to tell you when to wake up, when to go to sleep, or how many glasses of wine you should drink at dinner. Revel in your freedom and enjoy every bit of it.

Of course, you will be missing your spouse or partner, but there is nothing wrong with taking some time for yourself to be happy. Going on vacation and treating yourself to whatever luxury you want is the best part of traveling solo.


Keep your loved one close to you wherever you go by keeping a memento of their love close to you always. Memorial jewelry for grief acts as a special way to memorialize your deceased loved one. Below are a few options for remembrance jewelry to wear while traveling that will help you through your grief.

Cremation Jewelry

Cremation jewelry offers a unique way to keep your deceased loved one close to you. Cremation jewelry for grief is made from the ashes of your cremated loved one. Signature jewelry styles come in the form of pendants and lockets in multiple metals. Jewelry made from ashes serves as a personal way to carry your loved one with you while you travel, or wherever life takes you next. 

Fingerprint Jewelry

Fingerprint jewelry is another very personal way to memorialize your deceased spouse and keep them close to your heart wherever you go. Fingerprint jewelry and keychains incorporate your deceased loved one’s unique fingerprint into beautifully designed jewelry and keepsakes. In this way you always have a unique part of your loved one on your person. 

Photo Engraved Jewelry

Photo engraved jewelry pendants with your favorite picture of your spouse will be a happy memory every time you look down at your gold or silver pendant necklace, bracelet, or keychain. You will never forget their face when you have their image with you wherever your travels take you. 


Deciding to go on a solo trip after the loss of your partner or spouse is brave enough as it is. When planning your trip, know your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t feel pressured to do things outside your comfort zone if you’re not ready to do them yet.

For example, if you’ve never been particularly agile or adventurous, a rock-climbing excursion might not be a good idea to attempt on your own. There is a high likelihood that you will not enjoy yourself or worse, potentially injure yourself.

Similarly, a trip to NYC (one of the biggest cities in the world) isn’t a great first solo trip if you have a hard time handling a crowd of people. Know what sorts of activities work for you and plan your trip around those. 


Document your travels by taking plenty of pictures of your solo adventures. You’ll want a way to remember your trip and pictures are the best way to do that. Take a digital camera with your or use your smartphone to snap pictures and videos of parts of your trip.

Be sure to get some pictures of yourself on vacation as well. Get over your fear of taking a selfie in public or ask a kind stranger to take your picture. Pictures will give you fond memories to share with others and look back on later in life. 

Safety Tips For Solo Travelers

Traveling alone is daunting for everyone their first time taking a solo trip. We recognize there is safety in numbers. It’s always good to have another person to watch your back when you’re navigating a foreign city and help you out should you run into trouble. Solo travelers can sometimes be more vulnerable to scam artists or pickpockets.

However, traveling alone may also mean you blend in more easily, making you stick out less as a tourist that’s easily taken advantage of. Both solo travelers and group travelers need to take safety precautions, but solo travelers may have a few different things to take into consideration. Below are some safety tips for solo travelers you may find useful for your next solo trip.


Do your research on finding the best place to stay as a solo traveler. Ideally your hotel or Airbnb should be in a safe part of town. Look for a place that has multiple reviews so you can get a good idea of the safety and legitimacy of the place you are booking.

If you’re staying at a hotel, be sure they have a 24-hour front desk so that you can check in to your room no matter what time you arrive. If you’re staying at an Airbnb, check with your host to be sure they provide self-check-in or access to your room right away.

You want to avoid being stuck outside waiting to get into your hotel room or Airbnb, especially if you’re arriving at an odd hour. 


Losing your passport or ID while traveling can be a disaster, especially if you travel out of the country. Before you leave for your trip, make copies of your forms of ID to carry with you. This way you have at least some forms of backup ID should you accidentally misplace one.

It may also be a good idea to leave your most important form of ID (your passport for example) in your hotel or Airbnb to avoid potential theft or loss. 


As a solo traveler it’s never a good idea to venture out alone into isolated spaces. Hiking trails, for example, can be unsafe places for solo travelers should they encounter a dangerous situation. Unless a hiking trail is heavily populated, it is unlikely someone can come to your aid should you have an accident or meet with unexpected trouble.

If you’d like to go on a hike or visit a place that is equally as isolated, go with a tour group. When you’re by yourself, be sure to stick to public, more populated places, especially at night. 


Avoid wearing clothing or accessories that make you look like a tourist. While you may want to rock that cute Mickey Mouse t-shirt or I love New York sweatshirt, they are blatant giveaways that you’re a tourist. 

 You should also avoid walking around with your face in a guidebook or giving off the appearance that you’re lost. Should you lose your way while exploring, stay calm and ask for directions at a close by cafe or shop. Be careful of asking random strangers for directions, as you don’t want too many people knowing you’re a tourist.

Should you have to ask a random passerby for help, it’s okay to lie a little. Say that you are looking for a specific place because you are meeting a “friend” there. The less a stranger knows about you, the better. 


When traveling abroad, never carry all your money with you at once. Bring only as much cash with you as you think you need when out and about. Leave the rest of your cash in a safe place in your hotel room or Airbnb.

Do the same with any credit or debit cards you will need to bring with you. Having all your forms of payment in one place could be disastrous if you were to lose them all at the same time. Keeping a backup credit card or cash storage will ensure you are not left stranded without a way to pay for things you need. 

What If You Don't Want To Travel Alone Right Away?

Your first trip without your spouse doesn’t have to be entirely alone. If you’re not comfortable with the idea of flying solo, don’t. Traveling with like-minded people can be just as much of an empowering experience as traveling alone.

In fact, you may even enjoy having the extra company with you. Below are a few ideas for how to travel independently while still enjoying the company of others. 


Ask a friend to join you on your excursion or plan to meet up with a friend during your travels. You could even plan a trip with several of your friends and make it a reunion.

It’s fun to do things with your friends, especially when you are getting over a loss. Your friends can provide the support and comfort you need in case you experience feelings of sadness or grief.

They will also provide a sense of security in case you are wary of traveling alone for safety reasons. A group trip with your closest friends will be a fun way to get out of your everyday environment and create new, fond memories with people you cherish. 


Check online or with your local church, school, or community center for any upcoming guided group trips. Guided travel tours typically allot for a certain number of people to join, led by a tour guide who is knowledgeable of the cities visited.

The travel group will usually take care of plane tickets, hotel, and even dining reservations. You will be traveling with the same group of people throughout the trip, giving you a chance to socialize and make new friends.

 A group travel trip will allow you to have a sense of security (there is safety in numbers) while also taking care of all the small, sometimes stressful details. You won’t have to do any planning, as the tour guide will take care of the itinerary for you. All you need to do is show up and have fun. 


A grief retreat offers a unique experience to those who are suffering from loss. Grief retreats typically operate in remote areas surrounded by nature. The focus of a grief retreat is to help guests work through their grief by providing them with services and activities that promote relaxation and emotional healing.

Some of these activities would include group therapy sessions, meditation or yoga classes, hiking, or even art classes. These retreats allow you to be around like-minded people who are also experiencing loss. It may be helpful to connect with people who can understand the emotional rollercoaster you are going through.

If you can’t find a grief retreat, you may also be interested in a yoga or wellness retreat. While the main focus will not be on coping with grief, they will encourage mental and physical wellbeing. Healing your mind and body is helpful in healing from your grief. 


If you don’t feel comfortable traveling by yourself to a new place, you might consider taking a cruise. Booking a cruise trip is a great way to vacation alone without feeling alone.

Though you will be dining and hanging out on the cruise ship by yourself, you have the company of others close by. You needn’t worry about getting lost in city streets or not being able to find your hotel.

Everything you need will be on your cruise ship including food, entertainment, etc. A cruise is a luxurious way to sail the open seas and explore new places. 

Resources For Ways To Travel Alone In 2022

Grief Retreats 2022

  • Book Retreats offers a variety of different retreat packages in multiple price ranges. They offer grief specific retreats as well as wellness, food, and health retreats. 
  • Faith & Grief retreats blend both religion and grief support into a weekend getaway. For those who are religious, a retreat with a religious component may be helpful in overcoming grief. 
  • The Retreat Company is another great resource for finding various types of retreats all over the country. 

Guided Tour Trips 2022

  • The Guided Tour company offers fun guided vacations for adults and families. Their trips are based in the US and offer multiple tour themes and destinations as well as multiple forms of entertainment. 
  • Cosmos guided tours offer trips all over the world. They take care of everything from dining reservations, hotel accommodations, and sightseeing itineraries. 
  • Tourradar is a good resource for finding affordable guided tours all over the world.

Traveling Alone Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to travel alone?

It is totally safe to travel alone if you are careful and take proper precautions. Do your research on which countries, cities, and towns are safest for you. For example, female travelers should be extra cautious of their surroundings because they are more at risk for harassment.

Do your research on the culture of the place you are visiting and how likely you are to be a target for crime. You should also do your research on the traditions or behaviors of the culture you are visiting so that you do not offend or draw attention to yourself. Many men and women travel alone and experience no problems at all. But it never hurts to be cautious. 

Can taking a solo vacation help me get through my grief?

There is no right or wrong way to get through grief if you are doing so in a healthy manner. Going on a solo vacation can indeed help you cope with the loss of your spouse or partner. Traveling alone gives you a chance to branch out and do what you want, no judgment from anyone else. It will give you time away from your home environment to clear your head and process your feelings.

A vacation may be just what you need to get out of your head and look at your life from a new perspective. It’s never easy to say goodbye to a loved one, but life goes on without them. Putting your life on hold will not bring your deceased spouse back to you, no matter how much you wish it would. A solo vacation gives you a new adventure to look forward to and a new memory to create for yourself. 

Should you travel while grieving?

Only you will know when you are ready to travel again after losing a loved one. We all grieve differently and for different lengths of time. Some people may be ready to travel sooner than others. Assess your situation honestly and determine whether you are truly ready to embark on an adventure while you’re still grieving your loss.

If you’re unsure of how you will do on a solo trip, start with a short trip somewhere nearby. Planning a short trip will be less stressful to plan and less of a commitment. Should you find a short trip too difficult, it may mean you’re not ready for a longer solo trip. Spend more time working through your grief and healing before attempting your next big adventure. 

What happens if I get too scared while traveling alone after losing my husband?

Traveling solo can be a scary experience for women who have never traveled without their partner before. Your husband was not only your best friend, but your protector and partner. If you are having fears about traveling alone, first understand that they are only fears and not reality. Yes, terrible things could happen while traveling by yourself, but absolutely none of those things may happen at all.

Many of our fears exist only in our head, invented by our anxious thoughts. Plenty of women of all ages travel alone and have wonderful experiences. While it is always important to be cautious, don’t let your fears of worst-case scenarios stop you from enjoying new experiences. However, if you do become too scared while traveling alone, you always have the option of cutting your trip short and returning home. 

How can I honor my loved one while traveling?

You can honor your deceased loved one while traveling by simply thinking of them wherever you are. Travel to a place the two of you have always wanted to go to but never got the chance. Take plenty of pictures of your travels and place them at their grave site when you return home.

Wear keepsake jewelry like a photo engraved pendant or a thumbprint keychain to have on your person during your travels. In this way you will be able to carry a token to remember them by.

Another idea is to write letters to them in each new place you travel to. In your letter, describe what you are seeing, what you are doing, and the new experiences you are having. You can keep the letters for yourself and include them in a scrapbook with pictures of your travels. The letters will serve as both memories of your rip and memories of your loved one. 

Starting Over

Starting over after the loss of your best friend and lover is one of the hardest things you will ever have to do. Nobody wants to experience being the remaining spouse, but unfortunately life happens unexpectedly. Moving on with your life does not mean you are leaving your loved one behind, it simply means you are continuing to live.

Traveling while grieving can be a way for you to reconnect with yourself and have new experiences while you learn to cope with your loss. Taking a solo trip can be empowering. You will learn things about yourself you might not have known. Most importantly, you will learn that you can make it on your own. While your loved one will always be in your heart, you can continue to live a full life without them. 

March 22, 2022 by Frances Kay