By Melanie Ayotte, Boomerang staff writer
Growing up, vacations typically involved traveling with my parents and a carful of siblings to Kentucky to visit my grandparents. While I always enjoyed our family vacations, as I got older, I started taking vacations by myself. I enjoyed the peace and quiet and the ability to do what I wanted, when I wanted and without consulting anyone else. If you've always vacationed with a group, you may find that a solo vacation will open your eyes to adventures, places and people you may not have seen, but it may also take some adjustment.
If you've never vacationed alone before, try it close to home first. Make it a one- or two-day trip. Attend a festival or fair, sporting event, or daytime cooking classes. Try being a tourist in your home town by visiting interesting and educational events or attractions that you've "always wanted to see, but never got around to."
Once you've got the knack for it, visit www.discoverohio.com to expand your travels throughout Ohio. Some of the simple pleasures you might find include:
- Homes of the U.S. Presidents from Ohio;
- Historic bed-and-breakfast inns;
- Amusement parks, zoos and museums;
- Professional sports venues and events;
- Photo-perfect scenery in our many parks; and
- Over 800 golf courses.
Maybe you find yourself invited out of town to a friend's party, class reunion, a wedding or family get-together. Build on these "must-go" trips and add a few days to see the local sites or just stop at whatever grabs your eye as you go by.
Is a vacation with a purpose more your speed? Take a week off to help at a local food bank or Habitat for Humanity project as a way to change up your routine and help others at the same time. Road Scholar offers learning adventures that range from long weekends trips to several weeks of travel, and that are always challenging and satisfying.
When traveling alone, personal security is more of a concern, so travel safely. If driving, make sure your car is road-ready with good tires, a recent oil change and an emergency kit that includes water, a blanket, flares and more. Carry a cell phone and keep it charged. Notify a trusted friend or family member of your plans. Resist the urge to post your travel plans on social media, such as Facebook - doing so could tell the wrong people that your home is empty. After you've returned, share all the wonderful pictures and memories you acquired.
No matter what you plan to do this year, take some time to travel solo. I know I'm looking forward to a few days to myself this summer. I might even take in the Historic US 40 National Road Yard Sale that covers over 800 miles. I Just hope I have enough room in my car and cash in my pocket.
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