Coming to you live from Mexico! This is the second solo resort vacation I’ve taken (my first was in Puerto Rico last year) and would like to share some things I’ve learned while traveling “solita”. Some of these lessons are specific to warm weather, resort, and foreign countries, but if you’re considering a vaca that doesn’t fit neatly into that box, just use your imagination.
1) If you’re going to a country in which you don’t speak the language, you should learn how to say “Nope, just me” in their native tongue. And prepare to repeat it at leeeasstt 11 times a day.
2) Have an answer prepared for “what are you doing tonight?” that makes attempting to interpret The Real Housewives in English and ordering room service for yourself sound non-negotiable for when the creep at the pool named Damian from Miami, with two kids old enough to have kids themselves, asks to eat a sub-par “steak dinner” together at the (free) hotel buffet.
3) Your bikini body really isn’t THAT bad.
4) 3 nights and 4 days is perfect. It gives you a few nights in a big ass bed to yourself and a few days to shamelessly drink for 12 hours a day (with intermittent poolside naps in between) without fear of judgement or needing a detox afterward. Bump that to 4 nights and 5 days and you’ll wonder what life choices you made that forced you to be alone in a foreign place for so long and cry yourself to sleep. 2 nights and 3 days? Well that doesn’t allow enough time to pass for you to forgive/forget all the muggles and trolls back home for forcing you to impulsively book a vacation in the first place. I repeat: 3 nights and 4 days is perfect.
5) If you’re going alone, and are also single, be prepared for men, older couples, and servers to look at you like you have 12 heads when you tell them that not only is your boyfriend not with you, but -gasp- he doesn’t exist (!?). “¿Es verdad? ¿No tienes un novio???”
6) You’ll tell lies of omission to your mom about the night there was violent banging on your door and phone calls/hangups coming to your room at 1:00am.
7) Load up your Kindle in advance with Gone Girl, Bossypants, and other girly ass books. The speed at which you’ll tear through them is shocking. And lord knows finding a wifi signal strong enough to download more books is like finding water in Mexico that won’t give you diarrhea.
8) Not having to deal with anyone else getting cranky when the line at the airport is too long, complaining they want to hang out at the pool when you want the beach, or telling you falling asleep at 8:30 watching Mad Men is “lame” …is really liberating. On the flip side, not being able to talk to someone about how silly that baby walks, how good this sunscreen smells, or how soft the sand is kinda sucks. But you get over it.
9) Tourists can’t resist a selfie stick. But you probably already knew that.
10) You’ll inevitably make friends with the staff if you’re staying at a resort. And you’ll be inspired to pick up Spanish again and insist on downloading Rosetta Stone when you finally get a reliable internet connection again.
11) Wear a hat or risk getting a sunburnt scalp and trying to convince people back home it’s not dandruff 1 week later when your head is shedding.
12) People (i.e., American tourists) are disgusting, gluttonous, and suspectedly all alcoholics. I hate to break it to you but given both a nacho buffet at the pool and a swim-up bar, you won’t be any exception. Sorry.