Being cooped up at home can feel comforting, but it can also lead to boredom. After all, there is only so much Netflix one can take. And we all need a change of scenery once in a while. Not sure what to do when you’re by yourself? Don’t worry. Here are fun things to do and places to go alone when bored.
1. Go for a drive
Driving alone can be calming yet thrilling. Roll down your car window, turn up your favorite tunes and enjoy the view.
Trips: If you’re in for a long road trip in the future, check out California’s Pacific Coast Highway, Montana’s Going to the Sun Road, or Virginia’s Blue Ridge Parkway.
2. Eat Out
Is there a new restaurant in town that you want to try? It’s time to treat yourself to a delightful dinner. Don’t forget to order some delectable desserts and sample a vintage wine or craft beer.
Trips: Considering a food holiday? San Francisco, New York, New Orleans, Seattle, and Austin are just a few of the best foodie cities in the US.
3. Take a hike
Go somewhere peaceful and quiet to reconnect with yourself and nature. Let the beautiful scenery blow the cobwebs away.
Trips: For some of the most scenic hiking trails, check out the Appalachian Trail, Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, Yosemite National Park, and the Grand Canyon.
4. Learn something new
Whether you’re learning to play an instrument, whip up a fancy dish, or speak a foreign language, developing a new skill is a sure boredom-killer. As a bonus, it helps you make new friends and improve your self-confidence.
Trips: Check out your community for classes. Hardcore foodies might enjoy a cooking school vacation. Los Dos in Merida, Mexico, and Blackberry Farm in Tennessee offer fab culinary lessons.
5. Spend an afternoon at a museum
Are there exhibits you’ve been dying to see but didn’t due to time constraints? Now’s your chance to explore them. There is something relaxing and liberating about winding your way through ancient displays and fascinating knick-knacks without anyone tagging along.
Trips: There are about 55,000 museums around the world – from the top-ranking Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to the beloved Louvre in Paris. Take your pick.
6. People watch at a café
Best done al fresco. Grab your favorite pastry and a coffee and observe passers-by. Have fun fabricating backstories for the people you see.
Trips: Alternatively, you can head to your local park or any part of town with heavy pedestrian traffic. If you’re visiting Europe, Trafalgar Square in London and Piazza Navona in Rome are some of the best spots to sit back and watch people.
7. Read a book by the beach
Beaches aren’t just for swimming and sunbathing. They are some of the best places to go alone when bored. Head to a quiet spot by the sea, set up your lounge chair, and catch up on that new bestseller you bought weeks ago.
Trips: Who doesn’t love a beach holiday? For those seeking a little me time, the more uncrowded a beach, the better. Check out Virginia’s Sandbridge Beach, Hawaii’s Kauapea Beach, and Florida’s Dry Tortugas.
8. Plant a garden
Whether you’re planting herbs, fruit trees, or flowering shrubs, gardening proves to be a stress-relieving hobby. Plus, you’ll have something to look forward to and enjoy watching grow.
Trips: Looking for inspiration? Check out Brazil’s Jardim Botânico, Singapore Botanical Gardens, and the Montreal Botanical Gardens.
9. Do volunteer work
It doesn’t take a buddy to complete a random act of kindness. Volunteer work – from offering dog-walking services to helping out in soup kitchens to giving free music lessons – can positively impact others’ lives. And you can do it all by yourself.
Trips: Ever heard of purposeful travel? It refers to sustainable trips where you can help communities genuinely benefit from tourism. You can join a volunteer program abroad, such as nature conservation in Zanzibar or teaching English in Costa Rica.
10. Head to the gym
Surveys show that the gym is one of the most popular places to go alone when bored. And one of the best things to do alone when bored is to work out. Don’t have access to a gym? Exercise from home. There are many apps and follow-along videos you can watch. If you’re not into strenuous physical activities, try meditative yoga instead.
Trips: Fitness holidays are a rising trend. St. Lucia’s Body Holiday and Spain’s Fit Retreat are top wellness destinations.
11. Visit another country…without leaving home
It may sound a bit outlandish, but one of the best places to go alone when bored is the internet. Before you get weirded out, hear this out. You can explore a new country through a virtual tour. Many tourist attractions, such as museums and historic landmarks, are going digital. To boost your imagination, cook a traditional meal from the country you’re visiting, listen to its local music, or get dressed like you’re actually there.
Trips: Do you know that the Eiffel Tower is featured live 24 hours via webcam? You can walk the Great Wall of China on a free virtual tour while learning about its history. Other places you might want to see are the Vatican, Stonehenge, Mount Fuji, and the Anne Frank House.
12. Go out for a stroll at a mall
Wandering around a shopping mall to while away time may sound so early 2000s, but it’s still an enjoyable and great way to exercise. If you have money to spare, head to your favorite boutique and buy yourself a well-deserved gift. But window shopping is an equally exciting alternative.
Trips: If you’re not into malls, try the farmer’s markets. For something more exotic and unique, check out Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market, Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, or the many floating markets in Thailand.
13. Enjoy a spa day
Because why not? You deserve a little pampering and a break from the stresses in life. According to research, massages may help relieve pain, anxiety, headaches, and depression.
Trips: Some of the best spa destinations in the US are California’s Cal-a-Vie, Arizona’s Canyon Ranch, and New Mexico’s Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa.
14. Bike around your hometown as if it’s your first time
Sometimes we fail to see the things that make our hometown different and beautiful. Why not research your local attractions, create your own bike tour and act like a tourist for a day? From parks to markets to art galleries, explore your town in a way you’ve never done before.
Trips: Born to ride? For some of the best scenic cycling trails, check out Galway, Ireland, the Munda Biddi Trail in Australia, and the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route from Alberta in Canada to New Mexico, USA.
15. Go to an amusement park
One can never be too old for an amusement park adventure. In fact, it is one of the best places to go alone when bored. You do not have to worry whether your friends want to ride the same ride you want. Or if you ride it more than once. Then, there are a bunch of sinfully tasty snacks. Don’t fuss. You are on a day out, and you can eat to your heart’s content.
Trips: You can never go wrong with amusement parks, from your local carnival to Disneyland.