(Photo by Bluewater Globe on Unsplash)
Have you tried travelling on your own or are you thinking of doing it?
We will share with you all the benefits of travelling alone and ease your fears.
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Solo travel means that you are going somewhere alone - to another city, country or even continent. You will spend a significant amount of the time on your own but that doesn’t mean you will be alone all the time. You can join other travellers, befriend locals and so on.
When you are flying solo, the best thing is that you don’t have to compromise.
You want to spend an entire day in The Louvre? Go for it. Or, on the contrary, you don’t care much about museums and prefer to go on a food tour instead? There’ll be no problem.
Whenever you travel with someone else, be it a partner, your family, a friend or a whole bunch of them, it’s impossible to please everyone. The bigger the group is, the harder.
That’s normal - everyone has different interests and preferences. Some prefer walking, while others demand a tour bus. Your parents like getting up early even on holiday and dining at 6 pm, and you are just the opposite, or vice versa.
Lone travellers can go at their own pace and enjoy the experience to the fullest instead of rushing here and there, trying to cross everything off a huge list in a single day or wasting precious time doing an activity they wish they’d skipped.
And what if someone from the group gets late or lost and everyone has to wait for them? What a nightmare, especially for your tight schedule.
The more solo travel experience you have, the more confident you’ll become. You will feel you are able to rely on yourself and manage in all types of situations.
Nothing is scary anymore, and nothing is the end of the world. Even if you become temporarily lost or confused, you’ll be less likely to panic. You know you can handle anything.
Solo trips are especially empowering to young people or women who are novices to the whole experience.
This is related to the previous point but is worth emphasizing. When you have to do all the planning, booking and checking in on your own, it can be overwhelming and daunting in the beginning. What if you make a mistake? What if you forget something important?
The more solo holidays you have to organize, the more you will hone your organization skills. Next time you have to do it, it will be just a routine for you. No stress or worries.
People travelling alone can truly focus on the moment and immerse themselves in the foreign culture. You can reflect on yourself or have fun people watching.
There won’t be anyone to bother you with constant complaints or demands. You won’t have to attend to anyone’s needs or have a conversation if you don’t want to.
Of course, if you get lonely, you can always approach a friendly local or a fellow traveller for a nice chat. The point is, it’s entirely up to you.
As we already said, just because you’re travelling solo doesn’t mean you have to stay solo all the time.
You can go to organized group tours and easily make new friends.
You can and should talk to locals. They will give you the best tips on where to have a delicious and affordable meal, and probably guide you to a wonderful place to explore that other tourists usually miss. Besides, what better time than to practice your foreign language skills?
What’s more, don’t be surprised if a curious and friendly local comes to speak to you even when you don’t expect. Solo travellers seem much more approachable than a whole group of loud tourists.
You can end up with some wonderful experiences and even a friendship for life. Single travellers could even find love - like in the movies, how romantic!
(Photo by Steven Lewis on Unsplash)
Expanding comfort zone
Some would claim life is all about breaking out our comfort zones. Sometimes, if you’re bold enough to do it, you will not only be left with amazing memories, but you will also experience personal growth.
I know for some people solo travel might seem scarier than for others. No one is forcing you to do it. But if it’s things like “What will people say about me?” that’s stopping you, listen to your heart rather than your anxious mind.
The truth is, solo travellers are considered very cool and bold, people who we all aspire to be. Many have been complimented and praised for travelling solo. So go ahead and expand your comfort zone a little - you’ll feel proud of yourself afterwards.
Following your dreams
Do you usually have a travel companion - your partner, relative or a friend?
OK, but what if no one is available right now and you desperately want to visit, say, Australia. There’s an amazing deal that’s going to expire soon. It’s the perfect time for you… Then go ahead and grab that opportunity! You never know whether it’s going to come again.
Maybe your friends don’t have time, money or desire to travel with you right now, and that’s OK. However, that doesn’t mean you have to wait for them forever. If you have a chance to travel, take it and cross that destination off your bucket list.
Connecting with your loved ones
Sure, solo travel can sometimes make you lonely. But you can always reach out to your loved ones online or simply call them. Spending some time apart will remind you why you appreciate them so much and make you miss them in a good way.
On the other hand, you might want to take a break from them for a bit and focus on yourself and your journey. Warn them you won’t be spending much time online, posting photos and answering messages.
Instead, focus on having a good time wherever you are. You’ll have a wonderful time catching up once you’re back. It’s much more interesting telling your astonishing travel stories in person anyway.
There are many fears that can get in the way of your solo trip:
- Will everyone think I’m crazy or don’t have any friends?
- Isn’t it more expensive to travel solo?
- Is solo travelling boring?
- Is it safe to travel alone?
First, no one will think anything is wrong with you for travelling alone. Most people would even applaud you. Besides, what do you care what strangers think? You would never see them again anyway.
Secondly, yes, solo travel could be more expensive. Some accommodations still add a single supplement charge, but others are already catching up to the trend and offering better deals to solo travellers. With the right research and type of accommodation, you should be fine. There are now many websites where you can book a solo holiday or solo tour where you meet other fellow travellers and have fun together.
Which brings us to the next question. It all depends on your expectations and plans for your trip. Solo travel isn’t boring if you go with the right mindset. You’ll probably have so much to sightsee, explore, taste, photograph and do that you won’t have time to feel bored.
And you can always connect with others when you need - whether on a solo travel tour, in the local bakery or on the public transport, asking for guidance.
Finally, the safety question should be considered more seriously indeed. Travelling in groups is generally safer but that doesn’t mean you can’t go alone. You just have to be careful, like always.
Check out our solo female travel article where you will find many tips on how to travel safely on your own - no matter of your gender.
In fact, did you know that 84% of solo travellers are women? Amazing!
Check out the 10 best places for solo female travel - and anyone, really.
See the Northern Lights in Iceland, the Swiss National park or the Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand. Visit Japan, Australia or Canada. In Europe, go on a Danube river cruise, explore the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Portugal.
These are just some of our suggestions - you can start with them, but don’t limit yourself.
After reading all the benefits of solo travel, you probably can’t wait to spend some time travelling alone. Go ahead - just make sure you are safe and well prepared.