The decision to travel alone is sometimes a hard one, dependent upon not only the destination of choice, but also what the traveler wants to glean from their voyages. Let’s look at some pros and cons of solo travel before you decide if your upcoming trip will involve a 1-passenger plane ticket or a group discount:
There is no better way to stake your claim on independence than by forging ahead into the wide world by yourself. Some people’s greatest fears (and, ironically enough, greatest desires) include traveling alone: some people can’t even eat lunch by themselves! If you find yourself to be someone who has always wanted to take the leap and go somewhere by yourself, or you’re just looking to expand your experience as an adept solo traveler, going someplace by yourself gives you an independence you just cant acquire anywhere else.
If you’re on your own, every decision is yours, and so is every consequence. But are all the magical moment, some of which happen more easily to solo travelers simply because being alone and vulnerable makes solo travelers more open to connecting with others. It turns out that traveling alone is one of the best ways to truly engage with the travel experience and immerse yourself in the sheer foreigness of everything.
10 Reasons to Travel Alone
- No negotiating over destinations or activities: museums versus sporting events; B and Bs versus hotels; brats and beer versus haute cuisine.
- No fights over budgets and who should pay for what
- You get to schedule your day according to your own energy levels, whether that means sleeping in or taking naps or running around like the Energizer bunny.
- No snoring room-mates (unless, of course, you sleep in a hostel; then bring earplugs).
- Motivation to actually speak a foreign language rather than sticking to your own language with your own peeps.
- Flexibility to change plans on a moment’s notice.
- The chance to follow a momentary interest, whether it’s staying a few more nights at a dive resort, going into an interesting looking shop, or change your itinerary because someone told your there was a great pearl farm to visit on the other side of the island.
- Motivation to chat with fellow travelers and seek out new friends.
- You can travel at your own pace,which is especially important if you are hiking or biking.
- Quiet time alone to draw, take ALL the time you want to take a photo, write in your journal, and absorb the experience.
Solo traveling is not for everyone. It can be more expensive because hotels often charge by the room, not the person. It can be frightening and lonely, and sometimes scary. But it can also be tremendously rewarding. If you are of an independent temperament, and you want to travel, don’t let being alone stop you. Check out hostels and guided tours to meet others, take appropriate solo travel safety precautions, and above all, follow your heart to adventure. The only trips I’ve regretted are the ones I haven’t taken.